Top 10 best places to visit in Armenia
Armenia is a small country of mountain heights of Ararat and Aragats, free winds, clear water and warm, bright sun, stony expanses and green meadows, majestic forests and blue-eyed Lake Sevan. A country of good-natured, hospitable and sunny people whose eyes are filled with the wisdom of the centuries-old history.
In Armenia, you will not feel like a stranger, you will be bypassed by the feeling of loneliness in a non-native country because the Armenian people are famous for the fact that their doors are always open for guests and kind people.
Despite the fact that the territory of the country is small, there are many interesting places in Armenia that are worth visiting for tourists. We will help you in advance to familiarize yourself with the details of Armenia, with its traditions and attractions, so that you, our distinguished guest, will have an idea about this paradise before visiting it.
Top 10 must-see places in Armenia
1. Geghard Monastery or Geghardavank
Gegard or Gegardavank is almost the most famous sight of Armenia. Geghardavank is a monastery carved deep in the rock which stands in the gorge of the Goght river, surrounded by the highest mountains. The name Gegardavank is translated as “monastery of the spear” (“Gegard” – spear, “vank” – monastery). Apostle Thaddeus, along with many other relics, brought the spear of Longin to Armenia, the spear which they plunged into the body of Christ on the Cross. From this spear comes the name of the monastery. At the moment, the spear is kept in the Echmiadzin Museum.
2. Pagan temple of Garni
The pagan temple Garni is the only surviving pagan temple in Armenia, a witness and representative of the Hellenistic era. The kings loved this temple because of its inaccessibility: the fortress is located on a cape, which is surrounded on both sides by river Azat and on the side – a deep gorge.
3. Symphony of stones Armenia
In the gorge, above which the temple of Garni is located, next to the Azat river, there is another miracle – this time a miracle of nature. Subsequently, the activity of volcanic lava created high basalt columns, which are so symmetrical that they are similar to the great stone musical organ.
4. Noravank Monastery
The name of the monastery is literally translated as “new monastery” (“nor” – new, “vank” – monastery), but today the name of the monastery does not correspond to its reality: Noravank was built 13 centuries ago! The monastery stands majestically in the gorge of the river Arpa, and in the gorge, sheer steep red rocks stand out, making the view even more impressive. Noravank is famous for the fact that the church is two-storied, and you can climb very narrow stone steps along the church wall: not everyone dares to climb these steps.
5. Tatev Ropeway – Wings of Tatev
Wings of Tatev are a record landmark in Armenia. Why record? The reason is that Wings of Tatev is the longest passenger cable car in the world! “Flight” takes an average of 12 minutes, and the length of the road is 5 km. 752m. A cable car flies over the gorge of the Vorotan River, and this road leads to the next famous landmark in Armenia – to Tatev Monastery.
6. Tatev Monastery
Tatev monastery was built in the IX century. In Armenia, Tatev Monastery is of particular importance and significance, because several centuries after its foundation, the monastery became a scientific center and center of education. Here, apart from monks, many philosophers, artists, teachers, musicians, translators and copyists lived and conducted their activities.
7. Echmiadzin Cathedral
Echmiadzin, formerly known as Vagharshapat, was founded in the 2nd century. After the Romans defeated the city of Artashat, Echmiadzin became a cultural and political center, and then the religious center of Armenia, and remains so up to this day. The Echmiadzin Cathedral was built in 301, after Christianity became the state religion of Armenia, and held it for centuries. Thus, the cathedral is considered to be one of the first Christian churches in the world, since Armenia is the first country to adopt Christianity as the state religion. Echmiadzin Cathedral is the main church of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
8. Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan is the main pearl of the Armenian nature and the national pride of the Armenians. Its appearance is fascinating, and the appearance of a blue spot on the horizon along the road, which grows and grows as it approaches, is a real surprise for the guests, even if they were ready for it, as it seems to them. Sevan is the main saviour of the local population from the summer heat because the lake is so high that the temperature of the water in the hot summer reaches only 18-20C.
9. Khndzoresk bridge and caves
Old Khndzoresk known as the cave city is the main attraction of the Syunik region. For a long time, this village was a lively corner in a deep gorge, but in the 20th century, people were gone to the top of the mountains, thereby forming New Khndzoresk. People in the old Khndzoresk were engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture and lived in caves.
In 2012, a bridge was built here, which also became a tourist attraction. Before its appearance, people walked to the opposite side, and could only walk to one part of the gorge.
10. Karahunj observatory – Armenian Stonehenge – Zorats Karer
In Armenia, there is still too much remaining of the ancient civilization living in the country. However, the most mysterious trace of antiquity is Karahunj Observatory or Zorats Karer (mighty stones). It is still unknown what it was built for and what it served, but one thing is clear: it is very similar to English Stonehenge and it is even older than the Stonehenge.