If eco-tourism attempts to go beyond the usual city-tour and well-known tourism destinations, eco-tourism in Armenia goes one-step further, as a completely new and unknown destination for many visitors. Travelling to the rural communities peppered around the rugged landscape offers a view into the true ancient lifestyle – these are not Hollywood sets, but the current, day-to-day lives of local Arm
Armenia’s clean air, abundance of sunshine and picturesque landscapes make Armenia an absolute destination for ecotourism lovers. Trips out into the rural countryside will allow you to connect with the core values of natural exploration. Combined with sightseeing, your journey will be infused in nature and complimented by environmentally friendly products, handmade by the villagers of the rural community you visit.
Travel from the pagan sanctuaries and ancient Christian monuments hidden in the forests to the cave cities and fortresses on steep mountain slopes, from deep gorges containing forgotten bas-reliefs to unique frescoes somehow preserved on the walls of derelict monasteries, all whilst bathing in the luscious and ever-changing natural landscapes.
Crystal-clear lakes are fed by loud waterfalls, and tributaries lead towards rapids visible through the snow still present in the shade of the early months of summer. Most of these rivers and streams, born of snowmelt or underground springs, are potable, especially near the source; but for the cleanest water, head deep into the caves around Vayots Dzor, for water that has been filtered through the rock for hundreds of years. Eco-tourists also seek the calm of the humid Dilijan National Park, or the arid State Reserves of Khosrov and Shikahogh where they can discover unique flora and fauna. These State Reserves are home to many rare, endemic species of animals and plants.
The Armenian survival spirit can safely be said to have arisen from the harsh life in the mountains, and though day-to-day life has become much easier, Armenia is still a land to test limits. This small yet remarkable country is home to six climatic zones, and one short trip may cover the highlights of all four seasons. Many take to the peaks, defying vertigo by rock climbing the vertical gorges in the summer months, and resisting the chilling embrace of winter whilst skiing or snowboarding the steep slopes. Summer offers the widest range of active mountain sports, including hiking, biking, rafting, zip-lining and the camper lifestyle that surrounds them.