In Armenia, the climate is continental, with cold winters and hot summers. Precipitation is usually not abundant. Armenia is a mountainous country, and only a small portion of its territory is located below 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) above sea level, while there are no plains. The climate becomes colder and wetter (and snowy in winter as well) with increasing altitude, while at lower elevations, the rains are scarce and the summer is very hot. The driest region, where precipitation drops below 300 millimeters (12 inches) per year, is the west, which includes the capital, and where the altitude is below 1,000 meters (3,300 feet).
In winter, cold air masses predominate, and after having reached the country from the north, they tend to stagnate in the valleys, causing severe frosts. Spring is an unstable season and experiences the most frequent rains, though they generally remain not abundant because, as mentioned, this country is generally arid, at least at lower elevations. Summer is dry and sunny, but with some afternoon thunderstorms in the mountains.
From the mountains, a down-slope wind, dry and warm, similar to the Föhn or Chinook, can reach the valleys, especially in winter, but also in spring and autumn.


The capital, Yerevan, is located at 800 meters (2,600 feet) above sea level, that is, at the lowest altitudes of the country. The average temperature ranges from -2.5 °C (27.5 °F) in January to 26.5 °C (80 °F) in July, with highs around 34 °C (93 °F), but also with peaks of about 40 °C (104 °F). So, the summer is hot despite the altitude, even though the humidity is low and the breezes from the mountains bring a bit of relief. Winter is rather cold: in the worst moments, the mercury can plunge to -15/-20 °C (-4/5 °F), there is an average of a hundred days with minimum temperatures below freezing per year, and snow can cover the ground for weeks, though it's usually not abundant. In winter, the mountains are covered with snow, and the inhabitants of the capital go skiing in Tsaghkadzor.
Here are the average temperatures in Yerevan.
Erevan - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-7-507111519181371-4
Max (°C)251219243034332921125
Min (°F)192332455259666455453425
Max (°F)364154667586939184705441

In Yerevan, precipitation amounts to only 295 mm (11.6 inches) per year, so it's at semi-desert levels; however, the rainiest season is spring, with 30/50 mm (1.1/2 in) per month, while summer is the least rainy season, and it's also sunny, here as elsewhere in the country. Here is the average precipitation.
Erevan - Average precipitation

The sun in Yerevan (and in Armenia in general) does not shine very often in winter, while in summer, it's usually sunny. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Erevan - Sunshine

From Yerevan, you can see on the horizon the spectacular Mount Ararat, which, however, is located in the Turkish territory.



In the north, Gyumri (formerly Leninakan) is very cold because of the altitude, in fact, it is located at 1,500 meters (5,000 feet). Here, the average temperature in January is -8.5 °C (16.5 °F), but in the worst times, it can drop to about -35 °C (-30 °F). Summer is quite warm, at least if you consider the altitude: highs in July and August are about 26 °C (79 °F), and it can sometimes even get hot, although nights remain cool.
Gyumri - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-14-12-6058121271-3-9
Max (°C)-3-141318222626231670
Min (°F)71021324146545445342716
Max (°F)273039556472797973614532

In Gyumri, 525 mm (20 in) of rain (or snow) fall per year, confirming the rule that the areas located at higher altitudes receive more rainfall. Here, it can sometimes rain even in summer, in the form of afternoon thunderstorms, which can occur in the mountains. For this reason, the driest season (at least in quantity) is winter, when precipitation, though not abundant, always occurs in the form of snow. The wettest period runs from April to June: in May and June, thunderstorms are a bit more frequent because a bit of cold air can still arrive at high altitudes, increasing the thermal contrast, while in July and August, the atmosphere becomes warmer even at high elevations, so it becomes more stable.
Here is the average precipitation.
Gyumri - Average precipitation


Sevan is located at 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above sea level, on the shores of the lake of the same name. Even though it is located at a higher altitude, in winter, it is not colder than Gyumri because the waters of the lake slightly temper the climate (although the lake is often frozen in winter), in fact, the average in January is -8 °C (18 °F), while the average in August is just 15 °C (58.5 °F). In summer, however, locals sunbathe along the banks and swim in the lake. Here are the average temperatures.
Sevan - Average temperatures
Min (°C)-13-13-12-61591050-7-11
Max (°C)-3-21712161920171260
Min (°F)9910213441485041321912
Max (°F)272834455461666863544332

Precipitation amounts to about 500 mm (20 in) per year, as usual, with a maximum between spring and early summer and a minimum in winter. Here is the average precipitation.
Sevan - Average precipitation

Best Time

If you want to visit Yerevan and the areas of Armenia below 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), which in summer can be very hot, the best times are spring and autumn, especially the month of May and from mid-September to mid-October. At higher altitudes, such as in Gyumri and Lake Sevan, you can choose instead the summer, from June to September. If you want to find a compromise for the whole country, you can choose June and September, or even July and August for those who can stand the heat.

What to pack

In winter: bring very warm clothes, a fleece, a down jacket, a hat, a scarf, and gloves.
In summer: in Yerevan, bring light clothes for the day, a sun hat, a sweatshirt and a light jacket for the evening. In Sevan and above 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), bring spring/autumn clothes, a sun hat, a sweater and a warm jacket for the evening, and possibly a raincoat or umbrella.