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Birding in Armenia
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Birding in Armenia

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 7 - 10 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 12 people
Destination(s): Armenia  
Specialty Categories: Birdwatching   Ecotourism  
Season: May - August
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1195 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1195 Euro (EUR)

Get out your binoculars and spot rare species of Western Palearctic. Accompanied by birding guides explore a variety of habitats from high-mountain plateau at Mount Aragats to desert hills of Vedi and fishponds of Ararat Valley.

Your Itinerary

Day 1: Dilijan Nature Park

The tour starts with a meeting with tour leader and other tour participants. Off to Dilijan, a small town in Northern Armenia, an ideal start for our birding. The town is blessed with luxuriant deciduous forests and mild climate. The prolific foliage lining the deep wooded gorges accommodates countless bird species and our mode of transport enables us to enjoy fabulous close encounters with them. Check-in at guesthouse and spend the afternoon birding in the forests around the town. Here, Booted and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Black and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, Red-breasted and Semi-collared Flycatchers and Green Warbler can be spotted. Dilijan has retained many of its traditional wooden houses and cobblestone streets and is a fascinating place to wander around in the evening.

Overnight: Guesthouse in Dilijan, Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 2: Hills and Lakes

Early breakfast and travel by 4WD to the slopes of hills in Lori area. Forests and open meadows will be the focus of our half-day birding. Species we look out for on the numerous birding trails include Caucasian Black Grouse, Lammergeier, Water Pipit, Alpine and Radde’s Accentors, Siberian Stonechat (armenica race), Bluethroat (magna race), White-throated Dipper, Twite and Mountain Chiffchaff. In the afternoon we proceed to Lake Sevan, one of the largest highland lakes in the world. We stop at the lake to watch Armenian and Caspian Gulls and continue to explore the western side, home to a myriad of birds including Black-necked Grebe, Ruddy Shelduck, Cetti’s and Marsh Warblers. It will be almost impossible to resist having a quick dip in the lake after a day of birding.

Overnight: Hotel at Lake Sevan, Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 3: Selim Pass

After some final birding we drive across awesome Selim Pass in Vardenis Mountains to Yeghegnadzor for a two-nights’ stay. Winding mountain roads with hairpin bends lead from one breathtaking view to another reaching highland plateau steppes with tall grassland and steep arid rocky slopes. En route we take out our birdwatching binoculars to watch out for colonies of rare inhabitants of this rocky country including Citrine Wagtail, Black-headed Wagtail and Barred Warbler.

Overnight: Guesthouse in Yeghegnadzor, Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 4: Wildflower fields

Early morning we start our exploration of Mount Gndasar by 4WD. This is the toughest and yet the most rewarding part of our birding trip. The road climbs to 2,600 m on a series of switchbacks, providing dramatic views of the vineyards and orchards below. This is an amazingly rich area with many exciting birding sites. As we climb up the steep paths we pass through mountain meadows with shrub and wildflower fields. Our target bird for this day is Caspian Snowcock as well as other birds supported by this high-mountain habitat including Wallcreeper, White-winged Snowfinch and Crimson-winged Finch. Back to Yeghegnadzor for rest and overnight.

Overnight: Guesthouse in Yeghegnadzor, Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 5: Ararat Valley

Early breakfast and transfer to the renowned birding site of Armash fishponds situated in the valley of Araks River at the foot of Mount Ararat. The astounding variety of bird life supported by this fertile land is legendary among birdwatchers, but it is perhaps not so much the endangered or threatened birds that impress the visitor as their diversity and abundance. Enjoy the views of snow-capped Ararat and get the chance to see wetland bird species including Pygmy Cormorant, Little Bitter, Caspian and Great Reed Warblers, the colonising Paddyfield Warbler, Ferruginous Ducks, Glossy Ibis, White-tailed Lapwing and Kentish Plover. The ponds also attract migrant birds, such as Terek, Curlew Sandpipers, Eastern Olivaceous, Menetries’s and Upcher’s Warblers, European Rollers, European and Blue-cheeked Bee-eaters. Transfer to Yerevan for overnight.

Overnight: Hotel in Yerevan, Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 6: Vedi Hills

Early breakfast and transfer to Vedi Hills to start our birding supported by 4WD vehicles. This is an extremely arid land dominated by tamarisk, buckthorn and spurge, home to many rare bird species. Our main quest is to see Mongolian Finch as well as other rare species supported by this interesting habitat - Grey-necked Bunting, Short-toed Snake-eagle, Bimaculated Lark, Finsch’s Wheatear and Trumpeter Finch. Back to Yerevan for overnight and looking through our birding checklist and birding pictures.

Overnight: Hotel in Yerevan, Meal plan: Breakfast

Day 7: Mount Aragats

Our final day will be spent on the slopes of scenic Mount Aragats, an extinct volcano with picturesque Kari Lake in the crater. We will explore the slopes of the Mount covered with alpine flowers, dwarf junipers and Dog Rose bushes and have further chances to see many of the bird species seen earlier on the tour. In the afternoon we return to Yerevan for some further birding in one of city parks where we will be rewarded with watching two highly sought-after breeding species: Levant Sparrowhawk and Syrian Woodpecker. We can also have an optional visit to Nature History Museum in Yerevan.

Overnight: Hotel in Yerevan, Meal plan: Breakfast

- Accommodation: Superior hotels and guesthouses
- Meals: All breakfasts
- Mode of travel: Comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles/on foot/local transport
- Tour support: Professional birding guide, driver and local guides

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

The tour can be operated at any date of your choice during the season indicated.
Price Includes:
Accommodation for 7 nights; Meals as specified in the itinerary; Professional birding guide/driver; All sightseeing and activities as per itinerary; All transfers in comfortable, air-conditioned vehicles; Travel permits in protected areas; Birding in Armenia information kit.

Price Excludes: Optional activities

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Europe   Armenia   Nature & Wildlife   Birdwatching   Ecotourism