The country’s diverse landscape makes hiking in Armenia a fun and recreational experience. Despite Armenia’s small size, a hiker can cross landscapes as diverse as Alpine meadows, beautiful mountain lakes and volcanic rocks. Most of the hiking trails in Armenia are well marked and mapped, making it easy for the traveler to explore the country’s stunning nature.
Best time for Hiking in Armenia
The hiking season begins in May and lasts until late October.
Because the spring lasts relatively short in Armenia, May is definitely the best time to start the outdoor season. The mountains and meadows are free from snow and it is blossoming everywhere. The weather is not yet very hot, yet warm enough to spend the days and nights outdoors. Make sure to check the weather conditions before you venture out to the nature in May, because rainfalls are still a common thing and the ground may be wet and muddy. Also, some mountain rivers may be abounding with water due to melting snow in the mountains.
Summertime is traditionally hot and dry in Armenia. The average temperature in summer in Armenia is around 35°C/ 95°F, sometimes the temperature can rise to up to 40°C and more under the sun. The average relative humidity in summer is around 40-50% which makes the heat more or less bearable, but keep in mind to drink enough water! Evenings are much milder and sometimes even somewhat cold in the highlands in the north-west and south of Armenia. One thing to bear in mind when hiking in Summer in Armenia are the snakes, especially in areas with little or no forestation. Here is a great article about the snakes in Armenia you might consider reading.
Summertime is also the best time to swim in the mountain rivers and above all in famous lake Sevan! Especially August is the best time for swimming in Sevan.
September-October is the time when the climate is mild yet still comfortable to be outside for long stretches of time. Autumn is also the time of harvest, which means you get to taste not only the fruits grown by farmers but also the many berries and mushrooms growing in the wild.
Autumns is the time where the landscape in Armenia is the most beautiful, because of the coloration of leaves. The mountains are colored with red, yellow, orange and green. It is also the season where rainfalls are becoming more commonplace. Don’t forget to take a rain poncho and water-resistant gear.
Three Hiking Trails in Armenia
Not very far away from the center of Dilijan, hidden in the forests is a small lake named Parz (clear). It is a popular destination for family picnics, but also it hosts a couple of on-site attractions such as a small zipline over the lake and boat rentals.
Parz Litch is also part of a hiking trail and is a starting point for a 3-4 hour hike towards the village Gosh and the Goshavank monastery. The trail starts just at the lake and finishes in Gosh village. The trail is marked with white and red marks on the trees and if you follow the marks, you will not be lost. The trail is relatively light and very well suited for a beginner or an intermediate hiker.
A village with a population of less than 500 people located amidst picturesque landscapes is guaranteed to make you feel far away from stressful city life. Despite its small size, Yenokavan has a lot to offer, including traces of prehistoric settlements, abandoned churches and a popular adventure park if you’re looking for some more active fun.
This hiking trail in is a 17 km-long hike along the Sarnajur River in a small loop. Sarnajur is a small mountain river with a fast stream and cold water (Sarnajur literally means “cold water”). The trail begins at the Apaga resort and follows the river for most of its duration, finally leading to the 13th-century Okon monastery, which is now abandoned. The trail to the church is downhill for the most part, but has a steep incline as you get closer to the church.
The church is your highest point in this trip and the end of the first section of your hike. It is a perfect place to take a break after almost 8 km of hiking.
In Lastiver, you can refill your water reserves and have another rest in small treehouses or wooden shelters before you undertake the last part of the 17-km hike. Your hike is now in an area with deep forests and a waterfall that seems to be straight out of a fairy tale. There are numerous caves in the area, where, according to medieval accounts, people used to hide from Mongol invaders in the 13th century.