Debed Canyon

Debed Canyon

Location: Map

Length: 178 km


Description of Debed Canyon


Debed Canyon was carved by a Debed River that flows through Armenia and Georgia. It is the right tributary of the river Khrami, which is the right tributary of the Kura river. Debed Canyon is located in Armenia and stretches for 178 km. The valley is a narrow and deep (up to 350 m) gorge that flows to the village of Bagratashen. Until the 20th century it was called Borchalo which gave the name to the area Borchali. In the middle Ages it was called Kasakh.


The picturesque valley of Debed is an important highway between Armenia and neighboring Georgia. Two UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sanahin Monastery and Haghpat Monastery are located here. This part of the country is fairly populated with old medieval villages that still contains guard towers, churches and old infrustructure that is still visible and even used today by the locals.


During spring months Debed Canyon swells due to melting snows. Hiking along its shores is particularly dangerous at this time. Even during drier summer months Debed river is fast and fairly dangerous for swimming.


Debed flows through a narrow and deep (up to 350 m) gorge to the village of Bagratashen. The river runs a section of the Armenian-Georgian border with a length of about 12 km, separating the right-bank Armenian village of Bagratashen from the left-bank Georgian Sadakhlo.

The current is fast, Debed is the most full-flowing river in Armenia (with the exception of Araks). Water is used for irrigation and for generating electricity.

Large tributaries are Marz, Shnog (right) and Akhtala (left).