As the Armenians use to say “it’s better to see once than to hear thousands of times.” Maybe Armenians accept this proverb because there is much to see in Armenia: cultural and historical places, monuments and statues, the magic of nature, wildlife, and so on.
Besides crowded and busy cities, Armenia is famous for its rural places. The country has a rich nature which provides fresh air. That is why people prefer to travel Armenia and escape from the jammed environment. They leave their constant disturbance and relax at the heart of untouched nature.
Maybe this is the reason why the potential of Armenia is very high in ecotourism. This is especially highlighted during recent years when Armenia has become one of the favorite places for tourists. Since 2016, every year a special event - Ecotourism festival is held in Armenia.
The Ecotourism Festival gathers eco-travelers from around the world to raise public awareness about ecotourism in a fun and adventurous way. Avid travelers and locals can expect an exciting combination of adventure and education.
The festival is held in Vayots Dzor Region. Here the participants enjoy the morning yoga, try local foods, take in photo and art exhibitions about the RA Red Book plants and animals, take part in a cycling competition, mountain climbing, and even camping under the stars.
What is ecotourism?
Ecotourism is a trip to natural areas, rural places, and green world. It is also known as sustainable tourism, green tourism, nature tourism, responsible tourism, ethical tourism, mindful travel, conscious travel, pro-poor tourism, etc.
Eco-travel is the respect of nature. It combines the adorable and the beneficial. As an eco-tourist, you may enjoy your stay in Armenia. The joy that comes from any trip depends on beautiful places, perfect photographs, delicious food, and so on. Then, where can you find a better choice if not at the heart of Armenian nature?
Ecotourism trends in Armenia
Armenia is not famous for large urban areas. The largest city is Yerevan - the capital of the country. Even the large cities aren’t so urban. A bright example is Dilijan - known as A Little Switzerland.
Small towns and villages occupy the main part of the country. As a result, Armenia is rich in natural resources - something that many European countries lack. Let’s discover the trends of ecotourism in such a “natural country”.
Ecotourism in Armenia #1 Mountaineering
Mountaineering is also known as climbing or hiking. This is very common in Armenia, and it is not a surprising fact. Armenia is well known as a mountainous country. The highest mountain is Aragats (4090 meters).
Usually, Armenian traveling agencies include mountain climbing tours on their list. It is mainly done on foot, which promotes nature protection.
Ecotourism in Armenia #2 Caving
Armenia is covered with mountains, and there are many caves in these mountains. These are hollows in the land formation. In the caves, tourists explore new adventures and enjoy the beauty of wildlife.
There are caves in almost every region of Armenia. Some of the most famous caves are Khndzoresk cave, Areni, Mozrov, Tegh, and so on.
Ecotourism in Armenia #3 Horse riding
If you plan to visit Armenia, then one thing you should try is horse riding. Armenians know how to deal with these loyal animals. There are still some villages where people prefer horses than cars as a means of transportation.
Horseback riding tours are organized in fields, mountains, and canyons. The duration may last from some minutes up to several days.
Ecotourism in Armenia #4 Cycling
Cycling in Armenia is not on many people’s to-do list. However, it is a real joy. This is a new and developing type of tourism in Armenia. Cycle-touring events are organized in the mountains. Some inspiring cycle routes are from Yerevan to Garni, Geghard, Lake Sevan, Dilijan, Goshavank, etc.
These destinations speak much about the Armenian identity. Every road takes to somewhere cultural, historical and attractive.
Besides cycling, some off-road tours are held in the mountains. Off-roading is the activity of riding a vehicle in an unsurfaced area.
Ecotourism in Armenia #5 Wildlife watching
Armenian nature is a real paradise to live in. You may escape from your busy life and get lost into the Armenian nature. There are some rural places where you can fully forget about your urban life and stay in cottages or small hotels. There you may discover the breathtaking views of Armenian landscapes, enjoy the fresh and natural food, have a walk in the green forests, and so on.
Wildlife watching is a newly developing direction of ecotourism in Armenia. The Armenian villagers try to use the advantageous location and provide comfortable and peaceful conditions for a real relax.
There is a home in one of the villages in Tavush Province. The home serves as a guest house for tourists and t is called B&B The Edge of The World. In this guest house, you may enjoy your peaceful stay, taste the most delicious natural food, and take pleasure in the stunning landscapes.
Ecotourism destinations in Armenia
Every region of Armenia is somehow included in green tourism. The most familiar ecotourism destinations are Khosrov Forest State Reserve (a nature reserve in Ararat Region), Yenokavan (a village and summer resort in Tavush Region), Gomk (a small village in Vayots Dzor Region), etc.
If you want to enjoy your stay in Armenia, then eco-environment will be a great choice. You take a little break and enjoy astonishing Armenian landscapes. At the same time, you help the planet.
Published September 12, 2019
Article by Vera Mirzoyan