Dilijan

thumb|250px|Sharambeyan Street, Old Town Dilijan

40 things to do

All Places Armenia



The Geological Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan

Here are some excerpts from the "Page Info" page of this small museum's Facebook site: "The Geological Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan which was founded in 1950...provides a comprehensive view of the history of the Dilijan Region, the historical development of the local people, their way of life, material culture monuments, historical and geographical conditions."<br>"[The land of Dilijan was so rich in archeological relics] that it...was able to provide museums of the...city with [items that are] more than 3,000 years old....The rare pictures stored here also make the Geological Museum of Dilijan a treasury." It contains works by Armenian and Russian painters, "Dutch, Italian and French painters of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries", etc.


Haghartsin restaurant-hotel-bar complex

It's a pleasant and quiet place near the road from Yerevan to Ijevan, with large guarded car and bus parking. There are 21 comfortable rooms(DBL/TWN/TRPL), 10 comfortable cottages and 10 motel rooms with SPA and Sat TV in the hotel, as well as a conference hall with large plasma screen, heated swimming pool, fitness hall, children's room and playgrounds, billiards (snooker and Russian), Finnish and Russian sauna and bar. The hotel's atmosphere is something of a woodsy mountain retreat. Also here you can taste national cuisine in a modern restaurant hall, wedding hall, banquet room, open-air summer cafe or cozy gazebos among trees.



"Old Dilijan" historic complex

A little cobbled street with the traditional buildings. Created in 1979 by artist Hovhannes Sharambeyan. The aim of the historic center was to present the history of Dilijan, its lifestyle, and the interest of the people who live there. Here instead of the previously established workshops and houses, 16 studios were opened where you could see items used in everyday life as well as handmade works of Dilijan craftsmen and artists. In 2005 the territory was leased by American-Armenian businessman James Tufenkian, who has already had a list of hotel complexes named “Tufenkian Hospitality” LTD.

SEE   —  Sharambeyan str.

Goshavank Monastery

Goshavank monastery is surrounded by a traditional village. There is a groundskeeper who opens the main church building up for visitors and can give a tour. This is the one church in all of Armenia where entrance to one of the chambers is not free. The chamber is nice, but you can certainly enjoy the rest of the complex without it, especially since it may not be offered in English. There are excellent carved details and khachkars here, but the "lacework" khachkar at Goshavank is one of the most impressive in the world.

SEE   —  Map


Daravand Guest House

Guesthouse was opened by an Armenian carpenter on the scenic road to Jukhtak Monastery. Built in a quiet canyon, the guesthouse is very comfortable and cozy. Seven guest rooms are available. A library and games room and billiard room are available for gaming. Open air dining area is also available, overlooking the beautiful valley. The bar, living room and nice garden provide areas for guests to congregate and relax. The owner Razmik is very accommodating, helpful and speaks decent English.


Aghavnavank Monastery

12th-13th century monastic complex. The church is a small structure with the dome in the center and its depositories. It is built with yellowish polished stone. Hood of the dome and roof were covered with polished slabs, but only few of which preserved. Shaped stones of cornice fell down. There are also numerous constructions remained to the south of monument, which most probably constituted logistical and residential premises of the Church Congregation.



Dilijan National Park

This park surrounds Dilijan town. It has some marked hiking trails you can try out (see "Do" below) and discover some lesser-known monasteries, a lake, forests, springs and wildlife. All visitors are required to pay AMD 500 per person for accessing these routes, although it can sometimes be a hassle to pay, as there is usually no-one on the route who can accept the payment (it may be necessary to pay in the tourist office or the national park HQ).


Dili Villa Guesthouse

It is a three-storey house with a winter garden, charming loggia with a fireplace, studio and a nice balcony with the breathtaking view of mountains. Dili Villa offers dinner/lunch service, a free pick up service in Dilijan, as well as sightseeing tours by 4x4 SUV. The guesthouse has a Sat TV and Wi-Fi internet. Capacity for overnight stay: up to 13 people and for the meal: up to 30 people.



Haghartsin Monastery

One of Armenia's most popular monasteries, Haghartsin is nestled in lush forested mountains about a half hour drive from Dilijan. The monastery is in good condition and has a resident priest who sometimes gives tours. There are a few different churches, a large ''gavit'', a huge dining hall, khachkars and a massive hollow tree. A slightly sweet bread is often being baked in an old oven.

