15 places to visit in Armenia 2019
May 23, 2019
Before we discuss about places to visit in Armenia let me tell you some interesting facts. Armenia is an ancient country with a 3,500-year-old history located at the crossroads of Asia and Europe. The small but charming country of Armenia is becoming an increasingly famous travel attraction for its beautiful mountainous scenery and rich history.
The first nation to announce Christianity as its national religion, Armenia takes pride to some of Europe’s most stunning landscapes, with the peak of Mount Ararat taking over the country’s skyline. The mountain is the country’s symbol despite its summit resting just over the Turkish boundary and Ararat is considered blessed by locals because it’s mention in The Bible – it’s where Noah’s Ark landed.
The country is home to many lovely monasteries that are usually seen in places of truly stunning nature’s beauty. Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is one of the fast-growing cities in the whole of Europe as it continuously embraces tourism. The people are kind and welcoming and do their best to make tourists feel comfortable in their beloved nation.
Here are 15 Best places to visit in Armenia:
- 1 Here are 15 Best places to visit in Armenia:
The largest city in Armenia, the capital Yerevan is a good place to start the journey to explore the country. Yerevan is a deeply historic city and visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial and grand Republic Square is a must to learn more about the country’s troubled past. Open during the weekend, Vernissage flea market is worth visiting too. A lot of what Armenia can offer may be explored during day trips from Yerevan.
Also, home to the only mosque in the whole of the country, the Blue Mosque, Yerevan is a cozy city famous for its beautiful and unique architecture such as Levon’s Amazing Underground World. The city has a centuries-old history-making Yerevan older than Rome! The heart of the capital is produced by the Republic Square, created in 1924by the popular Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan. The square is surrounded by significant architecture such as the History Museum of Armenia and the Government House.
One of the country’s most spectacular natural sights, Mount Aragats is an inactive volcano that can be found in the northern part of Armenia. It is the country’s tallest peak and there is a lot of rock art to be enjoyed around its base, with an artwork of animals and human-like figures dating back hundreds of years. Mount Aragats is a Snow-covered peak nearly all year-round but can be hiked in July, August, and September. The southern part of the 4 peaks is the easiest to hike, while the northern peak, is the most challenging at around 4,000 meters.
Shikahogh State Reserve
Shikahogh State Reserve is the second largest forest reserve in Armenia. The place is so untouched that massive parts of it remain unexplored to this day. With 1,100 species of plants and beautiful waterfalls, the forest has also been home to animals including leopards, bears, wild goats and vipers. Back in 2005, the reserve was threatened by an intended highway, but environmentalists successfully lobbied for the forest’s future to be protected.
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Dilijan National Park
With four national parks, Dilijan national park may be the most awe-inspiring. Established in 2002, the park is known for its natural monuments and healing mineral water springs. A lot of the country’s more important cultural spots can be seen in the park grounds like Goshavank, Haghartsin, and Matosavank Monastery, Jukhtak Vank, and the Akhnabat church. Also within the borders of the park are the Aghestev and Getik river basins.
Unlike Lake Sevan which may get too crowded during peak season, Lake Arpi has a much more relaxed state. Utilized for irrigation and hydropower production, this natural body of water is the source of the Akhurian River. To give protection to the environment, a new park was established in 2009 that surrounds the lake as roughly a hundred bird species is known to inhabit the area. A Ramsar Convention protected site, Lake Arpi also boats rich flora and fauna and has one the biggest colonies of Armenian Gull. Visitors will truly enjoy the many camping and walking tours.
One of the best places to visit in Armenia is its monasteries and Noravank is one of the most lovely in the whole country. Pure brick-red cliffs protect the monastery that was constructed in the thirteenth century. The story has it that Noravank’s most popular Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church was saved by God himself when the country was conquered by the Mongols centuries ago. If you are pressed for time and need to choose just one monastery, Noravank would be a great choice.
Found in the heart of Armenia is the country’s largest lake, Lake Sevan. One of the best places to visit in Armenia, the beautiful lake is encircled by some of the stunning monasteries including the Sevanavank Monastery which is the most impressive and provides a majestic picturesque backdrop to a relaxing trip. Also available for recreational activity is windsurfing which also has a wide choice of excellent seafood restaurants along its shore. The lake is particularly famous during summer among both residents and tourists. Being a nation with no coastline, Lake Sevan’s beaches and spectacular mountain sceneries are the best places to visit in Armenia to sunbathe.
At 1,900m, Lake Sevan is also recognized to be one of the world’s highest lakes that it looks like the blue waters are about to touch the sky. Its charm has earned the lake the monicker ‘the pearl of Armenian nature’. Visitors can have BBQ beside the lake, cruise on a yacht or catamaran or just relax and take in the amazing scenery. Sevan is also known for its Armenian trout, a fish they call “ishxan” so when in Sevan don’t miss the chance to try their delicious fish dishes at one of the local restaurants or cafés.
