LAKE SEVAN

Lake Sevan is the largest mountain freshwater lake and the largest one in Transcaucasia surrounded by Pambak, Sevan, Vardenis and Geghama mountain ranges. Before decreasing the the level of the water ( for the industrial purpose in 1949 ), the surface of the water was 1416 sq.km, the maximum depth was 99 m. Now the surface of the lake is 1244 sq.km, the maximum depth is 81 m, the water volume is 39 billion m3. It is 1898 meters high above sea level, 28 rivers flow into the lake and one river begins - Hrazdan River. Arpa-Sevan  long tunnel (48km) was built to preserve the lake level at the end of  the 20th century. This structure was one of the engineering miracles of those times. Sevan is the largest resort zone in Armenia. Various holiday homes, tour-bases, beaches, etc., extend across the lake (around 300 km). The surrounding area of the lake is also rich with historical monuments, famous monastery complexes, fortresses, and cyclopean fortresses of the kingdom of Van. But above all the mentioned, the Sevan Island monasteries (built in 878) are characterized by a strong architectural style and extremely attractive landscapes. The other one, of course, is Lchashen,  built in 2000 BC. This is a unique city, the discovery of which is enough to write an entire adventure novel. Like anything in Armenia, Sevan is also incomparable with its unique identity and peculiarity. The only type of "trout" fish  is an endemic species of  Lake Sevan and it is extremely delicious and extremely expensive. Many attempts have been made to acclimatize  trouts, but nothing has been achieved (a trout weighs 150 g, 2-3 years old- 20kg). There are many legends associated with Lake Sevan and its famous fish- the trout. One of them is that Khrushchev, the head of the Soviet Empire, liked the trout so much that he ordered to build the Arpa-Sevan tunnel (48 km) to save Lake Sevan and  its trout.

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AZAT GORGE

The River Azat has a 56 km lenght and a drainage basin of 548 square km. It starts from the Geghama Mountains and flows into the Araks/Aras/ River, largely impetuous and fast. It flows through the narrow gorge and goes down to the Ararat valley.

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LAKE AKNA

Lake Akna is a volcanic lake. It is located on the slopes of the Geghama Mountains. It is 3030m high above the sea level, the surface of the lake is 0.5 square km. The lake is fed with snow and springs. It is surrounded by young volcanic cones and alpine meadows.

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LAKE AYGHR

The lake Ayghr is in the Ararat valley, 30 km far from Yerevan. The lake has a surface of 7.2 hectare, the maximum depth is 10m. The Metsamor River starts from it. The peculiarity of the lake is that it is fed from groundwater, that's the reason that the water of the lake is cold, clear and very tasty.

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MOUNT ARAGATS

Тhe highest point of the Republic of Armenia is the Mount Aragats (4095 meters). It is located in the north-west of Armenia and has a central location. In the ancient times it was one of the largest active volcanoes of the Armenian Highlands. It now has 4 peaks, which are the ''walls''/preserved till now/ of the decayed crater as a result of strong volcanic explosion.

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MOUNT ARA

The Mount Ara is located in the Kotayk and Aragatsotn Regions of Armenia, 33 km north to Yerevan. The gardens of apple named "demirchian"/one of the type of apples in Armenia/ are on the way to the mount. The mount Ara is relatively isolated from other mountain ranges and is interesting from geomorphological point of view.

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MOUNT ARMAGHAN

Armaghan mountain is located at an altitude of 2829 m above sea level. The peak of the mountain is crowned with a magnificent lake view. The lake of 100 diameter is fed from rainwater. The beautiful surroundings of the mountain and the lake of volcanic origin make it one of the best sights in Armenia. Locals say that Armaghan is the God's gift: once you visit there, you will definitely return again and again.

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ARJER CAVE

Arjer cave is located in the Province Vayots Dzor, 150 km south-east from Yerevan, near Noravank monastery complex. It is possible to reach there only on foot, with narrow paths, in severe mountainous conditions. It is 30 minutes way from Noravank. But these difficulties are fully compensated by watching the cave- the amazing wonder of nature.

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LAKE ARPI

Lake Arpi is the largest water reservoir in Armenia after Lake Sevan. It is located on the Ashotsk plateau at the altitude of 2020m. The lake surface is more than 20 square meters, the volume is 105 milion cubic kilometers. It is fed by springs and rivers. It frozes in winter.

