One of the best things about visiting the Debed Canyon is that you will find some of the most charming villages along the way!
This post details some of our favorite Debed Canyon villages that we think you should add to your itinerary!
Table of Contents
Best Debed Canyon Villages
Odzun village is known to be one of the oldest in Armenia and was even known to exist in 1 AD!
This picturesque village is situated between the epic Debed canyon and the lush green mountains in Armenia’s Lori province.
Travelers often go there to visit the 5th-7th century Odzun Church which is one of the iconic ones of the Lori region but they will also enjoy a hike down to the mysterious ruins of the 7-century Horomayr Monastery that is located in the gorge.
In addition to those two famous places, they also will photograph the Surb Nshan Chapel which is situated at the edge of the massive and epic canyon (it is considered to be part of the complex)!
When you are walking in the narrow streets of Odzun village, you feel like you are going back in time because the houses look a bit more traditional and many have small gardens.
Along the journey, keep your eyes peeled for ancient khachkars, old spring water monuments like Ahmadi ahpir, the unknown soldier monument, and more.
Odzun is also known for having wonderful guest houses in different parts of the village. By staying at one, you will have a chance to try local food, view the majestic mountains, and just relax.
Our favorite place to stay in Odzun is at B&B Odzun.
Situated in the northern part of the Lori region on the right bank of the beautiful Pambak River, Debed is yet another lovely village that is part of the Debed Canyon region.
This picturesque village is known to be home to one of the most famous creative hubs in Armenia called the COAF Smart Center (Children of Armenia Fund).
This award-winning, futuristic modern building is home to an educational center and the Concept Hotel where is possible to stay and discover Debed village as well as to rent out the COAF Center’s hiking and outdoor gear for hiking, biking, and camping along the canyon.
Another famous place in Debed village is Debed Life, an Armenian-owned workcation and co-living space where visitors and digital nomads go to relax, co-work, eat incredibly tasty food, and enjoy the greenery of the village.
Ardvi is yet another beautiful village located close to the edge of the dramatic Debed Canyon, not too far from Odzun village.
The area is absolutely stunning and is surrounded by rocks, forests, mountains, historical sites, and more.
In the village, it’s possible to see ruins of a pink stone, an 11th-century medieval church known as the Red Church at the entrance of the village.
If you drive a little deeper into Ardvi, you’ll find an ancient cemetery on the top of the hill, the renowned Surb Hovhannes Church, and more.
Ardvi is also the home of one of the most amazing and mysterious natural wonders in the Lori region called “Odzi Port”, which in translation, means Snake’s Navel.
If you look closely at the bottom of the massive rock located in the middle of the village, you can see a strange line in the rock formation that looks like a snake crawling on it, and from its navel, healing water flows to the village.
One of the most popular and picturesque villages in Lori is Dsegh. It is the jewel of the region and it is situated on the upper right bank of the Debed River.
The Debed Canyon village is the birthplace of one of the most famous Armenian writers, Hovhannes Tumanyan, who put not only Lori but also the whole of Armenia on the world literature map.
In the village, it is possible to visit his house museum (which is centrally located) and see how and where the famous writer grew up and created his masterpieces.
Dsegh is home to many historical sites like the mysterious Surb Grigor Bardzrakash Monastery located deep down in the gorge, Karsnits Mankats Monastery, and more.
Visitors typically come to Dsegh to camp at TUC – the Tourism Unique Center, drive a Soviet truck to Tsover Lake, glamp at Cosmo and WOW glamping facilities, and horseback ride in the mountains.
You will also find plenty of family-owned guesthouses in Dsegh.
Located in between Vanadzor and Alaverdi at the connecting main road, Pambak village is a small place situated on the slopes of the hill and has plenty of traditional, cozy homes in it.
The most famous place in Pambak village that puts it on the travel map is called the House of Fairy Tale.
Whether you’re a kid or an adult, it is definitely worth the stop when driving through the area!
The House of Fairy Tale is where the visitors go back in time and the host recreates ancient Armenian traditions of food preparation (traditionally from Lori), dancing, ancient rituals, and more.
Guests can stay overnight, eat traditional Armenian food, hike in the mountains, learn more about Armenian culture, and be involved in many creative processes like baking bread, preparing decorations for celebrations, and beyond!
Haghpat is home to one of the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites called the Haghpat Monastery. It was founded in the 10th century (and is often visited alongside its sister, Sanahin Monastery).
This gorgeous village is located high in the mountains at approximately 2,500 meters and is one of the most-known villages in the Lori region. It is also included in day trips from Tbilisi!
The ancient village is breathtaking and is known to have many local guest houses with terrific views of the Debed Canyon.
The village is also home to Zarni-Parni, VaKaLeR Hotel Lounge Bar, and more.
Travelers can also walk around and visit historical sites in and close to the village like the 13th-century water supply monument (which is still working!), Kusanats Anapat Church, and the ancient Haghpat cemetery.
Probably one of the most beautiful natural spots in Lori that can take your mind to similar landscapes in the tropics is Arevatsag village.
Arevatsag is not far from Alaverdi and Odzun and aside from being a cute settlement in the mountains, it is best known for being the entrance to a famous hike down to the otherworldly Arevatsag Canyon (literally translated as ‘Sunrise Canyon’ in Armenian).
Many travelers hike here to observe the beauty of this natural spot where a massive rock is erected out of the Dzoraget River.
It is one of the most photogenic spots along the Debed Canyon and is my favorite spot for a spring and summer picnic!
Did we miss any amazing villages in the Debed Canyon? Let us know your top picks in the comments! Thanks!
**Our trip to the Debed Canyon was part of the “Lori, Your Next Destination” project by Visit Debed Canyon (co-funded by GIZ and COAF). All opinions are our own.
More Debed Canyon Travel Guides
- Photogenic spots on the Debed Canyon
- Things to do in Vanadzor
- Vanadzor digital nomad guide
- Best time to visit the Debed Canyon
- Camping and glamping in the Debed Canyon
- Adventurous activities in the Debed Canyon
- Things to do in Debed village
- Things to do in Odzun village
- Things to do in Ardvi village
- How to visit Lori Berd
- How to visit Sanahin Monastery
- How to visit Haghpat Monastery
- Tbilisi to Armenia day trip