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near Haghartsin, Tavush (አርሜኒያ)
This hike, located in the Tavush region, is rich with forests, streams, clay soil and bird songs. It is advisable to take some potable water and - with the help of a GPS - begin the hike that leads from Lake Parz to Gosh village, where the Goshavank Monastery is located. The route then passes through a fresh and untouched forest and takes you to Lake Gosh, where the clouds and trees always reflect off the water’s surface, regardless of the weather.
Lake Parz is 1,350m above sea level, with a length of 300m, width of 100m and depth between 3m-10m. The lake is fed by various springs and is surrounded by beautiful forests. Its water is a transparent, green color, and the trees seem to float on its surface when looking out from the shore.
Goshavank is in the center of Gosh village (16 km east from Dilijan), in the picturesque green gorge of the Tandzut River. The monastery was founded in 1,188 by Mkhitar Gosh, a great fable writer and teacher, with the support of Prince Ivane Zakarian. It was originally named Nor Getik, in honor of the nearby Getik Monastery that was destroyed by an earthquake. The monastery’s name changed to Goshavank after Mkitar Gosh passed away in 1,213.
Several churches and shrines (founded in the 12th and 13th centuries) constitute the magnificent architectural monastery. At the entrance of the monastery, there is a beautifully carved cross stone that was made by the famous master, Paul in 1,291. The complex was mentioned in historical sources as a school, university and seminary, where subjects such as foreign language, philosophy, rhetoric, music, writing, and painting were taught. Numerous manuscripts were created and kept in the monastery.
Lake Gosh is located 2.2 km southwest of Gosh village. Formed by landslides, it is fed by water springs and precipitation. In the summertime, the water temperature reaches up to 14 C. The lake is 100m in length, 80m in width, 8m in depth, and has a volume of 1,500 cubic m.
Forests cover more than 340,000 hectares of territory in Dilijan. In 1,958, a national forest conservation area was opened here, which later became Dilijan National Park in 2,002. Forests cover about 94% of the National Park. Nearly 40 valuable species of trees (particularly horn-beam, oak, beech, maple, birch, ash, willow, lime, elm and 18 species of bushes) grow here. About 123 species of edible herbs, 180 species of medicinal herbs (helichrysum, mint, thyme, shandra, bryony and others), and various species of edible mushrooms are spread throughout the forest.
The Dilijan National Park is also rich with fauna. Mammals such as the brown bear, wolf, marten, lynx, roe deer, otter, squirrel, hedgehog, and wild boar inhabit the area. There are also many birds including the warbler, quail, grey partridge, wild pigeon, griffon vulture, bearded vulture, booted eagle, golden eagle, and various types of falcons.
Safety and Security
Mobile telephone coverage is usually available throughout the hike. It is not advisable to pass the hike in rainy weather, as the clay soil makes it difficult to walk. The 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents.
Be sure to bring bottled water!
Best period: April -October
Distance: 99 km from Yerevan
Duration: 1 hour 30 min
Hiking trail length: 12.5 km
Walk duration: 5 hours
Altitude from Sea Level: 1230-1426 m
Visible Trail Surface: 100%
How to Get There
In order to reach this hike, the most convenient option is to take a taxi from Yerevan to Lake Parz. It is better to take a taxi with a taximeter (be sure the driver uses it), or agree on a price beforehand.