SEE   —  Map

Cafe Dili

Inexpensive small family restaurant with 6 tables serving Armenian food as well as some other fast food options. Owners assure they use only local organic ingredients for cooking and indeed it tastes really good. Portions are of decent size. WiFi. No alcohol except beer. There is adjacent bakery cooking nice cakes and cookies, which can be taken away or eaten in the cafe.

EAT   —  Map

Dghyak Pansion

Dghyak Pansion was constructed on or around 2010. Bedrooms are on the first and second floor, which also has a large conference room. There are 21 comfortable rooms (Junior, Standard, Superior, Family, Deluxe and LUX). One room has two furnished bedrooms. Amenities: 21 rooms, bathroom, satellite, billiard/tennis, conference hall, garden, hot/cold water, swimming pool.


Lake Parz

This clear lake is a dream, a miraculous vision. As poet Gevorg Emin says: “Go to Lake Parz, I urge you to go. One last time I tell you to go as long as the magic is there.” The lake's altitude is 1,350 m, length – 300 m, width – 70-80 m. Water temperature reaches 15.5 C at summertime. There is a restaurant overlooking the lake.


Tufenkian Restaurant

Restaurant with rustic modern Tufenkian furniture and upscale Armenian menus and prices. Although it looks fancy, the food isn't particularly good. There is also a traditional bakery on the first floor of the restaurant facing the promenade street; however, it seems to work only during high tourist season (i.e. summer months).

EAT   —  Sharambeyan Street

Rundown theme park

Remains of an old Soviet-era theme park. Consists of a few lanes with trees and rundown roller coasters. There have been some rumors that it will be renovated by the owners of United World College Dilijan and turned into a local Disneyland, but no exact dates are given for when this would be done.

SEE   —  Map

Museum of Folk Art after V. Sharambeyan

The building currently used for this museum was built at the end of the 19th century and served as a summer house of Princess Mariam Tumanyan. Currently, works of contemporary folk masters and self-taught artists are all collected here, as well as significant ethnographic exhibits.

SEE   —  +374 91703047 —  1 Getapnya str.

Matosavank Monastery

It is easy to miss, and not terribly interesting from the outside, but the inside is a cool, moist, green, mossy world unto itself. The low light illuminating bright green algae-covered khachkars is very soothing, and the environment transports you far from your daily life.

SEE   —  Map

Tourist Information Office

In addition to being a resource for some valuable advice, it also has maps and souvenirs. They can also find guides who can accompany visitors on their trips to Dilijan National Park. There is Wi-Fi in the office and a small adjacent bistro serving coffee, snacks and beer.

OTHER   —  Map

Restaurant Mimino

Quite cheap restaurant with exceptional Georgian cuisine. Big portions. Khingali dumplings are 2 or 3 to the US dollar... and they are not small. Decorated in a theme of old Soviet movie "Mimino". There is an outside take away grill place preparing bratwurst sausages.


Lake Tzrka

A long time ago, leeches were bred here for traditional and non-traditional medicines. There are no longer leeches now, but the lake is called Tzrka by their name. It is better to travel by foot rather than by car to enjoy the beautiful wildlife surrounding the lake.


Villarest Cottage Complex

Premium hotel consisting of a group of cottages located in mountainous environment a few kilometers away from Dilijan on the way to Parz lich lake. Hotel has a garden, children’s playground, ski storage, free WiFi, restaurant serving Armenian and European cuisine.

SLEEP   —  +374-98-444409 —  20 Parz Lich St.

Mantash Fortress

It was built under the Arab rule and was one of Armenia's invulnerable fortresses. The fortress has two entrances, the doors of which were made of large stones. The passable parts of the mountain are fortified with walls that have pyramid-shaped towers on top.

SEE   —  Map

Petit Dilijan B&B

A very comfortable, clean little B&B. It feels like a real homestay option, while being very professional and thorough. The owner speaks very good English. There is also an option of having breakfast and dinner prepared, which is very recommendable.


Nina B&B

Pretty simple rooms in a typical guesthouse. Some rooms are located in the same house where host lives, but a few others are in a small detached cottage. Close proximity to the town's center. WiFi. She offers good dinner for a reasonable price.

SLEEP   —  +374 91 767734 —  18 Myasnikyan st.

Best Western Paradise Hotel Dilijan

4-star hotel built in 2011. Far away from the center. Restaurant serves only European cuisine. This is the place where most of European package tourists stay. All rooms are quite big and have balconies. Overall, good value for the money.

