Armenia is not one of the popular countries to visit but its slowly becoming one. The first country to declare Christianity as its national religion, boasts some of Europe’s most stunning views, with the peak of Mount Ararat dominating the country’s skyline. There is simply so much to do in what is a geographically compact space, and it can be quite hectic planning out the days of your visit. Home to countless beautiful monasteries and they are often found in areas of truly outstanding natural beauty. There’s a lot of places to visit and things to do in Armenia. Hopefully, this post including the photos will help you decide in choosing Armenia as your next travel destination.
Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, is one of the most rapidly developing cities in the whole of Europe as the nation continues to embrace tourism. We had a smooth flight from Dubai, UAE via FlyDubai to Yerevan. However, we had a bad experience at the airport due to private cars/Taxi offering to take us to our hotel. They are asking for the payment before riding their private cars which we think is too suspicious. They kept on offering their service even if we say no. We organized a pickup from our hotel but unfortunately the hotel Opera Suite Hotel failed to pick us up from the airport.
We didn’t have any credit on our mobile that time. So we were not really sure what to do during that time as there is no other taxi available and it was around 3-4 in the morning. Luckily, we were able to get help from our colleague Kriska Marie. She top up the credit on our mobile which we used to call the hotel. Our hotel arranged a private service for us immediately where the payment was settled directly at the hotel. So make sure that you arrange a service to pick you up from the airport should you decide to visit Armenia.
Nevertheless, we still enjoyed our stay in Yerevan as the weather was nice and cold. Around October 2017 when we visited Armenia which has the perfect weather to stroll along the street of Yerevan. We wander the whole Republic Square that is surrounded by different unique buildings. Make sure to take some time and explore the Square, you will not be disappointed.
Considered as one of the pride of Armenia. But this mountain does not actually belong to Armenia. Mount Ararat is located in Eastern Turkey on the borders of Iran, Armenia, and Nakchivan. Ararat was a part of Armenia until the Armenian Genocide in 1915 when Turkey took over that section of Armenia. Mount Ararat is an important landmark to Armenian’s. Because it shows the beauty of the sister mountains that were taken away from Armenia. I’ve known Mt. Ararat from the Bible which is where the Noah’s Ark came to rest in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month. Seeing it in person is like a dream come true. Seeing it the first time gave me goosebumps and made me feel amazed by the creation of God. Truly an exceptional beauty which is beyond imagination.
If you want to have a good view of Mt. Ararat, Khor Virap is the place you should visit. This Monastery is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Armenia. It’s offering a spectacular view of the mountain and cutting a striking silhouette of itself. The majestic Mt Ararat positioned right behind the church makes a fantastic backdrop for a panorama view of the church.
The reason why Khor Virap is so important to the Armenians from a religious point of view is that it’s where Gregory the Illuminator—aka St. Gregory- the guy who brought Christianity to Armenia and who was the first head of the Armenian church—was imprisoned for 12 years. He was actually kept in a pit for all that time (during which a local Christian woman brought him bread to keep him alive), and that pit is today the main attraction of Khor Virap.
This monastery is most famous for its two-story church. You will have to climb up to the main entrance via a narrow staircase made from stones jutting out from the face of building. I was able to climb to the main entrance and it gives a different view of the Monastery. Situated in a narrow gorge made by Amaghu River and encircled by fantastic red rocks. The beauty of this monastery is appreciated by thousands of visitors not only because of it’s architecture and history, but also for it’s harmony with the surrounding fabulous nature.
The oldest wine cellar in the world. This natural cave right next to the village of Areni is currently believed to be the oldest place in the world where wine has been produced, dating to about 4,100BCE meaning that it’s over 6,000 years old. This complex includes variety of jugs, tubs and barrels of various sizes, suitable for the production and storage of food. Also, the oldest leather shoe in the world was discovered in 2008 here in the Areni cave complex, near the Areni village in Armenia. It is currently kept and displayed in the History Museum of Armenia. We also got the chance to visit a local winery shop which is the Areni Winery. It was part of the tour we booked. We were able to taste some local wine. They sell variety of wines and locally made souvenirs.
With its unique beauty, Lake Sevan has always impressed everybody. It’s not surprising that Armenians consider it the pearl of their country. Lake Sevan is one of the fresh water high-altitude lakes in the world which is about 2000 meters above sea level. This unique geographical position makes Sevan admirable. As a whole, there are not many fresh water high-altitude lakes in the world. Lake Sevan is known for its unique feature of changing its color every once in a while. Depending on the weather it can have the most various coloring of blue and green. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to visit the place. I was able to take photos of this lake on our way to Tbilisi, Georgia. But if given a chance to go back to Armenia, we will definitely not miss to visit this lake.
A giant stairway made of limestone in Yerevan, Armenia. The view of the stairway itself is glorious no matter whether you come in the morning, afternoon or evening. The whole complex is a gigantic stairway that has both inner and outer parts. Each of those parts have their own architectural style. One of the main reasons why Cascade has a great number of visitors is the spectacular view to Yerevan from the top of Cascade. Currently, it is one of the most attractive and visited places in Yerevan by not only offering a perfect view but being a perfect piece of architecture itself.
In conclusion, it is definitely recommended to pay a visit in this promising country. Especially, if you are somewhere in the middle east. It is very convenient as it is just a few hours flight and not to mention their visa on arrival for Filipinos. Armenia not only boasts the oldest winery and historical monasteries but one of the ancient capitals of the world. Armenian capital, Yerevan, is 29 years older than Rome, the Eternal City.
There are many more fascinating places to visit and things to do in Armenia. To know more about them, you should just grab your passport & backpack and explore this emerging cultural tourism destination by yourself. By the way, we booked all of our tours thru Hyur Service. They offer wide range of services like car rentals, tour packages, group or individual tour, etc. If you have anything to ask or share about Armenia, feel free to comment below!