If Sevan, then Dilijan. Everyone in Armenia knows that this tour itinerary should not be broken. First, because of the simple reason that the distance from Dilijan to Sevan is only 34 km (from Yerevan to Dilijan – about 100 km), and then not see Dilijan means to miss a unique opportunity of enjoying the Armenian emerald beauty.
After enjoying the charm and coolness of Lake Sevan, the region’s unique cuisine and historical monuments, let’s move to Dilijan. It is enough to cross the Sevan-Dilijan tunnel, which stretches for about 5 minutes drive and you will appear in another reality: multicolor forests (if in autumn), mountains and hills continuing each other, making the landscape infinite and immortal, and crisp fresh air. Every part of the road leading to Dilijan is a distinctive landscape that you can admire by stopping near the cool springs and tasting the sweet corns boiling nearby in pots over the fire.
Here you are in Dilijan. You will understand that you are in Dilijan not only from the signboard but also from the unique architecture of individual houses. In late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Dilijan’s resort fame was rising, Caucasus wealthy individual started building summer houses in Dilijan. And hence, the “Dilijan style” of the popular houses began to develop, especially with wooden balconies.
Some restaurants and guesthouses nowadays keep the old architectural style of Dilijan, where you can taste a variety of dishes typical to Tavush Province, such as rose hip soup or cornel soup (cooked with rose hip, cornel juice, bulgur and dried apricot) and then go on a walk. By the way, do not forget to spend time at the Geological Museum and Art Gallery of Dilijan, where you will find the works of renowned Armenian painter Hovhannes Aivazovsky, Bashinjaghyan, Surenyants, as well as Dutch, Italian and French painters of the 16th-18th centuries. At the museum, you will also learn about the history of the city from the Bronze Age to our days. Museum-gallery was founded by a teacher Eghishe Hovsepyan in 1950. By the way, the first archeological excavations in Armenia were performed in Dilijan in the 1850s.
Today, however, Dilijan is, not considered an archaeological, museum or arts and crafts city, but a resort city. The first resort in Armenia was opened in Dilijan in 1921. There are dozens of mineral springs in the city. And, non-less than springs, air is also very healthy, mainly due to the valuable thick forests all around.
More than 30 architectural monuments in the city and surrounding areas make Dilijan’s charm complete, with Haghartsin, Goshavank, Jukhtak Monastery and Matosavank being the most prominent of these. They are all precious monuments of medieval Armenian architecture.
By the way, in 2016, UNESCO has included Dilijan in the Global Network of Learning Cities, since starting in 2014 the Dilijan International School has been operating here. It is also, by the way, ready to host tourists and organize a tour of the school.
Welcome to Dilijan. The city, whose name, according to a tradition, originated from the words “Dili” and “Jan”. Dili was a boy whose father had lost him and called “Dili jan” when looking for him. Keep in mind this gentle word “jan”, in particular, because you will also be called this in Armenia, whether in Dilijan or not.