Armenia is one of the most ancient states of Transcaucasia and the first country to adopt Christianity as the state religion. Centuries-old Christian traditions are displayed in numerous monasteries, churches and khachkars (stone sculptures with crosses carved on them), the oldest of which date back to the 4th century AD. No less interesting are the ancient cities of the state, whose age reaches 3000 years, ancient fortresses and, of course, picturesque mountain landscapes abounding in deep gorges, turbulent rivers, waterfalls and lakes, among which is the largest lake in Transcaucasia – Sevan.
It is best to travel to Armenia during the transitional seasons from May to June and from September to October, when the weather is warm and sunny. The ski season lasts from mid-November to mid-April. The best time for hiking in the mountains is July and August. The beach season on Lake Sevan lasts from late June to late August.
The state language is Armenian, it belongs to the family of Indo-European languages. Armenians also understand and speak Russian.
Geography in Armenia
According to top-engineering-schools, Armenia is located in Transcaucasia between the Black and Caspian Seas, however, it has no access to the sea. The area of the state is 29.74 thousand square meters. km. In the east, Armenia borders with Azerbaijan, in the west – with Turkey, in the north – with Georgia, in the south – with Iran, and in the southwest – with the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, which is part of Azerbaijan. The borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Armenia is the highest mountainous country in the Transcaucasus, more than 90% of the state’s territory is located at altitudes of more than 1000 m, the average heights within the country are 1800 m. In the northern and eastern parts of Armenia(up to the borders with Iran) stretched the ranges of the Lesser Caucasus. From the southwest, the volcanic East Armenian Highland adjoins the ranges of the Lesser Caucasus. Here is the highest point of the state – Mount Aragats (4090 m). To the south of the highlands stretches the fertile Ararat basin – the most densely populated part of the country.
The Armenian mountain systems belong to the zone of young alpine folding, where active mountain-building processes are observed. Powerful earthquakes often occur in the country. The last Spitak earthquake, which occurred in December 1988 in the northern part of the country, is notorious. Then many settlements were destroyed, including one of the largest cities in the country – Gyumri.
The country’s largest river is the Araks, which flows along the southwestern border of Armenia. The tributaries of the Araks – Akhuryan, Kasakh, Hrazdan, Arpa and Vorotan – also flow in the southern part of the state, and in the north-eastern part – the tributaries of the Kura River – Debed, Aghstev and Ahum. There are more than 100 lakes in Armenia, the largest of which is Lake Sevan. It is located in the east of the country at an altitude of about 1900 m. Sevan is the largest source of fresh water in the entire Transcaucasus.
Climate in Armenia
Armenia is dominated by a subtropical Mediterranean type of climate, however, climatic conditions vary depending on the altitude of the area.
In the Ararat Valley in the summer, daytime air temperatures can reach +30 degrees, and nighttime temperatures can reach 20 degrees. In winter, in these places during the day it is about +2..+4 degrees, and at night the temperature drops to -5..-7 degrees. Up to 350 mm of precipitation falls here annually.
At altitudes up to 1500 m in summer during the daytime, the air warms up to +23..+25 degrees, and at night it cools down to +10..+12 degrees. In winter, it is around 0 degrees during the day, and up to -10 degrees at night. The average annual amount of precipitation is 600-700 mm, the exceptions are the middle mountains of the extreme south-east and north-east of Armenia, where 300-400 mm of precipitation falls per year.
At altitudes up to 3000 m, in summer the air warms up to +16..+18 degrees, and winter frosts can reach -20 degrees. The highest precipitation falls in the highlands – up to 900 mm per year. In winter, a lot of snow falls here, the thickness of the snow cover reaches 1.5 m.
The annual precipitation pattern has two maxima: in spring and early summer, and two minima: at the end of summer and winter.
Best time to visit:
The best time to visit Armenia is during the transitional seasons from May to June and September to October when the weather is warm and sunny. The ski season lasts from mid-November to mid-April. The best time for hiking in the mountains is July and August. The beach season on Lake Sevan lasts from late June to late August.
Tourists who love outdoor activities can be advised to go hiking in the mountainous regions of Armenia. Here you can see sheer cliffs, mountain valleys covered with alpine meadows, numerous rivers, waterfalls and lakes. The most interesting routes run along the slopes of the extinct volcano Aragats, along the Garni Gorge, where hexagonal basalt columns are scattered in the canyon of the Azat River, along the Stone Forest of Goris, where, as a result of weathering, bizarre remnants were formed, and along the Dilijan Reserve. The best times for climbing are July and August.