- Encounters with locals
- Place or Religious Monument
- Castle and fortress
Stepanavan is the first town that you cross when coming from Georgia after the border post at Guguti/Gogava. So you climb to the plateaus of the Lesser Caucasus by going up its deep canyons; you'll find the landscape to be quite lunar and luminous when you get to the uplands, where Stepanavan opens up, by the River Dzoraget.
The town used to be a popular holiday destination during the Soviet era, benefiting from a pleasant climate and a green setting. Stepanavan intensely suffered from the great earthquake of 1988, which brought down many buildings and the majority of its infrastructure.
Today, Stepanavan is a typical Armenian town, with a very Soviet layout of parallel and perpendicular streets. Its architecture is rather nondescript, even if its central avenue is quite pleasant and shaded. It's interest lies elsewhere: in the magnificent landscape formed by the volcanic relief and by the canyon of the Dzoraget and Urut rivers, as well as by the historic remains that can be discovered in the region: the Lori Berd Fortress, the Hnevank Monastey or, a bit further away, that of Odzun, a remarkable place. It was an interesting stop during my trip to Armenia.