Lori is one of Armenia’s most enchanting regions, thanks to its stunning landscapes and rugged forests. Home to some of Armenia’s most beautiful sites, hidden amongst one of the country’s largest old-growth forests, Lori’s nature makes for some great hiking and camping through the narrow gorges and over the shrouded mountain peaks. Adventure tourists can challenge themselves with mountain climbing, rappelling, and even whitewater rafting on the gushing Dzoraget River!
A winding road leads down through Dendro Park – a gorgeous park planted with East European trees with alpine lakes containing the last endemic populations of the Armenian water lily – and onto Stepanavan, nested in the valley at the heart of Lori. Here are several important historical sites, including Lori Berd, the largest fortress in northern Armenia, and the “Communist Caves”, where socialist conspirators held secret meetings.
Lori is host to two World Heritage Sites, the monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, as well as a number of historic sites along the Dzoraget, Pambak and Debed River gorges. A full exploration of the monastic chain along the Debed River leaves visitors astonished at the architectural beauty, and likely tongue-tied from the names: Surp Grigori Bardzrakash, Kobayr, Horomayri, Ardzvi, Odzun, Sanahin, Haghpat and Akhtala! The path to the distant, practically unreachable border monasteries of Khorakert and Khuchapi will be arduous for even the most undaunted pioneers.
True adventurers can try to reach where virtually no man has gone before, the distant border monasteries of Khorakert and Khuchapi.
The capital of the region is Vanadzor, Armenia’s third largest city and an ideal base camp from which to explore the region, although there are places to stay all over the region, including Stepanavan, Alaverdi and a number of resorts, hotels, B&Bs and guest houses, restaurants and cafes hidden in some of the most beautiful locations nature has to offer.