Dilijan is a resort town with mild climate, fresh air in the northeast of Yerevan. It is famous for its amazing surroundings, called the "Armenian Switzerland" by the locals, due to the densely forested valleys and mountains with alpine meadows around. It is an excellent center for walking.
Most visitors to Armenia spend all of their nights in Yerevan. Spending a night or two in Dilijan while exploring Tavush Marz is well worth it. There are plentiful accommodations in Dilijan, from the luxury of the Tufenkian Hotel to much more basic hotels or homes. From Dilijan you can explore up to the Georgian border and the remote Shamshadin region much more easily than from Yerevan, and then continue on to Lori Marz.
Minibus/Van - Take a van (marshrutni) from the Medical University (Pjhishkakan Hamalsaran) on the corner of Abovyan and Koriun to the upper Avtokayaran. From there you can take a marshrutni headed to Ijevan that will stop in Dilijan on the way.
Taxi - a taxi from Yerevan will cost approximately 10,000 dram ($33) one way with a standard meter price. You can probably negotiate a better rate, especially for round trip.
Day tour - many companies offer day tours from Yerevan, which include Dilijan, Haghartsin and Goshavank. They can be cheaper than taking a taxi, and depart in the morning on fixed days of the week.
Within town, for the most part, walking is quite easy. The tourist information office also has a few bicycles for rent if you'd like to go a bit further. If you need to get to some of the regional monasteries, your best bet is negotiating a package deal with the taxis. You can have the tourist information office help you translate and negotiate, as most of the drivers will not speak English. If a driver tries to change the price on you, absolutely refuse, and take the matter to the police if necessary.
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. edit
Goshavank Monastery, (40 minutes north of Dilijan). Goshavank monastery is surrounded by a traditional village, and has 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. edit
Jukhtak Vank Monastery. A nice little monastery just on the edge of Dilijan, a short 10 minute hike from the Dilijan Mineral Water plant. Huge iron bands hold one of the two churches together, preventing its collapse.edit
Matosavank Monastery, (Follow the marked trail from the water bottlers.). Matosavank is a 25 minute hike from the Dilijan Mineral Water plant. 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.edit
Dilijan Reserve. Dilijan Reserve surrounding town has some marked hiking trails you can try out and discover some lesser known monasteries, a lake, forests, springs and wildlife.edit
Aghavnavank Monastery. Aghavnavank Monastery (Armenian: Աղավնավանք, also Anapat St. Astvatsatsin, Aghnabat) is a 12th-13th century monastic complex located at Dilijan National Park on the outskirts of Aghavnavank village of the Tavush Province of Armenia. The forest – Aghnabat, surrounding the monastery, is famous for its Yew Grove Reservation. There is a picnic place with trees about 50 meters from the monastery, on the bank of a river. The church is a small structure with the dome in the center and its depositaries. It is built with yellowish polished stone/չեչաքարից?/: The dome, resembling a crested hood, rests on arches bridging pillars together. On the eastern facade of the church two triangular cavities are carved. The hood of the dome and the roof were covered with polished slabs, only few of which were preserved on the roof, and the hood itself became completely naked. Shaped stones of cornice fell down, too.In the south from the monument numerous construction remains were preserved, which most probably constituted logistical and residential premises of the Church Congregation.edit
Parz Litsh (Clear Lake). Clear Lake is a dream or a miraculous vision one can ever imagine. It is located on the 9th km north-east from Dilijan, in the north-west of Areguni Mountain Chain, on a marvelously forested slope. The lake is of a landslide interdiction origin with outflow. Its altitude is 1350 m, the length – 300 m, the width – 70-80 m, and the depth – up to 10 m. The lake occupies 27 000 sq. m of total area with 83,8 cubic meter of total volume. The lakeside section is flat and the southern part – rocky. In summer, the water temperature reaches 15.5 C. Filling of the lake occurs from springs and atmospheric precipitations. The poet – Gevorg Emin, says: “Go to Parz Litch, I urge you to go. One last time I tell you to go as long as the magic is there.” edit
