The town of Dilijan, health and vacation resort famous for its forests, multi-colored flowers, and cool water springs is located in the northeast of Armenia. Dilijan stands on the Aghstev River surrounded with the mountain ranges of Pambak and Bazum. The town covers 6.9 km2 with a population of about 17 thousand people. Dilijan lies in the narrow riverside at a height of 1250-1510 meters above sea level, making for a beautiful view with the spacious glades of the mountain-sides covered with forests adjacent to it. The climate in Dilijan is mild and pleasant. Flowery and crisp spring gives way to cool and sunny summer, autumn is long and fruitful, and winter - without severe frosts. The lowest temperature recorded, in January, was -27 C, and the highest, +38 C - in July. The air is fresh and pure, balmy and free from dust during all seasons, humidity is moderate, and the average precipitation is 620 mm, most of the rain falling in May, June and July.
Generous natural wonders - favorable climate, forest fresh and clear air, gorgeous vegetation, mineral springs - have attracted people's attention since ancient times. It is no wonder that Dilijan has become one of the royal holiday resorts. In the 17th century, the settlement of Dilijan was also mentioned in the notes of the famous French traveler J. Chardin, who wrote about the town as the outstanding resort in the region. Dilijan has become the holiday resort for many high-ranking officials and wealthy people. Therefore one of the versions of the origin of Dilijan's name is that it comes from the French word “diligence”, meaning coach, because famous wealthy people in olden times came there in luxurious coaches.
There are other versions, based on the popular etymology, one of which asserts that the name Dilijan means “sweet tongue”. In another popular legend the name of the town is associated with a person called Dili. Dili was gobbled up by wolves, and his relatives were looking for him all over the place and crying "Dili jan, Dili jan", and that is where the name Dilijan came from.
The town began to blossom in the middle of the last century turning, within a short period of time, from a small settlement into a well-known health resort. Multiple manufacturing enterprises and health facilities were built.
Even today one may see three-storied houses with tiled roofs built in the previous centuries by wealthy families with open balconies and wooden ornaments - architectural elements for which Dilijan is known.
Today, Dilijan is one of the most popular tourist centers in Armenia, with a lot of modern resorts meeting international standards, hotel complexes, which will satisfy even the most demanding tourists. “Mountainous Armenia” is the largest sanatorium, which was built in the early 1970s. Also, Dilijan is rich in mineral waters, the composition and properties of which are close to the waters of Borjomi (Georgia) and Vichy (France) health resorts.
In the nature’s lap Dilijan provides wonderful conditions for implementing cultural activities. And it is no coincidence that the Armenian Composers' Union creativity house and the Cinematographers creativity house are located here. Dilijan is also scientific and educational center, here one of the branches of Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is located. Quite recently, in September 2014, the unique Dilijan International School opened its doors here. The school hosts many foreign students.
The town of Dilijan and its surrounding area are rich in beautiful natural sights, as well as in historical and cultural monuments. One of the country’s nature reserves, the Dilijan National Park, was established in the forest area near the town. The Dilijan National Park is beautiful, it is rich and diverse with flora and fauna. The Lake Parz (Clear), located high in the mountains, not far from the town, with its unique and amazing beauty, surrounded with thick green forests creates a magnificent site where a visitor may just enjoy this miracle of nature. The Jukhtak Monastery and Haghartsin Monastery Complex are also worth seeing.