Armenia is a country rich in history and heritage of bronze age era. Some historians claim that the civilization in Armenia is as old as 3-4000 BC. Armenia has rich history and culture to offer along with the places of occurrence/presence of biblical historical events/artifacts such as the Mountain of Ararat. Christian monasteries along with the presence of Muslim mosques show the co-existence of two distinctly different beliefs in nation in that is first in the world to have Christianity as the religion of its state. The population of Armenia is estimated at three million. Yerevan is Armenia’s capital city, It has lots of attractions for the tourists. www.travelrows.com
Armenia is divided in the following regions:
- The North: Lori and Tavush.
- The Northwest: Shirak, Aragatsotn, Armavir.
- The Center: Kotayk, Gegharkunik and Ararat.
- The South: Vayots Dzor and Syunik. Nagorno Karabakh.
Here are 50 most popular things that you can do along with your while in Armenia:
1. Popular cities in Armenia
Armenian cities are great place to witness age old history that include Monasteries, Cathedrals, and great mountains, terrains, forests and culture. The following cities are considered as most popular tourist places, these cities are worth visiting as they offer a host of activities for the tourists.
- Yerevan Gyumri
- Stepanakert in Nagorno Karabakh
- Armenian Genocide Memorial – Yerevan
2. Etchmiadzin Cathedral, town of Ejmiatsina
country of Cathedrals and Monasteries Etchmidazin is an important tourist attraction as it is home to Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin Mayr Tajar Surb Ejmiatsin; (Holy Mother of God Church). It is a fourth century Armenian Church situated in the town of Ejmiatsin. The Etchmiadzin Cathedral was built by the state and it is the oldest church built by a state in the world. This cathedral is also listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3. The town of Sevan
The Sevan is a bustling little town just 6km from Sevan Monastery, it was founded in 1842 by the name Elenovka by the Russians. The town has good facilities for the tourists such as moneychangers, taxis, post office, cafés, lakeshore hotels, a shuka etc.
The town also has a beach strip along the sandy south side of peninsula of Sevanavank. A place for shutter bugs to click from the Churches on the hill at the end. The beach strip comes lively and transformed into Riviera in the hot summers of Armenia, and dotted with bars, beach volleyball players, water-skiers and paddleboats. There are few more beaches closer to Sevan town that are quieter across the highway near the Hayots Ojakh motel-restaurant. To visit these beaches one has to pay entry fee.
4. Lake Sevan
Armenia is a landlocked nation surrounded by Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran from four corner of it, with very small beach strips the only sizable pool of water is river Sevan which is located almost in the middle of Armenia, located in Gegharkunik province. It has an area of 1,360 sq km lying in a mountain-enclosed basin with almost fresh and clear blue waters giving it a marvelously beautiful look. The best point to the views the lake is from Sevanavank Monastery It is the largest fresh water lake in the world. One of the attractions of Lake Sevan is fish, especially the trout, and for travels Lake Sevan can be a fishing destination. Lake Sevan is surrounded with several ancient Armenian churches along the shore..
5. Senavank monastery
Sevanavank town is located alongside the Sevan Lake, on a hill close to the Lake Sevan shore. It is one of the most important Christian Monasteries in Armenia, which has two Churches within it: Surb Astvatsats (meaning Holly Mother of God) and Surb Arakelots (meaning St Apostoles). Both the Churches are identical as they have same inner and outer look and style. An inscription, in one of the churches of Armenia, mentions 874 AC as the foundation year of the monastery of Sevanavank. Tourists throng this Monastery out of their interest in history, belief in Christianity and to witness a building that has withstood the test of times for centuries together.
6. Garni Temple
Built up of just stones, Garni is a name of temple complex located near Yerevan. It was founded in third century BC yet this temple complex has also withstood the test of times for centuries together it has been preserved well till date. Visitors show interest in it because of it historical importance and it being build by just using stones and without mortar yet it has passed centuries of climatic intrusions standing bare on stones firmly grounded beneath the soil of Armenia. It also offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the Armenian people through its inscriptions.
7. Blue mosque of Yerevan
Among host of Cathedrals and Monasteries is a Blue Mosque located across the busy street of Pag Shuka on Mashtots in Yerevan. It’s one of the largest Mosques of Armenia for the Muslim community to offer prayers and provide community services. The Mosque was built in AH 1179 (Islamic Calendar) (AC 1765/6) by the orders of Hussein Ali-Khan, a local ruler who wanted it to be the central Friday Mosque (called Juma Masjid in Arabic). The Mosque has beautiful Islamic art of Persia with entrance arch and minaret decorated with calligraphy in Arabic and Persian and engraved with fine tile work. The Mosque’s central court has a beautiful water fountain with elegant elm trees surrounding it.
