Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia is a sovereign state in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia Located in Western Asia on the “Armenian Highlands”, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan’s exclave of Nakhchivan to the south.
Lake Sevan has the only beaches in Armenia. They are a popular destination for the Armenians. Sevan’s beaches provide a unique experience within the landlocked country for Armenians. The beaches adjacent to hotels are usually privatized.
Numerous beaches are located along the entire lake shore. The most popular of them is a 2.5-kilometre stretch on the northern shore, extending northwest from the peninsula. Resorts include Harsnaqar Hotel, Best Western Bohemian Resort, and numerous smaller facilities. Activities include swimming, sunbathing, jet skiing, windsurfing, and sailing. The area also includes numerous campgrounds and picnic areas for daytime use.
Located around 30 east of capital Yerevan the spectacular and glorious Garni Canyon stands out with its polygon columns and the vertical cliffs. The canyon is believed to be formed millions of years ago. It was caused by volcanic eruptions. But the site would definitely not be this impressive if it had not gone through the cooling and solidifying processes of the boiling lava. The gorge can be reached by two ways – via a road that starts not far from the Temple of Garni and via a road that passes through the village.
Dilijan National Park
The park offers diverse flora and fauna. But it’s not only that. While walking around you will see the various mountain ranges in which the park seems to be embraced, as well as the River Aghstev flowing from Pambak mountain range, beautiful Parz Lich (Clear Lake) and Tzrkalich (Leech Lake). The park also encompasses some of the most beautiful and remarkable Armenian monasteries and churches, among which are the monasteries of Haghartsin, Goshavank, Jukhtak and Matosavank and the Church of Akhnabat.
Mount Aragats is one of Armenia’s most stunning natural sights, with the dormant volcano located in the north of the country. It is Armenia’s highest peak and there is a lot of rock art to be enjoyed around its base, with paintings of animals and human-like figures dating back hundreds of years. Snow covers the peak almost all year-round but Mount Aragats can be climbed, with July, August and September the best times of the year to attempt the hike. The southernmost of the four peaks is the easiest to climb, while the northern peak, at around 4,000 metres, is the most challenging.
While Lake Sevan can be extremely crowded during the peak tourist season, Lake Arpi has a much more relaxed feel. Used for irrigation and hydropower production, Lake Arpi is also the source of the Akhurian River. In 2009 a new park was established around the lake to protect the natural environment, with around 100 species of birds known to live in the area. Lake Arpi also hosts rich flora and fauna and is a Ramsar Convention protected site. Lake Arpi has one the largest colonies of Armenian Gull and its recreation activities include camping and walking tours.
Upper Azat Valley
The Upper Azat Valley is one of Armenia’s World Heritage Sites, partly due to the incredible Geghard Monastery for which the region is most famous. The main chapel was built 800 years ago but the history of the monastery goes all the way back to the fourth century, when it was founded by Gregory the Illuminator. According to legend, the Geghard Monastery once housed one of the spears that was used to crucify Jesus Christ, brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus, and as such it is one of Armenia’s most important religious sites. The Upper Azat Valley is also home to the St Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) chapel, which is partially carved out of the rock.