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NATURAL PYRAMIDS

The full panoramic view of Goris city is marvelous. The city is in a vast valley of River Vararak surrounded by the wooded mountains . The surrounding area of the city is full of unique towers, castles, pyramids and caves. These are the 'works' of Zangezur Nature.

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DENDROPARK

In 1933 on the northern slopes of Bazum mountain range, 150km north-west to Yerevan the first Botanical Garden of Armenia was founded. The Botanical Garden has 35 hectares area, 17.5 hectares of which are natural forest, and 15 hectares are trees assimilated to the climate. More than 2,500 plant species have been tested during the 70 years, trying to find a new species which can grow there.

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LASTIVER

The Ijevan Region is a place of worship of the pagan period and it doesn't have a similar one in Armenia. It is called "Anapat Cave". It is known that thousands of years ago before the Christianity was proclaimed as a state religion in Armenia, there was a place of worship here. It was dedicated to one of the deities, most probably to Nane or Anahit. The evidence of it is a number of bas reliefs of women on the walls of the cave.

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LATSOGH SYUNER

In the western part of the Kobayr monastery there is a steep cliff with about 150m height. The water jets, starting from it, are entwined with an inspirational landscape. The huge stone columns like a gigantic pipe organ, under the influence of an invisible force, hung on the infinite abyss.

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KHOSROV FOREST STATE RESERVE

There are numerous evidences in the history of humanity that the kings or wealthy people of this or that state, have built reservoirs, artificial lakes and forests. But perhaps everyone will agree, that in this aspect, Armenia is an exclusive one. The Armenian mind is original in all respects, up to changing landscape created over thousands of years and preserving the artificially modified appearance for millennia. King Khosrov Kotak (330-338 BC), during his short reign, perpetuated in the memory of the Armenian people for two cases- by founding the city Dvin, in 335, which was the capital city of Armenia for 630 years and the largest city in the East, yielding only to Baghdad , and secondly - planting a large forest next to the capital and filling it with hunting animals. This forest still exists, called "Khosrov Forest" and is the oldest artificial forest in the world of 1,700 years. Currently, the forest area is a state reserve, established in 1958, with a total area of 23,878 hectares. It is located on the slopes of the Geghama Ridge and its mountainous areas, within the limits of 850-2300 m absolute altitudes. In the valleys of Khosrov and Azat Rivers, the majority of trees are juniper and fraxinus ones. Flora of the reserve numbers 1849 species of vascular plants. More than 80 species are listed in the Red Data Book of Armenia and 24 species are endemic. Forest coverage is 16%. Glades, scrubs and shrubs occupy 20% and the remaining 64% is represented by different types of symbiosis of high-mountainous zone. Fauna includes 44 species of mammals, 192 birds, 33 reptiles, 5 amphibians and 9 fish. Stony, rocky, steep slopes of the reserve are habitats for brown bear (Ursus arctos syriacus), bezoar goat (Capra aegagrus) and Caucasian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica) which are registered in the Red Data Book of Armenia. As to compare with the flora of St. Petersburg, it is of about 800 species. Havuts Tar Monastery, Aghjots Monastery and is located on the territory of the reserve, Aghzhts Monastery and the Geghi (Kakavaberd) castle and bridge,built on the Azat River in the 1-13th centuries are located in the territory of the reserve.

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LORI GORGE

Lori is an ecologically cleanest region of Armenia and of the whole region, and always attracts the most enthusiastic person with an amazing force. The concept of the Lori valley is quite wide, it includes several canyons of rivers and canyon of Debed River. The peculiarity of this region is the huge massifs surrounded by thick oak and beech centuries-old forests. The rivers, in here, are mountainous, flooded, powerful, and they spliti mountain ranges creating deep, beautiful canyons typical only of Armenia. A number of canyons are so unique and charm that inspired artists, and there are also those which are terribly horrible. Lori has always been a place of brave men, mystical stories, and even there are places where people have not yet set foot. By the way, there are many such places in Armenia, but Lori is the most conspicuous. These amazing natural wonders are especially enjoyable with the mighty castles and fortresses on the top of mountains, and the wonderful monasteries and temples in the valleys.

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KHUSTUP

There are numerous and difficult trails which lead to the historic and natural places of interest. And the adventureres will find the huge Khustup mountain on the altitude of 3201m height . With its stepp granite cliffs Khustup is a dangerous experiment for even the most experienced climbers. There are at least 5 different comlicated trials leading to the top of the mountain and one must be sophesticated and physically strong. There are about 50,000 hectares of forests in Kapan, mainly forests of oak and beech. In the brushwood of Khustup mountain there are mulberry, rosehip, mushrooms, black currant, walnuts and wild cherry. Mountain forests are a shelter for bears, boars, chamois, rams, hedgehogs, lions and lynxes.