8. Armenian opera theater
Alexander Tamanian build Armenian Opera Theater is a building of Theatre and Ballet in the city of Yerevan. An architectural marvel this building is beautifully and esthetically designed and elevated. The theater was opened in 1930. The Armenian opera saw new heights and flourished in this building. This Opera Theater is one which is recommended as a must visit building in Yerevan.
9. The mountains of Ararat
Black and Caspian Seas in southern Armenia are home to one of the important place in Biblical history -the mountains of Ararat. It’s the belief of the Christians that the Noah Ark rested at the Mount of Ararat after the great flood. Ararat is just not Single Mountain but a mountain range and there are two peaks separated by almost 11 kilometers distance which is where it’s believed that the Noah Ark rested. A claim which is refuted by the scientists and people of other Semitic religions who believe in the Prophecy of Noah.
10. Ambert fortress and surb Astvatsasin church
“Fortress in the clouds” is another name with which this historical fortress is famous. This name is given as it’s situated on a high point. The fortress is situated 2300 meters above the sea level on the Aragat Mountain. The fortress also has a church that is 11th century old and is named as Vahramashen Church. The historical importance attached to these two places makes them visitors’ choice to see witness a historical fortress and church in-person.
11. Knor Virap Monastery
Another in the long list of Cathedrals and Monasteries of Armenia is Khor Virap Monastery. Khor Virap is located is located in south of Yerevan, at the foot of Mount Ararat in Turkey. When viewed from Mount Ararat the Monastery gives a spectacular view of it on a sunny and bright day. It has got great importance for the Armenians. And the tourist have great chance to see a great Monastery if visited here.
12. Tatev Monastery
In the Tatev village, in southern Armenia, lies the Tatev Monastery that was built in the 9th century. The Monastery has several complexes of buildings which include: Churches, administrative buildings, library. The churches include: Peter Church, St. Marys Church St. Paul and St. Gregory the Illuminator Church. Tatev Monastery is among one of the most visited tourist places of Armenia because of cultural, political and spiritual life existed in the Tatev Monastery in ancient Armenia.
13. Geghard Monastery
Another place to have Biblical importance in Armenia is Geghard Monastery which is famous among the Christian tourists. The word Geghard has been derived from Geghardavank which means Spear of God. It’s believed by the Christians that the spear that killed Jesus is kept here. This Monastery is a complex dating back to fourth century. The Monastry is surrounded with mountains and picturesque landscape. The Monastery is home to centuries old numerous artifacts preserved here.
14. Alaverdi Monastery
Alaverdi Monastry is another addition to list of Monasteries in Armenia. It was built in the sixth century and the cathedral in it was completed in 11th century. It is protected with a fortress that attracts tourists eager to revisit the history in this part of the world. The Monastery has several historical important relics and artifacts.
15. Noravank Monastery
Noravank Monastery can also be called as fortress walled Monastery; this Monastery was founded in 1205, near the town of Yeghegnadzor. It is an important spiritual and cultural centre for the Armenians. The Monastery of Noravank has three churches: Surb Astvatsatsin, Surb Karapet and Surb Grigor chapel. The churches have been renovated time and again between 1900 and 2000 year.
ppening city of Armenia and the Capital of the nation is Yerevan. You are most likely to land here first when you plan a visit to Armenia. Yerevan is a good place to unwind yourself and this is central place to visit other tourist destinations. From here you can visit the ruins of Zvartnots to the west and the ancient sites of Garni and Geghard to the east of the capital. And in the south of Yerevan you will find Khor Virap Monastery.
17. Tourist attractions in Yerevan
The city of Yerevan offers tourists a host of opportunities to explore as a visitor to the Capital of Armenia. Different sites of attraction in Yerevan include the following.
- Matenadaran Ancient Manuscripts Museum
- History Museum
- National Art Gallery
- Armenian Genocide Museum
- Parajanov Museum
- Saryan Museum
- Panorama of Ararat Mountain
- Erebuni Fortress (Yerevan)
- Yerevan Brandy Factory
- Shengavit: Early Bronze Age Habitat
- Teishebaini Fortress, Karmir Blur on Shirak Street
- Ruins of Avan Cathedral in Avan District of Yerevan
- Katoghike Church in Central Yerevan
- Republic Square and “Singing” Fountains
- Children Art Gallery
- Folk Art Museum
- Freedom Square
- Mekkamarani Bridge on Getar River
- Vernissage – Outdoor paintings market
- Outdoor handcrafts market
18. Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan is home to good hotels and pubs to stay on the waterfront, this are is only crowded only in the summer months of July and August. In other months, the area appears as if abandoned, but it is a beautiful place to tour and visit. The pubs here offer astonishing ambience and a great place to enjoy and spend night time.
