Armenia’s spectacular wildlife
Armenia could be the best-kept secret for travellers looking to discover untouched landscapes, wildlife and indigenous flora and fauna
Despite its size – the country has only 3 million inhabitants on a 29,743 km2 – Armenia boasts indigenous species of flora and fauna, natural reserves and monuments, and national parks to explore and enjoy. Visitors to the country can discover the endless wild poppy fields on the way to Gyumri or see irises around the settlements of Garni and Voghjaberd.
As the country possesses a variety of climate zones and topography around its territory, it offers a great variety of landscapes with different species of vegetation and wildlife. Nature is never far away. Travellers can go hiking in Dilijan National Park or Khosrov Forest State Reserve, visit Armash Fishponds for birdlife observation, or watch bezoar goats and bearded vultures in the Gnishik canyon.
Animals and Birds
Wildlife sees no boundaries. Armenia is home to brown bears, mouflons (wild sheep), bezoar goats, Caucasian leopards, deers, trout fish, Armenian gulls, black storks, Caucasian grouse, and other globally threatened or uncommon species.
Visitors can meet Caucasian red deer in the breeding centre in Dilijan National Park, bezoar goats in Vayots Dzor, wild goats near Noravank Monastery and the surrounding rocky canyon, and Armenian gulls in Lake Sevan and the Sevan Peninsula.
Another favourite activity linked to nature is birdwatching. The best time to meet migratory birds, such as flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, shrikes, and finches are from April to June and again from September to October. The country has also an impressive number of vultures, eagles, and other species of birds of prey soaring and swooping overhead. Local guides are available to help travellers discovering all of these spectacular areas.
While each region has its fair share of fauna to observe, tourism authorities suggest to visitors to go on a photographic safari being ready to encounter wildlife in Arpi, Arevik, Sevan and Dilijan National Parks, slopes of the Aragats Mountain, Armash fish ponds, Urts Ridge, and the area surrounding Meghri town. Armenia is a dream location for ornithologists and wildlife enthusiasts.
Plants and forests
With around 3,800 plants concentrated in forest and green areas which represent only 11% of the country’s total surface, Armenia is a paradise for nature lovers. Beech, oak, hornbeam, and pine trees, as well as yew, ivy, and Armenian whitebeam are some of the trees to be observed. According to the season, gardens across the country fill up with wild jasmine and clematis, snowdrops, crocuses and many more.
Beside mountains, meadows and ravines ensure breathtaking views. Visitors can explore the country’s natural monuments – lakes, waterfalls, canyons, and caves (special permission may be required). Among the must-see attractions are Angel’s Canyon near Vedi, Bird’s Cave in Areni, Lastiver in Yenokavan, Trchkan Waterfall in Lori, Lake Tsover in Dsegh, Lake Parz in Dilijan or Dzoraget’s Canyon in Stepanavan.
Nature provides numerous opportunities to practice outdoor activities. They include among others horseback riding, birdwatching, fishing, ziplining, hiking, trekking or rafting.
For hiking activities, HIKEArmenia has it all figured out for you. This non-profit NGO is developing the hiking infrastructure across the country and connecting hikers to the natural and cultural experiences that make Armenia a unique hiking destination.
With its free hiking app and website, visitors are able to discover trails, recommended accommodation, and guides that help make hiking accessible and fun for all. HIKEArmenia set its own information centre in the city centre of Yerevan, where hiking amateurs can get tailored advice from professional staff on how best to plan their own adventure. Hurry, Armenia’s nature is calling!