Kapan is a city in Southern Armenia.
Surrounded by steep mountains, built along the river, Kapan is full of pink Soviet apartment blocks, some of them creeping up the mountainside in steps. The scenery in this part of Armenia is very nice, and quite different than other parts, though few visitors ever make it down this far.
- Yerevan – Schedule not known, but at least one marshrutka, passing by Goris, going further to Meghri and even across the international border to Iran in the south. 6-7 hr from Yerevan.
- Goris – Additionally to the Yerevan one(s), there exist at least two more from near the amusement park on Komitas St. in Goris. One at 12:00, continuing to Meghri and Agarak. And another one at 15:00, with no connection further south. 1,500 dram, 1½-2 hr.
- Meghri – Once a day, 1.5 hr. It connects from Agarak. From Agarak or Meghri it costs 2,000 dram.
It's possible to catch a local bus heading towards nearby villages such as Shikahogh, Srashen, Tsav or Shishkert.
Hiring a car, or taxi, or renting one is a good option too. A fascinating journey from Yerevan will take around 4-5 hr (with stop-over) and will cost approximately US$80 by taxi or car.
Except for a small area in the city center, you must have a car to get very far, or a lot of time to bike or walk.
There isn't a great deal to see in the town itself, just a few spots to look at.
- Statue of Davit Bek, a local hero
- Small fortress of Halidzor on top of a hill on the western edge of town.
- 1 Baghaberd Fortress (12 km west of Kapan). This is one of Armenia's most picturesque fortresses, especially if photographed from the small hill behind it. A cool fortress with a colorful story.
- 2 (4 km west of Kapan). This monastery is under renovation. The site alone is worth the visit, but the monastery looked cool even during the reconstruction.
- Shikahogh State Preserve. Continuing south from Kapan on the new (not old!) highway towards Meghri, you pass through Shikahogh, which includes Mtnadzor Canyon, with one of the most pristine forests in Armenia.
There is a small amusement park in the center of town, with cheap rides, and lots of locals out enjoying themselves.
Being slightly off the main tourist destinations, Kapan is a tranquil and quiet city.
The shuka and nearby supermarkets are the best places to load up on supplies before travel in the area.
There are a few places to eat in town, including the Darist Hotel.
- 1 Darist Hotel, 1a Aram Manoukyan Str. (Across the river from the statue of Davit Bek, next to the amusement park), ☏ +374 285 52662, +374 285 28262, +374 285 28232, email@example.com. Great location if you want to walk around and explore town a bit, the rooms can be hit or miss, especially considering the price. The restaurant is a convenient if uninspired place to eat, regardless of whether you sleep there or not. 5,000-50,000 dram.
- Hotel Lernagorts, 2 K. Demirtchyan Str., ☏ +374 285 62086, +374 285 68039. Amenities: hot, cold water in Luxe and de-luxe rooms, in other rooms - cold water only, TV set, radio, no central heating. 3,000-12,000 dram.
- Goris — the last major town in Armenia for travellers continuing to Karabakh and also entering point to Tatev Monastery.
- Jermuk — spa town where much of the country's mineral water comes from.
- Meghri — the crossing point into Iran
- Sisian — good base for visiting Ughtasar mountain and thousands of petroglyphs on top of it.
- Yeghegnadzor — small town close to spectacular canyon and monastery in Noravank, the impressive Smbatabert Fortress/Tsakhats Kar Monastery area and the old silk road caravanserai of Selim.