Waterfall of Goddess Astghik and St. Stephanos Monastery
ElevationAscent: 1,161' 354 m
Descent: -1,174' -358 m
High: 5,741' 1,750 m
Low: 5,009' 1,527 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 43% (23°)
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“This run starts and ends at Gilan Village and leads to the waterfall of the Goddess Astghik and St. Stephanos Monastery.”— State Tourism Committee Republic of Armenia
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!
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.
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.
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