Armenia’s second biggest city, Gyumri is well worth a visit for any person traveling the nation for the first time. Black Fortress is possibly the best place to appreciate the sceneries of Gyumri. The hill is overlooking the city, while the huge Mother Armenia statue can also be found close. A lot of the most important cultural foundations of Armenia are in Gyumri like the National Architecture of Gyumri, Dzitoghtsyan Museum of Social Life, Aslamazyan Sisters House-Museum and the Sergey Merkurov House-Museum. The oldest area in Gyumri is the Historic District Kumayri with thousands of old buildings.
Amberd is one of Armenia’s most stunning places to visit and dates back to the seventh century. Previously an Armenian Kingdom’s main military defense points, the fortress can be reached from the capital city Yerevan in about an hour. The snowfall though can make the fortress difficult to be accessed during the winter months, with the weather conditions generally improving by late May. As stunning as the building, the scene from the top of the fortress is really breathtaking. Amberd Fortress is just a quick trip from the town of Byurakan, home of the Byurakan Observatory.
The country’s mountainous landscape makes it perfect for winter sports and the country’s top ski resort can be found at Tsaghkadzor in the heart of the country. Rides in ski lifts are among the cheapest in Europe. The place boasts some of the country’s premium hotels, while the resort also has one of Armenia’s biggest entertainment centers like Senator Royale casino complex. Tsaghkadzor also has the Kecharis Monastery, which is one of the country’s most significant religious complexes, dating back to the start of the 11th century.
Upper Azat Valley
A World Heritage Site, the Upper Azat Valley is in part due to the amazing Geghard Monastery for which the region is most famous. The primary chapel was constructed 800 years ago but the origin of the monastery goes all the way back to the fourth century when it was established by Gregory the Illuminator. Legend has it that the Geghard Monastery once housed one of the spears which Apostle Thaddeus took to Armenia and was used to crucify Jesus Christ, thus became one of the country’s most significant religious sites. The partially carved St. Astvatsatsin or Holy Mother of God chapel can also be found in the Upper Azat Valley.
Situate in the northern part of Armenia is Vanadzor, the country’s third major city. This metropolis is a good start from which to discover the charming region of Lori, which is perhaps one of the best places to visit in Armenia. The city’s Vanadzor Botanical Garden and Vanadzor fine art museum are one of the finest tourist attractions traveler should try to see. Lori region’s many mineral springs indicate that there is a wide range of excellent spas to enjoy in and around Vanadzor.
Usually referred to globally as Armenia’s answer to Stonehenge in Britain, Karahunj is one of the most interesting must-see areas in Armenia. Located close to the city of Sisian in the Syunik province, Karahunj is made up of more than two hundred massive stone tombs, while the main area sees forty stones standing in a circular form, apparently constructed in honor of the Armenian God, Ari, termed after the Sun. A small museum in Sisian is committed to discoveries that have been created at Karahunj, which is said to be the world’s oldest observatory of its kind.
Mount Ararat can be seen throughout Armenia, but many consider the best landscape backdrop can be found from the Khor Virap monastery, which is definitely also worth exploring in its own right. This spot is one of the most significant historic sites in the country’s history as it was where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for fourteen years before he healed King Trdat III of his sickness. The King then converted to Christianity, leading the way for the nation’s religious future. By itself, Khor Virap is a popular spot for the present Armenian weddings, whilst the underground chamber in which Gregory the Illuminator was held can be toured during a trip to Khor Virap, which is amongst the country’s most visited pilgrimage sites as a result.
One of the country’s oldest cities and Armenia’s capital during medieval times is Dvin. A 6th century B.C. fortress was also once located in Dvin, based on Unesco, while amazing artifacts are usually discovered in this area of Armenia. More modern sights can also be enjoyed in the city, such as the St. Harutyun Church in Dvin, which was constructed in 2000. Dvin once housed the Cathedral of St. Grigor, but all that remains of the structure today is the stone foundations that have been uncovered by archeologists.
Best time to visit Armenia
One of the best time to visit Armenia is during Autumn when the country is in its most breathtaking. Armenian autumn’s beauty is well-known all over the world that it becomes associated with a piece of art.
The country is famous for its wine. The country’s Wine festival is celebrated annually on the eve of first Saturday of October in the village Areni. The festivity includes a lot of fun and entertaining ceremonies. During the celebration, a lot of local wine producers present their products to the visitors.
If you want to experience snow in an affordable country, visit Armenia during winter starting December The best time to ski in Tsakhkador is February when visitors can enjoy the huge ski area, giving huge space for skiing and mountain biking.
Armenia is gradually becoming more and more popular among travelers all over the world. If you wish to explore some of mankind’s biggest mysteries, experience ancient cultures, and picturesque landscapes, along with warm and open local people, Armenia is the perfect place for your next travels. Being the first country in the world that adopted Christianity, located by Ararat Mount on the crossroad of European and Asian cultures, Armenia’s heritage diversity and stunning nature sceneries can make most of the world envious.