SLEEP   —  +374 268 24016 —  156 Kamo Str

Diligence Hotel

Nice proper mid-range hotel with very reasonable price policy which makes it to place it in a budget section. Spacious rooms with brand new furniture. Hotel is surrounded by a forest. Friendly staff. However, weak WiFi inside rooms.


Getap Restaurant and hotel complex

Great traditional wooden eating booths outdoors, some of them over the river serve as the perfect setting for fresh fish, meat or vegetable barbecues. There is also children's playground, table tennis. Wi-Fi.

EAT   —  +374 99 888-334 —  Tblisyan St.

Molokan Villages

If you take the highway toward Vanadzor, a few of the villages you pass will be those of the Molokans. A Russian old believer sect, much like the Amish in Pennsylvania, they grow beards and shun technology.


Casanova Inn

Inn consists of two 3-storey houses and features a sauna, indoor pool, snack bar, free Wi-Fi. Good and warm reviews on a booking sites. It can get noisy due to the cars passing the nearby road.

SLEEP   —  +374 41 414400 —  63 Hovsepian st.

Haghartsin restaurant-hotel-bar complex

It's a pleasant and quiet place near the road from Yerevan to Ijevan with large car parking. It's possible to taste national cuisine in a modern restaurant hall or cozy gazebos among trees.


Dilijan National Park

The National Park's information center provides a broad range of tents for camping, and also rents bikes (AMD 1000/hr or 5000/day) and small gas cookers.

SLEEP   —  Map

Takht House

A two-storied rural old mansion that was reconstructed and now is rented to tourists. It has 4 bedrooms and can accommodate up to 8 people.


Tufenkian Hotel

Part of the high end Tufenkian chain of hotels; good location. Located in renovated 19th century-style Ananov Guest House.


Shawerma

A modern shawerma fast-food joint, with rotisserie meat served in a pita or lavash sandwich. Cheap and fast food.

EAT   —  Map

Haleb Restaurant

Syrian-Armenian cuisine, friendly staff. Restaurant consists of a detached private houses-cabins. Good reviews.


Jukhtak Vank Monastery

A nice little monastery. Huge iron bands hold one of the two churches together, preventing its collapse.

SEE   —  Map

Bar & Grill "Flying Ostrich" by Dolmama

New fancy bar & restaurant with nicely decorated interior. Live music played at some of the evenings.


Historic museum

Located in a 19th century house decorated with furniture, carpets and crockery of that time.

SEE   —  Sharambeyan str.

Kessab Restaurant

Western Armenian/mid-eastern food. Good view.


town's main square

OTHER   —  Map

About Dilijan

The first settlements in this area were established around the end of the second millennium and beginning of first millennium BC. Some excavated collections of artifacts from that period are exhibited in the museums of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan, with the reminder kept in the Dilijan Geological Museum. During the Medieval period this territory belonged to the Arsacid kings and was one of their favourite forest and a summer resorts used for hunting. A bit later, in the 13th century, Bujur Dili settlement was founded here. The monasteries of Haghartsin and Goshavank were built between the 10th and 13th centuries, quickly developed and have served as cultural and educational centers in the intervening centuries. Some other important religious and educational centers have also survived in Dilijan, such as the Jukhtak Vank Monastery and Matosavank Monastery. Since the town came under Russian rule in 1801, the population has gradually grown. A school, library and several theaters were opened. In the second half of the 19th century Dilijan’s fame as of a resort center started to grow. During Soviet years it was already widely known as a mountain climatic and balneological resort; there used to be 35 major sanatoriums hosting tens of thousands people yearly. It was popular among creative people, musicians and painters. However, all its fame faded away quite quickly after the collapse of Soviet Union, the number of tourists fell dramatically, and sanatoriums and all other tourist-oriented infrastructure went into a serious decline. Only during the last few years has the situation started to improve. Tourists (mainly wealthy Armenians and some foreigners as well) have started coming back, giving a fresh breath to the town. New hotels and restaurants have started to appear again. There are still many signs of a recent decline nowadays; there is a feel of abandonment and some provincial neglect (which is somehow inherent to the majority of Armenian towns). Nonetheless, pristine nature, calm and relaxed atmosphere and ancient monasteries are still the main points of interest and the main reasons to visit the town.


Source: wikivoyage