A beautiful little gem in the crown that is Armenia, Jermuk is a mountain spa town in the southern part of the country. A vacation in Jermuk will see you taking dips in its healing hot springs, sipping on natural mineral water, picnicking around its lakes, hiking into its dense forests and up its splendid mountains, taking romantic strolls into the sunset and possibly playing a competitive round of chess with the locals.
And while Jermuk is famous for helping visitors in healing their bodies and souls, the spa town also has a few places of interest that impress the tourists. If you are planning on vacationing in Jermuk, Armenia, here’s a list of 6 magnificent places you should add to your Jermuk itinerary.
6 Stunning Places to Visit in Jermuk, Armenia
1. Jermuk Waterfall
Jermuk Waterfall is the second largest waterfall in the country and falls from a height of 72 meters (236 feet). Surrounded by gigantic mountains, there’s a very interesting legend behind this waterfall. As the story goes, there was once a beautiful princess who fell in love with a shepherd’s son. Every night, she would dangle a rope from her bedroom’s window so that he could scale up her castle to meet her. When her father, the king, got to know about this, he forbade her from meeting the shepherd’s son and cursed her that if she met her lover ever again, she would turn into a mermaid. She did not listen to her father’s warning and this time, instead of a rope, she dangled her hair. The minute her lover touched her hair to climb up, she turned into a mermaid, and the waterfall is said to be the waves of her curly hair! That’s the reason Jermuk Waterfall is also known as Mermaid’s Hair waterfall.
2. Jermuk Ropeway
A gateway to the mountains encircling the town, Jermuk Ropeway is an excellent way to explore Armenia’s wilderness. The length of the cable car is 1 kilometer and its highest point is located at an altitude of 2480 meters. At the top, you will also find a quaint bar-cafe. And if you love skiing, you should definitely visit Jermuk during the winters because that’s when the ropeway helps you in reaching the adventurous skiing zones that surround this spa town.
3. Jermuk Deer Monument
The symbol of Jermuk is a deer, and the Deer Monument located atop a hill pays tribute to this symbol. The monument also represents the fact that a deer is looking over the town. Just like the Jermuk waterfall, the story of how a deer became the town’s symbol is also interesting. The legend goes that a long time ago, in the forests of Jermuk, a hunter wounded a deer with an arrow. Still trying to escape the hunter, despite being wounded, the deer galloped with all its might and ended up jumping into a lake. The hunter saw this and about to turn around, when suddenly, he saw the deer emerging from the lake waters, without a trace of the wound. That’s when he realized the healing properties of the waters of Jermuk. When he went back home and told his mates, the word soon spread, thus turning the sleepy town of Jermuk into a spa town.
4. Jermuk Water Gallery
Famous for its healing and rejuvenating mineral water, one of the best places to visit in Jermuk is its Water Gallery. A unique ‘gallery’, Jermuk’s Water Gallery basically consists of several pipes coming out of a wall, and from these pipes, natural mineral water flows right into stone containers. And you can sip on as much of this healing water as you can! Each pipe in the gallery shows the water temperature so that you can decide whether to sip on hot spring water or to gulp down cool, refreshing water.
5. Gndevank Monastery
Located a half an hour’s drive from the Jermuk town centre, the Gndevank Monastery is an ancient monastery complex located in the Gndevaz village. Dating back to the 10th century, the Gndevank Monastery is, surprisingly, well preserved and in mint condition. It gives you an idea of how intricate and beautiful the medieval Armenian architecture was. Apart from exploring the monastery’s grounds, you can also step inside and explore its temple, its various chambers and its hidden passages.
6. Dolphin Lake
A picturesque lake in Jermuk, Dolphin lake is for those who just want to sit on a bench beside a lake and read a book, sip on coffee or tea, or take in the musical sounds of nature – birds chirping, water cascading, trees swaying, leaves falling et al. For a peaceful ‘me time’ in Jermuk, do head over to the Dolphin Lake.
Apart from exploring these must visit places in Jermuk, it goes without saying that you should definitely book an appointment at any one of the several sanatoriums (health resorts) in the town. Jermuk is, after all, known for its rejuvenating and healing sanatoriums.
You can also visit the Kechut reservoir. Shaped like a flower and visually stunning, this reservoir can be visited only with guided tours. Individual entrance is restricted. And while visiting this spa town, do visit these 7 Armenian tourist destinations that should be on your bucket list anyway!