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Janapar Project....More Hiking


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#1 man



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Posted 14 July 2013 - 12:40 PM

Hiking in Artsakh definitely is one of the greatest wilderness adventures in a forbidden region full of mysteries and often referred to be the location of "the Garden of Eden" where Adam & Eve were created. This hike takes 2 weeks or less, and you can travel light without camping gears because you will stop at a new village at the end of each day where you will be sheltered by the locals. The trails goes by GPS app only from Stepanakert to Vardenis and then back from Vardenis to Tsar, Karvajar, Zuar, Davidvank, Vaghuhas, Gandzasar, Kolatak, Patara and STEPANAKERT again from there the trail is marked by blue marks to Shushi, Karintak, Avetaranots, Kamir Shuka, Azokh, Togh and Hadrut. From Hardut you go back to Stepanakert, the capital, to take a public transportation or taxi back to Armenia. This would be a hike you will remember the rest of your life. Just google "Janapar Project" to get info, maps, photos....

(you get your VISA when already inside Artsakh coming from Armenia)

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#2 man



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Posted 14 July 2013 - 05:29 PM

Janapar Trail Guide
1-Head to Kilikia-bus station in Yerevan and take the morning mini bus, mashrutka, or a taxi to Stepanakert, the capital city of Artsakh. Travel time is about 8 hours with several stops on the way.
2-Get your visa at Ministery of Foreign Affairs in Stepanakert. The visia is issued after entering the country.
3-Head to the Stepanakert bus station to catch a bus, marshrutka (van) or taxi to Hadrut.
4-Make your way to the old church in Hadrut and you'll find the first trail markings... follow them!
For the markings, look for a blue rectangle/streak/arrow. The older ones have the yellow footprint on them, but the newr ones do not.


This is a good link where there is big sized map & photos & details:


map link:   http://www.everytrai...napar-trail/map

2012 Raffi Kojian

Difficulty of hike: Moderate

Overview: The Janapar Trail winds through the Lesser Caucasus mountain chain, in the undiscovered region of Karabakh. The trails have been there for thousands of years, as local villagers have used them to get from one place to another, and shepherds have used them to graze their flocks.

A trail has been marked which will take you through some of the highlights of the region, including monasteries, fortresses, caves, waterfalls and canyons. The region is bursting with wildlife and sometimes it's hard to believe the big nature of this small region.

The trail has been designed so that at the end of each day's segment, you end up in a different village or town. This has been done to give you the option of not bringing a tent and other camping gear. Instead, if you prefer you can sleep at different homestays at a cost ranging from $5 to $15 a night.

This region has been de facto independent for over 20 years. The name of the country is officially "Republic of Mountainous Karabakh", but everyone just shortens it to Karabakh, or occasionally RMK. Armenians also use the name Artsakh interchangeably with Karabakh, as that is the older Armenian name.

Tips: * You must arrive to this region via Armenia - there is no other access at this time. Either a van from the bus station in Yerevan or Goris, or a taxi from just about anywhere in Armenia.

* South of the capital of Stepanakert are 7 days of marked trails. North of the capital are unmarked or unmaintained markings, which require you have a GPS or smartphone in order to follow them.

* A 3,000 dram ($7.50 US) visa is required for Karabakh. You can get it in Stepanakert when you arrive. Ask for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ardakin Gordzeri Nakhararutyun).

*Definitely print out the free Janapar Guidebook before setting out.

* You can camp just about anywhere you'd like if you bring gear, but camping near homes is probably best.

* Take a UV water purifier with you so you wont have to buy and carry water. The water in Karabakh is delicious, but without a lightweight UV purifier to kill the bacteria, you may experience Mamikonian's Revenge (explosive diarrhea).



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#3 man



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Posted 21 July 2013 - 03:53 PM

Artsakh Becomes Unlikely Tourist Attraction Despite Being Blockaded

From Stepanakert, Artsakh, July 2013

Growing number of foreign tourists are heading to Artsakh, the liberated territory of greater Armenia.

"Wandering around the region's largest town Stepanakert as part of a tour group whose members come from places ranging from Turin to Taiwan, French pharmacist Jordan Nahoum said that while he knew all about Karabagh's bloody past, he was surprised by what he found.

