During the warmer months, Armenia's network of roads and highways serves a dual purpose. Setting up stalls by the roadside, local farmers sell fruit, vegetables and other products to commuters keen on sourcing produce fresh from the field – it's the local version of a farmers market, and a sensational source of picnic provisions. Each town and region tends to specialise in one crop or product, including the following:
Dilijan Freshly picked corn on the cob is cooked and sold on the stretch of road between the town and the Sevan Pass, on the road to Lake Sevan.
Vanadzor Bunches of crunchy carrots are a popular purchase when driving between Vanadzor and Dilijan.
Voratan Pass Honeykeepers tend their hives and sell jars of the golden bountry by the side of the highway between the Voratan Pass and the turn-off to Tatev Monastery.
Areni Bottles of locally produced red wine and juicy apricots grown in orchards on the river plain are sold at highway stalls in this wine-growing town.
Debed Canyon A bounty of freshly picked berries (raspberries, mulberries and strawberries) tempts drivers around the town of Alaverdi.
There are wonderful picnic spots in rural settings throughout the country. Some of our favourites include the caravanserai on the Selim Pass between Lake Sevan and Yeghegnadzor; the stream alongside the road to Haghartsin Monastery outside Dilijan; the garden in the grounds of the Surp Gevorg Church in Mughni in the Kasagh Gorge; and the forest surrounding Makaravank Monastery near Ijevan.