Europe > Caucasus > Armenia > Southern Armenia > Goris
Goris is a city in Southern Armenia. The city was possibly the first build in a grid layout in Armenia, with a very quaint regional style of stone architecture. Located along a river in a valley surrounded by mountains, Goris is the last major town in Armenia for travelers continuing to Karabakh. It's also quite difficult to get to Kapan or Meghri, and thus Iran without passing through Goris, making this the gateway of the South.
Minibus/van (marshutni) from Yerevan, or a shared taxi is your public transportation option. Renting a car (with or without driver/guides) or taking a private cab is a more flexible, expensive option. Though Goris or Tatev can be crammed into a day trip from Yerevan, it's much better to spend a few nights in the area, and along the way.
Within Goris, it's quite easy to get around on foot.
In town there's a church, a market, the Axel Bakunts Museum and some other minor sites. On the edges of town are some great rock formations which are great for photographers, both from near or far.
- Old Khndzoresk Cave Village (Hin Khndzoresk). A couple villages east of Goris is the village of Khdzoresk, and under it, in a gorge pocked with caves is Old Khndoresk. Until a few decades ago, people lived in those caves still, and this was an active cave village - so be careful who you call a caveman around here!
- Tatev Monastery (30 km southwest of Goris). Not so far from Goris on the map, but a seeming eternity on the bad road is the stunning Monastery of Tatev, on an 850 meter high cliff. All this above a natural land bridge, springs, a cavern in an underground river and you've got yourself an unforgettable place. Even though the bus trip (1 1/2 h, around 2 pm next to the post office in Goris, light blue bus; you can also ask the driver for accommodation in Tatev as he is a local villager) is an adventure in itself, you can try to get to the village Halidzor and use the presumably longest ropeway in the world up to Tatev. You better don't ask taxi drivers for it as they will propose you to take you themselves to Tatev by car. If you will do so, try to catch a four-wheel ATV with Soviet shock absorbers.
- Bgheno-Noravank Monastery (16km south of Goris). A couple of kilometers off the main highway is the little known and less visited monastery of Bgheno Noravank. Easy to miss the turnoff, and just consisting of a couple of chambers, it's a good spot for a break if you're on a long drive.
- (8km north of the Karabakh entry checkpoint - without entering!). A very ancient monastery that's undergone recent renovation.
There are one or two restaurant/cafes in town, and a few barbecue joints on the highway on the edge of town.
Where there is food, there is drink.
- Aregak B&B, 4/16 Getapnya, ☏ +(374 937) 66525 , ✉ Aregak.email@example.com. Lovely B&B close to the centre of Goris, in a separate apartment to the host. Great breakfasts, tea and coffee. The apartment contains two triple rooms and one double, kitchen, TV, fridge, etc. Host can arrange transport to Tatev and onwards. 5000 AMD.
- Khachik B&B, 13 Davit-Bek St., ☏ (+374 284) 21098 , (091) 204012 . A B&B that's been a fixture for visitors for many years. Friendly owners that brew wine in their own home. You can have pre-ordered meals as well; dinner per person is 4000 AMD. Trying the wine is also extra. The hosts can arrange a taxi to go to the cable car to Tatev and wait at Devil's Bridge while you walk down from the monastery, 8000 AMD round trip (10,000 AMD if you want the cab to go all the way to the monastery).
- Mirhav, 100 Mashtots Str., ☏ (+374 284) 24612 , 24612 , 24632 , (091) 209083 , (010) 284402 . Mirhav is a rustic hotel with comfortable rooms, good decor and food. 18-33,000.