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Introducing Jermuk

This small resort town, 2080m above sea level on the upper Arpa River, was popular in the USSR as a vacation spot for mineral-water treatments and hot springs, some of them very hot. The landscape around Jermuk is very pretty, excellent for walks and hikes.

The spa business gets most of its customers in the July and August holidays, and largely hibernates outside this season. Some of its sanatoriums have immersion pools and treatment areas. The spa attendants take their job seriously – in the old days people would sign up for 18-day courses with medically supervised immersions in Jermuk’s waters.

Open to the public is the Gallery of Waters, with a façade of archways and a pleasant view. Water runs into stone urns from pipes set in the wall and the temperature of the water is printed next to its pipe. The various waters are said to have different properties, good for curing stomach and liver problems, heart disease and cancer.

The Armenia Hotel and Health Spa (9am-5pm) has hot baths, mud treatments, sauna, hydrotherapy rooms and various other treatment rooms. Treatment costs range between AMD600 and AMD2500. Even better, try the Jacuzzi at the Olympia Health Spa across the road.

At the time of research a small ski resort was being built on a hill close to the town. It’s not the Alps but should satisfy beginning and intermediate skiers for a half day.