Lake Tzrka. The Lake is a cozy corner in Dilijan mountains. The surface area of the lake is 2000 m2. The depth is 6-10 meters, and in parts more than 10 meters. This lake is a source of rock, located to the north of its bank. Near the lake is Gosh village. The water is used for drinking and agricultural purposes. Long 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 and delicate wildlife surrounding the lake. Swimming in the lake is not recommended. edit
Mantash Fortress (Ashot Yerkat Fortress, Kara-Kala). The fortress is located on top of a steep mountain, on the right bank of Aghstev River, about 25 km north-east from Dilijan. It was built under the Arab rule and was one of Armenian invulnerable fortresses. The fortress has two entrances, the doors of which were made of large stones. The passable parts of the mountain are strongly fortified with walls that have pyramid-shaped towers on top.The main entrance of the fortress is in the south-western corner of the plateau, in the east of the mountain wall.edit
Museum - Reserve. Museum gallery was opened to present Dilijan mode of life in the late 19th- and early 20th-century. It was unique and different compared to other regions, because the first habitants were rich people and aristocrats from Transcaucasus largest cities. They came here because of summer cottages, which were more, than continually inhabited houses. Gallery consists of 4 parts – living room, dining-room, bedroom and kitchen. The living-room is decorated with rugs and carpets made by Armenian masters. edit
Children's Art School. The Children's art school in Dilijan is named after an honored Artist of Armenian art, Hovhannes Sharambeyan. The Art school was founded by Hovhannes Sharambeyan in 1947 as an Art Studio, and in 1970 it became an Art school. Since then, the development of folk art and crafts from a variety of sectors has been maintained in Dilijan city. Today, after a dozen years have passed since the school's inception it is impossible to evaluate the role and contribution of the artist in the aesthetic education of the next generation. edit
Old Dilijan Complex. "Old Dilijan" museum complex was initiated and formed in 1979 by artist Hovhannes Sharambeyan. The aim of the museum 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.edit
Museum of Folk Art. Right at the center of Dilijan and near the river Agstev, the summer house of Princess Mariam Tumanyan was located. Now it is the Dilijan Branch of Yerevan State Museum of Folk Art. With the initiation of the last resident of the house, Hovhannes Sharamberyan, the building was turned into a museum of folk art. Contemporary folk masters and self-taught artists’ works are collected there. Museum includes significant ethnographic exhibits as it is well known, the folk art and ethnography are closely related to each other. Since the founding of the museum in 1979, H. Sharamberyanhas donated his collection to the Dilijan folk art museum, which completes the stock list. edit
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. The grow beards, shun technology and have their own religion.
Crafts on Sharambeyan Street. The old town street has some little shops where artisans are busy hand making their craft. Visit Revik to see his wood working studio, with some great traditional designs for everything from Christmas tree decorations to cribs. The tourist information office has additional information on local crafts purchases and local painters you can visit.
Tufenkian Restaurant, Sharambeyan Street. There is a Tufenkian Restaurant on Sharambeyan Street, with rustic modern Tufenkian furniture, and upscale Armenian menus and prices.$20. edit
Haghartsin restaurant-hotel-bar complex (http://www.haghartsin.com), Kamo street, 121 (the first building at the entrance of Dilijan town, to the right on the way from Yerevan, just after the last turn from the tunnel), ☎ +374 268 2 777 0, mobile: +374 77 636565, . round-the-clock. It's a pleasant and quiet place near the road from Yerevan to Ijevan, with large guarded car and bus parking. Here You can taste national cuisine in a modern and stylish restaurant hall, banquet room, summer cafe or cozy gazebos among trees. Also there's a bar and a hotel(see Sleep).$10-$20. edit
