Armenia might be a small country but there is undoubtedly a lot to see, even if you only have time for a short trip. For visitors looking to add a destination aside from Yerevan onto their Armenia itinerary, the small town of Dilijan is a great option. Claiming to be the “Switzerland of Armenia”, it is incredibly easy to travel from Yerevan to Dilijan as it is located just over a hundred kilometres away and can also be visited as a stop if travelling to or from Tbilisi.
There are also enough things to do in Dilijan to keep the active traveller content while also having the perfect scenery for the idle tourist looking to have a couple of days of relaxation.
Thinking of travelling to Dilijan from Yerevan? This article will outline the best ways to get between the two destinations and the best things to do during your stay!
How to Travel from Yerevan to Dilijan
There are four main options for travellers looking to get from Yerevan to Dilijan: bus (marshrutka), taxi, guided tour or car rental.
Yerevan to Dilijan Bus
The most affordable way to get from Yerevan to Dilijan is to take the marshrutkas that leave regularly from the Northern Bus Station. They depart on the hour and appear to leave on time without necessarily waiting to fill up.
I recommend trying to get a seat on the right side of the bus so you can enjoy some nice views of Lake Sevan on the way! From the Northern Bus Station, you can also get regular marshrutkas from Yerevan to Lake Sevan.
The Northern Bus Station is located a few kilometres outside the centre of Yerevan so you will need to get a taxi to the station. We paid 1000AMD (less than €2) and ordered it through the Yandex Taxi app which is how we recommend getting taxis in Yerevan.
The journey from Yerevan to Dilijan takes approximately 90 minutes and also costs 1000AMD per person.
A lot of the accommodation in Dilijan is located outside the centre of the city so you will be greeted by a number of taxi drivers wanting to take you to your hotel or guesthouse. The regular rate for taxi trips around Dilijan is 600AMD. While we didn’t personally use it, there appeared to also be a few taxis on the Yandex app in Dilijan.
Yerevan to Dilijan Taxi
The standard price for a taxi from Yerevan to Dilijan is 10000AMD (approx €19). While taking the marshrutka is obviously cheaper, one of the advantages of taking a private taxi is that you can stop in Lake Sevan on the way and see the iconic Sevanavank Monastery. If there are other sites that you want to see around Dilijan, you can potentially negotiate a day rate with the taxi driver which will allow you to see more in a shorter span of time.
Yerevan to Dilijan Tour
For travellers wanting to take a guided tour from Yerevan to Dilijan, there is the option of joining a group tour or arranging a private tour.
Two of the main companies in Yerevan that offer group tours to Dilijan are One Way Tour and Hyur Service. Both these companies have different weekly schedules and only run tours to Dilijan on certain days of the week – check their website for the most up to date timetables.
Most tours will include a stop in Lake Sevan, a visit to the town of Dilijan and seeing the surrounding monasteries.
These groups tours tend to be fairly affordable with rates being around 5500-9500AMD per person. If you are budget-conscious, then One Way Tour tends to have cheaper prices.
If you are travelling Armenia on a tight itinerary and the group tour schedule doesn’t suit you, then you also have the option of organising a private tour. This private tour runs daily and includes stops in both Dilijan and Lake Sevan.
Yerevan to Dilijan Driving
For travellers who want to have the freedom of exploring Dilijan and the rest of Armenia on their own schedule, renting a car is a great option. We recommend searching on Rentalcars.Com to find the best deals among local and international car hire companies. You can find locals looking to rent their spare cars around Republic Square in Yerevan which can be a cheaper option.
If renting a car, make sure to take out an excess insurance policy from a company like iCarHireInsurance to ensure you don’t have to pay a hefty excess if you are involved in an accident!
Things to Do in Dilijan
While the town of Dilijan is quite small, it makes for a great base to explore the surrounding area or simply relax amongst the amazing scenery. These are some of the best things to do in Dilijan.
