As you already know, we spent 7 days in Armenia, of which 3 days were devoted to sightseeing trips. On one of these days, we visited iconic places – Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery .
In fact, in one day we managed to visit 2 more attractions. Those are Zvarnotts and Etchmiadzin. In Garni and Geghard we went in the afternoon. If you visit Armenia in the winter months, I recommend that you go to Garni and Geghard in the morning. This is due to the fact that there can be a strong fog in the mountains, when visibility is practically zero, and if you linger at the sights until late, then driving along an unfamiliar road, through fog, and even at night is an amusement 🙂
We drove a rented car, rented on the rentalcars.com. Firstly, it’s cheaper, secondly, there is more choice of a car, thirdly, they knew for sure that on New Year’s holidays we won’t be left without a car. By the way, if you plan to rent a car, then read the article about our rental experience and the nuances of rental in Armenia.
Garni Temple in Armenia
So, what is the temple of Garni. This is a pagan temple built in the 1st century A.D. in honor of the sun god. Located near the village of the same name. In the 17th century, the temple was almost destroyed by an earthquake, and was restored only in Soviet times. Today it is a complex of buildings – in addition to the temple itself, the remains of an ancient fortress and the royal palace, as well as a bathhouse built in the 3rd century, have been preserved. As always, I don’t go deep into history (there are a lot of sites on the Internet dedicated to this), but I will turn to practical information and show winter photos of Garni.
The cost of tickets to the Temple of Garni is 1200 AMD.
Opening hours : from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:30 (in the summer from May to November from 9:00 to 22:00); Sunday from 9:00 to 15:00, Monday is a day off.
You can get there by public transport, by car, or with a guided tour.
We rented a car and got to Garni on the H3 highway (if you don’t use the Internet, download MAPS.ME maps, they work offline and make a very good route). The distance is about 30 km, but in time (at least in winter) it takes about 40-50 minutes. The road surface is not bad, but there may be fog in the mountains. If, when leaving Yerevan in winter, you see trees in hoarfrost, as in the photo below, then be prepared for a thick veil.
Garni has a parking lot (if you drive to the gate, an uncle walks there and collects money, I can’t say the price), but we parked a little higher, literally 50 meters from the entrance, we didn’t take any money from us.
By bus you can get to Garni by minibus number 266 or bus number 284 (estimated cost 250 drams). You can find these minibuses at the bus station behind the Mercedes dealership. From the center there is a minibus number 51. From the bus stop to Garni, you will need to walk about a half kilometer, because buses stop on the main road.
You can also book a tour and visit Garni and Geghard in Armenia with a guide.
And here are the winter photos of Garni (Armenia):
If you have already reached the Garni Temple, then visit another attraction – Geghard Monastery, located literally 10 km. The full name of the monastery is Geghardavank, which means “spear monastery” (the name comes from the spear that pierced the body of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and the spear is said to have been brought to Armenia by one of the apostles).
Unfortunately, we were not able to get to Geghard, because the road was blocked due to an accident, and the time was already approaching in the evening and we could not wait further. Well, next time!
And I’ll tell you how to get to the Geghard Monastery. By car, everything is simple – continue driving for about 10 km and you are there.
Public transport does not go to Geghard, but if you catch bus No. 284, you can use it to get to the village of Gokht, and from there 4 km on foot or by taxi. Also on the main road you can catch a taxi (and they will be there 100%!) And drive to the entrance to the complex. I already wrote about excursions above, as a rule, visits to these two attractions (Garni and Geghard in Armenia) are combined in one tour.
Geghard is a functioning monastery, so in the daytime admission is free .
Since I don’t have my photos, I’ll show only one photo from planetaarmenia.ru I hope that I won’t violate any copyright 🙂 If you have beautiful photos of Geghard and want to show them, write to me, I will post them in the article indicating your name and last name 🙂
That’s all, I have nothing more to say about these two attractions. But perhaps to tell that we made a sacrifice to the god of the Sun in Garni – my driver’s license (probably now lies somewhere at the bottom of the gorge), and the God of the Sun rewarded us — the next day we went to Sevan and the weather was just wonderful!
Read also the article “How to Travel to Armenia on Your Own: A Mini-Guide”