Getap Restaurant. A few minutes north of Dilijan, along the river is the restaurant/hotel complex of Getap (meaning riverside). Great traditional wooden eating booths outdoors, some of them over the river serve as the perfect setting for fresh fish, meat or vegetable barbecues. Prices are pretty reasonable.$10. edit
Shawerma, (just below the bus station). A modern shawerma fast-food joint, with rotisserie meat served in a pita or lavash sandwich. Cheap and fast food.$3. edit
Georgian food, (Just above Sharambeyan Street, overlooking the valley). There's a Georgian restaurant in town, with good food and soups. Prices are low, menus are not in English, and the space is a former Soviet cafe. Khingali dumplings are 2 or 3 to the US dollar... and they are not small.edit
Bakery Dili, 48/5 Gorky str., ☎ +37477100096. edit
Daravand Guest House, 46 Abovyan St. (heading up Abovyan Street, pass under the bridge, on your right, on a short dirt driveway with two sharp turns), ☎ (+374 2680) 7857 or (094) 420965, . Daravand Guesthouse was opened by an Armenian carpenter in Dilijan on the scenic road to Jukhtak Monastery. Built in a quiet canyon, the guesthouse is very comfortable and cozy. The canyon affords many hiking opportunities and has 2 monasteries in the forest within easy hiking distance. 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 accomodating and helpful, speaks decent English and is a considerate smoker.18.000 AMD (for 2 people) ensuite, or 14,000 ($46) with shared bathroom. edit
Dili Villa Guesthouse, 12a Myasnikyan St., ☎ (+374 268) 27059 or (091) 456164, . bed and breakfast price is 13.000 AMD per person per night. Dili Villa is located central picturesque corner of Dilijan city. 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 wifi internet. Capacity for overnight stay: up to 13 people and for the meal: up to 30 people. edit
Cinematographers’ Union House, (Road to the Lake Parz, Dilijan), ☎ (+374 2680) 6139, 2710. Gates were locked as of June 2011, try to call to see if it has reopened. Taxi to arrive 1500 ARD one-way. A very cool retro cubist resort on an isolated spot in the forests above Dilijan, with great views. This is an incredible 70s/80s Soviet spot, which time has not touched, but unfortunately handy men hardly have either and many of the rooms are dilapidated. There are nice 2 story cottages however in good condition, so if you're a bigger group it worthy of a stay. If you're heading to Parz Lij anyway, pop by for a Soviet cafeteria lunch - it's as bad as it sounds, but a great experience and atmosphere.7,000 ($23) single, $40-50 cottage (sleeps 8), and everything in between. Includes 3 meals a day. edit
Haghartsin restaurant-hotel-bar complex (http://www.haghartsin.com), Kamo street, 121 (far from the centre (1000 dram by taxi), one of the last buildings on the road towards Yerevan), ☎ +374 268 2 777 0, mobile: +374 77 636565 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +374 268 2 777 0), . checkin: anytime; checkout: anytime. 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. Hotel 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.25000-40000 dram. edit
Ananov guest house (Tufenkian Hotel), Sharambeyan Street, Dilijan (Top of the street, on the left), ☎ +(374 10) 65 58 77, . Part of the high end Tufenkian chain of hotels. Perfect location on historic Sharambeyan Street in the heart of Dilijan.edit
Petit Dilijan B&B, 22 Sharambeyan street, 3901, Dilijan, Tavush, Republic of Armenia, ☎ Phone: +374 (268) 2-28-82, Mobile: +374 (55) 19-28-82, +374 (77) 19-28-82, . A very comfortable, clean little B&B in central Dilijan, near Tufenkian. 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. Contact: Hrant Ghalechyan. Email: email@example.comTwin room: 5000 (+2000 breakfast)AMD/person, Double room: 5000 (+2000 breakfast)AMD/person. edit
DGHYAK (Castle) PANSION, Sayat-Nova str. 50 (in close proximity to the Dilijan-Ijevan highway and the forest), ☎ +374 26823003, +374 93416811(German),+374 93187518(English)firstname.lastname@example.org, . checkin: noon; checkout: noon. Dghyak pansion is newly constructed. Bedrooms are on the first and second floor, which also has a large conference roomThere are 21 comfortable rooms(Junior,Standart, Superior, Family, Delux and LUX). One room has two furnished bedrooms. Amenities: 21 rooms, bathroom, satellite, billiard/tennis, conference hall, garden, hot/cold water, swimming pool.12 000-45 000 AMD. edit
Takht - House (Villa for Rent), Orjonikidze str., 3 alley, House 14, ☎ +37491417537, . email: email@example.com