Best time to visit Armenia


Conditions in Armenia vary greatly depending on your elevation so bear this in mind if you’re planning on hiking in the mountains. Spring can be a case of blink and you’ll miss it with the harsh temperatures of Dec-Feb quickly turning to rain in March and April before ramping up the heat from June-Aug. The other side of summer can take longer to change and as such the drier months of Sep-Oct are the best time to visit Armenia, especially amongst the thick forests of Dilijan National Park as the foliage morphs from lush green to mellow apricot.
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Things to do in Armenia


Things to do in

There are some lovely rugged tracks in Armenia’s Lesser Caucasus and walking between villages, glacial lakes and fortified monasteries is a great way to meet local people as you soak up the scenery. A superb hiking area is the 70km volcanic ridge that runs from Lake Sevan to the Ararat plain, culminating in the ancient glaciers and thick moraine close to the summit of Armenia’s highest peak, Mount Aragats.

Step back in time. Due to the slightly out of the way nature of Armenia, many of the rural Kurdish, Molokan and Yazidi villages have remained untouched for centuries and staying overnight at homestay accommodation will give you a fascinating glimpse into the past. The spa town of Dilijan is also well known for its slightly reclusive nature and has a well preserved old town area as well as traditional workshops to accompany the gorgeous forest surroundings.

Combine with a trip to Georgia. Compared to Georgia, Armenia is a bit more “up to date”. It still favours long lunches and genuine hospitality but without the Georgian passion for alcohol consumption, although they still like a tipple. Visiting both countries is a great means of comparing cultural nuances with Tbilisi, Kutaisi and the Svaneti Region all helping to build a more complete picture of Eastern Europe meeting Western Asia.

Things not to do in Armenia…

Poke the neighbours. Georgians and Armenians are good neighbours and share a similar alphabet and language; however, Azerbaijan and Turkey are different stories with the region of Nagorno-Karabakh (an Armenian Christian region lying entirely within Azerbaijan) a real bone of contention and the horrific 1915 Armenian genocide – perpetrated by the Ottoman government – not something to be easily forgotten. Be aware if you are thinking of visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, you won’t be allowed to enter Azerbaijan once you’ve stepped foot over the border.

Miss out on the hospitality. Armenians are an extremely hospitable and friendly bunch and although many of the minority groups living in rural villages won’t speak much English, a smile and a nod is often all that’s needed to get by. Lunches can be feast like with decorative flat breads, cheeses, salads, roasted meat, wine, brandy and meats wrapped in vine leaves often served outdoors at long tables or on massive picnic blankets.

Worry about visiting Armenia. Despite a few periodic spats on the borders there is absolutely no reason to be worried about coming to Armenia as, although conscious of their troubled heritage, Armenians are extremely welcoming and quite progressive in their outlook. A lot of people miss out on Armenia as they can’t work out whether it is part of Europe or Asia, the best advice is to treat it as neither and just come with an open mind.

Armenia travel advice


The following advice comes from Jim O’Brien, founder of our supplier and Armenia specialist, Native Eye Travel:

Cultural tip

“A khachkar is a carved stone cross that looks a bit like an ancient grave stone. These are real works of art and the traditional carving process is a cultural activity that is still alive today.”

Know your history

“There are more Armenians living outside of Armenia than in it, mainly due to the persecution from Turkish forces in WWI which lead to the genocide of almost one million Armenians, a fact that is still strongly refuted by many educated Turks.”

Armenian wildlife

“There are thought to be around 10 to 13 Persian/Caucasian leopards living within the Khosrov Forest State Reserve, although spotting them is another thing altogether.”
Photo credits: [Temp chart: Athena Lao] [Know your history: ] [Cultural tip: young shanahan] [Armenian wildlife: Soghomon Matevosyan] [helpdesk box: Athena Lao]
Written by Chris Owen
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