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From the ancient churches to the bustling city streets, Armenia has a way of leaving its mark on your heart.

Armenia Adventure Awaits!

World’s Leading Heritage Destination 2021, awarded by World Travel Awards. This magical land is filled with ancient history, breathtaking landscapes, and incredible architecture. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Map of Armenia, Yerevan city, airport, travel and home

The city of Yerevan itself is a fascinating blend of old and new, boasting a history that spans over 2800 years! Did you know that it’s one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world?

Armenia’s history is a tapestry of triumphs, challenges, and resilience, and it has left a lasting impact on the nation’s culture, traditions, and identity.  Today, Armenia stands as a vibrant nation with a rich cultural heritage, welcoming visitors to explore its ancient history and modern charm. This is exactly what I’m about to share with you from my 5-day trip to Armenia!

  • Oldest Recorded History: Armenia is considered one of the oldest countries with a recorded history. Archaeological evidence indicates human settlement in the region dating back to the 6th century BC. The ancient Kingdom of Urartu, centered in the Armenian Highlands, was one of the earliest advanced civilizations in the region.

  • Adoption of Christianity: In 301 AD, Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity as its state religion. This significant event is attributed to the efforts of Saint Gregory the Illuminator, who played a pivotal role in the conversion of King Tiridates III and the subsequent Christianization of the Armenian people.

  • Invasions and Empires: Throughout its history, Armenia faced various invasions and rule under different empires. The region saw the influence and control of the Persians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks, Mongols, and Ottomans at different points in time.

  • Soviet Rule and Independence: After the fall of the Russian Empire, Armenia declared its independence in 1918. However, it fell under Soviet rule as part of the Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic in 1922. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Armenia declared its independence once again and became a sovereign nation.

  • Renting a Car: Armenia has excellent road infrastructure, and renting a car gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, especially in remote areas.
  • Joining Tours: Guided tours (like this one) are a great option, especially if you prefer hassle-free travel. There are more than 100 tours available, from cultural and historical tours to outdoor adventures like hiking and skiing.

The Best Time to Visit Armenia as a Tourist:

  • Spring (April to June) and Autumn (September to November) are considered the best times to visit. The weather is mild, and nature is in full bloom or displaying beautiful fall colors.
  • Summer (June to August) can be hot in the valleys, but it's perfect for visiting higher-altitude regions or enjoying lake resorts like Lake Sevan.
  • Armenian Carpets: Known for their intricate designs and rich colors, Armenian carpets are a popular souvenir.
  • Khachkars: These intricately carved stone crosses are a unique Armenian art form and make for meaningful gifts.
  • Armenian Brandy: Armenia is renowned for its brandy, especially the famous Ararat brandy, a great gift for alcohol enthusiasts.

Please note that festival dates can sometimes vary from year to year, and events may be subject to change.

 

  • May - Yerevan Wine Days: This festival celebrates Armenia's winemaking traditions with tastings, music, and dance.

 

  • May - Dolma Festival: During the festival, locals and visitors gather to celebrate the traditional Armenian dish "dolma" and showcase their culinary skills in preparing this flavorful and cherished meal. The festival is a vibrant and joyful occasion, with various competitions, cultural performances, music, and dance, all adding to the festive atmosphere.

 

  • July - Vardavar (Transfiguration Day): People drench each other with water as a symbol of purification and renewal.

 

  • July - The Honey and Berries Festival in Dilijan: The festival celebrates the bountiful harvest of honey and berries in the region, and it takes place in the picturesque town of Dilijan, also known as "Armenia's Little Switzerland."

 

During the festival, locals and visitors come together to enjoy a variety of activities, including tastings of different types of honey and berries, culinary competitions, traditional music and dance performances, arts and crafts exhibitions, and more. It's a fantastic opportunity for people to savor the natural flavors of Armenia and experience the warm hospitality of the local community.

 

  • August - Navasard Festival: The Navasard festival, also known as Nayrouz, is an ancient Armenian festival that marks the Armenian New Year. It falls on the first day of the Armenian calendar, which traditionally starts on August 11th. However, in recent times, the date of the festival has been adjusted to August 11th in the Gregorian calendar.

 

Navasard is a significant cultural event in Armenia, and it is celebrated with various festivities, cultural performances, traditional music, dance, and delicious feasts. The festival has deep historical roots and is believed to have been celebrated in pre-Christian times, signifying the end of the harvest season and the beginning of a new agricultural year.

