Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked mountainous country in Eurasia located in the Southern Caucasus between Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Culturally, historically and politically Armenia is considered as a part of Europe. Nevertheless, its location in the Southern Caucasus means that it can also be considered as a country situated at the arbitrary border between Europe and Asia, which means transcontinental nation.
Having one of the worlds oldest civilizations, Armenia was named Hayq, later Hayastan. This name results from the name of ancestor of all armenians - Hayk. Armenia is one of the most ancient countries, as it has been populated since prehistorical times and has been proposed as the site of the Biblical Garden of Eden.
The country spans 29,743 square kilometers (11,490 square miles, about the size of Belgium or Maryland) of mountainous terrain centered around the Ararat Valley, the heart of the Armenian nation since biblical times. Ancient geographers called the Armenian Highlands the «Island of Mountains». In fact, the average altitude of the country is over a mile high, at about 1800 meters above sea level.
Armenia has borders with Georgia to the north, with Turkey to the west and south, with Azerbaijan to the east and southwest, and with Iran to the south.
The tallest peak and biblical symbol is the mountain Ararat (1992 years) which lies on the territory of Turkey and dominates the national landscape, psyche and character. Mount Aragats, the highest point within the Republics boundaries (4090 meters at its summit) is accessible to most mountain climbers and naturalists wanting to explore its four peaks.
Armenias lowest elevation is found in the Araks River valley at 390 meters. The Ararat plain is divided by the Araks River and occupies the southwestern part of Armenia.
Lake Sevan is by far the largest body of water in Armenia, accounting for 5% of the country's land area. This is a magic lake with which you can communicate, which relaxes and cleanses. It generously grants you a feeling of harmony, esthetics and excitement, thanks to its unique sights. Mythic and majestic, Lake Sevan fills a gigantic depression situated at a height of 2000 meters above sea level located in the central part of Armenia. In ancient times it was called the Geghama Sea. The Sevan Basin is rich with archaeological and historic monuments, some say that the bowl of the lake was formed from the crater of an extinct volcano.
Armenia's rivers flow into two large aquatic arteries of the Southern Caucasus - the basins of the Kura River in the north and the Araks River in the south. The Akhurian, Hrazdan, Kasakh, Vokhchi, Arpa, Vorotan Rivers run into the Araks River, and the Debet and Agshtev Rivers pour into the Kura River.
The land itself is rich with minerals and precious gems, and the first forging of bronze and iron are traced to this territory. The metal industry allowed the creation of a powerful group of tribes that controlled commerce between the empires of the West and Mesopotamia, and Asia. Though mountainous and rocky, the soil is fertile, blessed with a system of rivers, lakes and underground reservoirs that allowed large-scale agriculture to develop at a very early period.
Of the ten major geographical zones on earth, seven lie in Armenia, encompassing large stretches of oak, pine and elm forests, rolling alpine meadows, swamps, deserts and rich farmland.
Only one third of Armenias land is arable, and that portion blooms due to enormous and continuous effort on the part of its indigenous population. That is why they say, «Armenians squeeze bread out of stone».
Aragats - 4,090 above the level of the sea
Kaputdjugh - 3,906 above the level of the sea
Ajdahak - 3,598 above the level of the sea
Mets Ishkhanasar - 3,549 above the level of the sea
Vardenis - 3,522 above the level of the sea
The longest rivers of Armenia
Araks - on the territory of Armenia - 158 km (total length 1072km)
Akhurian - on the territory of Armenia 186km
Vorotan - on the territory of Armenia 119km (total length 179km)
Debed - on the territory of Armenia 152km (total length 178km
Hrazdan - on the territory of Armenia 141km
Aghstev - on the territory of Armenia 99km (total length 133km}
The main lakes of Armenia
Sevan - 1,256 (1,897 meters above sea level)
Akna - 0.5km (3,030 m above sea level)
Arpi - 22km (2025 m above sea level)
Sev - 2,0km (2666m above sea level)