WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT ARMENIA
Unique nature, mountainous landscapes and pristine places
Most often Armenia is called “the country of stones” or “the country of mountains”. Actually here one can see mountains almost everywhere, and some 40% of the territory is situated at 2100 m above the level of the sea. And believe, these mountains and stones have а special charm and are full of their own poetry and music. No wonder that such an astonishing natural rock formation as “Symphony of stones” is found precisely in Armenia.
If you arrive at the Yerevan Zvartnots airport and the weather is fair, then you get to enjoy one of the most breathtaking views of majestic and snow-capped Ararat just getting off the plane.
It is true that today the sacred mountain is located outside of Armenia, on the other side of the river Araks, a cause of the continuing sorrow of all the Armenians, but this certainly can’t spoil the view. In fact the best view of one of the highest peaks in the world in terms of its relative height (4365 m) opens exactly from the territory of Armenia. The absolute height of Greater Ararat or Masis as Armenian call it is 5165 m above the sea level.
Of course many beautiful summits and mountainous scenes can be found in the territory of Armenia itself. The highest point is four-peaked Mount Aragats, the northern peak of which is at 4090 m above the sea level. It is useful to know that climbing the lowest southern peak does not require any special equipment.
The second highest mountain in Armenia is Kaputjugh (3905 m above the sea) which is the highest point in the Zangezur mountain range. In Zangezur one could find also other summits higher than 3800 m above the sea level.
Several high mountains, in the composition of ranges and with the height of over 3500 m above the sea level, border the blue pearl of Armenia – Lake Sevan. This natural water basin located at 1900 m above the sea level has a surface of 1240 square kilometres. It is the largest high-altitude fresh water lake in the Caucasus and second in the world after Lake Titicaca in South America. The waters of Sevan are very clean and several kinds of wild fish live here with the most notable ones belonging to salmon family – whitefish and Sevan trout. In summer the water gets warmer, and the swimming season is opened. But tourists come to Sevan all year round, first, to see the lake and the surrounding sites (in particular, the Sevanavank church), and second, to try the delicious local fish in one out of many small restaurants.
Besides Sevan Armenia is home to some 100 smaller lakes. Probably the most beautiful among them is Lake Parz. Located in the Dilijan National Park at an altitude of 1334 m above the sea level this lake is closely surrounded by thick forest. The name of the lake comes from the exceptional cleanliness of its waters and in translation from Armenian means “transparent”.
Naturally Armenia also has many rivers. And of course, rivers in the mountains mean waterfalls. One of the most famous and splendid waterfalls is Shaki (18 m of height), situated on the Shaki river not far away from a small town of Sisian. The height of another waterfall, Trchkan (located on the Chichkhan river) is 22.5 m. This waterfall, which is the most abundant in Armenia, owes its name (translated as “jumping”) to brook trout that jumps high out of the water on its way to spawning grounds. And the highest one is the Kasakh waterfall (70 m) which also takes its names after the river. The waterfall is located near the Hovhannavank monastery in the province of Aragatsotn.
The nature of Armenia is irresistibly bewitching and dazzling in its diversity and magnificence. You would want to see it at least once in a lifetime then to never see it!