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Armenia

Driving Directions Armenia

ARMENIA is the smallest republic of the former USSR and part of the former kingdom of Armenia which divided between Turkey, Iran and the former USSR. It declared independence from the USSR in 1991. It is a mountainous country dominated by the rugged peaks of the Southern Caucasus Mountains, with high plateaux and steep-sided valleys inter­spersed with numerous lakes. Many of the peaks are over 3,000 meters or 9,900 feet, and Lake Sevan is the largest lake. Lowland areas occur mainly in the river valleys and on the Ararat Plain in the west. Mount Ararat, now in eastern Turkey, has traditionally been very important to the people of Armenia.

The climate in Armenia varies according to location, with the lowlands having hot, dry summers and cold winters and even lower tem­peratures in the upland regions.

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Natural vegetation once included extensive areas of forest. Many of the trees were cut down during the Soviet-led drive towards the development of a highly industrialized economy. In recent years, even more, have been felled to provide fuel, made necessary by the economic blockade imposed by neighboring Azerbaijan. Hydroelectricity is produced from stations on the River Razdan as it falls 1,000 meters or 3,281 feet from Lake f Sevan to its confluence with the River Araks.

Natural vegetation once included extensive areas of forest. Many of the trees were cut down during the Soviet-led drive towards the development of a highly industrialized economy. In recent years, even more, have been felled to provide fuel, made necessary by the economic blockade imposed by neighboring Azerbaijan. Hydroelectricity is produced from stations on the River Razdan as it falls 1,000 meters or 3,281 feet from Lake f Sevan to its confluence with the River Araks.

Irrigation schemes allow for cultivation in lower-lying areas where agriculture is mixed. The main crops grown are grain, sugar beet and potatoes, and livestock reared include cattle, pigs and sheep. Mining of copper, zinc, and lead is important and, to a lesser extent, gold, aluminum and molybdenum, and industrial development are increasing. Territorial conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorny Karabakh put a brake on economic development for many years.

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