High mountains, some of them bigger than the Alps – this is what the Caucasus is all about. Of course, it goes without saying that you can also ski here. However, a winter trip to Armenia is not only worthwhile because of the super dry snow, but also because of the special flair, the hospitality and the many hours of sunshine. If that’s not convincing enough, here are 5 good reasons why a ski holiday in Armenia is absolutely worthwhile.
1. Best powder conditions
The largest ski area in Armenia is called Tsakhkadzor and is located in Kotajk. The small, but fast-growing resort in Tsaghkadzor is the most famous ski area in Armenia. Located north of the capital, Yerevan, the ski area can be reached by car in about 40 minutes. Winter sports fans are offered excellent conditions for powder, deep snow skiing and boarding. If you don’t have your own board or skis, you can even rent equipment in resort – now nothing stands in the way of your skiing fun! Over 30 km of pistes are available for winter sports fans, and the ski area is quite a challenge. 60% of the pistes are marked in black, 34% in red and only 6% in blue. 6 lifts transport guests up to an altitude of up to 2,819 m. Here’s a quick impression:
2. Guaranteed snow security
Located in the mountains between Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey, the climate is largely continental, with hot, dry summers and cold winters. However, the great differences in altitude of over 4,000 metres and a lot of precipitation in the mountains and on the plateaus provide the “Land of Stones” with ideal conditions for a perfect winter holiday. Skiers and boarders should best visit Armenia in the months of December to March, as it gets really cold there at that time. This is when the peaks from Ararat to the Caucasus are under a thick blanket of snow. Perfect skiing, snowboarding and even freeriding conditions:
3. Cosy huts at unbeatable prices
In addition to professionally groomed slopes with three levels of difficulty, the local ski school also offers lessons for beginners and advanced skiers. Furthermore, the pistes are wonderfully empty – no crowds or annoying queuing at the lifts. This is also despite the fact that Armenia’s largest ski area has altitude differences of up to 900 m and pistes up to 8 km long. Although it can’t compete with the countless après ski huts and refreshment facilities in Austria, for example, there are still a few rustic huts here and there, with open fires and incredibly delicious, inexpensive food.
4. Culture and fun after skiing
If you want to get to know a little Eastern European culture apart from skiing, Tsaghkadzor is the place for you: the historic Kecharis Monastery is a delight with its St. Grigor Church built in 1013 and two beautiful bell towers. Round off a successful day of skiing with typical Armenian specialities in the café and tea house next to the lift station. Alternatively, you can also go into the village and eat at one of the cosy restaurants, stroll in the shops or go ice skating on the ice rink on the village square, which is still illuminated even in the evening. Even bars, some discos and casinos can be found here.
5. The white expanses of Armenia
Aside from Tsakhkadzor, there are two other, albeit very small, ski areas in Armenia. One is called Jermuk and is located in Wajoz Dsor. 3 km of pistes – where there are only red and blue pistes – and 1 lift are at guests’ disposal. The other ski area is in Gegharkunik and is called Akhtamar-Sevan. It consists of 2 km of blue and 0.5 km of red pistes as well as a lift. Sure, for such small ski areas, the journey is definitely too far, but if you are in the area anyway and feel like skiing, you can certainly have a lot of winter fun there for a day.