I have told you about travelling to Tatev monastry by a public transport, but now I will tell you how to reach tatev by a car. In this article I will tell you that how to create your own route to tatev.
Tatev is located in about 250 km from Yerevan, on the edge of the cliff, over the Canyon of Vorotan River, in Syunik Province of Armenia. The drive from the capital city – Yerevan to the Tatev Monastry, takes around 3.5 to 4 hours and the same time will take a back road, therefore you better take a road as early as possible in the morning. The roads in Armenia are not great, you should be ready for it. You will drive to the south of Armenia, through Armenian towns like Artashat, Vedi, Yeghegnadzor and Sisian and finally reach Goris. Also you will visit many sights situated on the road.
For a comfortable trip you can rent a car in Rent Yerevan, probably you will need an off-road or a compact car. For example Kia Sorento or Renault Megane. Kisa Sorento is sevet sit, 4×4 off0road car. With this car you can surmoung any obstacles on the road. You can drive along the mountain serpentine roads and through gravel road and climb any hill. Also you should know Armenian gas prices. Renault Megane fuel consumption per 100 kilometers is 9 liter , So for the whole tour you will need about 50 liters of petrol. 1 litre of petrol costs about 1 dollar, so you need 50 dollars worth of gas. Kisa Sorento fuel consumption per 100 kilometers is 15 liters, so You need about 80 dollars worth of gas.
First stop of the tour to Tatev is Areni village. Areni village is situated in about 100 km from yerevan in Vayots Dzor Province. there was discovered the oldest winery with the history of 6000 years. Nowadays, Areni as it was in the past, is the center of Armenian wine-making, you can taste various types of perfect wines made of grape sort called “Areni” in a small factory or at house of a local winemaker. After Areni you can visit Noravank. Noravank is 13th century monastery in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay rive. A kilometer after Areni is the turnoff right for gravel road to the Noravank. You will drive across the bridge and drive along the mountain serpentine road.
After Noravank you will turn to Yeghegnadzor highway and drive to the south. After the Vayq VIllage you can turn to the left and drive to Jermuk. Jermuk is a Soviet spa town with many soviet hotels and sanatoriums, some of which have been renovated to high standards. In Jermuk you can taste famous Armenian mineral water. Then you will drive back and return to Yeghegnadzor highway and keep driving to the south.
The next stop on road to Tatev is SIsian. In Sisian you also can take a rest and refill gas tank. There are two sights around Sisian. There is Shaki waterfall in 6 kilometres from SIsian. This waterfall is formed due to one of the smallest tributaries of Vorotan River. The water falls from a height of 40 meters. Shaki Waterfall also has its legends and local people will be glad to tell them. Also in Sisian you can visit Karahunj in 3 kilometres from Sisian. Karahunj or just Zorakar is the ancient monument of Zorakarer, it’s an equivalent to England’s Stonehenge, only older and cruder. Karahunj is 3500 years older than England’s Stonehenge and 3000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids.
The last stop of our tour is Goris. Goris is small town in Syunik province. Tatev Monastry is the major sight of Goris. Tatev monastery is located in 20 kilometres form Goris. You will drive from Goris to Holidzor VIlage and from Holidzor you will travel to Tatev MOnastry by cableway. Also you will visit the satans bridge. There is a natural bridge, built by the nature itself. It is situated right under the mountain where the famous Tatev Monastery is located, at the bottom of Vorotan Canyon. This natural monument is 30 meters long and 50-60 meters wide.
In case if it ‘s already dark and you don’t like to drive at night to the capital city – yerevan, you can spend a night in goris or sisian. THere are many hotels in Goris, where you can find accommodation. But the hotels in goris don’t meet the standards. There are no hostels in Goris.But in Sisian you can find a hostel and spend the night there even cheaper, than in Goris