Dilijan, also known as “Little Armenian Switzerland”, provides ideal climatic conditions for the famous Caucasian woodlands of oak, ash, and elm. The forests are an ideal place for hiking and photography and are home to bears, wolves and many other rare species.
Mineral springs with healing power and clear lakes such as Lake Parz attract spa tourists from all over Armenia. Moreover, experiencing natural beauty is accompanied by discoveries of historical monuments such as the many monasteries the region has to offer.
Dilijan National Park was created in 2002 when the Armenian Government decided to stop the exploitation of Dilijan’s natural resources by unsustainable tourism and agriculture. Here are some facts and figures of interest.
Location: Dilijan National Park is in the North-east of Armenia, in Tavush Province.
Year of establishment: 2002
Fauna: Caucasian black grouse, bearded eagle, Caspian snowcock, red deer, brown bear, lynx, wildcat.
Famous natural heritage sites include the yew-tree grove of Aghavnavank, the beech woodlands of Haghartsin, the oak woodlands of Khachardzan, Lake Parz and Lake Tslka. Twelve way-marked ecotourism trails reveal an attractive landscape of great diversity with evergreen forests, lush grazing fields, and deciduous woodlands. The area is a haven for flower lovers, who can discover stunning wildflowers with colorful highlights in different seasons. Hikers will be fascinated by the rapid change in flora depending on the altitude which can sometimes be experienced within a few minutes’ walk. The visitor center provides licensed guides, nature observation kits, bicycles, and skis. Get a real feel of pure nature by renting a tent, sleeping bag, and cooking stove and spending the night in the heart of the park.
Dilijan National Park is blessed with a wide range of wild fruits and berries such as pears, walnuts, medlars, dog-roses, and raspberries. During your visit, you can also enjoy local honey, mineral water, and clear spring waters. Take part in the baking ritual of the traditional Armenian “lavash” bread. Lavash is very thin and has a dry texture. It is baked in small pit ovens, framed with stones and heated by a small fire. The traditional baking of lavash originates from sacrifice rituals of pagan times.
Did you know
… that a picturesque monastery lies hidden in the misty forests of a gorge only half an hour’s drive from Dilijan? Here in Haghartsin you can discover two churches with magnificent carvings, explore the large entrance hall and dining hall and find several medieval cross-stones. If you are lucky, the resident priest living in a small house down a path will guide you around.