If you believe in most of the reviews on travel to this country, you can imagine such an eternal summer: the southern generous sun, scorched mountain slopes, sweet fruits all year round, heels and T-shirts. And there is no need for new boots, cozy feather beds and fragrant glintwine.
Well, that’s true. And at the same time – only part of the truth. Fortunately, the reality is much more beautiful. The weather in Armenia is very diverse. The subtropics here are intertwined in the continental climate belt, which gathered countless folds: Armenia is a bizarre crossroad of verticals, surrounded by stone scourges of mountain ranges from all the sides. Here, the characteristics of “north”, “south” tell nothing about the weather in that very north and south. One should separate them to altitudes above sea level. Or multiply by the number of steep slopes that lock within the gorges and plains, caught in the net – whether it’s sunny or foggy.
It was the relief that caused the two peculiarities of the Armenian climate: its diversity and sharp change in weather. Even in different parts of the same city the weather can be quite different. This gives an incredible sense of climate control.
In the northern and southern regions of the Republic of Armenia, as well as in the significant part of Artsakh, which are in the subtropical belt, summers are long and golden, autumns are long and bright, winters are short and mild, and spring are swift.
You will ask, what kind of weather will be in Yerevan? Yerevan is located in the basin of Ararat valley. Here summer is drier, winter is harder. In July and August, the sun yet appeared on the horizon, lightens the city and drives its inhabitants into shady sides of the streets, to fountains in squares and pulpulaks (drinking fountains), or elsewhere, out from the city, to gorges with echoing icy rivers or up to the slopes of the mountains.
It is just enough to rise to the nearest lowlands, to the northern or eastern parts of the capital, the temperature drops 2-3 degrees and the wind comes, almost always cool, chatting about the inaccessible peaks, which he saw on the way, about the frozen rocks. He also talks about them in the winter. That’s sad, but brings snow to the hotel.
Higher at altitudes of 1500 meters above sea level, summer heat seems to be an invention. In the mountains it is moist, green and lush; August rain creates puddles, January snow falls and stays for a long time. There are transparent forests and mirror lakes, cold winters and crystal air. Such places are numerous in the central regions of the Republic of Armenia and in Artsakh.
But it is worth to climb another three hundred meters up, where you will find yourself in another country. Like someone turned a kaleidoscope. The omnipresent sun is getting closer, but it yields the cold mountain air. It unexpectedly burns the tanning of the body and the faces of bathers and skiers. In the highlands there are well-known Armenian ski resorts and the famous Sevan. It is surprising, that such heights are infertile and severe. The inhabitants of Armenian Highlands built their fortresses and temples millennia ago, cultivated fields, created luxuries and arts, hunted and fished, and fought for this seemingly inhospitable land.
There is no time of the year when it would be impossible to find a cozy (seasonally) place in Armenia. However, it is necessary to remember one already mentioned and insidious property of the Armenian weather: its changeability. Sometimes temperature fluctuations or wind changes are so sharp and sudden, as if this country is located not on the Armenian Highlands, but on the open sea. Here the storks drew smooth spirals to the old nests, crocuses blossomed in sun spots on the still chilly slopes, the windows flung open, snow-white duvet covers pulled the sails – and in the next moment everything is covered before our eyes by the blackened sky. Here it is drizzling dull rain, as if it began ten million years ago, as if he lives here – and suddenly a dense blanket of gray clouds cuts a bright blue beam, such people like to look into old churches. Now the asphalt is melting, of all the sounds in the world, only the children’s squeal and the noise of air conditioners remain – but everything is mixed up with one movement of the wind that has crashed to the ground.
So, in any season, when planning your vacation in Armenia, take an umbrella with you, as well as a sun cream.