Rich in breathtaking natural, historical, and cultural landscapes, Armenia offers countless fascinating attractions to the curious and adventurous traveller. With many mountains, rivers, and lush forests to enjoy along with remote regions, forts, and monasteries to discover, the country will never cease to impress. We explore the 10 most beautiful landscapes in Armenia that are must-visits.
Here are the 10 Most Beautiful Landscapes in Armenia!
Located on an 850-meter-high (2,790 ft.) cliff above springs and incredible nature, the 9th-century monastery of Tatev is a must-visit in Armenia not only for its religious and historical importance but also for its breathtaking natural landscapes all around. To reach it, travellers can hop onboard the cableway between Halidzor and the monastery and enjoy the stunning views from above. In medieval Armenia, this was the location of the country’s most important scholastic and spiritual centre. Today, this old and famous complex is certainly one of Armenia’s most impressive sites of interest.
Stunning Lake Sevan is one of Armenia’s natural gems and is the nearest ocean equivalent for this land-locked country. This incredible freshwater lake is one of the world’s largest high-altitude lakes. Moreover, it is the perfect place to take a dip on hot summer days. There is also Sevanavank, a stunning ancient monastery made out of crude black stones that travellers can visit. The church is a perfect viewpoint, too. While at the lake, make sure to try the local grilled trout.
Located on a small hill in the Ararat Valley, Khor Virap is where King Trdat III imprisoned Saint Gregory the Illuminator for 13 years. Trdat III set him free when he cured the king, who was suffering from an illness. The king’s recovery made him convert to Christianity. So, Armenia became the first country in the world to adopt the Christian religion in 301. Today, travellers can explore the underground chamber for the Saint, and the beautiful Khor Virap monastery itself. The setting is one of the most impressive, as it is the closest point to the stunning Mount Ararat.
Aragats is a mesmerizing mountainous area rich in diverse natural landscapes and culture. Visit the beautiful ancient fortress and monastery on the way up to the peak surrounded by alpine meadows and fragrant flowers. In summer, you will also come across the Yazidi. They live in tents and raise sheep on its slopes, making dairy products that they then sell in the valley. Moreover, located 3,190 meters above sea level on the slopes of Aragats is the fascinating landscape of Lake Kar. Even on hot sunny days, visitors can play in the snow.
Rich in history and culture, Debed Canyon is one of the most attractive sites in Armenia. Visitors usually stay in Vanadzor and take day trips to the stunning canyon. On the way, you can choose to visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sanahin and Haghpat monasteries, together with countless little villages along the Debed River. The area is home to a number of fascinating khachkars – impressive cross-stones. They are the perfect reflection of medieval Christian Armenian traditional art.
Khosrov Forest State Reserve
Also known as the Khosrov Forest, the Khosrov Reserve is one of the earliest protected areas in the world. Located in the Ararat Province, it boasts unique Asian and European flora and fauna. It spreads across 29,196 hectares of land and is situated 1,600 – 2,300 meters above sea level. King Khosrov III founded the reserve in the fourth century. He wanted to create an area in order to develop natural-climatic conditions of the nearby city of Artashat. It also served as a hunting place for the royal family. Therefore, Khosrove Forest State Reserve became one of the first of such areas in the Roman Empire and the Caucasus region. The reserve features a typical mountain range, containing a solid network of main and branch elevations, deep canyons, and high plateaus overlooked by volcanic buffer peaks and massifs.
Shikahogh State Reserve
Armenia’s second-largest forest reserve, Shikahogh State Reserve covers about 10,330 ha of land. It’s home to around 1,100 different plants, but large parts of it have remained unexplored. According to some sources, there are bears, leopards, vipers, and wild goats in the forest. The Shikahogh State Reserve also has some beautiful waterfalls to enjoy on your trip here.
Lake Arpi is a great choice to plan a small getaway from the crowds, as it has much more relaxed feel than Lake Sevan during the high season. The lake became a reservoir in 1951, artificially increasing its natural state. Today, it’s the second most important water source in Armenia. Since 2009, a new park developed around the lake in order to protect the natural environment of about 100 species of birds living in the area. You can camp here, as well as embark on hiking trails to discover the surrounded nature.
About 30 kilometres east of Armenia’s capital city Yerevan, stands the breathtaking Garni Canyon with its gorgeous vertical cliffs and unique basalt polygon columns called the “Symphony of Stones.” Looking at it from afar, the cliffs can indeed resemble a massive pipe organ. A visit to this stunning gorge is highly recommended. You can also combine your trip with a visit to the nearby Temple of Garni, Armenia’s only pagan temple built in the first century.
Dilijan National Park
Located in the Tavush Province, Dilijan National Park is famous for its curative mineral water fountains, making town Dilijan a major spa destination. Rich in biodiversity, culture, and nature, no wonder the visitors often call this lush green forested area the “Switzerland of Armenia.” Occupying 24 000 hectares, the National Park is the ideal spot for outdoor activities including hiking and mountain biking. Visitors can follow ecotourism trails and spend the night in tents.
The article about Armenia is from Culture Trip.