Jermuk city in Armenia: what to see in Jermuk, what is famous and how to get there

The city of Jermuk in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

The city of Jermuk in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there

In Armenia, when they say they go “to the waters”, they mean the city of Jermuk. It is located on the Arpa River, surrounded by wooded mountains. People come here to improve their health, breathe clean air, escape from the heat, drink mineral water and plunge into hot springs.


  1. History of the city of Jermuk
  2. How to get to the city?
  3. What to do in Jermuk
  4. Where to stay: hotels, motels, guest houses
  5. Where to eat: cafes and restaurants

History of the city of Jermuk

The area around Jermuk has been inhabited since the 8th century. AD, scientists are told about this by archaeological finds: the ruins of a temple and a Cyclopean fortress. And in the neighboring village of Gndevaz there is a monastery of the 10th century. However, the first written evidence of the historian Stepanos Orbelyan about a settlement called Jermuk dates back to the 13th century.

Jermuk in Armenian means “warm”, that is, the settlement was famous for its warm springs. Syunik princes used to come here to rest and improve their health in specially constructed pools.

In the XVI-XVII centuries. the Vayots Dzor region (Vayots Dzor) passed to the Turks and Persians. For a long time, the Azerbaijanis who lived here called the village Isti-Su, which means "hot water". In the 19th century the region passed to the Russian Empire, and then the Jermuk water was studied for the first time, ancient pools were restored.

The study of healing springs continued under the Soviet regime. In Jermuk, sanatoriums were opened one after another, where citizens from all over the USSR came; in 1951 a water bottling plant appeared.

And now Jermuk is a mountain resort, known for its healing springs and fresh air. Since 2007, skiing has been actively developed here: chair lifts and two slopes of different difficulty levels have been built.

People come to Jermuk to rest all year round. The climate here is humid, in summer the average temperature is +19 °C. Winters are snowy and long, with an average temperature of -7 °C.

But Jermuk lives not only on tourism. In the industrial sector, Jermuk mineral water continues to be bottled, including for export, a hydroelectric power station operates, and in 2006, a gold deposit was found under Mount Amulsar, the second largest in Armenia.

How to get to the city?

Overcome 170 km from Yerevan You can get to Jermuk by car or taxi. If you don't have your own car, we suggest renting from Move2Car. A taxi ride will cost 20–30,000 drams. There are several routes leading to Jermuk. One is across Lake Sevan, and along the way you can capture cities Hrazdan, Gavar and Martuni. And the other path passes closer to the Turkish border and lies through the cities Masis, Artashat and Ararat.

From the Central Bus Station "Kilikia" (Admiral Isakov Ave., 6) there is a minibus No. 558 in the direction of Jermuk, the fare is 2,000 AMD.

Since Jermuk is located near the border with Azerbaijan, the city may be subject to shelling, as was the case in 2022, so check the news before traveling. With this, as well as any other questions about visiting Jermuk, you can contact the support service @move2armenia_official.

What to do in Jermuk

Walk in the parks

The city is located among the mountain ranges at an altitude of 2080 m above sea level on both sides of the gorge of the Arpa River. There is clean air, forests, which means a lot of places for walking. One of them is the so-called "Deer" park in the western part of the city. The name of the park is not accidental: at its highest point there is a statue of this animal, which is considered a symbol of Jermuk. According to legend, a local hunter shot a deer and went after the wounded animal in pursuit. But the deer jumped into the mineral water lake and came out without a scratch. The hunter told the people about the healing properties of water, and the deer has since become a symbol of the city.

Many guests of Jermuk are walking along "sanatorium" part of the city. There is a gallery of mineral water of different temperatures and a hot hydrogen sulfide bath. The Arpa River forms cascades here. The gallery overlooks the lakes of Seven Springs and Sarnaghbyur, where they ride boats and catamarans, feed the birds. After drinking water and admiring the lakes, you can climb higher along the alley of heroes to them. Ferdinand Ghazaryan - local deputy and poet. Sculptures of Armenian heroes, both military and celebrities, carved in stone, are installed throughout the alley.

The most picturesque place of Jermuk - Arpa river canyon. Walking along the gorge, you should definitely look at the second highest (68 m) waterfall in Armenia - "Mermaid's Hair". According to legend, the princess who lived here fell in love with a simple shepherd, which her father did not like. The girl secretly, like Rapunzel, shed her hair from the castle at the top of the gorge so that the shepherd could climb to her. Upon learning of this, the angry father cursed his daughter, and she turned into a mermaid and turned to stone.

There is also an unusual natural attraction here - a rock, along the entire height of which there are natural steps, they are called the "Stairway to Heaven". They say that the one who can climb the rock will become a prophet. It is not completely known how these steps could have formed, but in folklore their appearance is associated with a trace from the sword of the god Mithra.

Another wide rock near the canyon at a height of 15 m created a natural arch. They say that in ancient times people used to guess under it and find out the future. When Marshal I.Kh. found out about this. Bagramyan, then decided that under the arch you can make wishes. And now this creation of nature is called the "Arch of the Fulfillment of Desires." And far from it, you can see a modern automobile arch bridge connecting the sides of the gorge.