19. Other Unesco heritage sites
The UNESCO has listed several places of Armenia as Heritage site that makes them popular tourist places to visit and cherish. The following site are worth visiting and cherishing the memories of visit to Armenia.
- Zvartnots archaeological site
- Haghpat Monastery
- Azat Valley in Kotayk Province
- Sanahin Monastery
- Geghard Monastery
Petroglyphs are nothing but rock engravings and they are there in many numbers in Ughtasar Mountain near Sisian. Thousands of such crude expressions of prehistoric art envelope the boulders of the mountain of Ughtasar. These Petroglyphs are only accessible through the months of July-September when snow levels are really low . These can also be found in the Geghama mountains as well.
Caves are yet another medium of enjoying in Armenia. The raw caves of Mozrov and Arjeri in Yeghegnadzor offer best entertainment. Near to Magili is another very deep cave system. Many shallower caves can be found around and it’s found that people lived in them. From the cave city of Old Khdzoresk (in south) to the beautifully carved Aztec looking toil in the cave beyond Yenokavan village offer you a unique experience of caves
22. Hot springs
Hot springs are a way to unwind yourself in Armenia. They offer a joy trip to hot baths, the most popular hot springs are in Jermuk, where numerous sanitoriums serve those in need of a hot bath. The bath tubs are filled with hot mineral waters, where nurses allow you to lay for 15 minutes before you overdose. Arzni also has similar places, much closer to Yerevan, Arzakan village has some outdoor pools full of it that can be rented by the hour, and Hankavan also has some crudely developed rooms to soak in.
23. World’s longest cable way
In the modern times Armenia achieved a feast on October 23, 2010 the longest cable way was unveiled which is a Guinness World Record. The cable was is 5.7km (3.5 miles) long and spans a spectacular Vorotan River Gorge to the country’s ancient Tatev monastery. The cable way allows you year-round access to Armenia’s ninth-century Tatev monastery complex, one of the country’s important religious place and a major tourist attraction. The cable car runs at a speed of 37km (23 miles ) per hour and a two-way journey takes 22 minutes.
Kachkar designs are nothing but cross-stone designs exclusive to medieval age they are the most famous design of Armenian Medieval culture. They are the mixture of traditional art, philosophical and spiritual apprehension. They represent Armenian tribes and people since their origin over three millennia earlier. The central subject of these Kachkar is “the radiant Light, the Cross of Christ” is endowed with incredible diversity of meanings.
25. Mountain climbing
An activity many like is climbing Armenian mountains; highlands in Armenia are a perfect place to practice mountain climbing, be a beginner or an expert. There are guides who can help you in this adventure. There are many place accomplish this adventure such as mountain Argarat.
Hiking is another recreational activity that Armenia offers to its tourists. The most beautiful landscapes are a little off the beaten tracks provide you an ideal setting for seeking rest and joy for both a beginner as well as experienced. There experienced guides who help you to fulfill your this dream.
Indulge in pampering your taste buds with fruits in Armenia; it is famous for a variety of fruits, the fruits cultivated here are superior to the same fruits cultivated in other countries among many reasons one is latitude. There are some 40 variety grapes that grow on the territory of Armenia, mainly on the Ararat valley. Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, pomegranates and figs are some of the delicious fruits cultivated in Armenia. Apricot is one of the prominent fruits of Armenia that’s grown from time immemorial. Its taste is incomparable to apricots grown in other countries and considered queen of Armenian fruits.
Armenia is famous for stones, gems and minerlas where high quality marble is mined north of Sissian, along with tuf, basalt, limestone, and granite. Goris is abundant in iron and diatomite. Where as Kapan and Meghri have vast quantities of molibden, tungsten, perlite,granite, aluminum, polymetal, and limestone, tuf and basalt.
