Armenia gained independence with the demise of the Soviet Union. The small country of 2.8 million people, 1 million of whom live in the capital, Yerevan, has a rich cultural past reaching back over 3,000 years. There are many antique monasteries, cathedrals, and other historical structures to explore. Hiking paths and ski slopes may be in this area, which is also noted for its mountains, valleys, and forest scenery. Day trips from Yerevan go in all directions, thus the capital serves as an excellent base. Here are some of the top activities in Armenia.
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1. KHOR VIRAP MONASTERY
A visit to Khor Virap Monastery includes a view of Mount Ararat, the fabled resting spot of Noah’s Ark. Ararat is currently in Turkiye, despite being about an hour distant from Yerevan. The monastery is in Artashat, one of the country’s holiest locations. Most guided trips also include a stop at Areni Cave (Bird’s Cave), where researchers discovered some of the world’s oldest artefacts, including a leather shoe and a vineyard. The site dates from the Early Bronze Age and contains funeral ceremonies as well as agricultural data.
2. TEMPLES AND MONASTERIES
Garni Temple is Armenia’s only surviving heathen temple, erected in 77 AD. It is on a plateau above the Azat Gorge, with breathtaking views in all directions. The mosaic in the Greek-Roman Bathhouse within the temple is made up of approximately 30,000 pieces of natural stone. The royal palace ruins date from the third century. The Geghard Monastery Complex is next, which once housed the alleged lance used to stab Jesus on the Cross. UNESCO has designated the site as a World Heritage Site.
3. THE BEAUTY OF THE NORTH WEST
Armenia is a beautiful place. The monastery complex dates from the ninth century. Sevan Lake, at an elevation of 1,900 meters (6,230 feet), is your first destination. Volcanic activity developed the lake, which is surrounded by mountains. Your journey continues to Dilijan, a health resort on the banks of the Aghstev River.
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4. SAMPLE ARMENIAN WINE
Areni in Southern Armenia is famous for its winemaking history, and one of the world’s oldest grape types bears its name. On your first trip, you will learn about the winemaking process before tasting what that winery produces. The ‘Wings of Tatev,’ the world’s longest cable car, is next on your itinerary, measuring six kilometres (almost four miles). The Harsnadzor Watchtower and Devil’s Bridge are among the breathtaking sights to behold as you ride.
The first cathedral in the Christian World can be at Echmiadzin. Zvartnots Cathedral, which was in the 7th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is Armenia’s “Holy Land,” and it is home to a treasure trove of structures such as the early 7th-century St. Hripsime church, Echmiadzin Cathedral, and a museum specializing in Christian artifacts. The Holy Cross, the lance that speared Jesus, and objects from Noah’s Ark are all examples. This tour also includes a cooking session where you will learn how to create dolma or stuffed vine leaves.
6. LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK
This is the trip for you if you enjoy brandy. It brings you to Ararat Brandy, where you will learn about the process of making cognac and its history. , you will sample the brandy served with chocolate before proceeding to Aragatsotn, which is famous for its wines. Lunch with a glass of wine and a distant view of Mount Ararat is a great way to spend time in Armenia.
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