Most people don’t think of Armenia when wondering about a nature loving destination, but they would be mistaken. Take a moment to review the natural wonders of Armenia, and you will see that the country does have some great outdoor places particularly for those who enjoy the mountains. Of course, religious Christians looking to get a glimpse of the historical resting place of Noah’s Ark, will discover the opportunity to see the famous mountain.
Mount Aragats is a large stratovolcano located in Armenia‘s northwest region that is about 40 km from Yerevan, its capital city. It is Armenia’s highest point that is located in Aragatsotn, a province northwest of Yerevan. Mount Aragats is Armenia’s highest point with a range height of 13,418 feet or 4,090 m and a prominence of 2,143 m or 7,031 feet.
Mount Aragats is circular and shield-like in shape that is composed of lavas and tufas. It features a volcanic cone from recent geologic age, which lies atop older rocks. Its crater has formed into a glacier cirque or a steep-walled basin, added with several minor glaciers. Close to its jagged summit, high rock falls and mountain meadows can be seen. On its slopes, xerophytes and steppe vegetation can be found. Ruins of an Armenian (Anberd) medieval fortress are also located on its southern slope.
Mount Ararat is a dormant and snow-capped compound volcano located in Turkey. It has two major volcanic cones, Turkey’s highest peak, Greater Ararat, with 5,137 m or 16,854 feet in elevation, and Lesser Ararat, with 3,896 m or 12,782 feet in elevation. The massif in diameter is about 40 km or 25 mi.
Mount Ararat is famous in Judeo-Christian tradition because it is associated with Noah’s ark, where it is believed to come to rest. It plays a significant role in the country’s nationalism and culture as the mountain is seen on Armenia’s coat of arms. It overlooks the point where the Turkey’s, Iran’s, and Armenia’s frontiers converge. A low pass on its west separates the mountain from other volcanic ridges that extends westward towards the Taurus ranges.
Lake Sevan is Caucasus region’s and Armenia’s largest lake and is one of the world’s biggest high-altitude freshwater lakes. It is located in Armenia’s central part in the province of Gegharkunik, with the altitude of 6,200 feet or 1,900 m above sea level. Its total basin surface area is almost 5,000 km2 or 1,900 square miles, the Lake Sevan is 940 km2 itself, and its total volume is 34.0B m3.
This large mountain lake takes up 5% of the country’s surface area. The water is deep turquoise in color during sunny and clear days. Its shores are often uncrowded and covered with white sand. Lake Sevan’s most popular spot is the monastery peninsula, and is also the closest to visit. The lake’s water temperature is about 18 to 22 Celsius during summer, providing visitors a refreshing swim.
Geghama Mountain Range
The Geghama Mountain Range in Armenia, is a watershed tableland-type basin of Lake Sevan from the east, with inflows of rivers Hrazdan and Araks from the north and west, Vedi and Azat Rivers from the south-west, and from the south, the Arpachai River.
The mountain range’s average elevation is almost 2500m that includes many extinct volcanoes. Its length is measured at 70 km and its width at 48 km, and stretches between the Ararat plain and Lake Sevan. At 3597m, Azhdahak Geghama’s highest peak. It is formed by volcanic fields that contains Pleistocene-to-Holocene cinder cones and lava domes.
There is also a lake in its crater that was formed because of melting snow. Geghama Mountain Range’s bird fauna boast of almost 250 different species that is already 70% of Armenia’s total avifauna. From its summit, a pictorial landscape view of Lake Sevan, Kotayk valley, and the whole mountain range can be seen.
Vorotan River Gorges
The Vorotan River boasts with stunning scenery that many tourists come to love. Its river canyon is located in the province of Syunik. The canyon is more than 100 meters deep and its widest point measures up to 3 kilometers. The canyon’s appearance becomes especially splendid because of the Vorotan River, which originates from Nagorno Karabakh plateau. Its length is 178 kilometers and its basin is measured at 5650 square kilometers.
The Vorotan River is most appealing view is on Sisian’s east, providing a colorful and splendid view of sharp top mountains, amazingly deep canyons, and island-fortresses that will astonish any visitor. During spring, the Vorotan River‘s canyon is a popular place where lovers go on inflatable boat rides.