The regions of Sissian and Goris have flowers such as: Iris lineolata, Gagea ssp., Puschkinia scilloides, Draba ssp., Lallemautia I. Caucasica, Merendera mirzoeval, Colchicum Szoritsii, caneseeus, Trifolium ssp., Gladiolus kotschyanus, Silene ssp.Ranunculus ssp., Myosotis alpestris, Pedicularis ssp.,
30. Flowers of Kapan and Meghri
The Kapan and MeghriMountain have flowers like Tulipa florensvyi, T. confusa: f. pink, f. red, Mesendera candissima, Colchicum zangezurum, Hyacintella atropatana, f. yellow, Iris grossheimii, I. Paradoxa, I. Caucasica, I. Pseudocaucasica, I. Atropatana, Fritillaria kurdica, F. armena, Orchis simma, O. schelvcornikovii, O. stvenii, O. coriphora, Steveniella satyroides, Cephalanthera epipactoides, Epipactis latifolia, Acantholimon fedorovii, Punica granatum (wild), Tournefortia siberia, Calendula persica, Reseda globulosa, Cercis griffithii, Gladiolus szovitsii, G. atroviolaceus, and G. italicus etc.
31. Giant mountain mushrooms
Another treat for the tourists from the flora kingdom in Siunik are the giant mountain mushrooms that blossom in the spring and early summer. The roadside sellers near Sissian are huge white specimens. These have great taste but a slightly nutty as well.
Armenia has many species of birds in its nature. Upper Mountain Cliff and Gorge, Woodland / Farmland / Orchard, Wetlands, Subalpine / Mountain Meadow, Alpine, Mountain Steppe Wetland, Valley / Lowland, Scrub, Semi-Desert to Mountain Steppe, Mountain Steppe, Rocky Cliff / River Gorge, Mountain Slope, Forests / Open Forests are some places where you can find them in abundance.
The City of Kapan with its immediate surroundings lies on the Iranian Plateau, a semi-arid land inhabited by field deer, jackals and marten. To the West of Kapan City, between Meghri and Goris the landscape suddenly changes, marking the border of the Caucasian Land mass, with wild mountain goats, lynx, porcupines and sylvan wild cats. There are still a few wild boars in the deepest parts of the forest, and we can also find the rare Caucasian leopard in the most remote mountain areas. This territory is pocked with small sections of the Asia Minor Plateau, with a few jackals, reed wildcats, hawks and eagles crossing between nature zones.
34. Cultural activities
Armenia’s cultural activities includes a variety of events for everyone which includes folk festivals, art exhibitions, chamber music, opera, modern and ballet dance, light music and jazz. Performances, by local artists, meet the most exacting standards. Permanent repertoires of theatres and orchestras are supplemented by a wide range of guest performances. Yerevan’s theatrical fare is varied and interesting enough to please the most discriminating connoisseur. The amazing part is the bargain prices which will surprise you.
35. Local festivals
Armenia’s churches and monasteries keep their customs and traditions alive and yearly religious festivals and public feast days are celebrated with great fervor and tremendous Armenia is deservedly proud of its different and unique cultural heritage and is always happy to share it with tourist.
36. Armenian cuisine
Armenian cuisine is famous for its plasant aroma, which is a result of different mix of spices. You can find unique herbs and greens in their food. The most exotic are collected at alpine meadows and combined in the most unusual way. The taste will have a lasting impression. Many of their specialities are barbecued. You can taste traditional food also in Armenia’s cuisine. The standard bread of the country, called lavash, is popular for its quality. European conventional bread and European common foods are also available. Restaurants, ranging from the luxury class to simple grills cater for all tastes.
37. Sissian district
In Sissian, the Siunik is one of the greatest varieties of terrain in Armenia that includes the dry sub-tropic and dry mediterranean zones near Meghri. It is the longest mountain range in Armenia and divides the District from Vayots Dzor from its eastern border with Nakhichevan. Three of the five best and tallest mountains in Armenia lie on this range that include: Ghazangiol (3829m/12,559f), Kaputiugh (3904m/12,805f), and the Aychingil Mountain Pass (3707m/12,159f).
38. Goris district
This district shares the same mountainous borders as that of Sissian, but the bulk of mass is Karabakh Uplands. The river canyons and mountainsides crowd the large limestone and basalt “needle stones”. In the city of Goris rising up to half a kilometer each, the needle stones are concentrated. Goris is situated deep inside a river gorge surrounded by oak, pristine pine, and elm trees.
The Khundzoresk is also called as Armenia’s “Lost Valley “. It’s one of the nature’s splendors. The town of Khundzoresk is a town built entirely from hundreds of caves carved since the early Bronze Age. These canyons are terraced, with homes interconnected by the carved tunnels these caves were inhabited till recently that is till1980.
