Dilijan is a resort city, which is visited by tourists every day. We will tell you why it is so loved, and where you should definitely go.
- History of the city of Dilijan
- How to get to the city?
- Places of interest
- Where to stay: hotels and guest houses
- Where to eat: cafes and restaurants
The territory of modern Dilijan was inhabited by people as early as the 2nd century BC. BC. They were engaged in agriculture and cattle breeding. Also, according to the artifacts found, the settlers achieved a high level of skill in pottery.
Due to its location in a wooded mountainous area, in the 1st century. AD the settlement, then called Hovk, becomes the residence and favorite place for hunting of the royal Arshakuni dynasty.
In the XIII century. here was the settlement of Budzhur (Puchur) Dili, which means little Dili. The name "Dilijan" was first mentioned in the 17th century. in the notes of a French traveller. It is still not known where it came from. According to one version, a prince named Dilijan lived in the neighboring province. There is also a beautiful but sad story. They say that a shepherd Dili once lived in these parts, who fell in love with his master's daughter. Upon learning that some commoner was fascinated by his daughter, the owner ordered to kill Dili. The inconsolable mother of the shepherd looked everywhere for her son and shouted: "Dili-jan, Dili-jan." By the way, we talked about the meaning of the affectionate word "jan" in article.
By the 19th century Dilijan has already become known as a resort where the intelligentsia came and gathered at the "Rotonda" - an open-air theater. Rich Tiflis residents built dachas here. In Soviet times, many vacationers came to breathe clean mountain air and drink mineral water - about 20 sanatoriums worked here.
Dilijan is still a resort and has the status of a national park. This is a popular tourist destination where people go to admire the ancient monasteries and enjoy nature. The climate contributes to this: summers are cool here, and winters are snowy and cold, because the city is surrounded by mountains and forests, located at an altitude of 1500 m above sea level. Travelers note a sharp drop in temperature and a change in the landscape, when on the way to Dilijan from the city of Sevan they pass a tunnel and find themselves in a completely different place. It is good in Dilijan in early autumn, when the forests become colorful.
Dilijan is also an important educational center. The international school UWC Dilijan College for teenagers aged 16-19 has opened in the city. Financial and economic conferences are held in the educational-research department of the Central Bank of Armenia. The industry is also developed: the Dilijan mineral water plant operates, dairy products are produced in the Dili complex. As in ancient times, local residents develop crafts. Craftsmen make ceramics, jewelry, weave carpets.
Dilijan is located about 100 km from Yerevan. The journey by car will take an hour and a half. If a private car or a taxi is not suitable for you, then from the Northern Bus Station (Verin Ptkhni, M4 highway) there is a fixed-route taxi No. 651, the ticket price is 1,000 AMD. However, travelers say that minibuses are in poor condition. Another option is the GG shuttle. You can book a seat in the mobile application, the approximate cost is AMD 1,500.
As we have already said, the road to Dilijan passes through the city of Sevan. Often, tourists stop and spend time there, and then go to Dilijan.
You can spend more than one day in the city and its environs. It will appeal to both "museum" tourists, and lovers of walks in nature, and those interested in history.
Dilijan National Park
The nature of Dilijan differs from that in neighboring Sevan. The city is surrounded by dense and wide forests. Together they make up the National Park, on the territory of which there are many amazing places.
Walking through the National Park, you can walk to Lake Parz (Parz Lich). It is loved by both tourists and locals. After a long walk, it's good to sit in a cafe overlooking the lake, or ride a catamaran. And if you have enough strength, then welcome to the rope park and zipline.
From Parz there is a trail to another lakes - Gosh. It is located near the village of the same name, the main attraction of which is Goshavank monastery. Buildings of the 12th-13th centuries are located on a hill. These are the churches of St. Astvatsatsin (Virgin Mary), St. Gregory the Lusavorich (Illuminator), a school, a bell tower and other ancient buildings. The khachkar (cross-stone) covered with moss is impressive: the patterns on it are carved so skillfully and thinly that it seems as if the master worked with a needle.
From the Haghartsin monastery a path has been laid to hidden waterfalls. It runs through gorges, streams, rocks. Here is silence, fresh air, aromas of flowers and greenery. We visited this natural landmark and filmed video..
The most active and not afraid of long climbs climb mountains Apakekar, Haghartsin, Andzavabatsat and other ranges surrounding Dilijan. The difficult path is worth all the effort, because breathtaking views open up from a height.
Less active, but also nature-loving tourists walk around "Drunken Forest" So it was named after looking at the bizarre shaped pine trees that were bent due to landslides.
