Planning your Biking in Armenia in 2016
We are planning a biking trip to Armenia in 2016 with groups. Below you can see the itinerary and map of the trip, and discussions with the groups about the details of their trips, including road conditions, bike rental and other aspects.
Basic requirements of groups:
- We are all experienced but not technical mountain bikers. Very rough surfaces over the top of passes are expected, but several days of walking over technical sections are not acceptable.
- Too many vehicle transfers should be avoided if possible.
- Splitting the group between accommodations of different standards is OK.
- Opportunities for contact with local people is a priority. The tour should have a very high cultural content.
Basic setup of the tour:
- Participants should have good physical condition and experience in cycling in high mountains and rough territory.
Map on RidewithGPS
Questions & Answers
Q: Is the trip running often off road? We are cycling with 37 mm tyres on a randonneur bike. We have enough long distances experience like Amsterdam-Rome with luggage on the bike.
The cycling tour in Armenia is designed so that 70% of the route is country roads, gravel. The rest is asphalt. There are no technical routes with large boulders, no need for walking over the paths, etc. so 37 mm being on the wider side for tires, you would do very well on these roads. You do not need to have the luggage on your bike as you have a car accompanying you during the trip and carrying the luggage.
Q. If we are coming with 4 cyclists, do we have to join other cyclists and what is the minimum and maximum number of participants?
If you are 4 cyclists, you don’t have to join others, you can travel with your small group, at a date of your choice. As for the groups, they are usually small, 6–8 persons.
Q. Can we rent mountain bikes? What is the price and quality of the bike?
Yes, you can rent bikes, we will arrange this with one of the rental shops in Yerevan. Here you can find attached information about some of the bikes available at the moment. Rental shops do refresh their offers in spring, so if we are talking about your trip in 2016, we can finalise this in April.
Q. What is the amount of transfers by car during the trip and can that be adapted on request?
This cycling itinerary is designed so that there are almost no transfers, apart from say, taking you out of Yerevan so you start biking on the first day on the road to your first destination (Khor Virap). But there is a car that follow you during the whole trip so you can take the car whenever you feel like it. In that sense, the transfer vs biking parts is fully adaptable. If you are with your small group, the whole trip is adaptable — changing the itinerary for the day, etc. If you are in a small group, with other people, obviously things are a little more fixed — but again everything can be discussed and adjusted with the consent of the group.
Q. What is the best period to come to Armenia for cycling?
The best period for cycling in Armenia is from the end of May to end of June and mid-September to the end of October. These are the times when the weather is nice, warm, little likelihood of rain, as an added attraction, I may add that there are many fresh fruits and vegetables in the spring and we have harvest time in autumn (with some sort of a festival like wine fest or something worth attending).