Bordered by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Turkey, Armenia is characterised by rugged mountains and extinct volcanoes. So mountainous is its terrain that its average elevation is close to 6,000 feet above sea level, while only a tiny portion of the country lies below 2,000 feet. As such, there are plenty of contenders among the highest mountains in Armenia.
Before we examine these lofty peaks, a quick note about the distinction between Armenia’s highlands and the larger region known as the Armenian Highlands. While all of Armenia is encompassed within the Armenian Highlands, not the entirety of these highlands falls within Armenia’s boundaries. The Armenian Highlands, predominantly situated in Turkey, cover a substantial area in western Asia, including southern Georgia, western Azerbaijan, and northwestern Iran. This extensive region spans almost 154,400 square miles with numerous peaks soaring beyond 14,000 feet.
With that said, let’s explore Armenia’s highest mountains.
Mount Aragats: The Apex of Armenia
Mount Aragats is the pinnacle among the highest mountains in Armenia, standing tall at approximately 13,420 feet above sea level. Also known as Gora Aragac, it’s located some 25 miles northwest of the capital, Yerevan. This mountain, part of the Lesser Caucasus range, is a singular, four-peaked volcano massif. Its northern summit is not only the highest point in Armenia but also one of the highest points in the Armenian Highlands.
Mount Aragats holds another fascinating claim to fame. It’s the site of a gravity hill, a phenomenon where the layout of the surrounding land produces an optical illusion, making a slight downhill slope appear uphill.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Mount Aragats, one of Armenia’s highest mountains, should not be confused with Mount Ararat in Turkey. It’s a common error, not just due to the similarity in names, but also because, despite lying outside modern Armenia’s boundaries, Mount Ararat holds a unique place in the nation’s culture. Indeed, Ararat’s image is a significant national symbol.
Mount Kaputjugh: The Granite Giant
Located in the Syunik region, Mount Kaputjugh reaches an elevation of around 12,815 feet, making it one of the tallest mountains in Armenia. Known for its rocky paleogenic granite composition, its steep slopes are adorned with alpine vegetation and shrubs. As part of the Zangezur mountain range, it boasts pristine summit lakes, and epitomises the raw beauty of the biggest mountains of Armenia.
Mount Azhdahak: The Dragon's Lair
With an elevation of approximately 11,800 feet, Mount Azhdahak in the Gegharkunik region is among the top three highest mountains in Armenia. A mythical dragon lends its name to this extinct volcano, which cradles a crater lake with crystal clear waters.
Khustup: A Historical Resonance
Not only is Khustup notable for its elevation of over 10,500 feet ranking it among Armenia’s highest mountains, but also for its historical connection with Garegin Nzhdeh. An important Armenian figure, he is buried on its slopes.
Mount Ara: Rich in Biodiversity
Among the tallest mountains in Armenia, Mount Ara’s stratovolcanic cone is a haven for diverse species, including the golden and lesser-spotted eagles. Towering in the central Kotayk Province north of Yerevan, its elevation reaches approximately 8,500 feet above sea level.
The biggest mountains of Armenia
And so, from the biodiverse splendour of Mount Ara to the towering peaks of Mount Aragats, each of the highest mountains in Armenia unravels a unique tale, interweaving to create a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural wonder. The tallest among them, Mount Aragats, reaches skyward to approximately 13,420 feet, presenting a striking four-peaked volcano massif. Its counterparts, like the granite giant Mount Kaputjugh and the mythical Mount Azhdaak, also contribute to the rich tapestry of Armenia’s topographical profile with their significant elevations and unique characteristics. Each peak, contributing to the diverse elevation profile of the nation, collectively highlights the geological and natural splendour of Armenia. We “slope” you enjoyed the climb.