ABOUT If Armenia can overcome its many problems, it will make a fascinating destination. There is a surprising beauty in its stark rocky countryside, where the fruits of human culture and cultivation stand out in contrast against the stony background. Orchards and vineyards provide unexpected color, and historic cities and monasteries perch on scenic mountaintops. In Yerevan, the capital, street life is beginning to blossom a bit, with outdoor cafes sprouting up during warmer months. Outside the capital, though, there are few amenities for travelers, and water shortages occur sporadically. What's more, the lack of a permanent peace settlement following a long dispute with neighboring Azerbaijan has delayed a return to stability and normality for Armenia. For now, only adventurous travelers will want to visit the country.

CLIMATE Armenia temperatures can vary considerably between seasons. The weather changes according to the great variety of geographic terrain. While it may be sunny and hot in the Ararat valley, 60 kilometers away in Sevan it may be cold and rainy, and snowing in the upper regions of Aragats. Common July temperatures range between Ararat Valley highs of 25-30° C (77-86° F) to middle mountain regions summer highs of 18-20° C (64-68° F). The summer is generally pleasant reaching 25°C, though in the Ararat valley temperatures can climb to 40°C.

BEWARE The current advice is against all but essential travel in the area of the closed border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, particularly in the Tavush and Gegharkunik regions. The FCO advise against all travel on the road between Ijevan and Noyemberyan, which passes close to the border. In April and June 2012, there were reports of ceasefire violations along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border which resulted in a number of deaths and casualties.