Armenia is landlocked in the southern Caucasus. Located between the Black and Caspian Seas, the country is bordered on the north and east by Georgia and Azerbaijan and on the south and west by Iran and Turkey. The Republic of Armenia, covering an area of 29,743 square kilometers (11,484), is located in the northeast of the Armenian Highland. The terrain is mostly mountainous, with fast flowing rivers and few forests. The climate is highland continental, which means that the country is subjected to hot summers and cold winters. The land rises to 4,090 meters (13,419 ft) above sea level at Mount Aragats, and no point is below 390 m. (1,280 ft) above sea level. Mount Ararat, which was historically part of Armenia, is the highest mountain in the region. Now located in Turkey, but clearly visible in Armenia, it is regarded by the Armenians as a symbol of their land. Because of this, the mountain is present on the Armenian national emblem today.
The climate in Armenia is markedly continental. Summers are dry and sunny, lasting from June to mid-September. The temperature fluctuates between 22 and 36 degrees Celsius (72 and 97 °F). However, the low humidity level mitigates the effect of high temperatures. Evening breezes blowing down the mountains provide a welcome refreshing and cooling effect. Springs are short, while falls are long. Autumns are known for their vibrant and colorful foliage. Winters are quite cold with plenty of snow, with temperatures ranging between -10 and -5 °C (14 and 23 °F). Winter sports enthusiasts enjoy skiing down the hills of Tsakhkadzor, located thirty minutes outside Yerevan. Lake Sevan, nestled up in the Armenian highlands, is the second largest lake in the world relative to its altitude, at 1,900 m. (6,234 ft) above sea level.
Armenia has a population of 3,238,000 (2008 est.) And is the second most densely populated of the former Soviet republics. There has been a problem of population decline due to elevated levels of emigration after the break-up of the USSR. The rates of emigration and population decline, however, have decreased drastically in the recent years, and a moderate influx of Armenians returning to Armenia has been the main reasons for the trend, which is expected to continue. In fact, Armenia is expected to resume its positive population growth by 2010.
Armenian is the only official language even though Russian is widely used, especially in education, and could be considered as de facto "second language". 94% of adult Armenians consider it important that their children learn Russian.
Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, an event traditionally dated to AD 301. The predominant religion in Armenia is Christianity. The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century. According to tradition, the Armenian Church was founded by two of Jesus' twelve apostles –Thaddeus and Bartholomew churches. Armenian Apostolic Church is in communion only with a group of churches within Oriental Orthodoxy. Other religious denominations in Armenia are the Baptists and Presbyterians. Catholics also exist in Armenia. The Mechitarists (also spelled "Mekhitarists" ), are a congregation of Benedictine monks of the Armenian Catholic Church founded in 1712 by Mechitar of Sebaste. They are best known for their series of scholarly publications of ancient Armenian versions of otherwise lost ancient Greek texts. The Armenian Catholic denomination is headquartered in Bzoummar, Lebanon. The Yazidi Kurds, who live in the western part of the country, practice Yazidism. There is also non-Yazidi Kurds who practice Sunni Islam. There is a Jewish community in Armenia diminished to 750 persons since independence with most emigrants leaving for Israel. There are currently two synagogues in Armenia – in the capital, Yerevan, and in the city of Sevan located near Lake Sevan.
Armenia has a relatively large Diaspora (8 million by some estimates, greatly exceeding the 3 million population of Armenia itself), with communities existing across the globe. The largest Armenian communities outside of Armenia can be found in Russia, France, Iran, the United States, Georgia, Syria, Lebanon, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Poland and Ukraine. 40,000 to 70,000 Armenians still live in Turkey (mostly in and around Istanbul). Also, about 1,000 Armenians reside in the Armenian Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem in Israel, a remnant of a once-larger community. Italy is home to the San Lazzaro degli Armeni, an island located in the Venetian Lagoon, which is completely occupied by a monastery run by the Mechitarists, an Armenian Catholic congregation. In addition, approximately 139,000 Armenians live in the de facto country of Nagorno-Karabakh where they form a majority.
Visa is required, except for citizens of CIS countries, citizens of European countries, USA and Canada, Japan, Korea, Australia, etc… The tourists of these countries can get entry visa to Armenia upon arrival at the airport.