The Janapar Trail winds through the Lesser Caucasus mountain chain, in the undiscovered region of Karabakh. The trails have been there for thousands of years, as local villagers have used them to get from one place to another, and shepherds have used them to graze their flocks.
A trail has been marked which will take you through some of the highlights of the region, including monasteries, fortresses, caves, waterfalls and canyons. The region is bursting with wildlife and sometimes it's hard to believe the big nature of this small region.
The trail has been designed so that at the end of each day's segment, you end up in a different village or town. This has been done to give you the option of not bringing a tent and other camping gear. Instead, if you prefer you can sleep at different homestays at a cost ranging from $5 to $15 a night.
This region has been de facto independent for over 20 years. The name of the country is officially "Republic of Mountainous Karabakh", but everyone just shortens it to Karabakh, or occasionally RMK. Armenians also use the name Artsakh interchangeably with Karabakh, as that is the older Armenian name.
* You must arrive to this region via Armenia - there is no other access at this time. Either a van from the bus station in Yerevan or Goris, or a taxi from just about anywhere in Armenia.
* South of the capital of Stepanakert are 7 days of marked trails. North of the capital are unmarked or unmaintained markings, which require you have a GPS or smartphone in order to follow them.
* A 3,000 dram ($7.50 US) visa is required for Karabakh. You can get it in Stepanakert when you arrive. Ask for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ardakin Gordzeri Nakhararutyun).
*Definitely print out the free Janapar Guidebook before setting out.
* You can camp just about anywhere you'd like if you bring gear, but camping near homes is probably best.
* Take a UV water purifier with you so you wont have to buy and carry water. The water in Karabakh is delicious, but without a lightweight UV purifier to kill the bacteria, you may experience Mamikonian's Revenge (explosive diarrhea).