Armenia is a land of stark relief, from forest-covered mountains to grassland plateaus and meandering valleys. People have trodden paths through these lands for millennia, and an extensive network of trails exists throughout the country.
Along these trails are historic sites only accessible by foot, such as the cave dwellings of Khndzoresk, inhabited until the mid-twentieth century, and abandoned villages near the Tatev Monastery, whose populations were relocated in Soviet times. Near Areni, the guides of the Gnishik Environmental Foundation share information about bezoar ibex, wild goats listed as vulnerable on the IUCN conservation red list and a part of local lore.
Communities along these trails preserve and celebrate their knowledge of local foods, from herbs to mushrooms and other edible plants, used in many Armenian dishes. At the Nurik Center in northern Armenia, local guides interpret legends and cultural practices relating to wild foods and culinary traditions.