Perhaps the most impressive monastic complex in Dilijan is Haghartsin (XI-XIII centuries). We can say that it is a must visit. A winding road leads to the monastery, to which trees lean. Haghartsin is located near the gorge, on the other side of which there is a dense forest. On the territory of the complex are the churches of St. Astvatsatsin (Virgin Mary), St. Grigor and St. Stepanos, outbuildings, the tomb of the royal family of Bagratuni. Here you want to linger, look at the patterns on the light stone of churches, study each curl on ancient khachkars and just enjoying the nature.
Abandoned ancient monasteries are hidden in the forests of the National Park. Overgrown paths lead to them, and the buildings themselves are already at the mercy of nature. Jukhtakvank and Matosavankbuilt in XIII century, are located on opposite sides of the gorge of the river Bldan. Jukhtakvank consists of two churches - St. Astvatsatsin and St. Grigor. Hence the name: jukh - couple. In Matosavank, the church of St. Astvatsatsin, a book depository and a vestibule have been preserved.
Monastery Aghavnavank (XI-XII centuries) is hidden in the forests called Akhnabad. According to the legend, a local young man healed the rich beauty Nabad and asked for her hand and heart as a reward. The girl refused, and the doctor wandered through the forest for a long time, lamenting: “Ah, Nabad!” Once a beauty fancied himself in the waters of a mountain river, and the young man threw himself off a cliff and crashed. The fellow villagers loved the boy so much that the church "Akhnabad" was erected in his honor. Another name of the church is St. Astvatsatsin Anapat (The Desert of the Holy Mother of God).
Dilijan has changed over the years, many buildings appeared in Soviet times. But the place where they decided to preserve the national Armenian flavor is Sharambeyan Street. It is named after the Armenian artist Hovhannes Sharambeyan, who founded the Museum of Folk Arts in Dilijan. Along the street are old stone houses with carved wooden balconies and verandas and red-tiled roofs. A variety of handicraft workshops work here: carpets are woven, pottery is made, and woodcarving is done. Across the road at 34 Myasnikyan Street, Arman Badeyan and Margarita Malkhasyan create jewelry that repeats those found in Armenia centuries ago.
Walk around the city
After seeing the "old city", that is, the street of artisans, go up Myasnikyan street to the amphitheater. This composition in the Greek style consists of a sculpture of a girl with a jug, an arch with columns and the amphitheater itself. Then the path leads to the city park. It is good to take a walk there, relax by the artificial lake or test your dexterity in the VereV rope park.
All tourists are brought to the sculpture "Mimino". Do you remember the phrase of the hero Frunzik Mkrtchyan: “You open the tap in Dilijan, the water flows - it takes the second place in the world”? This water can be tasted here.
Museums of Dilijan
Operates on Sharambeyan street Folk Art Museum, the exhibits of which are handicrafts of local masters of different times. The Central Bank conducts tours of Museum of money. Rare coins are exhibited there, the oldest of which dates back to the 4th century. BC. IN Museum of Local Lore you will be told what finds were found on the territory of Dilijan, what the locals wore several centuries ago. Two floors of the museum are occupied by an art gallery, where works by Armenian artists, including Aivazovsky and Saryan, are exhibited.
45 km from Dilijan is Lastiver, a favorite place for ecotourists. This is a deep gorge through which a mountain river flows. People come down here to look at the waterfalls, and most importantly, the caves of hermits. On the way, tourists stop at a clearing with colorful wooden huts.
The villages of Lermontovo and Fioletovo
On the road from Dilijan to Vanadzor are the villages of Lermontovo and Fioletovo. They are interesting because Molokans live here, resettled at the beginning of the 19th century. from the Tambov province. These are Orthodox Christians or spiritual Christians, as they call themselves, who are distinguished by the tradition of eating dairy products during fasts. Also, they do not recognize the cross and the sign of the cross, icons and church hierarchy. We told in more detail about the Molokans in this article.
Summer in Dilijan is a time of activities. Several festivals take place here.
Diliton Festival - Monthly craft fairs. Every last Sunday of the month from May to August, local craftsmen offer their products. All this is accompanied by music and treats.
Takes place annually in the summer gastrofest. At this "delicious" festival, participants from different regions of Armenia offer their gastronomic delights. In 2023, the Move2Armenia team also attended the event, presenting Armenian brands at the mini-market.
July 15, 2023 will be held Dili Rock Festivalwhere bright musical performers will perform. But this festival is not only attracted by music: guests will be able to take part in a master class on the art of flow and “draw with beer”.
