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Bike and play traditional games on a lakeside

Bike and play traditional games on a lakeside image

A local guide leads the group of bikers. (Photo by Areg Vardanyan, My Armenia Program)

Tourism Unique Center or TUC offers a new model of community-based tourism in Lori, with something to offer all visitors. TUC's activities perfectly suit those seeking to experience local lifestyles, and unspoiled landscapes. If you want to unearth history, dip your toes into the culture, and discover what it means to be a Lori local, then come to TUC, where you can bike and play traditional folk games.

You’ll find TUC in Dsegh village, famous not only for its glorious landscape but also as the birthplace of the great Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian. The combination of dramatic mountains and dense forests create settings of great light for dramatic pictures. It is no wonder that photographers, hikers, and nature lovers are all drawn to admire this regional treasure.

Your TUC hosts offer a healthy and rewarding biking experience to blend a love for outdoors with an adventurous spirit in beautiful surroundings. Starting from the TUC basecamp, you will make a seven km round-trip of the Dsegh Plateau, passing through groomed fields and views of a gorge and nearby natural sites. Along the way, you will marvel at a popular cross-stone with intricate patterns known as Sirun Khach (or beautiful cross in Armenian) and the picturesque villages on the opposite slope. Stopping in Dsegh village on your return to basecamp will provide opportunities to meet locals and to explore some of its most popular features.

Following the bike ride, join the TUC team for traditional outdoor Armenian games that not only teach teamwork, planning, strategy, but also are fun. You’ll have worked up an appetite, so you have the option of a picnic lunch and meeting more locals. If you know Armenian, another option is to play some table games invented by Hovhannes Toumanian that are well-suited for both children and adults.

If you spend the night in the camp, you’ll have the opportunity to make bonfire potatoes or marshmallows, while recalling the pleasant memories of your day. Then, nestled comfortably inside a tent, you will awake to Lori’s sensational scenery and breathe in the fresh morning air.

Meet your host

Armenia is an open-air museum, and Lori is one of its most remarkable halls. TUC (Tourism Unique Center) has a mission to connect all of Lori’s rich resources—cultural monuments, lush nature and, most importantly, people—in order to boost the development of Lori as a complete tourism destination. TUC offers comprehensive tour services where visitors may find art, culture, entertainment, adventures, local flavors, and more. Led by Arpine Hakobyan, TUC’s staff presents these fantastic opportunities with genuine passion, knowledge, and generosity. TUC engages community development through tourism, based on the principles of cooperation, respect, and direct communication. As Arpine explains, “We involve the community; we buy food from locals; we get all the goods from the village. This is our fundamental principle.” This is TUC’s responsible philosophy of presenting locals, nature, and history.

Photo by Areg Vardanyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Areg Vardanyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Areg Vardanyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Areg Vardanyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Areg Vardanyan, My Armenia Program

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