Armenia’s southern regions stretch from Karabakh to the east and the Azeri enclave of Naxçivan to the west. Vayots Dzor (Gorge of Woes) centres on the headwaters of the wine-growing Arpa valley. The name comes from a history of ruinous earthquakes across these mountainous valleys and cliffs. It’s a great area to explore off-the-beaten-track trails by foot, horse or 4WD.
The province of Syunik, in the extreme south of the country, is accessed via the high-altitude Voratan Pass. The landscape here is surrounded by high pastures that are home to grazing animals, drifts of wildflowers and clusters of beehives. Its main settlement, Goris, is a popular stop for travellers heading into Karabakh or Iran.