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An update from Evaneos

Karabakh (Armenia)

Practical information on Karabakh

  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Festivals
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Off the beaten track
3 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
About 3 hours and 30 minutes by car from Yerevan
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
2 to 3 days

Reviews of Karabakh

Timothée D. Seasoned Traveller
285 written opinions

Nagorno Karabakh is an Armenian enclave in Azeri territory that is still hotly disputed.

My suggestion:
Azerbaijan will refuse to allow you to enter it and may even cancel your visa if your passport has a stamp from the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. So try to get your passport stamped on a different page.
My review

When the USSR fell and the 15 Soviet Republics declared their independence, the region of Nagorno-Karabakh was claimed by Armenia because of the presence of a large Armenian minority there, resulting in a war between the two countries which only ended in 1994. Since this time Azerbaijan has not had control over the area and the Armenian enclave has become an autonomous region.

During my trip to ArmeniaI particularly liked the region, which is mostly forests and mountains with few people living there, particularly because of its geopolitical context and the striking visit to the two ghost towns of Sushi and Agdam, symbols of the terrible war the two neighbours suffered. But Nagorno-Karabakh is also a country of magnificent monasteries and fascinating historic sites like Hadrut and Martuni.

Traditional countryside in Nagorno-Karabakh
Nicolas Landru Seasoned Traveller
117 written opinions

The Lesser Caucasus is a small Armenian state that's permanently on the alert. Politically landlocked yet maintaining strong ties with Armenia, it has its own particular character. Mountainous and green, it's well worth a visit for its landscape and insular feel.

My suggestion:
Stay for several days so as to fully immerse yourself in this little republic. Tour Stepanakert and Shusha, as well as the Gandzasar and Amaras Monasteries and the Askeran Fortress.
My review

Nagorno-Karabakh is one of the Causcasus' separatist republics and an unusual place. Locked in a cold war with Azerbaijan, from which it split, it is integrated into the Armenian system, but declares itself independent.

Whilst touring the area, I found myself navigating a certain ambivalence. Karabagh is in its own, little world, isolated, even insular. On the one hand, you'll be blown away by its lush landscape, surprising for a region in the southeastern reaches of the Lesser Caucasus, known for arid steppes, rocky plateaus and snowy peaks. It reminds one of a smaller version of Austria's Tryol, but in the southern Caucasus.

On the other hand, there's the military presence. Karabakh is in a permanent state of war (even if a cease fire has long since been declared) and wary of another Azery invasion. Almost all Karabakhs are soldiers and the Stepanakert memorial tank is one of the town's monuments... And in the midst of all this, there's the Armenian mountain culture; a welcoming hospitality that also makes Karabagh stand apart from the rest of Armenia. There are also the vestiges of a distant past, with monasteries and fortresses dotted around Stepanakert and Shusha.

The Karabagh Range