CCE

Cyclists for Cultural Exchange

Armenia 2020

A CCE classic!


Don't miss this unforgettable trip through beautiful Armenia. 
 

Visit ancient monasteries and tour unspoiled, breathtaking countryside. 
 

Enjoy spectacular views of legendary Mount Ararat and much more. 

Armenia, 2020

An Armenian bicycle tour run by local Armenians

Dates: 12–24 June 2020

Cost: $1000
Bike rental: $100

We are repeating our spectacular bicycle tour of Armenia again in 2020. This is a unique tour headed by a local Armenian cyclist and environmentalist together with his friends. The team has organized this trip with great success in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in cooperation with Cyclists for Cultural Exchange, with participants from California, China, Italy and Switzerland. We invite applications from anyone wishing to visit fascinating Armenia in a non-commercial context.

For more details, including itinerary, FAQs and testimonials: Go to Bicycle+

Payment:

A deposit of $400 is necessary to reserve your spot on the tour. The balance payment is due before 2 May.

Cancellation:

If you must cancel your trip, we need to receive written notice of the cancellation using either the postal service or on our email account. We cannot accept cancellations by text or phone message.

If you cancel before 2 May, your refund will be minus $100 administration fee.

Cancellations after that date regrettably cannot be refunded.
 

A full refund minus $100 administration fee will be given for any trip cancelled by us. 

Is this trip for you?
Read this insider's review.

Program

Day 1. Arrival.

Day 2. ​Orientation day and a city walk in Yerevan
Choosing bicycles at our workshop. Getting to know important historical and cultural sites in Yerevan. Accommodation: Hostel.

Day 3. Yerevan > Alagyaz (car) > Gyumri (bike 60 km).

We’ll first drive to Alagyaz, a village located near Mount Aragats, the highest peak in Armenia (4,090 m / 13,420 ft). From there we’ll cycle 60 km to Gyumri. Gyumri is the second largest city in Armenia. It is not big, though; you won’t find skyscrapers and malls here. Gyumri’s architecture is known for its 19th century houses not more than 2 stories high. Gyumri has been the birthplace of many noted artists, poets and writers. The town is also known for its artisan workshops. There is an interesting ethnographic museum in the town, as well as house-museums of several famous artists, among them the Aslamazyan sisters. Gyumri suffered greatly from a devastating earthquake in 1988, and even after 30 years, hundreds of families still live in temporary shelters. This is one of the biggest problems and challenges faced by the region today.

Accommodation: Hostel.
Map

 

Day 4. Gyumri > Shirakamut village (bike) > Trchkan waterfall (off-road drive) > Shirakamut (off-road drive) > Vanadzor (bike 64 km).

The highlight of the trip is Trchkan waterfall tucked away in the mountains. The waterfall was only known to local villagers until 2011, when a business project tried to build a hydroelectric power plant on the river where Trchkan is located. This project would have completely ruined the ecosystems and destroyed the waterfall.  However, thanks to protests, sit-ins and other direct actions of environmentalists and different youth groups, the government cancelled the business project permits and the waterfall was saved. Many members of Bicycle+ were involved in the movement, too, so this place is very special to us. The ride to the waterfall is quite an adventure in the wild – about 1 hour of off-road ride on local jeeps or open truck beds. After enjoying the waterfall and having lunch there, we’ll ride to Vanadzor in the north.

Accommodation: Guesthouse hotel.

Map

Day 5. Vanadzor > Gyulagarak > Vahagni > Pambak > Vanadzor (bike 70 km).

Vanadzor is the third largest town in Armenia. It was known for its chemical industry during the era of the  Soviet Union. One can still see the skeletons of the abandoned factories in the town. One thing you will notice there is a huge difference between the capital and the rest of the country; there has been much focus and development in Yerevan for decades, but this is slowly changing. There are beautiful hills and forests surrounding the town. We’ll take a ride in the surroundings, and get to know some interesting social projects ongoing in the town. 

Accommodation: Guesthouse hotel. 
Map

 

Day 6. Vanadzor > Gosh (bike 60 km).

This is going to be a spectacular ride through forest-covered mountains to one of the most famous medieval monasteries in Armenia. Gosh is the place where the first Legal Code was written in the Middle Ages. The place is named after renowned scholar Mekhitar Gosh,  the author of this Code, where he is laid to rest aop a nearby hill. There is also a pretty little lake not far from the monastery.

Accommodation: Local village houses. 
Map

 

Day 7. Gosh > Lake Sevan (bike 50 km).

Lake Sevan is the jewel of Armenia! It is the largest freshwater reserve in the Caucasus region, noted for its beautiful turquoise color, and the most important element of the entire Armenian ecosystem. The water is usually cold, but it is possible to swim during the summer months.

Accommodation: Lakeside bungalows at WishUp shore.
Map

 

Day 8. Rest day at Lake Sevan.
Accommodation: Lakeside bungalows at WishUp shore.

 

Day 9. Lake Sevan: WishUp shore > Tsapatagh village > Tsovinar village (bike 77 km).

Ride around Lake Sevan. .
Accommodation: Local village houses.
Map

Day 10. Tsovinar village > Hermon village (bike 75 km).

A spectacular ride over the Selim mountain pass, which was originally on the Silk Road, the famous trade route from China to Europe. The road will take us to the central province of Armenia known for its wine and caves.

Accommodation: Hotel.
Map

Day 11. Hermon > Yerevan Hwy (bike 37 km), excursion to Noravank Monastery, Areni winery, Khor Virap Monastery > Yerevan (car).

A short and easy ride on the main road back to Yerevan. Excursion to Noravank, one of the most famous and beautiful medieval monasteries in Armenia, and built in complete harmony with the red rocks of the canyon where it is situated. After Noravank, we’ll drive to Areni winery, where we can taste wine and shop for gifts. From there, if the weather is fine, we’ll drive to Khor Virap. This place is of great religious significance, known as the prison of Grigor the Illuminator, who brought Christianity to Armenia in the 4th century. We will tour the chapel, including the pit where Grigor the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years. When skies are clear, this place offers stunning views of Mount Ararat.
Map

 

Day 12. Yerevan > Garni temple, Geghard monastery, Yerevan (bike or car) 80 km + farewell dinner.

Garni temple is the only pagan temple preserved in Armenia. It is devoted to Mithra, the Sun God. Geghard Monastery is literally partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Map

 

 

Day 13. Departure.