The popular mineral springs at Jermuk draw thousands to their revitalizing baths and spas. Health or beauty regimens feature hot mineral water baths, mud baths, water massages, and a variety of other treatments. Several high-end spas have upgraded their services to international standards, and even the highest of spas charge a faction of what you would pay in the Europe.
Set in a gorge formed where a large number of mineral springs converge with the Arpa River, Jermuk is a welcome retreat into the peace and tranquility of the mountains. As part of a longer tour, it is the ideal place to reset and come to your senses, surrounded by idyllic forested mountains, the sound of gurgling streams and birdcall, and the gratifyingly complete Armenian hospitality. Hiking trails of all difficulties crisscross around the gorges, happening upon waterfalls and naturally heated pools, and there are plenty of alpine meadows secluded amongst the pockets between trees in which to set up camp for the night.
The only road in to Jermuk follows the Arpa River through a tight gorge, past the 10th century Gndevank Monastery, built by Princess Sephia of Syunik to be the jewel of the Vayots Dzor province. With a number of surviving frescoes, detailed sculptures, and ornate khachkars with engravings of falcons, mountain goats and boars, a visit to Jermuk without stopping here would most likely be incomplete!
Besides Tsakhkadzor, Jermuk is the prime ski destination of Armenia, with its newly refurbished lifts and slopes, and its wide expanses of skiable backcountry off sharp cliff edges and through sparse woods. There are often competitions held here, both for skiing and for more bizarre activities, such as mountain biking down the snow-blanketed slopes!