" 'People are very nice and open,' said Nahoum, 23, as he stood next to a row of hawkers selling tourist trinkets. 'It is very safe here and I see many tourists from different countries -- I don't feel myself in danger' "
European news are reporting.

Liberated once more from Azerbaijan by Armenians in a brutal war as the Soviet Union disintegrated in the early 1990s, Artsakh become free from Tartar-Azer-Turkish-Soviet dominion and free from fear that Tartar and Turks instilled upon its population after some 70 years when that Armenian region of Artsakh was put as an autonomous region under the Baku and Moscow supervision by Stalin but was never made a part of Azerbaijan or of Armenia.

Since the total liberation of Artsakh in 1994 the region has flourished, expanded economically and tourism has grown.

"Over the past few years, local authorities say, visitor numbers have grown by 40 percent annually and in 2012 the number of foreign tourists -- not counting visitors from Armenia's huge diaspora --topped 15,500 people.

" 'This unprecedented growth shows an image of Artsakh as a pleasant place for tourism, safe and interesting," says Sergey Shahverdyan, head of the separatist authority's department for tourism."

Currently the serene boulevards of Stapanakert, the capital city, are studded with new hotels and restaurants following a building boom in recent years.

" 'If we can maintain this sort of growth in visitors then in five years tourism will be one of the most profitable sectors for our budget," Shahverdyan said. "There is plenty to attract tourists to our spectacular highland area of rugged mountains and thickly forested hills.'

"Despite the destruction of cultural heritage in the war, the region remains studded with testaments to its rich and diverse history --from ancient ruins to medieval monasteries and 18th-century mosques."

The entire Azeri population of the region have fled in the thousands during the war, while Azerbaijan expelled half-a-million Armenians living in Baku and surrounding towns, killing some of them in brutal massacres and not making any financial reparation and any compensation for their houses, lands and properties while Armenia gave money to the Azeris who moved from Armenia to Azerbaijan because of the war.

"Tourists like Andrey Hoynowski from Poland say they will be recommending a visit to their friends back home and that the added attention might even help Karabagh move on.

" 'They need to resolve this conflict peacefully, but in the meantime they shouldn't stop tourists from traveling here,' " Hoynowski, 59, said, smiling for a photograph in front of the medieval Gandzasar monastery."

#4 man



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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:40 PM




The Nagorno Karabakh Republic is interesting not only for Armenians, but also for foreign tourists whose number has considerably grown this year, Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Ms. Narine Aghabalian told the correspondent of Aysor.am.


“It is obvious from the example of the Shushi Visual Arts Museum. The museum opened only a month ago, on May 9, but it has more than 100 visitors daily. Most of them are foreign travellers. This also shows that the number of tourists is on the increase. All of them say that Artsakh’s attraction lies in its nature, clean air, fine cuisine, and warmness of people,” she said.


In the words of N. Aghabalian, cultural life in NKR is active. She stressed that all this contributes to dissemination of true information about Artsakh. “Our words can be considered subjective, whereas impressions of foreigners are impartial,” N. Aghabalian noted.


She informed us that an agreement was reached with theaters and music groups of Armenia regarding their performances in Nagorno Karabakh, but the problem of halls still remains unsolved.


According to N. Aghabalian, a number of musicians and singers from Artsakh plan to give concerts in Denmark. Besides, Artsakh State Chamber Choir “Mrakats” recently participated in the 4th International Sacred Music Choir Festival & Competition “Laudate Dominum” in Vilnius where it took the third prize in the general program and the first prize in the obligatory program.
A concert of Russian bands and singers is scheduled to take place at the stadium on September 6. Part of the event is funded by friends of Artsakh.


Speaking about problems, Ms. Aghabalian mentioned financial issues, lack of modern concert halls and musical instruments.
“There are many gifted children in Artsakh, but they need more comfortable conditions for self-fulfillment. Of course, many want to support them. A group of musicians from Finland visited Artsakh quite recently. They initiated an action, thanks to which our performers received musical instruments as presents,” the minister said.


She added that many famous musicians do not perform in Nagorno Karabakh only because of the lack of halls and funds. As regards the visit of Catalan operatic soprano Montserrat Caballe to Karabakh, Narine Aghabalian noted that M. Caballe was impressed by Artsakh whose residents have acquired a good friend.

27 July 2013

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