Lori Berd

Northern Armenia

On a promontory between the gorges of the Dzoragets and Miskhana Rivers, this ruined fortress has huge towers and massive stone blocks along its exposed side. Originally the base of David Anhogin, who ruled the region of Tashir-Dzoraget from 989 to 1048, it eventually became a base for the Orbelians and Zakarians, powerful Armenian noble families. There are ruined buildings worth exploring, an ancient cemetery and hillocks that are actually Bronze Age tumulus tombs. A 14th-century bridge is in the gorge below.

To reach the fortress, head out of town across the bridge and veer right at the roundabout, following the course of the river past the Lori Berd village and then veering right again at a sign. The remaining 2km is on a poor-quality road. A taxi from Stepanavan takes about 15 minutes and should cost around AMD1000; a Yandex will cost AMD500 to AMD600. From the fort, you can walk back to Stepanavan along a 4.5km trail in the steep-sided gorge; this starts on the north side of the fort.