Slow travels to Tatev. In this post, I’ll be sharing to you how did I able to see and experience the best of Tatev, Armenia. I have done it through slow traveling.
Slow travel is a mindset that rejects traditional ideas of tourism and encourages you to soak in your environments and keep yourself open to new experiences.
I do travel solo and was trying to do some DIY trips nearby the capital, Yerevan. But going to Tatev which is around 250 kms from Yerevan was making me anxious. I was afraid to commute considering that communication is a little bit difficult here. Another factor that makes me afraid is that I am not really good in direction. Autostop or hitchhiking wasn’t on my option as well, but you can do it for sure.
Tip #1 on how to reach Tatev.
Find a group tour to join with. There are many agencies that arranges day tour from Yerevan to Tatev with some stops in between. The cost usually ranges from 12, 000 to 18,000 amd.
Another option is to take a taxi to be shared with 4 other people for 5000 each for one-way. I haven’t tried it though.
Tip #2 Activities to be done in Tatev once you arrive. For sure, it’s in the afternoon already.
Ride a one-way ropeway which costs 3,500 amd. Tatev Ropeway holds a Guinnes World Record being the longest reversible ropeway. It connects Halidzor to Tatev Village where the Monastery of Tatev is located as well. Explore Tatev Monastery once you arrived.
Tip #3 Where to stay in Tatev.
There are lots of Bed and Breakfast in Tatev. Either you’re the kind of person who wants to make sure everything is settled, then you can book in advance to booking companies. Or you can just search where to stay once you arrived.
For me, I booked in advance, I am more comfortable with this.
Tip #4 What are the other activities to do in Tatev
Day 2- just walk around. You’ll be amazed with the amazing landscapes of mountain surrounding you. I asked some of the locals how to go to a nearby hill and where’s the way. There’s a highway actually and from there you can have a good view of the Tatev Monastery and the village. Not knowing where else to go, I walked further to another hill following the colorful flowering floras. I reached the middle of the hill and stayed there alone for 5 hours. The nature won’t let me go. It was too windy in the hill. Later some goats and cows came grazing on the meadows.
Day 3. Your schedule should be flexible somehow. I had plans of where to go the next day. But the weather didn’t allow me to… It was raining, too cold and I cannot see anything except for white fog. I just went then to the Tatev Monastey and it was even hard to see.
Tip #5 Check weather forecast as well.
Day 4 Explore the Devil’s Bridge
I only planned to see the Devil’s Bridge (my story here) but I ended up crossing the Vorotan River to see the Great Hermitage of Tatev, able to speak to one of the monk who was staying there for two years and trekked up back to Tatev Village. That was a long hike but I’m happy to see the hermitage.
It took almost 4 hours to get back to Tatev Village including resting time. Its been a long time I didn’t go for a hike and that was a difficult one. Though there’s a established trail, the ascending route is tough. Just to make fun of it, I just wave my hand everytime I see the ropeway pass by above. Eating wild cherries along the way.
Tip #6 Bring the essentials like clothes to change if you’re planning to swim to the Devil’s Bridge. Bringing slippers is a must as well esp when crossing the river. Wear long pants and good shoes for hiking as there are leaves that stings when you accidentally touch it. It is painful at the same time itchy. These sensation go off anyway if you have sanitizer or alcohol.
If you still have energy at the end of the day and the sun is still up, you can walk around the village or hike up to a nearby hill. You’ll see cows, sheep, horses, chickens, vegetable gardens and fruit trees along the village.
In Tatev, you can buy dried herbs for drinks which are handpicked from the mountains. You can try here traditional foods such as dolma, gata, dried fruits, drink homemade wine, vodka and okroshka.
You can stay more if you want to. Tatev is a small village that everybody knows each other. Lifestyle is very laid back and calm. You can just speak to any villagers you met along the way. Slow travels to be done in Tatev is a perfect experience.
Camping somewhere is very good activity to do during summer. I saw some camper vans, backpackers, group of hikers along the way. I’ve seen many other trails as advertised, but I can’t just do it alone.
For expenses, average is 5000 amd for B&B. Meals for beef kebab is 1000 amd while dolma and pork barbecue starts with 3000 amd. Average price of softdrinks is 300 amd. Drinking water is available anywhere. And sometimes, locals will just invite you for tea or coffee and even for meals.
If you’re the person running away from a bustling city or you just want to reconnect with nature or with yoursef, Tatev Village is a perfect place. The other amazing experiences you’ll earn will just then be a bonus.