The Transcaucasian Trail ... paving a way through nature's wonders and mysteries

Imagine this, a 3000 km long, world class hiking trail, making its way through the magnificent wilderness, a web of routes interconnecting a couple of dozens of national parks and protected areas going through Armenia and Georgia, a seemingly never ending route to conquer … sounds like a hiking aficionado’s dream, no ?

It only gets better.. In fact, this trail is located in a region that is rarely visited even though it’s filled to the brim with Historical heritage. A patch on the world map that is a cultural melting pot despite still remaining quite mysterious. To keep it short, this region is a sequence of cultural gems and biologically diverse ecosystems waiting to be explored.

And just to add the cherry on top, this won’t be just an out of this world hiking / trekking experience or an explorative adventure into some of this world’s best kept secrets, the journey will also be enriching on a human and social level. In fact, these regions are famous for the hospitality of their locals. After all Armenians are well known to love people, so don’t be stratelled or sceptical if you’re passing by a village and an Armenian family invites you for a mouth watering feast to get your energy levels up before you continue your way.


Who, What, When

The Transcaucasian Trail was born in 2015 when Tom Allen, an explorer who was eager to discover the fascinating Nature in the South Caucasus (or Transcaucasia) region which borders Europe, Asia and the Middle East, realised that there was a lack of paths and connected routes. He decided to make one, and when he discovered a similar project had been started in Georgia, the two teams decided to work together.

Soon after, a big number of hiking enthusiasts from Armenia, Georgia and all over the world as well as cartographers, explorers and nature lovers joined forces to make this mission a reality.

From early on, the idea of this project was so promising and groundbreaking that it was the recipient of the Royal Geographical Society’s Land Rover Bursary, a grant to support funding the exploration and mapping of the route. The English car manufacturing giant didn’t stop there and has also given the team access to a specially-modified 4x4 which Allen considers as a ‘’mobile base camp’’ that has enormously facilitated and supported their trail development journey.

Up to this date, thanks to the effort of more than 50 volunteers from 11 countries, there are already several sections on this long distance route that are ready to be explored.


So, where to start...

         The Dilijan National Park

In Armenia, the trail in the Dilijan Park is a great option to start, with a distance just short of 80 Km, the journey lasts about 4 to 5 days and it’s definitely an exciting one! Other than the density of its forests and landscapes, its scenic lakes such as the Gosh or Parz, this area is also dense from a cultural point of view, with many centuries old edifices such as the Haghartsin and Goshavank monasteries (10th century) as well as some lesser known but equally fascinating landmarks which we leave the pleasure of discovery to you.

Dilijan is such a popular destination not far from the capital Yerevan, and several hiking trails pass by its National Park as this is among the favorite places for a long or shorter hike. You can download the TCT interactive map here.                                                                                        


        The Geghama Mountain trail

With its 114 Km length in an isolated area passing by some volcanic domes, you won’t be only starting your hike on a quiet note, but also don't be surprised if this 5 to 7 day journey becomes the trigger of a spiritual journey for you. Well, trust us the views you’ll see here won’t leave you indifferent! For centuries, this path has been taken by nomads, tribes and communities such as the caravanserai from the early 14th century on and there is a sense of mystery and unity with nature that is quite unique here.

You can find the TCT interactive map for the Geghama mountains here.


         The Vayots Dzor province.

This is a 125 km journey in the Southern region of Armenia, that holds on its path a series of gems waiting for your visit. Anything from a selection of the richest and most diverse fauna and flora, to the Silk Road caravanserais, to some UNESCO listed monasteries, and even the world’s oldest known winery… The list is long!

This section of the Hike will take 6 to 7 days to be completed and every single step and moment is worth your while.

You can find the TCT interactive map for the Vayots Dzor trail here.

The longest section of the trail at the moment is in Svaneti,Georgia the northwestern part of the country, an equally picturesque region.


Downloadable guides to make things easy

You can easily explore the Transcaucasian Trail without any guides, all that you might need can be found in the TCT written guides, interactive maps GPS data which you can download. All is very well thought of and organised to the T in order to provide the perfect and smoothest hiking experience.

The transcaucasian trail is a wonderful idea that is coming to life bit by bit, a little more each year.. Just like a puzzle whose pieces are gathering together, getting us more and more excited as we get closer to the finish line . In fact this trail is so great, that none other than Time magazine has included it in its annual World’s 100 Greatest Places list in 2019. Yes you’ve heard it right, a trail making it to the list of ‘’greatest places’’ … that’s indeed a first!

Forbes has described the Transcaucasian Trail as ‘’this is a beautiful way to immerse yourself in the Armenian culture’’...and we couldn’t agree more!



The Transcaucasian Trail Official Website, Facebook Page, Instagram

Author: Grace Jerejian 
Image Credits: The Transcaucasian Trail 

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