Armenia, a small mountainous country with total area of about 30.000 square kilometers lyes south of the great mountain range of the Caucasus and is bounded by Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, Iran and Turkey to the southeast and west respectively.
Despite its relatively small geographic size, Armenia offers stunning natural diversity with seven main landscape types across the country. Throughout this diversity of boundless beauty one can come across with massive mountains, basalt columns, deserts, lush forests, fertile valleys, rivers, lakes andwaterfalls. Due to the great abundance of mountains and stones, Armenia is often called “the country of stones”.
About 90% of the territory of Armenia lies on mountains which form part of the Armenian Plateau.The highest elevation point rises to 4090m above sea level at Mount Aragats and the lowest point to 380m. It’s is a country of mountain peaks, many of which have a height of more than 3500m above sea level: Mountains of Aragats, Azhdahak, Kaputjugh, Vardenis and Mets Ishkhanasar among them.
There are more than 200 rivers, streams and 100 mountain lakes in this unique country of highlands. The biggest and most famous lake is Sevan, which is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world, situated at an altitude of 1,900 meters above sea level.
Armenia features wildly diverse flora and fauna. The country is full of forests and wooded areas. Overall 13% of the territory is covered with forests, mostly concentrated in the northeast and southeastregions, particularly in Lori, Tavush, Syunik and Vayots Dzor. Armenia has a stunning floristic diversity covering over 3,200 species, out of which 106 are endemic to the area. In the he mountainous regions of the country one can come across with oak, beech, pine, hornbeam, maple, ash-tree, linden and birch. Ararat valley is home to vines, poplar, sagebrush steppes, peach and apricot trees. It is also considered to be the motherland of the latter, together with many other varieties of plants.
Fauna of Armenia includes many rare and endangered types of animals with 450 species of vertebrates, more than 10 thousand species of invertebrates, 304 species of birds and many others. In the forests of Armenia one can come across roar, Syrian bear, bezoar goat, wildcat, fox, mouflon, lynx, leopard, roe deer and many unique types of birds including Robin, mountain turkey, Caucasian grouse, sparrow, horned lark, woodcock, etc. Almost two thirds of birds found in Europe can be observed in Armenia.
Armenia has a tremendous climatic variety. Ararat valley has a dry continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. In the mountainous regions of the country the climate is moderately cold with cool summers and harsh winters. Woody areas of the country are characterized by moderately warm and humid climate with mild summers and winters. Overall, it is considered a sunny country where one can enjoy sunshine even in winter.
Armenia as a country full of natural monuments has become a popular destination for nature-based tourism. It is a perfect place for nature lovers who can enjoy breathtaking sceneries of different colors and shades at any time of the year.