It’s time for great adventures in a small country. Do you remember in your childhood, while playing computer games, you had to overcome the devil’s level to win the game? So now, you have to experience it in a real life! Do not be scared… instead of passing through difficulties, you will have to pass through a beautiful gorge called Vorotan; where the river Vorotan flows, you’ll stop by Harsnadzor watchtower and the great Hermitage of Tatev. In the end, when you get to Devil’s bridge, as a winner of this game, you will be granted with an opportunity to swim in warm thermal springs right under the bridge!
credits to efesenko
Syunik, the southernmost region (marz) of Armenia where the gorge is located, is a bit far: it is approximately 172 km from Yerevan. However, it is worth to visit as you’ll definitely enjoy each moment of your trip.
To take the stairs to Harsnadzor watchtower, you will need to walk through Vorotan gorge. This watchtower rotunda used to serve as a warning system in case of enemy attacks. There were seven hills with this kind of watchtower on the top. Harsnadzor watchtower is the third in this chain. So how did it actually work? Noticing the enemy in Kordzor, they struck the alarm, then the bell in Khot (the bell on the second hill) relayed the news after which Harsnadzor passed it to Tatev Monastery. When the alarm was heard in Tatev monastery, where they rang the bell that was heard from a 50 km radius so everybody could be ready to defend. Now in Harsnadzor watchtower, you can see the rotunda with the chains from which the bell used to hang.
There is also a legend of Harsnadzor, it says: There was a beautiful woman who was the bride of the prince. One day, they were walking together without knowing that the enemies, who had heard of her beauty, were hiding on the top of the cliff to steal her. They killed the prince. The bride, in order not to be captured, jumped from the cliff. Her long skirt inflated and she safely landed in the gorge. Since then, this part of gorge is called Harsnadzor, which means ‘The Gorge of the Bride.
This is the place where no car can take you. If you want to explore the Great hermitage of Tatev, you will need to walk. Armenians have inherited this place from the late Middle Ages. This was a spiritual and educational Centre located on the bank of the gorge. After the 1658 earthquake, hermits left their shelters and moved to the great Hermitage of Tatev that was founded by monks in several km away from Karats monastery complex (Tatevi mets anapat).
credits to efesenko
Moving a bit further through the gorge, you arrive to Devil’s bridge. This is not a manmade bridge. During hundreds of years, step by step, nature itself created this beauty polishing the petrified lava. It is the deepest point of the Vorotan gorge. The length of the bridge is 30m. You can swim under the bridge where numerous mountainous mineral springs flow, meanwhile admiring the stalactites hanging from the mighty “arch”. You can admire the colors of the walls created by nature, as well as the waterfall that rushes right under the bridge.
credits to sveter
Start your great adventures in a small country by exploring the Vorotan gorge. You will leave the Syunik province satisfied and happy as above the gorge, you will have an opportunity to enjoy the stunning Tatev Monastery and TaTever Ropeway, which is the longest in the world. Click on the hyperlink to know more these places.
I’m Lusine, from Armenia. I like to travel and explore new places. I'm interested in art, culture, music and sports. On itinari I’ll show you Armenia the way I see it.