Named after the holy lance that pierced Christ’s side at the crucifixion, Geghard Monastery stands in a steep scenic canyon 9km beyond Garni. The spear itself was once kept here but is now housed in the holy treasury at Echmiadzin. Legend has it that Geghard Monastery was founded in the 4th century.
Yeghegis & Around
The beautiful Yeghegis Valley is surrounded by towering peaks and is home to many picturesque villages with medieval churches. It and the surrounding valleys are well worth exploring for a day or two. To reach the area, turn north off the Yerevan–Goris Hwy at Getap and after 12km turn right (east) towards Shatin village. The sights are well signposted off the road.
Snow covers the top of the highest mountain in modern Armenia almost year-round, so climbing is best in July, August or September. Be careful, though – even in August, clouds can gather in the crater by about 10am, so it’s good to start walking as early as possible (it’s not unusual for hikers to start on mountain ascents at 5am).