 

During Navasard, Armenians come together to embrace their cultural heritage, honor their traditions, and welcome the new year with joy and optimism. It is an excellent time for tourists to experience the essence of Armenian culture, taste traditional dishes, andwitness the colorful celebrations that mark the start of a new cycle in the Armenian calendar.

 

  • September 21st - Armenian Independence Day: It commemorates Armenia's independence from the Soviet Union.

 

  • October – Areni Wine Festival: Areni village in Armenia is famous for its wine-making traditions, and it is known for hosting the "Areni Wine Festival" annually. The festival typically takes place in the first half of October, although specific dates may vary from year to year.

 

During the Areni Wine Festival, local wineries and vineyards gather to showcase their finest wines and grape varieties. This is the best place and time to taste a wide range of Armenian wines, including the renowned Areni red wine, which is named after the village itself. The festival also features cultural performances, music, dance, traditional food, and crafts, creating a festive and celebratory atmosphere.

YEREVAN WEATHER

Getting there

  • By Air: Zvartnots International Airport in Yerevan is the main international gateway. It serves flights from major European and Middle Eastern cities. There are also direct flights from some Asian cities. 
  • By Land: Armenia shares borders with Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkiye (Turkey). You can enter Armenia by land from any of these neighboring countries. However, please check entry requirements and border crossing points beforehand.

Flight tickets to suit your pocket:

Yerevan, a city of wonders

Day 1

As you travel between the attractions, take in the breathtaking views of the Armenian countryside. The landscape is dotted with vineyards, orchards, and picturesque villages, giving you a glimpse into the country’s rural charm.

day tour Aremenia, Garni temple, Garni Gorge, Geghard Monastery, travel and home min
Clockwise, from left to right: Geghard Monastery, Azat River Canyon, Garni Temple

Garni Temple

Head out to explore Garni, an ancient Hellenic pagan temple. This gem is located in the picturesque Garni Gorge, and it dates back to the 1st century AD. What’s incredible is that the temple was dedicated to the Armenian sun god Mihr, but it also showcases the architectural influence of the Roman Empire. Talk about a melting pot of cultures!

Geghard Monastery

The incredible Geghard Monastery is carved into the cliffs. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a true marvel of ancient architecture. Geghard, which means “spear” in Armenian, is believed to have housed the spear that wounded Jesus during the Crucifixion. While the spear is no longer there, the monastery’s rich history and intricate stone carvings make it an absolute must-visit. It’s also a popular spot to have wedding photos taken at the monastery, like the day when I was there.

Azat River Canyon, also known as Garni Gorge,

The mesmerizing Azat River Canyon is a natural wonder that will leave you awestruck with its stunning basalt columns and breathtaking views.

Fun fact: The unique hexagonal shape of the basalt columns was formed due to the rapid cooling of volcanic lava millions of years ago.

The real adventure begins at the “Symphony of Stones.” Imagine being surrounded by a labyrinth of towering rocks that seem to sing with every gust of wind. These natural rock formations are a testament to the power of erosion, sculpted over time by Mother Nature herself. It’s a perfect spot for some memorable photos, so don’t forget your camera!

Leading Tourist Attraction

Matenadaran, Armenia’s foremost tourist attraction, is a treasure trove of ancient manuscripts and a window into the country’s rich literary and historical heritage. Explore the world’s largest repository of Armenian manuscripts, including beautifully illuminated texts, and delve into over a millennium of Armenian history, culture, and art. Discover UNESCO World Heritage status, prestigious awards, and unparalleled insights into the past at Matenadaran, where history comes to life through the pages of its priceless manuscripts.

Day 2

Armenia is known for its rich cultural and historical heritage, particularly its ancient monasteries. The country is home to numerous monastic complexes that date back centuries and hold immense significance both religiously and architecturally. 

From left to right Areni cave, Noravank Monastery, Khor Virap Monastery, best sightseeing in Armenia min
Clockwise, from left to right: Areni Cave, Noravank Monastery, Khor Virap Monastery

Khor Virap Monastery

A visit to the incredible Khor Virap Monastery is an absolute must because, let me tell you, the view alone is worth the trip! As you approach, you’ll catch a glimpse of the legendary Mount Ararat, towering majestically in the distance. It’s said to be the same mountain where Noah’s Ark found its final resting place after the Great Flood. I know, mind-blowing stuff!

