Winter in Armenia starts at the end of November/beginning of December. It does not last long, and the weather is mostly mild, not severe, and sometimes snowy. The average daily temperature in Yerevan in December ranges from +5 to -5 C. I suggest you start your journey from the capital city – Yerevan; the offers here are diverse, and I assure you, you will find an activity suited to you or your family.
Various Christmas fairs have gained momentum in recent years. One of the biggest fairs takes place in the sports and concert complex named after Karen Demirchyan until New Year. Representatives from almost all fields are gathered; it is the best option is to meet dozens of Armenian initiatives under one roof. The choice is large, for the beginning, take a good walk around, then go shopping. The other fair is in the very heart of the capital, in Republic Square; I recommend visiting here in the evening. I suggest you dress warmly, take a hot drink and start your walk from Abovyan Street. As soon as the lights turn on, you will find yourself in a fairytale world; yes, this year is a very different New Year’s Eve in Yerevan. Enjoy the rich decorations, the magnificent Christmas tree, and approach the wooden huts. Here, you can also buy products of Armenian production, taste mulled wine made from Armenian wine while immensely enjoying the rhythms of music. Continue the walk to the square’s skating rink and attraction, which operate every day from 13:00 to 22:00. Now walk along Amiryan Street to Mashtots Avenue, and you will be greeted by a wonderful sight.
And if you decide to make New Year’s Eve magical, then for the first time in Armenia, an Opera-Ball will be held. An exclusive festive event in a unique and unrepeatable format. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Armenia. Festive concert program with the participation of the theater and guest artists, waltzes with the audience, and entertainment .
On another day
On another day, visit Yerevan Park, the largest theme park in the region, and go skating; if you are with children, then this is the best choice. An unforgettable experience for a lifetime. Great joy for both children and adults.You can skate in Swan Lake in the Opera; by the way, years ago when Kim Kardashian was in Armenia for the first time, her husband, the famous rapper Kanye West, had an unplanned concert here, and at the end, he jumped into the water, and hundreds of fans followed him.
On New Year’s Day, a number of Yerevan museums will work just for you; you just have to choose and visit. Visit clubs, and listen to talented musicians. And of course, remember to try our delicious food: Ghapama, Khash, various national soups, and from sweets, be sure to try gata, baklava, and halva.
Tsaghkadzor is located 50 km from Yerevan; it is one of the most famous winter resorts and occupies a special place for lovers of mountain skiing. Ropeway, snow-covered nature, what else do those who prefer extreme relaxation need? An integral part of the city is the cable car, which has 5 stations. About 30 km long ski slopes have also been built. Both locals and thousands of winter sports enthusiasts from abroad spend their vacations here in the winter months. The city has modern hotels and holiday homes providing high-quality service, delicious food, hot tea, and everything for an ideal vacation. You can rent sports equipment right in the city.
Jermuk resort area attracts tourists with its mild climate. It is breezy here in summer, and during winter, there is a lot of snow, and there are almost no cloudy days. The city of Jermuk, with all its beauty, opens before the tourist from a height of 2480m. This is the highest point of the Jermuk cable car. At this time of the year, Jermuk is indescribably beautiful; it must be seen. And the hospitality and warmth of the local residents will not allow you to feel cold. If you have visited Jermuk in winter and have not taken a bath in the famous local hot springs and natural water massages, consider that you have suffered a great loss. And if you are with children, here you are presented with the opportunity to make the biggest snowman. You are in one of the best places to play snowballs.
Ashotsk, Shirak region
Ashotsk was considered a place of winter tourism a long time ago, but over the years, it was forgotten, and only recently the old tradition has been restored. During this season, the temperature can drop up to -30 degrees Celsius. Shirak marz has favorable weather conditions for winter tourism. Such facilities have been created here so that even the most inexperienced person can ski; that’s what their service is called, a ski trip. There are several ski slopes, both in Ashotsk and near Gyumri. Beyond the mountains, Gyumri has a lot of historical and cultural monuments that you can visit there to get acquainted with the works of local artists and craftsmen.
At a distance of 11 kilometers from Gyumri is the village of Krashen, where there is a ski base with about 70 pairs of professional European skis. From December to April, depending on the weather conditions, ski trips are organized here. In addition to ski trips, snowball biathlons and other winter entertainment are organized. In Krashen is the Tui-Tui Lodge, which, in addition to being a guest house, is a convenient country place to enjoy country potatoes and panrkhash around the stove or just a cup of tea with local herbs.
