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Top 10 reasons to visit Armenia

Geghard monastery, Armenia

Armenia was the first Christian country in the world
Armenia became the first country to adopt Christianity as the state religion in 301 A.D. Saint Grigor Lusavorich (the Illuminator) convinced the Armenian king Trdat III to convert his nation to the religion, leading to the construction of some of the oldest churches which still stand. As Christianity gained new converts in Armenia, the religious center Echmiadzin was built to house the Catholicos (religious head) and serve as the spiritual home of all Armenians. The main Cathedral of Echmiadzin is one of the finest examples of medieval Armenian architecture and is in pristine condition. Other examples of impressive religious architecture include Garni Temple (a pagan temple with and incredible view from a clifftop), Tatev Monastery, Geghard Monastery, Haghartsin Monastery, and the three most famous sites of the north in Haghpat, Sanain, and Odzun.

Ararat mount, view from Armenia

See the best view of Mount Ararat
Mount Ararat has gained recognition for both its aesthetic beauty and the fact that it is commonly believed to be the place that Noah’s Ark came to rest after the biblical flood. The mountain carries a deep symbolic value to Armenians and the capital Yerevan lies in its valley. The mountain and city are linked closely, blending into a truly unique view from the moment you arrive. Yerevan itself has many scenic downtown attractions and many restaurants specializing in the unique local cuisine.

Tatev, Armenia

Ride the longest ropeway in the world
Connected to the UNESCO Heritage Site Tatev Monastery, the “Wings of Tatev” has been the world’s longest ropeway since it was opened in 2010. Travelers are carried on a 12-minute trip over the 5,752-meter ropeway, rising above the gorge to a height of 320 meters and a picturesque view of the Vorotan River. The ride ends at the historic and beautiful monastery dating back to the 9th century.

Sevan Lake,Armenia

Lake Sevan, pearl of Armenia
Lake Sevan is located high in the mountains and is known for its pure water and amazing beauty. Known by some as “The Armenian Sea”, the lake is the largest in the Caucasus and is known as a destination for swimming and fishing. The water becomes warm at the height of summer and is known to change color frequently, displaying colors from deep navy blue to turquoise to azure. By the shores of the lake on a peninsula is the historic site of Sevanavank, built in 874.

Dolma Festival

Armenian Cuisine
Armenia is known for its unique and delicious food, having the most recognizable culinary style in the Caucasus and having culinary traditions reaching back to ancient times. Armenian food is known for its versatility and unique taste. The use of different blends of local spices, herbs, and even wild flowers lends the food a character not to be found anywhere else. The country is brimming with restaurants serving different traditional dishes and cater to any price point. Dishes such as spas: a creamy and low-calorie soup made with fermented Armenian yogurt (matsun), Kyufta (meatballs), and dolma (minced meat wrapped if grape leaves) are among the most popular for newcomers and are served virtually everywhere. The most important and loved dish; however, is Khorovats (pork barbecue). The dish is wildly popular among Armenians and unlike most Armenian food is traditionally prepared only by men. Khorovats is typically served with Lavash, a flatbread that has been recognized on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. For dessert the usual choice is Gata, a puffy, sweet tasting pastry which melts in the mouth.

is versatile and extremely diverse and delicious. The use of spices, herbs, and wildflowers gives a unique aroma taste to dishes making them rare and attractive. One can find plenty of traditional restaurants in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan and other cities around, offering a great choice of Armenian cuisine. Such dishes as spas; creamy and low-calorie soup, prepared from fermented Armenian yogurt (matsun) are very popular to start for most of the restaurants. Then, as a main dish, travelers are offered Armenian kyufta (meatballs) and famous dolma (grape leaves stuffed with minced meat). Nevertheless, the queen of Armenian cuisine is the worldwide famous “Khorovats” (pork barbeque). The process of making of Khorovats is an event and also a traditional ritual when men is the main role player. Khorovats often is offered with lavash, so one can wrap in the meat in lavash and enjoy both. Lavash is an Armenian national pita bread, also included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. As for dessert, gata is not only the best choice, but also one of the oldest and traditional sweets of Armenian culinary. It is a puff, sweet pastry melting on one’s mouth once tasted.

Honey and Berry Festival, Berd Tavush

Fantastic fruits and vegetables
Armenia is known for its fertile soil and incredible orchards of organic fruit and vegetables. The warm climate and abundant sunlight provides the perfect environment for fruit orchards and every grocery store and farmers market in the country teems with a diverse selection of fruits, berries, and vegetables. The apricot is the most popular fruit and grows exceptionally well in Armenia, with it being included in many local recipes.

Armenian Carpets

Buy a beautiful carpet
Armenia has long been known as a source for exquisite oriental rugs and carpets. The country has a long and well-respected tradition of weaving and carpetmaking. It has become an integral part of the national culture and Armenian carpetmakers produce some of the most sought-after carpets and rugs in the world. There are many places where visitors may watch the process firsthand and where both modern and old carpets may be bought and sold.

Jermuk spa town, Armenia

Armenian water is known as one of the best in the world
Armenian water is known as some of the cleanest, safest, and best tasting in the world. Being located in the mountains means that Armenian water is pure, with many natural springs being found around the country being clean enough to drink out of without cleaning. Many towns and cities in Armenia also provide free drinking fountains for public use.

Feel real adrenaline
Due to its landscape and climate, Armenia has become popular as a destination for extreme sports. Paragliding in particular has become extremely popular among visitors to the country. Armenia also boasts many scenic areas to hike and conduct walking tours. Mountain climbing can provide exhilarating exercise for those who are brave enough to attempt it and resorts such as Tsaghkadzor provide excellent skiing and snowboarding accommodations. Tsaghkadzor also holds many fine hotels and luxury spas.

Friendly and hospitable people
Armenians view visitors as “gifts from God” and the saying is very popular among Armenians and it is exhibited in every facet of life. Armenians have a long tradition of valuing people who take interest in their culture and of making them feel welcome. Visitors will no doubt find many Armenians willing to help them communicate and find their way around the country and make them feel safe.

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