The Great Outdoors
The Armenian landscape is defined by its mountains. The massive ridges divide the country along its axes, rendering huge areas inhospitable, unreachable by regular transport, and creating barriers to weather and climate. Hence the large swaths of desert in central Armenia, give way to large expanses of lush forests in the north; and tunnels through mountain chains become passages to other worlds, where fog and rain are left behind on entering a new day of sun and summer heat.
The different climates and altitudes have fostered the growth of one of the richest floral habitats on the planet, and along with it, a changing ecosystem of endemic and migratory wildlife. National Parks have sprung up as a necessary response to human intervention, protecting the species within and promoting the reintroduction of once abundant fauna and flora.
As the seasons change, the visual elements and approach to nature change as well. As green turns to orange and deep shades of red, the forests of Dilijan National Park open up to mushroom pickers and hikers who were avoiding the spring and summer humidity. When the first snow comes in November, skiers start pining for the opening of Tsakhkadzor’s and Jermuk’s Ski Resorts, whilst the most extreme outdoor enthusiasts prepare their winter gear for cold ascents of Mt. Ara and Mt. Aragats. As the snow melts in spring, and new life is breathed into the landscape, birdwatchers flock to the hills of arid hills of the Arax Valley in the hopes of sighting eagles, falcons and hawks. Summer, probably the most popular season amongst tourists visiting, pushes everyone out of Yerevan’s heat to enjoy a full Armenian experience at the shores of Lake Sevan, one of the countless hot springs or horseback riding across seas of grass.