Within the first 9 months of 2019, over 406,000 Russian tourists visited Armenia. In contrast to the previous year, the number increased by 24%.
As the interest of Russian tourists is rising, we have written A to Z guide on what to do and how to travel within Armenia.
Well, Armenia is a country able to showcase the beauty of all 4 seasons of mother nature. Whether you are planning to visit Armenia in Winter or Summer, you will find what to do there.
Hiking and skiing in Armenia
Armenia is a mountainous country and you can enjoy the beauty of mountains both in Winter and Summer.
If you are more like an extreme lover than Tsaghkadzor is the best choice for you while your winter trip. It is a small winter wonderland in Armenia. In contrast to other countries, it is quite cheap to hire ski there, nearly $12 per person for a whole day. By the way, you can also enjoy the beautiful view at the top by giving a try to the Tsaghkadzor ropeway.
You can go hiking in a number of places in Armenia. However, be prepared even in Summer, it might quite windy in the mountains. So, you can go trekking in Geghama mountains, Aragats Mountain, Smbataberd fortress and Tsakhats Kar Monastery, Lastiver, Khustup Mountain, and more. Read further on hiking in Armenia.
Armenian exquisite cuisine
No mystery that Armenia is famous for its delicious cuisine. We believe that the Russian tourist will appreciate the “masterpieces of culinary” of Armenian cuisine. First off, Dolma is a must-try dish for tourists. It’s meat-stuffed grape, cabbage leaves considered an Armenian national dish. There is even an annual Dolma festival in Armenia usually held in Spring. Another famous Armenian national dish is Kyufta, handmade sausage beef seasoned with grains and sauteed mushrooms. When visiting Armenia, you should try Armenian national bread Lavash. It’s a thin layer of flat chewy bread that’s made from flour, salt, and water and baked in an underground oven called Tonir.
Armenia’s pink city Yerevan
Yerevan, the capital of Armenia is known for its pinky colour. This is since most buildings were built with volcanic rocks in pink (or as Armenian call it toof). Yerevan is a very beautiful city with a history dating back to the 8th century BC. You can have a great tour within Yerevan by starting off with the Erebouni-Yerevan museum where you can find the ruins of the historical city. Other famous sights include the Republic Square, Genocide memorial, enjoy the city view from Cascade and much more.
Famous Armenian churches and monasteries
Being one of the oldest countries in the world, Armenia was the first one to adopt Christianity in 301 AD. The millennium-old monasteries and churches can be found on highlands amongst breathtaking landscapes. The country is known as “the land of churches” having nearly 4,000 monasteries and churches overall.
Let’s start with the UNESCO World Heritage protected Geghard founded in the 4th century. It’s quite near to the capital of Armenia Yerevan in 37,6 km from the city center. You can either hire a car to get there or try group tour services.
The only remaining Pagan temple left in Armenia is near to the Geghard Monastery, Garni Temple. One should visit it, too because it was too beautiful to be destroyed and now it’s a famous tourist attraction.
Among other famous churches and monasteries in Armenia are Echmiadzin Cathedral, the famous Tatev Monastery (with the longest ropeway in the world), Haghartsin Monastery in Dilijan, Sanahin and Haghpat Monasteries in Alaverdi and much more. By the way, the last two are also protected by the UNESCO World Heritage.
The blue eye of Armenia and small Switzerland
Though the name of Sevan implies black lake (“sev” - black, “van” - lake), Armenians call the ake “the blue-eyed beauty” due to its incredible blue colour. It covers 5% of Armenian territory and plays a great role in Armenians life. The lake is the second-largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world (2,000m above the sea level). Sevan is situated in Sevan Peninsula and is surrounded by some monasteries. Among which the most famous one is undoubtedly the Sevanavank Monastery.
They say Armenia has a small Switzerland within its area called Dilijan. And trust us, that’s true. You can see the year-round beauty of Dilijan during your trip to Armenia. Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the unreal beauty of nature.
If you are wondering how to travel within Armenia and visit all the abovementioned sights, there is a great solution for you. You can rent a car from FreeWay. Usually, in the case of group tours, you can’t take your time to enjoy the sights. On the other hand, if you travel on your own, you can stop as long as you want without worrying that a group of people is waiting for you while you want to learn more about a particular place. The company can also provide a guide and a driver if you don’t want to ride while traveling.