Go to the mountains

The hotels offer tourists jeep trips to the mountains to the hot springsin which it is good to swim. You can also come here with an excursion from Yerevan and see not only Jermuk and its environs, but also other interesting cities. The company has this option. limitless.

Ride the cable car

The chairlift in Jermuk operates regardless of the season. Its length is 900 m, and it leads to the top of Mount Shish to the observation deck. In winter, skis and snowboards are rented here, two wide slopes are open: 1400 and 1300 m. The first is suitable for beginners, and the second is for pros, as there are obstacles on the way. The height difference is 400 m. In the winter of 2023, a half-day ski pass cost 4,000 AMD, the lift was open from 10:00 to 17:00. After skiing, the energy reserve can be replenished in a cafe at the foot of the mountain.

Participate in the festival

Since we are talking about winter, we need to mention the annual Snowman Festival. It takes place in mid-February and contestants compete to be the best snowman and ice sculpture builder. A few years ago, "ice climbing" competitions were added to the program.

Visit the art gallery

A branch of the National Gallery of Armenia has been opened in Jermuk. The permanent exhibition consists of paintings and sculptures by Armenian artists of the 20th century, such as Martiros Saryan and Harutyun Kalents. The gallery leads an active life: exhibitions of contemporary artists, creative meetings and master classes in drawing are constantly held here.

Go to the Kechut reservoir

The road to Jermuk lies through the village of Kechut and the Kechut reservoir. Tourists stop at it to go to the observation deck and… draining water into an underground tunnel. This is because the plum is made in the shape of a flower, someone says daisies, and someone says chamomile.

At the other end of the reservoir is an unusual church - It is located in a cave. As you already know, legends are loved in Jermuk, there is a story about this place. They say that many years ago the rider Kyas (Okyas) passed through the gorge. To his misfortune, he fell and was badly injured. Once in the cave, the man called to God and asked for help to be healed, otherwise he would die here. God heard Kyas and saved him from pain. Since then, the cave has been called Pilkyas, and the spring flowing inside is considered to be curative.

Visit Gndevank Monastery

8 km from Jermuk in the village of Gndevaz is the monastery of Gndevank. Him in the X century. founded by Queen Sophia. This is evidenced by a poetic inscription on the wall of the gavit (porch): “Vayots Dzor was like a ring without a stone, and I put this stone into it.” The monastery is surrounded by walls and was used as a fortress during the battles with the Turkish conquerors. Now there is a garden and an apiary outside the walls.

The path to the monastery is rich in breathtaking views. One of them opens onto columnar rocks formed due to lava flow. Such a natural attraction is in Garni and is called "Symphony of Stones". Indeed, the rock resembles an organ.

You can organize a tour using guides or travel companies from our catalogue.

Where to stay: hotels, motels, guest houses

Since Jermuk has valuable reserves of mineral water and is located in the mountains, surrounded by forests, people come here first of all for a health-improving vacation. To do this, they stop at sanatoriums and spa hotels, where a medical examination and medical procedures are provided. Here are some places where you can stay.

"Jermuk Ashkhar" - a sanatorium with the largest selection of procedures, and according to subjective assessments, also with the friendliest staff.

Sanatorium "Armenia" is the closest to the gallery of mineral water. Often, it is in this hotel that travelers who visit Jermuk as part of a tour stay.

You can choose a real estate agent from the "Olympia" not so long ago was renovated. Inside the sanatorium looks bright; with all the abundance of decorations, columns and chandeliers, it remains cozy and comfortable for relaxation.

Sanatorium "Ararat" was specially created for parents with children. Here they help children with serious illnesses to recover. Moms and dads are offered treatments and psychological sessions, because they know what a difficult job it is to take care of children.

Sanatorium "Jermuk Moscow" little has changed since Soviet times, but this has its own flavor and beauty. They cook well here, fast Internet, so you can continue to work remotely.

One of the most prestigious spa hotels in Jermuk is Grand Resort. The prices here are high, but the quality of service matches them. Like "Armenia", the hotel is located close to the mineral water gallery.

Jermuk Hotel & Spa is closest to the deer park and the cable car. In the local pool, the water is always at a comfortable temperature, they offer many wellness treatments, a large selection of dishes on the buffet.

For those who want to relax with a big company, a cottage appeared in Jermuk in 2023 Arte Guest House for six people. It is built of wood, looks homely, but at the same time stylish. The guest house is located near the forest, in the yard you can make a fire and fry shish kebab, have a good rest on the spacious balcony.

More hotels listed in our catalog at the request of Jermuk.

Where to eat: cafes and restaurants

Each sanatorium and hotel has a restaurant where anyone can come, and not just guests. But there are also independent establishments in the city.

One of the best restaurants in Jermuk is Baghaberd. The chef of the restaurant is a meat specialist: guests praise shish kebab and kebab performed by him. There is another popular restaurant nearby. "Jermuk". It is often chosen by tourists vacationing in hotels without meals included. Of course, here you need to try the national cuisine.

Guests are always welcome in Jermuk. People come here to relax, restore health, spend time outdoors and explore the picturesque surroundings. We hope our story will inspire you to go to Jermuk. And if you want to know more about other Armenian cities, go to the section "Tourism" in our blog.

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The city of Jermuk in Armenia: what to see, what is famous for and how to get there
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