Areni

Areni, where the aroma of grapes and the art of winemaking intertwine. Visit the local wine factory, where you’ll get to taste some of the most delectable wines in the region. Armenia is one of the world’s oldest wine-producing countries, and the tradition here runs deep, dating back over 6,000 years! It’s like sipping on history in a glass!

Also, go to the nearby cave that has revealed some mind-blowing secrets. Brace yourselves for a trip back in time as you step foot into the very spot where the world’s oldest leather shoe and winery were discovered. Over 5,500 years old, and yet, they’ve stood the test of time. Talk about a fashion statement that never goes out of style!

Noravank Monastery

Nestled amidst crimson-red cliffs, this ancient wonder stands tall and proud, like a guardian of secrets from the past. You won’t believe your eyes when you see the intricate carvings and architecture that adorn this gem.

Day 3

Another day of excitement and discovery in beautiful Armenia with a journey to Saghmosavank Monastery and the magnificent Kasakh River Canyon, also known as the Armenian Grand Canyon. This is epic!

Saghmosavank Monastery, Kassakh River Canyon, Aremian Alphabet, Byurakan Astronomical Observatory, top attractions in Armenia min
Clockwise, from left to right: Alphabet Monument, Observatory, Kasakh River Canyon, Saghmosavank Monastery

Saghmosavank Monastery

Perched on the edge of a deep gorge you’ll be struck by the tranquility and architectural splendor of this medieval gem. The name “Saghmosavank” means “Monastery of Psalms,” and it’s said to have been founded in the 13th century. The stunning views from the monastery make one feel like floating among the clouds.

Kasakh River Canyon, aka the Armenian Grand Canyon

Picture this – dramatic gorges, rugged cliffs, and the powerful Kasakh River coursing through it all. This natural wonder offers a breathtaking sight, and it’s a perfect spot for some heart-pounding photographs.

Armenian Alphabet Monument

Armenia is the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion in the early 4th century. Plus, they have a unique alphabet! The mesmerizing Armenian Alphabet Monument pays tribute to the Armenian script, which was created by the brilliant scholar Mesrop Mashtots in 405 AD. The alphabet is considered one of the most beautiful in the world, and here, you’ll see giant sculptures representing each letter. It’s like walking through a magical alphabet wonderland!

Byurakan Astronomical Observatory

Set amidst picturesque landscapes, this observatory played a crucial role in unraveling the mysteries of the universe. The observatory dates to the 1940s by the brilliant Armenian astrophysicist Viktor Ambartsumian, known as one of the pioneers in the study of galaxies. Learn about the cosmos and the stars that fill our night skies!

Byurakan Village

Time seems to slow down at this little slice of heaven surrounded by lush greenery and the stunning Mount Aragats in the background. It’s the perfect place to unwind, soak in the local culture, and maybe even savor some delicious Armenian delicacies.

Travel Tip(s)

Consider wearing compression socks, especially during long flights, to help improve circulation and reduce the risk of swelling or discomfort in your legs.

Bringing a lightweight scarf or shawl is a great idea, as it can serve multiple purposes. It can keep you warm, be used as a pillow or blanket, and add a touch of style to your outfit.

Select slip-on shoes or shoes with minimal laces for easy on and off during security checks. Also, consider wearing socks to keep your feet warm, especially on long-haul flights.

Choose pants or leggings with stretch and a relaxed fit. Avoid tight-fitting jeans or restrictive clothing that might become uncomfortable during a long flight.

Day 4

Explore Armenia’s hidden gems, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural wonders.

Top attractions and landmarks in Armenia, Tsaghkadzor, Sevan Lake, Dilijan, Haghartsin Monastery min
Clockwise, from left to right: Tsaghkadzow, Sevan Lake, Dilijan, Haghartsin Monastery

Travel Tip(s)

Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space in your luggage. This also helps prevent wrinkles and makes it easier to find specific items.

Use leak-proof sleeves for your toiletries to prevent spills in your luggage. Keep things tidy and hassle-free!

Explore our curated collection now for fantastic finds and exclusive deals!

Tsaghkadzor

Nestled amidst the mighty Armenian mountains lies Tsaghkadzor, a charming ski resort city.  Don’t worry if you’re not into skiing – the cable car ride to the top of Mount Teghenis is an experience you won’t want to miss! On the ascend, you’ll witness the stunning panoramas of the surrounding peaks and lush valleys. It’s like being on top of the world, and the air up here is pure bliss!

Sevan Lake, known as the “Jewel of Armenia.”

