Must See in Armenia: Haghpat Monastery

[box size=”large” style=”rounded” border=”full”]In today’s post, Ania and Jon of Hitchhikers Handbook are sharing with us one of their favourite places in Armenia – Haghpat Monastery.  We hope you like the place and you will add it to your bucket list in the near future.

Haghpat Monastery, Armenia
Haghpat Monastery, Armenia

 

Haghpat Monastery, located in the Lori province and overlooking the lush hills of DebedCanyon, is for many one of the main reasons to come to Armenia. Built in the 10th century, this Byzantine monastery played an important role as a religious and educational centre for three centuries. Together with Sanahin Monastery, which was built around the same time and it’s located nearby, Haghpat has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Haghpat Monastery, Armenia
Haghpat Monastery, Armenia

 

Both monasteries are well worth visiting! Firstly, due to their well-preserved Medieval architecture and great atmosphere not tainted by mass tourism (yet!) and secondly due to their stunning mountainous surroundings and awe-inspiring views. Oh… and have I mentioned that they are free?

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Haghpat Monastery, Armenia

 

How to get there?

There is no regular public transport going to the monastery but it’s pretty straightforward. Follow the M5 road inside DebedCanyon and turn into H25 road, 10km east of Alaverdi. If you don’t want to walk, you can hitchhike as Armenian people are extremely nice and somebody will give you a lift. Alternatively, you can get a marshrutka from Alaverdi for about 200 Dram (between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.).

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Haghpat Monastery, Armenia

 

Do you like Haghpat Monastery? If so, Learn more about this magical place and take a look at more photos!

This post was originally published in
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50 Comments

  • Wow it looks like they are in the middle of nowhere… I LOVE the middle of nowhere. I really wanted to get to Armenia when I was living in Georgia, but it proved undoable mosty because of finances. One day… one day… thanks for a great post!

  • I love old churches and monasteries- especially ones that are largely untouristed. Haghpat Monastery looks like a gem.

  • This looks like an interesting place. It is also refreshing to see Armenia getting some discussion as it seems such a low profile place on many people’s travel itinerary.

  • Staying at a monastery is a goal of mine. I visited one in Romania for a time and I know a lot of them will let you stay for a week or so. This one looks so beautiful and peaceful

    • I’ve visited one in Lhasa, Tibet and it was a wonderful experience. I love exploring such historical and mysterious places.

  • It looks amazing…more often than not, the older and more forgotten a monastery is, the more impressive and enticing it becomes. We got some pretty charming ones here in Romania…

  • The photographs look great!!!!!

    How accessible is it by road? How would cycling around in Armenia work?

    I have visited neighbouring Georgia and have been wanting to visit Armenia ever since – currently am contemplating travelling around there on a bike.

    Thanks for the sharing the wonderful post guys.

    • Hello Janit!
      Accessing the monastery by road won’t be a problem at all providing you’re fit ;) There is a paved road (H25, off Debed Canyon) going directly to the monastery but it’s uphill, although I’m guessing that if you’re travelling by bike a regular hill wouldn’t put you off.
      In general cycling in Armenia shouldn’t be much of a problem either. The roads are pot-holed but paved and not too busy. Like in Georgia, the landscapes are varied so you will find vast flatlands as well as hills and mountains, but it’s a wonderful country! And make sure you try their pomegranate wine, it’s really tasty!

  • Looks amazing – like something out of the movies! Looks like some incredible history there, Armenia would be such an interesting place to visit!

  • How gorgeous! Armenia is one of those “tourism black hole” countries, that we don’t hear a lot about although we really ought to (West Africa, parts of the Caribbean and Central Asia also qualify). It’s great to read something about this intriguing part of the world. Thanks for sharing!

  • What a fascinating place. I love to explore buildings that have a history. I can only imagine the conversations had within the monastery walls.

  • I’ve stumbled on various articles about Armenia recently and the more I read about it the more it seems like a very nice country to visit. I’m not a big fan of churches myself, but this monastery looks so peaceful and the surrounding area is very beautiful that I’d go and check it out.

    • I’m actually surprised by how wonderful, affordable and interesting Armenia can be. I also did some research and I can’t wait to finally explore it when I’m back home :).

  • Amazing, great feature! I’ve been reading a lot about Armenia recently and really want to get there before tourism really takes off.

    • Thanks Megan. I never thought that Armenia could be such an interesting travel destination.

  • This looks like a great place to stop! I love the photo with the light shining through the skylight and the views look amazing! I will have to stop there if I’m ever in the area!

    • No, it’s not that difficult to get to. Debed Canyon is just a straight narrow road and after you find the H25 road coming off it, then it’s pretty straight forward. Follow the road uphill and if you are not sure, ask any local. Seeing that you are a foreigner they will even approach you and ask if you’re looking for the Monastery. They are very proud of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in their neighbourhood and everyone will be happy to help you find it. Armanian people are really hospitable and open!

  • The ancient monasteries against that brilliant blue sky and green, rolling hills – yowzah! I feel like Armenia is a majorly underrated destination. Is it considered a ‘budget travel’ destination?

  • wow look at that beautiful old looking stone. Have not heard much about Armenia, its always refreshing to read about somewhere new. Thanks

    • Hi Rebecca. It was the first time I’ve heard of Haghpat Monastery and I’m so glad because it’s a great place and so undiscovered!

  • Looks like a really pretty place to visit for a relaxed afternoon. You have some pretty nice pictures in this post.

  • Hi Admin,
    I’m surprised you Guys always come with a latest & news story. I have been seeing this for long time But as you have been doing your great work that is really very inspiration & appreciable. Post is really nice about “Armenia” I didn’t hear about Armenia But when times came to know about “Armenia” So I got it Must See thing in Armenia !!! Superb work Guys… You are Rocks…

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