There are many things to do in Ashotsk; I recommend spending a few days here and taking advantage of the benefits of the place. Hovhannes Frangulyan and Arman Ghukasyan are the organizers of the Snowy Picnic. They have a cabin in the mountains of Ashotsk, where they organize picnics and winter activities. A wonderful, almost secret place in the snow-capped mountains and valleys where you can relax away from the hustle and bustle. If you wish, they will prepare aromatic mulled wine for you. And gathering around a big fire, you will talk about life and play board games. Hiking, skiing, and freeride to visit ice reservoirs and waterfalls.
Again in Ashotsk
Again in Ashotsk. If you can only imagine your life with extremes and you want an active holiday, contact North Adventures at http://northadventures.am, and they will organize a Snowkite for you. What else do you need? Everything is here! Abundant snow kite, skis, and snowboard. They can also organize a familiarization tour with Ashotsk’s wildlife and main winter recreation areas. You will walk at an altitude of 2000m+ in the unique environment of the crossing of Akhuryan River and Ashotsk’s tributary, you will enjoy a mountain tea ceremony in the open air, you will get to know the Ashotsk Ski School and the international achievements of its students. On the way back, stop in Gyumri; I advise you to try Kyala, it looks a bit intimidating, but it is a delicacy of its kind.
Ski slope, snowmobile, guests from abroad, traditional Armenian cuisine, host family, historical and cultural monuments, and ethnographic museum. If you are a beginner or you are with children, then you can choose this place. Lernanist community aspires to become a center of winter tourism. A few years ago, a ski slope and a cable car (boogel) were built here. You can also rent appropriate sports equipment in the adjacent area.
You will go up the mountain slope by snowmobile, and a fantastic view will open in front of you: the whole Lernanist is at your fingertips. Beauty will win over the cold, and you will stay standing for a long time to enjoy the beautiful moment.
Snowshoeing in Dilijan and not only
Another type of winter creation that Armenia offers is snowshoeing. You attach these facilities to your own winter boots and start walking through fairy-tale places. Snowshoes are suitable for people of any age, and any physical fitness, this type of winter sport does not require prior training. You can do it in almost all forested areas, “Dilijan” National Park, Tsaghkunyats mountains, and a number of other places; if you contact the info center in Dilijan, they will help you with sports equipment.
Hiking on snow-covered mountain trails
Of course, Armenia is a rich mountainous country, with Gutanasar, Hatis, Ilkasar, Kajarants, Khustup, and any number of 2000+ mountains. It seems like you are in a winter fairy tale. You will enjoy magical snow-covered mountain trails and visit mysterious ancient monasteries and castles and views of high snowy mountains and deep canyons. Winter hiking is a unique luxury of its kind, with frozen waterfalls and hard-to-reach areas; I assure you, even if you have been to these places in summer, in winter, you will experience fireworks of new feelings. In these same mountains, and not only just here, you can also have ski trips. Backcountry skiing. There is no clear route here; you open it yourself. You ski to the highest point and slide down, enjoying beautiful views.
We remember about the food
We remember about the food. If on the way to Vayots Dzor or Syunik, you definitely stop by Areni or Aghavnadzor market and taste Ghaurma. Upon reaching Syunik, order kyalagyosh in Sisian city. If you are familiar with khash, wait for yogurt soup then this will become your favorite Armenian dish.
We are going to Lori. Winter rafting is expected in Lori, both on water and on snow, for details, you can contact the organization rafting in Armenia at https://www.instagram.com/raftinginarmenia/; they will organize it very quickly. You can continue your winter travel in Metsavan village and Vanadzor in Tashir commune of the same region because winter adventure tourism centers were opened there this year with appropriate equipment: cross-country skis, snowshoes, mountain bikes, and adventure routes.
Winter adventures by the pools
Water adventures continue in the form of paddleboarding, this sport can only be used by experienced people. You can have adventures in the Azat reservoir, Lake Sevan, and Aparan reservoir; please be careful because if you fall, you will get completely wet, and if it’s snowing, don’t get wet, except for the property they will provide you with a raincoat.
Free flight over the mountain and valley
In order to see the beauty of Armenia more prominently and fully, paragliding flights are also carried out this season. It is also possible to feel the breath of Armenia by flying from Tsaghkadzor, Azat reservoir, and Yeghvard. Zipline flights are also possible in Yenokavan, Tsaghkadzor, Kapan, and Yerevan.
Snowball festival in Aparan
Have you heard about the snowball festival? It is held every year in Aparan, which is located 59 km from Yerevan. Participants from different countries come here, and the real fun begins. Why not? You can also participate this year. Before reaching Aparan, you can stop in the village of Aragats, from the hotel of the same name, and go by bus to the skirt of the Aragats mountain; if you know us Armenians, then you also know that the Aragats mountain is our triumphant pride.
I don’t know which region you will choose to visit, but you can taste a number of local dishes; harissa, khash, which can be found all over Armenia, krchik, lentil or bean soup, gata, baklava… Yes, we like to receive guests.