Should You Visit Armenia in Winter?

Author Carina Klein
Carina
· 5 min read · 0 comments

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TL;DR

Should You Visit Armenia in Winter? Probably not…

Is it worth visiting Armenia in winter? The short answer is

  • Yes if you want to do some winter sports.
  • No if you want to go backacking of roadtripping.

We visited Armenia in January and will tell you the pros and cons of Armenia during winter.

Armenia Snow

Armenia has an average of 22 days of snow per year. Most of them are in January and February – and it feels like we saw the majority of them.

Picture of Sanahin Monastery in winter
Sanahin Monastery in winter

Winter in Armenia – the Pros

Amazing Wintersports

Little did we know that you can actually go skiing in Armenia. Tsaghkadzor is supposed to be the best ski resort. You can also enjoy other winter activities like cross-country skiing. Ashotsk close to Gyumri is perfect for that.

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Bucketlit2life tip: Berlin ART Hotel in Gyumri can organise a cross-country skiing day trip for you.

Fewer People

We never had any problems booking accommodations and tours last minute. At some of the destinations we visited, we were the only people.

Picture of Noravank Monastery in winter
Noravank Monastery in winter

Winter in Armenia – the Cons

Fewer People

Yes, we listed that as a pro but it can also be considered a con in case you’d like to socialise in your hostel or on your group tour.

Short Days

At the time of our visit, the sun rose at around 8 am and set at around 6 pm which leaves you with around 12 hours of daylight. The picture below was taken around 6:30 pm.

As a comparison: In June, the sun rises at around 5:30 am and sets at around 8:30 pm which leaves you with around 15 hours of daylight.

Picture of Hayk Square in Vanadzor at 6:30 pm
Hayk Square in Vanadzor at 6:30 pm

No Views

Yerevan has about 325 sunny days a year. You are much less likely to encounter of of them in the winter. In the background of this picture is Mount Ararat. You just can’t see it. We haven’t in three days.

Picture of Yerevan Cascade without a view of Mount Ararat
Yerevan Cascade without a view of Mount Ararat

Slippy Sidewalks

Most people in Armenia don’t seem to care about removing the snow from the sidewalks in front of their homes. Sometimes, it was a hassle to walk anywhere.

Picture of Sidewalks in the Armenian winter
Sidewalks in the Armenian winter

Lack of Winter Service

Similar to the sidewalks, there is also not much winter service on the streets. Some roads can get completely blocked during winter.

We even met travellers whose taxi got stuck in the snow.

Personally, we wouldn’t advise renting a car in these conditions.

Picture of Winter service in Armenia
Winter service in Armenia

Less Public Transport

Unfortunately, public transport is not always a better alternative to renting a car in winter.

The famous Tbilisi - Yerevan night train only runs every other day in winter (it runs every day in summer).

We have met travellers whose bus service was totally suspended due to the snow.

Picture of Roads in winter in Armenia
Roads in winter in Armenia

Fewer Tours

The short daylight hours also mean that you have significantly fewer tour options.

For example, tours from Yerevan to Tatev Monastery or Haghpat Monastery won’t run in winter.

Winter Armenia – New Year and Christmas

Armenian New Year is celebrated on the 1st of January, Armenian Christmas is celebrated on the 6th of January.

We are actually not sure if this is a pro or a con. Yes, you’ll see the festive decorations and might witness some of the traditions.

But: Both festivities are celebrated within the families so you might not witness a whole lot. Additionally, those days are public holidays so many things will be closed or not running as usual.

Armenian Winter – Our Conclusion

If you don’t want to try out winter sports in Armenia, choose another season.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Armenia?

The best time to visit Armenia is from May to September. As temperatures in July and August can reach up to 40°C, we would concentrate on spring and autumn.

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