The mountainous island

The Armenian plateau, also known as the Armenian Highlands, is located in the east of Asia Minor. On the territory of about 400 000 sq. km the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus bumped, forming a mountain chain (a similar fact can be observed in the Pamirs). Although the plateau is indeed named after the Armenian nation, the country itself occupies only a part it.

The elevation of the Armenian plateau over the territory accounts for another name of this part of the world: Mountainous Island. Besides the awe-inspiring beauty of its landscapes, this territory is a real geological treasury where many ancient gems still lie hidden from the prying eyes. Let’s take a peek, shall we?

How the apparently drainless Ayghr Lich (lich means Lake) was being fed remained a mystery for a long time. It is situated in the Ararat Valley and occupies the territory of 5 sq km with maximum depth of 8 m. Recently it has become known that the reservoir feeds on an ancient river, which didn’t stop flowing after its bed had been buried in a thick layer of lava cover.
Situated to the west from Mt Aragats, Arteni is an isolated formation consisting of one great cone and three volcanic rocks: Satani-Dara, Areguni and Southern Hill. The volcano is only 6700 ft, but boasts to have provided shelter for primitive men.
About 10 million years ago in the central part of the Armenian plateau a new volcano rose. About 5 million years ago, a new summit appeared, already cone-shaped. Later, a cupola rose over the cone. The mountain has come to dominate the plateau and will remain a symbol of Armenia for years and years to come.
Mt Ararat rising in two peaks, a view from Garni. The highlight of the Armenian plateau, Great Ararat, reaches 5165 m (almost 17 000 ft).
The Zangezur Range is the highest folded range in the region. Separate peaks reach an approximate height of 4000 m (13 000 ft), but ice covers are not typical of them.
The Tsaghkunyats Range rocks and minerals belong to the most ancient geological period. They were witnesses to the initial stage of the earth crust formation.
The Stalactitic Waterfall in Bear’s Cave. When traveling 130 km to the south of Yerevan, visitors can come across a complex of caves located on the slopes of the Vayk Range. Bear’s Cave, the largest among them, is believed to extend for more than tens of kilometers.
Phallic Stalactite in Mozrov Well. The Armenian plateau has many secluded spots that are out of the reach of sunlight. One of the deepest chasms is known as Mozrov Well.
Stalactite reptiles in the Claw's Cave. At the end of the Mesozoic era, there was a huge flood. It was then that the underground passages of the Claw's Cave appeared. The paleontologists still hope to find fossils here, but for now, the stalactite reptiles await the visitors at every turn – like in Armenian Jurassic Park.
Aragats Volcano is the main point for water reservoirs. Its slopes boast several lakes, the most famous of which is the Kari Lake (the Stone Lake).