Sunday, August 07, 2016

Top 10 things to do in Armenia

It's been almost 6 years since I have been to Armenia, yet luckily it was a very special trip with unforgettable memories. If you're looking for a different experience, not too European and not too Asian and not too American, Armenia is one of those countries where a lot of things will feel anew. Here are 10 things / place I highly recommend you do / visit. There is a lot of touristic offices that offer daily tours to all places mentioned below, you can find many in the center of the city.

The pomegranate is one of the most recognizable symbols of the country. It represents happiness and prosperity for Armenians.

The below photos were taken in 2010, with a very old point and shoot camera, they feel like ancient photographs. Let me know if you have any questions!


1. Day trips to Khor Vrap, Noravank Monastery and Garni Temple
Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity a state religion, visiting monasteries and churches is a must as they're all very ancient and beautiful with a lot of history to tell. 




The Khor Virap is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey, about 8KM south of Artashat, Ararat Province. If you go there, you will be able to see Ararat.

Khor Virap - Maybe check out this dungeon if you're not claustrophobic

Noravank is a 13th-century Armenian monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu River, near the town of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia.
Pagan Temple of Garni. It is perhaps the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.

2. Visit Geghard, Hribsime and Zvartnots Churches
Geghard is a medieval monastery in the Kotayk province of Armenia, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

If you're lucky, your tour guide will chant inside the Geghard monastery and you will get to hear the beautiful acoustics.
Saint Hripsime Church is a seventh century Armenian Apostolic church in the city of Vagharshapat, Armenia. It is one of the oldest surviving churches in the country
Zvartnots church, which was one the highest churches to ever be built, after standing for 320 years, it collapsed, either due to an earthquake or as a result for Arab raids

3. Sevan Lake and Sevanavank Monastery 
View of Lake Sevan being drawn by a local artist. Lake Sevan is the largest body of water in Armenia and the Caucasus region. It is one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in Eurasia.
Sevanavank is a monastic complex located on a peninsula at the northwestern shore of Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia.

4. Time for greenery, visit Dilijan and pass by Goshavank Monastery
Dilijan, is a spa town in the Tavush Province of Armenia. Usually called Armenian Switzerland or Little Switzerland by the locals, it is one of the most important resorts of Armenia, situated within the Dilijan National Park.

Goshavank is a 12th- or 13th-century Armenian monastery located in the village of Gosh in the Tavush Province of Armenia.

5. Armenia's history is very rich, learn more about it in their National and Genocide museums

National Museum of Armenia
Genocide flame still burns for the 1.5 million people who died on April 24, 1915
Painting in the museum that tells the story of the rape, starvation and violence that occurred during the Genocide

6. Do some shopping from Yerevan's Flea Market (known as Vernissage)
The famous Armenian nose
And if you're a fan of Old antique cameras

7. Watch a performance in the Armenia National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet
Opera Theater in Yerevan - for performances check out their websites http://opera.am/en/

8. Wine Tasting - specially their famous Pomegranate wine
Home made wine - Cherry and Pomegranate. Try to Areni brand, they're delicious

Armenian Wine (Pomegranate and Cherry)

9. Cognac Tasting
First drink is to get you in the mood, second for joy, third for happiness, and forth for craziness, and that is why you should stop after the third
Cognac Barrels in the Ararat Cognac Factory

Cognac Bottles - Great gift to bring back

10. Get to know Yerevan city by doing a walking tour
Local artist in Yerevan streets

Armenia received their independence on 21 September, 1991. They were able to come along very well for a country that has had their independence for less 30 years. 

One of things you will notice, is the carpet being hung at the doors of the shops.
And here's a bonus tip, make sure you have the famous Armenian dish "Manti". It's one of my favorite all times dishes.

I have to admit though, this was homemade by my cousin and yes it was delicious!
FROM ARMENIA WITH FUNK

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