Armenia has a turbulent and extensive past that few other countries can match. It's a small but charming country with a vibrant culture and beautiful natural scenery. For those unaware, Armenia was the first country to embrace Christianity, which explains why it has some of the world's oldest churches and monasteries. It is one of Asia's most underrated tourist destinations, as the country's tourism is still in its early stages and is only slowly gaining international recognition. The following is a list of things to do in Armenia to help individuals who are interested in visiting the country.
10 Explore The Capital City Of Yerevan
The best way to start a trip to Armenia is through its capital city. Yerevan is the country's largest city and an excellent starting point for anyone interested in exploring the country. The city is historically significant, as it houses the Armenian Genocide Memorial and other museums for those interested in learning more about the country's turbulent history. Other must-see attractions in the city include the grand Republic Square, the city's Cascade Complex, and the Vernissage flea market. Additionally, it is also recommended that travelers join a guided tour in Yerevan to ensure they do not miss anything.
9 Try Armenian Cuisine And Craft Wine
Aside from its thriving culture and history, Armenia also boasts local delicacies. One of the must things to do when visiting Armenia is to try its cuisine and craft wines. Some of the go-to restaurants for Armenian staples include the Dolmama, Tapastan, Our Village, and Anoush Restaurant. Most of the best restaurants in Armenia are located in the country's capital city, Yerevan. Additionally, the country is also known for its fresh local fruits and vegetables, so it is also worth visiting the local markets.
8 Wander Around Dilijan
Dilijan, located in the country's northern area, is noted for being an exquisitely preserved historic town. Visitors without a private vehicle can travel from Yerevan to Dilijan by train or cab, which costs $8 to $20 and takes roughly 2 hours. The town is well worth visiting, especially as it includes a riverbank. The Haghartsin Monastery, as well as Tsaghkadzor's cable cars, are both nearby, so visitors can also include them in their itinerary to the town.
7 Visit Shikahogh State Reserve
Shikahogh State Reserve was founded in 1958 and is the country's second-largest forest reserve, covering 103.3 km2. Even though it has been discovered for 64 years, the forest has remained unspoiled since large areas are still unknown. Its wildlife has not yet been extensively explored, but the reserve now boasts over 1,100 plant species, with leopards, wild goats, vipers, and bears among the wild animals seen. Additionally, the breathtaking waterfalls that hikers may encounter along the way add to the stunning beauty of the reserve.
6 Go On A Hike
Armenia is undoubtedly an oasis for hikers as it is a country rich in mountains and beautiful scenery. There are several hiking trails in Armenia to choose from, depending on whether the hiker is looking for the best vistas, wildlife, or ancient ruins. Nonetheless, there isn't a single path in Armenia that would bore hikers. The Aghveran Loop, a 5-hour hike starting at Arthurs Aghveran Resort and ending in the beautiful Tsaghkunyats mountain ridges, is one of the best hikes. Hikers will pass through bright flower fields along the way, with the tranquil Tsaghkunyats Lake serving as the trail's centerpiece.
5 Climb Armenia's Highest Peak
Mount Aragats, an inactive volcano in Armenia's north, is one of the country's most beautiful natural wonders. It is considered the tallest peak among the number of summits in the country, with an elevation of 4,090 meters. The peak is surrounded by a plethora of rock formations, including human-like figures and centuries-old animal drawings. The best months to climb the peak are July through September, and the southernmost peak is the easiest to reach.
4 Enjoy The Ski Resorts
The country's mountainous terrain makes it a great place for winter sports, and Tsaghkadzor houses the best ski resort in the country. It is situated in the heart of Armenia, 60 kilometers from the capital city of Yerevan. The ski resort has a top elevation of 9,452 feet and features a total of five lift systems. Furthermore, Tsaghkadzor is also home to the country's largest entertainment destination, the Senator Royale Casino. The Kecharis Monastery, which dates from the beginning of the 11th century and is one of the country's most prominent religious structures, can also be seen nearby.
3 Visit Geghard And Garni
The historical Geghard Monastery is located in the Kotayk Province, especially at 4RR9+74, Mets Gilanlar. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is surrounded by steeps. The monastery is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and admission is free. Garni Temple, a significant religious structure nestled in a lovely valley, is also a must-see destination near Geghard. In addition, Khor Virap is only a short distance away and is a monastery with stunning views of Armenia's snow-capped mountains.
2 Take A Day Tour At Gyumri
Gyumri is the country's second-largest city, following Yerevan. It is well worth a visit, particularly for a day tour. The city is home to the massive Mother Armenia statue as well as several major cultural centers in the country. The Sergey Merkurov House-Museum, Dzitoghtsyan Museum of Social Life and National Architecture, and the Aslamazyan Sisters House-Museum will almost certainly be included in most guided tours, as well as a visit to the city's oldest district, which contains over a thousand ancient monuments.
1 Explore Vanadzor
Vanadzor is a city in Armenia with an elevation of 1,350 meters and an area of approximately 32 km², making it the third-largest metropolitan in the country. It is situated in the country's northwestern region and an excellent choice for seeing Armenia's stunning Lori region. The Lori region's various mineral springs have resulted in a plethora of fantastic spas around Vanadzor. Other popular attractions to visit here include the Botanical Garden and several theatres such as the Vanadzor Puppet Theatre and Vanadzor Chamber Theatre.