Cell phone service is available in one place in the Gilan Village. The 911 emergency services operate throughout Armenia in case of any accidents.
Be careful when running around the waterfall as the slippery, mossy stones of the waterfall, as well as the fallen rocks of the tall wall on the left of the waterfall, can be dangerous.
Be aware of snakes and be sure to bring bottled water!
This run is located on the shared border between the provinces of Kotayk and Ararat and takes runners to a scenic waterfall and a historic monastery.
Features: Birding — Views — Waterfall — Wildlife
After visiting the Garni Temple in the village of Garni and exploring its magnificent facade, the trail will then lead you from Gilan Village into the Khosrov Reserve. From here, the trail continues onto the waterfall of the Goddess Astghik. The water of the waterfall is potable and flows into a round, natural pool that you can swim in.
The waterfall is located about 2km from Gilan Village and is surrounded by rocks. The surroundings of the waterfall are mostly mossy, because the area is almost always shaded. The waterfall has a height of 6-7 meters. In the spring months, the water flow is so strong that swimming there becomes dangerous; nevertheless, its appearance remains as attractive as ever. Swimming season starts in June.
After you are finished enjoying the falls, the trail climbs back to Gilan Village. You can add on another loop and extension to the north of the village in order to see St. Stephanos Monastery. The monastery is a medieval Armenian monastic complex composed of a narthex (gavit in Armenian), several churches, buildings for monks, and a cemetery. The main church of the monastic complex is the St. Stephanos church, which was built in the early 13th century. The church has a cruciform layout and 4 sacristies. The narthex (built in the second half of the 13th century) is located on the east side of the main church. Only a few parts of its original walls have survived the centuries. The St. Stephanos Monastery is situated on a high slope overlooking the nature reserve, and you'll have a bit of an uphill run to reach it.
Once you are done exploring the monastery and its grounds, simply head back down the St. Stephanos Monastery Trail
to the main road back to the village.
Flora & Fauna
Flora: The flora within the Khosrov Reserve is plentiful—it includes around 1,800 species of plants, which constitute more than 50% of Armenia's flora; 146 of these are registered in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Armenia. In the areas between Gilan village and Kakavaberd there are a variety of interesting plants, trees, and flowers, which vary depending on each microclimate.
Fauna: Sightings of stray fauna species like wolf, fox, hare, marten, various mice, as well as about 250 species of birds (which constitutes the 70% of bird species in Armenia) are common to the area.