The wonderfully named Wings of Tatev stretches over 3.5 miles between the Armenian village of Halidzor and the famous Tatev Monastery, a center of education and religion in the Middle Ages. The aerial tram holds the Guinness title as the longest nonstop double-track cable car in the world, but that’s not even the most extraordinary thing about this piece of infrastructure.
The cableway soars over the deep Vorotan River Gorge, offering breathtaking views of the landscape as you approach the monastery, which sits perched on a large plateau at the edge of a cliff over the stunning gorge. The monastery complex dates back to the 9th century and is an architectural and historical icon of Armenia, though the structure itself can be overshadowed by the out-of-a-fairytale natural landscape that surrounds it.
The total ride from one side of the cable car to the other is about 12 minutes. Large pillars divide the ropeway into four sections, the longest of which is 1.6 miles long and overlooks the monastery. On top of its record-breaking length, it is also one of the highest reversible cable cars in the world, reaching an elevation of more than 1,000 feet at its highest point.
Know Before You Go
The village of Tatev is reached via a serpentine macadam road, but the cable car is the best and easiest route to the monastery. The line runs between the Tatev station (at the map coordinates above) and the tramway station in Halidzor, also off of H45. Each cabin can accommodate 30 passengers and one attendant.