Travel to Armenia to uncover the beautiful Tatev Monastery. Built in the 9th century, Tatev Monastery is a pearl of Southern Armenia. Known for its religious and educational importance, in the past the picture perfect monastery was famous for its impregnable walls and functioned as a stronghold for Syunik Kingdom. To seize it was impossible due to its advantageous location on top of high basalt plateau, overlooking the Vorotan River Gorge.
Among many other things, it is furnished with a system of underground passageways leading to a deep gorge from where supplies came. Other of the monastery’s features include sturdy well-fortified walls atop gigantic cliffs, a super-old oil mill with stone grinding equipment, Pendulous Column, a one-of-its-kind structure dating back to Middle Ages; and olden frescoes bearing witness to the skill of European masters. Also in the environs, there is the world’s longest cableway without stops, and a number of beautifully-situated villages with good ecologic local food and eco-friendly accomodation to enjoy a truly sustainable tourism in Armenia away from civilization, in the picturesque hinterland with air as clean and fresh as the water in its wells.
Tatev is a picturesque monastery that in the past doubled as a fortress. Its beautiful exterior in harmony with the surrounding mountainous idyll, is only matched by the tranquil interior of this 9th century place of worship, and the thoughtful simplicity of its features, such as old oil mill, underground passages, and many a breath-snatching fortification.
Even if the majority of tourists go to Tatev Monastery from Yerevan just for a day’s outing, there is all the necessary infrastructure for a calm, informative, and truly healthy stay overnight, or who knows maybe a whole vacation.
Eco-friendly tourism in remote areas is gaining popularity and Tatev seems like one of the destinations that will make it big. For you to get the maximum out of your stay at Tatev, we have provided you with expert travelling tips on food in Tatev, accommodation in Tatev, how to get to Tatev, best hiking experiences and other useful tourist information.
So if willing to spend time in Tatev and enjoy majestic beauty of the Armenian wilderness, read on to get the best touristic information from Pradiz.
Food in Tatev
Even though, not far away from the monastery, on the road to Erevan, there is a number of good dining options, such as Taverna “Azeni”, situated 11 km from Tatev, or Old Halidzor Restaurant, with good accommodation 2 km away, there is a number of good eating options in Tatev itself. Usually doubling as bed-and-breakfast guest houses, the cafes provide good Armenian food. The most well known is Saro, but since the proliferation of B&Bs is an on-going process new establishments, all family-run, will be cropping up every new season. Also there are good eateries at Tatev Information Centre & Café and Tatevatun, the latter two are believed to loose out in value to Saro and B&Bs though.
Accomodation in Tatev
The B&B within the range of 13$ per night include: Tatev Traditional Bnb, Armen’s Guest House, Aspet, Artur’s House, Tatev Guest House, Ruben’s House, Aida Bed & Breakfast, Saro B&B, Rubina Bed and Breakfast, Vazken, and many more. Anush B&B offers more luxurious accommodation. Also on offer are lodgings in Ararat Hotel, which is not a B&B but a spacious hotel, if wanting a room there you will miss out on some truly local homely experience, but probably it is the best option to go for after an 8-hour drive from Yerevan. Note that in a nearby Goris there is Mirhav Hotel, with a truly exquisite interior and exterior, a perfect spot for relaxed leisure.
Even though, there is no night life in Tatev, note that there are many things to do in Tatev and surroundings, apart from just taking a tour of the monastery. Apart from Tatev and Gavazab Monasteries, Tatev is where the world’s longest no-stops cableway, known as Wings of Tatev is located, providing for a unique Instagramming opportunity. What is more, area around Tatev is perfect for trekking, hiking, see Tatavi Anapat, and even paragliding.
In Goris, located not far away from Tatev, you can see Medieval Goris Cave Dwellings, Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church, Xndzersk cave settlement, Xndzoresk Bridge, and many more. Other places in the area include Karahunj, a mysterious ancient dwelling place, Shaki Waterfall, a stunning natural feature, Halidzor Fortress, an austere stronghold dominating the Voghji River witnessing to the long history and grandeur of the Armenian nation and its structures, and Noravank Monastery, a 13th century holy place, standing 122km from Yerevan, surrounded by scenic brick-like steep rock faces.
How to get to Tatev
You can get to Tatev by taxi or private transfer. It is easiest to take a taxi from Goris, where you can arrive by bus or marshrutka from Yerevan (take a bus at Southern Bus Station) or by a taxi or private transfer. Note that to travel around the region you can use the services of a shared taxi, which you have to wave down.
If willing to stay with more comfort and civilization, you can put up in Goris, around 30km away from Tatev, and take a taxi each time you would like to go to the monastery. The taxi is within the range of 10.000 amd.
How to stay safe in Armenia
Armenia is a safe country. Outside Yerevan, you’d better avoid drinking tap water, and follow the regular travelling guidelines. If walking at night along the road or cycling wear a light-reflecting vest. If cycling or trekking in the wilderness, you are not likely to be attacked by wolves or dogs, but sometimes it is best to have a tour guide, especially if willing to spot wildlife, collect berries, or know the most picturesque locales. To arrange for a tour guide to help you out with sound advice and show you around contact Pradiz, an expert tour agency in Armenia, with extensive expertise in arranging for the most memorable touring experiences.