Jermuk (The “Warm mineral spring” in Armenian) is a mountain spa town in the southern Armenian province of Vayots Dzor, 53 km east of the provincial capital Yeghegnadzor. The town is located at a height of 2,080 meters above sea level, within the mountains of Vayots Dzor, among thick forests, on a plateau divided into two parts by the gorge of Arpa River, 170 km southeast of Yerevan.
The town was first mentioned during the 13th century by historian Stepanos Orbelian in his work “History of the Province of Sisakan”. The remains of an ancient cyclopean fortress and the ruins of an 8th century basilica testify that the region around the fountains of Jermuk has been settled long before the 13th century. During the Middle Ages, the Silk Road passed through the area of Vayots Dzor, particularly the road that currently links the town of Martuni with Yeghegnadzor to the northwest of Jermuk.
The town is mainly famous with its hot springs. The natural water bottling industry has its deep roots in the town as the first factory was founded in 1951. Nowadays, Jermuk is home to many giant factories which produce bottled mineral water. The sparkling water of Jermuk is largely exported to markets around the world.
Another key sector in the economy of Jermuk is tourism. The town is home to several high quality health resorts and spas, and it is one of the main touristic destinations for those who visit Armenia. Visitors could enjoy the beautiful nature of the area and the mountains around it, the waterfalls, the curing water pools, hotels and health spas, sanatoriums, the ropeway and alpine sports facilities. The forests of Jermuk are rich with oak and hornbeam trees, as well as with dog rose, wild pear, plum and juniper plants. Animals like foxes, rabbits, badgers and bears could be found there. One of the most attractive nearby destinations is the 1,000 years old Gndevank Monastery, located just 10 km west of Jermuk.
Jermuk is also being set up to become a major chess center, where during the month of August of each year, Jermuk hosts the FIDE Grand Prix Jermuk chess tournament.