On August 5 and 6, they will no longer enjoy food, but wine, because it will pass Dilijan Wine Fest. 25 wineries from Armenia and abroad are participating. It will be possible not only to taste, but also to participate in master classes and even draw with wine.
You can get even closer to folk crafts on September 2 at the festival of arts and crafts. Participants from different regions of Armenia will show the guests how the products for which their regions are famous are made.
Most travel companies organize excursions not to Dilijan alone, but to several places at once. For example, Dilijan + Sevan, Dilijan + Lermontovo and Fioletovo villages, monasteries of the north. For example, a company Yerevan Online offers a route Dilijan - Haghartsin - Sevan - Artsvakan village. They leave Yerevan, visit the Haghartsin monastery complex, and in Dilijan stop at the Mimino monument. Then visit Sevan and Sevanavank monastery. The day ends in the village of Artsvakan, where tourists are treated to homemade cheeses.
Contacts of trusted guides in Armenia are listed in our catalog.
There are also unusual tours to Dilijan. Imagine Tour organizes a transfer from Yerevan and conducts horseback riding in the mountains of Dilijan with a picnic in nature and a sightseeing tour of the city.
You can also go on a memorable excursion from Gyumri. Guide Hovhannes organizes "The most delicious tour". Guests have breakfast in the village of Fioletovo with Molokans, look at Dilijan and Sevan and taste homemade cheeses.
If you came to Dilijan on your own and want to go on an excursion, the Tourist Information Center will help you. They offer excursions around the city, to the monastery complex of Haghartsin, Goshavank, to the lakes of Parz and Gosh. At the foot of Mount Apakekar, you can arrange a horse ride, and you will be taken by jeep to the mountains of Dimats and Hayrikar. To get acquainted with the nature of Dilijan, go on a hiking tour. The information center offers the following routes:
- Hidden waterfall;
- Whispering waterfall;
- Parz Lich - Goshavank;
- trail of medieval monasteries.
The cost and description of excursions and walking tours can be found on the website GoToDili.
Even more tourist routes are offered by the company Hike Armenia:
- Khachardzan village - Lake Gosh.
- Three Peaks Trail (Andzavabatsat, East Airikar, West Airikar).
- Whispering Waterfall.
- Three falcons.
- Pilgrimage to nature.
- Trail of medieval monasteries.
- Forest King.
- Mount Apakekar.
You can download the app at App Store or Google Playwhere there is a map with marked trails. If you are afraid of getting confused and lost, contact one of the guides in advance: contacts are listed on the website.
Entrance to Dilijan
Perhaps the most interesting hotel in Dilijan was opened on Kamo Street - Cozy House Dilijan. It consists of Hobbit houses from Tolkien's world.
Apartment owners Dilijan Waterfall House made an artificial waterfall their chip. But in fact, the main thing in this place is comfort and a feeling of home.
Best Western Plus Paradise Hotel Dilijan is a comfortable hotel with a swimming pool and wellness facilities. Many rooms have balconies overlooking the National Park.
The workshops and the museum, which we wrote about above, are included in the Tufenkian Old Dilijan Complex. Also part of the complex is the hotel "Old Dilijan”, located right in one of the old houses on the crafts street.
There is another hotel on the same street - "Petit Dilijan". It looks more modest, but no less cozy and is also located in a house with carved balconies.
The rooms of the hotelLegends of Dilijan» are covered with carpets, a lot of wood is used in the decor, and all together this creates coziness and comfort.
Near Lake Parz is located Parz Lich Rest Area. These are wooden houses for four. Here you can also stay with your own tent.
Boutique hotel windows Hover overlooking the National Park. And not only nature pleases guests with its beauty, but also the decoration of this stylish, modern hotel.
More hotels and guest houses can be found on the website GoToDilicooperating with the tourist information center.
Restaurant carahunge decorated in a traditional Dilijan style with elements of stone and wood. The balcony offers a beautiful view, and while waiting for a meal, you can take a book from the library on the second floor.
If you want to try the national cuisine, go to Toon Armeni Restaurant. You may like it so much that you decide to stay here at the hotel.
Some people associate Armenia with delicious cuisine, while others associate it with jazz, because the locals love it so much. Enjoy music with a glass of wine Dilijazz. By the way, you can also stay there overnight. Even for pet owners there is a "Bungalow" with access to the street.
At one of these places, try Dilvados, a fruity vodka made in Dilijan.
And if you want something sweet, check out the bakery Darchin pastry and cafe. Here you will be surprised by exclusive desserts.
Still have questions about your trip? Our support team will be happy to answer them. @move2armenia_official. Have a good travel!