Armenia never used to be a hot camping destination, but it’s starting to grow in popularity. People are taking notice of the beautiful mountain ranges, thick forests, and mountain lakes that are truly breathtaking.
If you want to go camping in Armenia before it’s swarming with crowds, now is the time to go.
In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to plan a camping trip to Armenia, from what to take and how to pack to the wildlife to watch out for on the trails.
Looking for unique camping destinations in the United States? Check out our full guide on camping in Great Sand Dunes National Park.
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Why Go Camping in Armenia?
Armenia isn’t the first location that comes to mind when you think of a camping trip, so why choose this destination for your next adventure?
Armenia is blessed with expansive mountain ranges, mature forests, and sweeping valleys with rivers and natural springs. No matter where you decide to camp, you’ll get some incredible views of rolling landscapes that are all but untouched.
If you visit Armenia between late April and October, you’ll have great weather for camping and hiking. The temperatures are warm but not sweltering, and the rain is minimal.
If you’re a lover of winter camping, Armenia also gets a lot of snowfall during the cold months. Although it’s not recommended for novice campers, it is a wonderland for experienced backcountry campers.
Great amenities and hosts
If you do decide to go backcountry camping, you’re on your own in the Armenian wilderness. However, there are dozens of dedicated campsites with incredibly welcoming hosts and fantastic amenities.
Some campsites come with a pool, hot breakfast, kitchens, and full restrooms. One or two are even based in large, working orchards. You won’t beat the hospitality in Armenia, no matter where you stay.
Wild camping opportunities
Wild camping is legal in Armenia, which means you can go and get lost in the backcountry and dive into nature. You’ll likely run into locals on your trek, but most will invite you into their homes for a hot cup of coffee.
The Best Places to Go Camping in Armenia
If you’re raring to visit Armenia, here are some of the best campsites throughout the country.
Located in Goght, Camp 3Gs is a Dutch-run campsite open between April 1st and November 1st each year. The site has a wonderful bed and breakfast, a swimming pool, restroom facilities, and a working orchard.
There are places to camp with a tent if you don’t want to use the hotel, but we can’t recommend breakfast enough before morning hikes.
This one is located near Yeghegnadzor in the Vayots Dzor region of southern Armenia. From the campsite, you’ll get breathtaking views of the mountains and the Arpa River, which runs nearby. If you’re planning on hiking through Armenia, this is a great base.
Kanchaqar comes highly rated by tourists and locals, sitting in the Lori region of Armenia near Haghpat. The northern part of Armenia is known for its beautiful landscapes and mountain views, so it’s a popular region with campers.
Sitting right on the shore of Lake Sevan, Wishup Shore has cottages for hikers and a whole host of watersports on offer, including sailing, kayaking, wakeboarding, and windsurfing.
There are also plenty of spaces to camp if you don’t want to stay in the cottages, most of which are right on the beach with stunning views out over the water.
The Tourism Unique Center (TUC) is one of the most highly-rated campgrounds in Armenia. It’s near Dsegh in Lori and comes with everything you’d need for a comfortable camping trip. There are even sports and recreation services available, making it a great spot for families to camp.
The Climate and When to Go
The climate in Armenia is pleasant during the summer. Between June and September, it’s dry and sunny, with temperatures ranging from 10 to 22°C.
In the winter, you’ll find plenty of snow. It’s much colder in the mountains, with temperatures dropping as low as -14°C.
The best time to go camping in Armenia is between late April and October. July and August are the hottest months, but you can beat the heat by going in May and June.
We never recommend Armenia in the winter unless you’re an experienced backcountry camper. The temperatures get dangerous at night, and you’ll need all the right camping gear to survive and enjoy your trip.
What to Pack for Camping in Armenia
Since you need to get on a plane to visit Armenia, you’ll need to pack light. This means less luggage to transport and less to carry on your hikes.
Start with a backpack that’s 55x40x20cm – which will count as a carry-on.
No matter what time of year you go, wear long pants while hiking. The long trails are full of bushes and brambles that will scrape your legs if you’re wearing shorts.
Long-sleeve shirts will also protect you against the sun and ticks in the warmer months.
When it comes to footwear, go for lightweight trail running trainers or hiking shoes with wool socks. The ground is hard and dry in the summer, so you don’t need boots.
You should also take a light rain jacket just in case, even if there is no rain forecast. If you’re going during colder months, you’ll want a warmer puffer jacket and plenty of thermal layers.
Here’s a quick packing list of all the clothes you’ll want to take with you:
- Swimwear & light towel
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Sweater or thermal layers (for the mountains)
- Long, light trousers
- Several pairs of shorts
- Thin raincoat
- Hiking shoes or trail trainers
Here are some other essentials you’ll want to pack:
- Sleeping bag and ground mat
- A hat
- Earplugs and an eye mask (unless you have a blackout tent)
- Head torch
- Travel pillow
- First aid kit (including insect repellent)
How to Travel Around Armenia
It’s easy to travel around Armenia by taxi or bus, and you’ll never be stuck for transport. If you download the GG App, you can book taxis to pick you up wherever you are and take you to whichever trailhead you’re heading for.
There’s also a GG shuttle in Gyumri, Vanadzor, and Dilijan that can get you pretty close to trails in those areas.
Once you’ve got a taxi, ask for their number so you have someone to call when you’re finished with your hike. The taxi drivers are generally friendly and accommodating and will be happy for you to call them directly.
The GG App doesn’t usually have drivers available outside of Yerevan, so you’ll need a backup if no one is available on the app.
If you get stuck out in the wilderness and can’t book a taxi, you can always try asking a local. Most are usually happy to help you call a cab or even give you a ride if they find you hitchhiking.
Top Tips for Camping in Armenia
If you’re feeling a little nervous about visiting Armenia for the first time, here are a few tips to get you prepared for your trip.
Say Hello When You Enter an Establishment
You should say “Barev” any time you enter a shop, restaurant, cafe, or any kind of establishment before you start browsing. It’s a sign of respect and shows you’re making an effort.
Visit the Vernissage
The vernissage are open-air markets you’ll find throughout the major cities. If you don’t plan on heading to any of the cities, it’s worth it just to meet local artisans and makers and pick up souvenirs.
Watch out for wildlife
There are a few animals you should watch out for while camping in Armenia. They usually won’t attack unless disturbed, but it’s always good to know what you might run into on the hiking trails.
Snakes, lizards, porcupines, and wild boars are fairly common in the wild. Some rarer species include the Caucasian bear, the Caucasian bearded coat, and the leopard.
When camping, always keep your food in sealed storage containers or bags to avoid attracting wildlife.
Leave no trace
Armenia is a stunning place to visit, and the mountainous regions are all but untouched. Do your part to keep the wilderness safe by taking everything with you when you leave. If you do come across trash left by a not-so-considerate camper, you could also pick it up along your way.
Take a warm sleeping bag
Even in the summer months, temperatures dip pretty low at night, especially in the mountains. Although they’re heavier, take a thick, warm sleeping bag so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Although Armenia isn’t the first place you might think of when planning a camping trip, it’s a gem of a place to visit. The mountain ranges are stunning, the peaceful backcountry is quiet most of the year, and the locals are so friendly.
Don’t forget to take your camera to snap some incredible shots up in the mountains, and try the dolma if you visit a town – it’s to die for!