This massive freshwater lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world. Picture azure waters stretching as far as the eye can see, surrounded by rolling hills and distant mountains. But wait, there’s more! Perched on the peninsula is the Sevanavank Monastery, an ancient gem with a history dating back to the 9th century. The views from the monastery are nothing short of awe-inspiring, and it’s the perfect spot to reflect and take in the natural beauty.

Dilijan, often called “Armenia’s Little Switzerland”

Award-Winning Destinations

  • The town’s picturesque landscapes, with its lush greenery and serene lakes, make it an ideal location for outdoor festivals and gatherings.
  • Many of Armenia’s regional components and specialties have corresponding yearly celebrations. Early in July, more than 25 restaurants send representatives to Dilijan for Gastrofest, which features regional dishes, culinary competitions, and an opportunity for guests to pretend they’re food critics for the weekend.
  • In August it’s time for the Dilijan Wine Festival, in the wine-growing region of Tavush.
  • Every year, usually in September, the Cultural Revival Arts & Crafts Festival in Dilijan showcases locally produced ornamental arts like ceramics, blacksmithing, and woodworking as well as regional cuisine.

Dilijan is known for its charming architecture and lush forests. Go to the “Old Dilijan” complex, a haven of traditional Armenian culture. It’s like stepping back in time as you stroll through the narrow cobbled streets and admire the beautifully preserved wooden buildings. And don’t forget to savor some local delicacies and soak in the warm hospitality of the locals.

Haghartsin Monastery

Hidden deep within the enchanting forest, the journey to this secluded gem is like stepping into a fairytale. The monastery’s elegant stone structures blend seamlessly with the surrounding nature, creating a harmonious sanctuary of peace and tranquility. The architecture here is a stunning example of medieval Armenian craftsmanship, and you’ll find yourself captivated by the intricate details.

Day 5

Photography enthusiasts, get your cameras ready because this day is all about capturing the most picture-perfect moments in and around Yerevan. It’s a visual feast.

Top attractions and landmarks in Armenia, Ejmiatsin Cathedral, singing fountains, Zvartnots Cathedral, Vernissage Market min
Clockwise, from left to right: Ejmiatsin Cathedral, singing fountains, Zvartnots Cathedral, Vernissage Market

Yerevan

This vibrant capital city of Armenia is a delightful mix of old and new, with bustling streets, charming squares, and majestic landmarks. One of my favorite spots for photography is Republic Square, where the iconic “Singing Fountains” show takes place. The square is surrounded by impressive buildings, including the History Museum and the National Gallery. Trust me; it’s a photographer’s paradise!

Ejmiatsin, the spiritual heart of Armenia

This holy city is home to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the world’s oldest cathedral still in use. It was built in the early 4th century. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with mesmerizing timeless beauty, intricate carvings, and ancient artifacts inside. All in all, a treasure trove for your lens!

Zvartnots Cathedral

While it may be in ruins today, this 7th-century masterpiece was once one of the most stunning churches in the world. Its circular design and intricate stone carvings will leave you awestruck. The setting against the backdrop of Mount Ararat makes for an absolutely stunning shot. The cathedral is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, namely: Cathedral and Churches of Echmiatsin (like the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin I’ve mentioned above) and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots.

Vernissage Market

The Vernissage Market is where local artisans showcase their handmade crafts and colorful artwork. It’s an explosion of colors and creativity, and you’ll want to snap away to your heart’s content!

Day 6

And lastly, this day is dedicated to all our World Heritage Travelers.

Do you have a passion for cultural and natural heritage and are dedicated to visiting and experiencing the diverse range of sites that have been recognized and inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List?  Then, don’t pack up as yet because you still have another UNESCO site to visit from the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Armenia.

Get ready to embark on a full-day guided tour of the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin. It’s sooooo worth it to stay another day and take a guided (the guide has a treasure chest of info not to be missed!) tour of the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin.

World Heritage travelers, Complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Armenia as at , travel and home min

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Discover Armenia: Unveiling Treasures and Creating Lasting Memories

And that’s it from me, …at least for now! Armenia’s hidden gems and treasured heritage await, inviting you to create unforgettable memories and forge a connection with this remarkable corner of the world. So, pack your bags and prepare to be captivated by Armenia’s allure, for its beauty, culture, and people will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul. Happy travels!

By,  Michelle Tredoux
By, Michelle Tredoux

A hodophile at heart - I LIVE and LOVE to travel!

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