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SHAKI WATERFALL

Before reaching town Sisian , near the village of Shake, in a deep gorge at a height of 1700 meters above sea level is the natural wonder of Zangezur - the Waterfall Shaki, with the height of 18 m. They say that during the protection of her native village, a girl named Shake, was fighting against the enemy along with the men.

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SHIKAHOGH STATE RESERVE

Shikahogh Reserve, having more than 10000 ha of protected forests, was founded in 1958. Bears and other animals can be seen in oak and hornbeam forests of Shikahogh. Here is the only park of the beeches in the southern part of Armenia, as well as the unique park of plane tree/platanus/ that stretches from the banks of the Bassuta River up to Arax River and occupy a 60 hectare area.

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LAKE PARZ

The lake Parz is 0,027 square km, located 9 km north-east from Dilijan city, on the picturesque forested slopes of the Areguni mountain range. According to the legend, a couple of newlywed has drowned in this lake. It has become a tradition - all newlyweds come to Parz lake on their wedding day to honor the memory of dead spouses.

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WATERFALL- UMBRELLA

One of the unique miracles of nature in Armenia are the waterfalls in the gorge of Karkar River. Near the Shushi town, the river creates the deepest canyon in Armenia, about 300-350 m. At the bottom of the gorge, at a height of about 30m above the river, a spring flows through the cliff, which slips into the river over the stone caves, creating the cascade of miraculous waterfalls.

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JERMUK WATERFALL

Falling from 70 m height to the canyon Arpa, this natural wonder, which reminds scattered hair, people call it "mermaid's hair". The legend says that a long time ago, on the present-day place of the waterfall, on the top of a rocky cliffs, there was the Prince's fortress. The beauty of the fortress was accomlished by the beauty of prince's daughter.

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SATANI KAMURJ

There is one of nature wonders of Armenia on Vorotan River – Satani kamurj (Devil's Bridge). It is an amazing natural bridge hung on the river, with 150m width and 170 m length. The bridge is made from travertine, limestone and has a flat surface, on which Goris-Tatev road is passing. The bridge is 50m high above the river level.

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SEV LICH/LAKE/

Sev Lake is located in the Syunik Region, on the sounth-eastern part of the hillside Mets Ishkhanasar, at an altitude of 2666 m. The lake has no tributaries and has fresh water. The area is 2 sq. km, the length is 1,6 km, width- 1.2 km, depth- 7,5 m, the volume of water is 9 million cubic meters. The water of the lake is used for irrigation.

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PLANE TREE/PLATANUS/

In the village of Skhtorashen, a huge platanus tree/chinar/ has recently been granted with a 'passport' as the tallest and the eldest/a 2033-year-old/ tree in the world. The chinar has a 44-square-meter hollow, where more than a hundred people can accommodate.

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VARVOGH JUR

"Varvogh jur"/the burning water/ is one of the unique miracles of the nature on the whole planet. It is common springs water without any harmful properties and both the inhabitants of the village and their pets drink that water. But it is enough to light a match and draw it near to the source of the water, when all of a sudden, it flares and the water starts to blaze with a bright blue flame. Many scientists have tried to explain this phenomenon of nature, but in vain.

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KASAGH CANYON

The Kasakh River starts from Mount Aragats, flows southward to the River Metsamor and is mixed with it. Kasakh, first of all, is famous for its canyon- with its vast flow of about 60 km and with a depth of 150-200 m it makes a huge gorge. The charm of the gorge is in its steep basalt and limestone cliffs. In these rocks Armenians have dug caves that have served as shelters, castles and monasteries since the ancient times.

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QARI LICH/LAKE/

The Qari lake is located on the mount Aragats with the height of 3207 m above the sea level and the mirror surface is 0.12 square km. The lake has a beautiful natural setting: on three sides it is surrounded by the slopes of the southern part of the mount and only on one side it has an open visible area. From here one can see the splendid view of Mount Ararat and Ararat Valley.

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WARM WATER OF ZUAR

Warm springs in Karvachar are unique miracles of nature. These springs, also known as "Warm Water", were the summer residence and resort area of Tsar/Zar Principality, and then of Dopian Principality . For centuries, these rich sources have amazed with their unique healing properties. The quantity of the water outflow is about 50 liters per second, the temperature is 45 degrees.

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