Dilijan

Known for its spas and its mountains, Dilijan in Tavush Province is found in the verdant Dilijan National Park, famed throughout the region for its wealth of mineral-rich waters and biodiversity. Referred to as “Little Switzerland” by the locals, Dilijan serves as an ideal base for travelers hoping to explore the varied hiking trails of the national park and indulge in the 34,000 hectares of forest inhabited by centuries-old trees and unique flora and fauna, such as the lynx and chamois. Formerly known as Hovk, the natural beauty made Dilijan a haven in the summer for the  Arsacid kings and their hunting parties in the 13th century. Of the must-see cultural monuments Dilijan National Park, the Haghartsin Monastery believed to have been built as far back as the 10th century, is one of the most famous, along with the 12th century Goshavank, adorned with ornate khachkar, also known as an Armenian cross-stone.

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Haghartsin Monastery

This 13th century monastery stands above a river and nestled high in the woody mountains nearby Dilijan, making for a breathtaking sight. The complex comprises of three churches, stunning khachkars (carved stone crosses), a sundial, and a refectory with a stunning arched ceiling. Just over a mile away are the ruins of the medieval village of Haghartsin.

Goshavank Monastery

This monastery was once the most important spiritual and cultural center of Armenia. Despite countless earthquakes and enemy attacks throughout the ages, most of the main buildings of the complex have survived and remained in relatively good condition, making it one of the best examples of traditional Armenian architecture.

Dilijan National Park

Not far from town, locals come here for recreation and to take gentle hikes and mountain biking through nature. It is also home to a variety of animals including bear, deer, foxes, wolves, and boards.

Amphitheatre

In the very center of town is an amphitheatre built in the ancient Greek style, though it is one of the newest structures in town. Locals come here at sunset to admire the views and lighting cast on the marble.

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