40. Kapan and Meghri Kapan
The districts of Kapan and Meghri Kapan are the most beautifully different and stunning districts of Armenia. The districts have rich forestland that is a part of a unique microclimate. The river of canyon is hot and humid in summertime, which builds up moisture over Mts. Khustup and Ghazangiol blanket upper elevations with fog, which brings temperatures down and afternoon showers in the lower regions. Kapan district have a treasure trove of natural splendors. These are districts which are not easy to reach as other districts of the country. The Kapans lie at the begining of the Voghji River canyon onto the Arax River plain to the Southeast.
41. The Red Bridge
It is also known as the Old Bridge of Hrazdan; it is a 17th century old bridge on the Hrazdan River, in Yerevan, Armenia. The bridge is called ‘red’ because it is built with red tuffa. The length of the bridge is 80 meters, and the height is 11 meters. The bridge has 4 arches, 2 are in the middle and were squiggly. The other two arches are in the leans in the coasts of the Hrazdan River.
In the south of Goris City lies a very vast forest, which is the second largest in Armenia. This forests stretches to the Iranian border at Meghri, the forest is bubbling with wildlife. The area is densely covered with coniferous and deciduous forests that suddenly transforms into semi-desert land near the ends. The region is filled with large Oak, dry Oak, and Georgian Oak. The Oaks found here are some of the best qualities.
43. Shikahogh Reserve
In the south of Armenia is Shikahogh Reserve which is home so dense forest, no human has ever set foot there but can viewed from skies and other means. The main attraction of the forest is Leopard Panthrera Pardus. There have been many sanctuaries adjoining this Reserve and there have been Scientific research on the reserve. Persian leopards can seen from above the reserve’
44. Zangezur Sanctuary
It’s a vast sanctuary of the country which covers the area of 17368.77 ha across the Zangezur Ridge (Voghji and Geghi riversides) and southern slopes of the Bargushat Ridge. The Sanctury is bounded by the mining area of the Kajaran town and the Meghri Ridge in the east and the in the south-west Ordubad National Park in Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan Republic. Meadows of Subalpine and alpine are widespread throughout Zangezur Sanctury.
45. Khosrov reseve
Khosrov reseve is located in south-western Armenia in the Ararat Province (Marz), to the south-east of Armenia’s capital Yerevan while covering the area of the Geghama Ridge. The area has a long-term reputation of wildlife haunt and a unique forest tract with splendid scenery and rich historical legacy that makes it the closest piece of pristine nature to the capital.
46. Kapan-Meghri motorway
Kapan-Meghri motorway has been constructed in order to promote trucking and passenger transportation between Armenia and Iran. This road is constructed with an intention to serve an alternative to, then, the only route Kapan-Kajaran-Meghri that goes through the highest in Armenia mountain pass and is unsafe to peopl, especially during the winter.
47. Genocide Museum
The Armenian Genocide Museum is constructed in memory of 1915 Genocide of Armenians committed by Turk rulers. It contains lots of information about Armenia’s history and genocide. It’s located in Tsitsernakaberd, this museum is important to visit if you want to see historical evidence of this tragedy or are interested in the academic and scientific study. There are lots of visitors which visit this museum among them foreign official delegations. Pope John Paul II, President of the Russian Federation V. Putin, President of the Republic of France J. Chirac and many others have visited this museum.
48. What to buy in Armenia
Armenia is famous for beautiful handicrafts such as Caucasus wool carpets and lace tablecloths. There are many jewellery and gold shops in Yerevan and the capital is also famous for having markets of handicrafts, books and paintings. There is a flea market where people curious about the Soviet Union can find all kinds of memorabilia featuring Lenin and the hammer and sickle emblem.
49. Thermal and mineral springs
Sissian and Goris have many mineral springs, including carbonated calcium, carbonated sodium, calcium, carbonated pure, and fresh water springs. Best known springs are located in Sissian District at the Karbakh Upland, Spandarian Reservoir, Angeghakot, Sissian (3), Hastavan, Akhlatian, Shamb and Lor. In Goris District, springs can be found in Goris, and by Khundzoresk, Karahundj, Halidzor and Bartsravan.
50. Western Armenia
Western Armenia is a disputed region currently controlled by Turkey. Some of the Armenian churches, historical monuments and khachkars (cross-stones) are still there in Western Australia. Turkey has preserved Armenian Cultural Heritage, Churches, Architectural Sites, Monuments, Music, Ornaments, and other things.