Armenia experiences two phenomenons unique to mountainous countries: an “eternal spring” where wildflowers bloom in ever rising bands of color up mountain slopes through August, and an “eternal winter” on the snow bound crests of Armenia’s tallest mountains. Mountain climbers experience both, straddling a snow line with one foot in a bed of snow drops and the other on glacier ice.
Spring begins early in the Ararat valley, with wildflowers beginning their bloom in March (see Flower Watching). Uphill at Tzaghkadzor, continuing snows feed a lively ski season from around November to April. Bird watching is very popular, and features spectacular displays of migrating populations.
By summer the wild flowers that began blooming in spring reach their peak in the valley, with wild iris, tulip and gladiolus taking pride of place. Early summer Flower watching tours are already popular with botanical tourists from Europe, Israel and Japan. Spring rains turn to fair weather, and by late June Yerevan is beginning its hot season while the rest of the country experiences mild summer weather.
Autumn is glory time in Armenia, with the mildest climate and the fruits of harvest. The hot days of summer give way to two months of beautiful weather with warm days and cool nights. Autumn foliage is glorious in Lori and Siunik, and in the resort towns of Dilijan, Aghveran, Jermuk and Tsaghkadzor. By November the autumn rains begin in Yerevan, while the upper elevations are already blanketed with snow.
Winters are for enjoying the fruits of harvest and winter sports like skiing and snowboarding. Armenia’s ski resort, Tsaghkadzor, has slopes open from October to April, with the high season beginning in November. Other winter resorts are at Jermuk (hot mineral baths in a winter landscape), Arzni Spa and Aghveran. In Shirak, winter in Armenia’s “Siberia” is replete with long nights, cross-country skiing and skating by day, and sampling the region’s incredible winter fare, featuring Shirak’s own version f “khash” a thin hot soup that is eaten throughout the country in cold weather.