Tsakhkadzor is aptly named Canyon of Flowers in Armenian, due to the lush forest and meadows on the slopes that surround it. This small town of 1,645 people, located in what was once the hunting grounds of the rulers of Armenia, is now a major four-season destination due to the fragrant flora of the warmer months, and the abundant snow on its ski slopes in the winter.
Resting on the slopes of the Teghenis Mountains, at an altitude of 1,750, Tsakhkadzor is well known for its resorts. The cool summer breeze offer a much-needed respite to Yerevan’s heat and tourists often spread their summer days between Lake Sevan and Tsakhkadzor – swimming in the lake in the mornings, and then rising up to the resort for its active nightlife. In the winter, the population explodes, with local and international tourists taking advantage of the cheap prices, well-groomed slopes and modern conveniences to get some exhilarating ski runs down the mountain.
The mountains and forests surrounding the town are also an ideal place to hike and camp, the dry ski slopes lend to leisurely strolls through the wildflowers, and the clean air helps reset the body. From the grand, beautifully restored, 10th century Kecharis Monastery there is a rewarding hike through the forest to the smaller Makravank monastery, over the crest of the mountain.
This mountain range is also home to a number of other similar towns and villages, with a variety of hikes, climbs and even waterfalls to enjoy! On the other side of the mountain, Meghradzor hides a series of waterfalls, rapids and pools that provide a unique reprieve from the usual swim at Sevan.