There are a number of great hiking opportunities to enjoy in and around Dilijan. In fact, the Transcaucasian Trail — a long distance hiking trail currently being created through Georgia and Armenia — goes through Dilijan National Park!
There are a couple of ways to find out about the hiking trails on offer. Firstly, head to the Tourist Information Centre which is located in a modern looking building next to the lake in the centre of Dilijan. The staff here speak English (contrary to what Lonely Planet says!) and can provide you with a detailed hiking map with over 20 routes of varying length and difficulty. Some of the hikes start in the centre of town while others might require you to take a taxi to the trailhead.
You can also download the HikeArmenia app which is extremely useful when hiking in Armenia! While they don’t cover all the trails in Dilijan, they have details on a few of them, particularly the longer hikes.
Like nearly every destination in Armenia, there a few monasteries around Dilijan that are considered the main attractions for tourists visiting the city. As we’d already spent a number of weeks in Georgia and Armenia and only had one day in Dilijan we decided to skip the monasteries here. However, if Dilijan is your first stop in Armenia and you’re interested in seeing them it’s easy to visit while staying in Dilijan.
The two most popular monasteries to visit — which are included on most tours to Dilijan — are Goshavank and Haghartsin. If you’re not on a group tour, you can organise a taxi to take you here from the centre of Dilijan. The taxi driver that drove us to our guesthouse quoted us 13000AMD which included a stop at a lake and for lunch.
Another monastery that you can visit is Jukhtakvank Monastery which is a 7km hike from Dilijan. You can find details on the route from the Tourist Information Centre or the HikeArmenia app.
Ultimately, if you need a couple of days of relaxation during your trip throughout the Caucasus, Dilijan is a great option! Whether it’s spending a few hours sitting on a bench looking out at the lake in the centre of town, enjoying the mountain views from your guesthouse balcony or finding a quiet spot in nature to read a book, the scenery and fresh mountain air of Dilijan will surely leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to continue your Caucasusian adventure!
Where to Eat in Dilijan
One of the things that certainly took us by surprise was the quality of food and restaurants in Dilijan. We didn’t have a bad meal during our time there – these were some of the best spots that we found.
Kchuch Restaurant – a popular place that serves traditional Armenian dishes in clay pots as well amazing pizzas cooked in their woodfire oven. The staff speak English and are very friendly – make sure you leave room for some of their awesome desserts!
Cafe #2 – Nestled on the lake in the centre of Dilijan, Cafe #2 has arguably the best views in town! The cafe is community-run and used to train students hospitality skills so it’s a great place for lunch or simply for a drink overlooking the lake. They also have board games if you want to whittle away a few hours.
Tava – A hip restaurant serving an original menu with Armenian and international dishes with their own unique twist and style. They also have an extensive selection of wines.
Where to Stay in Dilijan
One thing to keep in mind when booking a place to stay in Dilijan is that a number of hotel and guesthouse options are located a steep walk up from town. A taxi from the centre should only cost about 600AMD (approx €1.10) if you don’t want to walk up.
Green Dilijan B&B – A family run guesthouse that is a great option for budget travellers. They have a few different rooms with a separate common room and balcony just for guests. The breakfast is excellent and the owners are extremely friendly. Click here to check their availability
Kirovi Tun – If you prefer to stay in a hotel rather than a guesthouse, then this place is a wonderful choice. They offer a large number of different rooms which can also accommodate families, there is a swimming pool on site and breakfast is included in the daily rate. Click here to check their availability
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse other places in Dilijan!
A stop in Dilijan for a day or two is undoubtedly a great addition to any trip throughout Armenia and certainly worth the journey up from Yerevan!
When travelling in Armenia, it’s always a good idea to make sure you have a travel insurance policy so you’re covered for any unfortunate events! We like WorldNomads and always use them for our trips – click here to get a quote from WorldNomads
Are you planning on travelling from Yerevan to Dilijan? Have you been recently? Let us know in the comments below!