Landmarks and Attractions of Armenia
Armenia is an amazing country, full of interesting places reflecting its rich cultural and historical heritage. What is Armenia famous for? Ancient fortresses and castles, temples and monasteries of astonishing beauty, stunning lakes, mountains and waterfalls, rich museums, and luxurious theaters - all these are the bright landmarks and attractions of Armenia that are worth seeing! We invite you to embark on an exciting journey through this picturesque Transcaucasian country to discover its wonderful treasures.
Temples and Monasteries
Religion has always played an important role in the life of the country. Since ancient times, temples and places of worship have been erected on the territory of Armenia. One of the precious gems in this collection of rarities is the Hellenistic temple built in the 1st century AD in the village of Garni. It stands out brightly against the background of numerous Christian temples, each of which, however, has its own unique feature.
Appreciate the amazing composition of the Goshavank Monastery complex in the Tavush region or take a stroll through the halls of Geghard Monastery, carved into basalt rock. Head to the Syunik region to visit the Tatev Monastery, built in the early 10th century, or stop by the Khor Virap temple, located at the foot of Mount Ararat. Connoisseurs of delicate craftsmanship must visit the Zvartnots temple, a priceless masterpiece of Armenian architecture. The landmarks and attractions of Armenia are unique and diverse, and each of them is not only a monument of architecture and history but also a sacred place revered by the people, where they come to turn to God.
Armenia's natural attractions will impress even the seasoned traveler. Rivers, lakes, waterfalls, picturesque mountain gorges, snow-capped peaks, and colorful panoramas of mountain passes - all await you in the enchantingly beautiful Armenia.
Mountains occupy half of the country's area, while there are also plains, plateaus, and extinct volcanoes. Armenia is located approximately 90% above 1,000 meters above sea level, so the climate here is quite harsh: even in summer, it can be windy and cool in the mountain regions. However, the specific weather conditions will not prevent you from enjoying the beauty of Armenia.
You should definitely see the vast expanse of Lake Sevan, which is called the pearl of Armenia. Its deep waters are framed by a slender chain of mountain peaks, and on a clear sunny day, the lake acquires a characteristic azure hue. Other equally bright natural attractions of Armenia include the Jermuk, Shaki, and Kasakh waterfalls, basalt rock formations called the "Symphony of Stones," Garni Gorge, Araks River, and hundreds of other natural monuments. The main symbol of Armenia – Mount Ararat – can be seen literally from the center of Yerevan by climbing to the top of the famous Cascade.
Tourist attractions in Armenia are plentiful, including many historic fortresses. Built on impregnable cliffs and precipices of mountain gorges, Armenian fortresses amaze with their monumentality and stature. Many of them were erected during the early medieval period: from the 5th to the 10th centuries. Most of them are in a semi-ruined state, making them even more interesting to visit. Moss-covered walls of ancient fortresses loom over the rocky ledges, embodying the ancient history of Armenia and its people.
One such fortress is Erebuni, which dates back almost 3,000 years and is considered to be the oldest in the country. Located in Yerevan, it marks the beginning of the city's history and offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient past of Armenia. The fortress of Amberd is also significant, as it served as a major military-defense point of the Armenian Kingdom on the southern slope of Mount Aragats. Pay attention to the fortress of Akhtala: its main temple preserves 13th-century frescoes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. And don't miss the famous "Black Fortress" or Sev Berd in Armenian, the iconic landmark of Gyumri. Black tuff was used as the material for its walls. The fortress was built during the Russian Empire and is well preserved.
Ancient Armenian attractions with powerful fortress walls and massive gates are scattered throughout the country. They were erected for the purpose of strengthening defense and controlling the territory during medieval times. Today, we can explore them while simultaneously enjoying the magnificent views and natural beauty that can be seen from their towers.
Armenia's landmarks are also places associated with various types of applied arts that have flourished in the country since ancient times.
One of the oldest Armenian crafts is carpet weaving. The medieval period is considered the heyday of carpet weaving in the Armenian Highlands. During this time, numerous carpet-making workshops appeared in the country, where diligent weavers created true works of art day by day, centimeter by centimeter, with their own hands. You can experience this special type of creativity and admire the colorful Armenian carpets at the "Megeryan Carpet" factory in Yerevan. You will see a rich collection of carpets, including a woven fabric from the 17th century. In addition, you can witness the process of creating masterpieces firsthand, admiring the skilled work of the craftswomen at the loom.
Another national gem of Armenian applied art is the art of creating khachkars. This craft involves stone carving, with the main element being the depiction of a Christian cross. Craftsmen worked to create unique ornaments and patterns, weaving these elements into a monumental cross. You can see the masterpieces of medieval builders on the walls of many Armenian churches. The largest collection of khachkars is located 90 kilometers from Yerevan, near the village of Noratus. This collection of stone-engraved crosses has been nicknamed the "khachkar cemetery" among the people. The place is truly impressive and definitely worth a visit! If you were to list all similar landmarks and attractions in Armenia, the list would be quite long, as there are many churches with khachkars standing by their walls. This means that you will encounter examples of carved creativity everywhere you go.
Landmarks and Attractions for Short Trips
If you're short on time but want to see as much as possible, it's good to know what to see in Armenia in 3 days. Your journey will most likely start with a sightseeing tour of Yerevan, during which you can climb to the top of the Cascade, stroll around Republic Square, visit the ancient Kond district, and shop for souvenirs at the local Vernissage flea market. The next day, you can visit Lake Sevan and the pagan temple of Garni, as well as the ancient cliffside monastery complex of Geghard. All of the above are part of a kind of essential program, each element of which is truly worth your precious time.
Plans for the third day may vary, depending on the preferences of the travelers. You can head to the Khor Virap Monastery, located at the foot of Mount Ararat, and then continue on to the pearl of Armenian temple architecture – the Etchmiadzin Monastery. You can also arrange a gastronomic and wine tour and explore the local cuisine and wines at the best family wineries and restaurants. Mountain nature lovers can visit the resort town of Dilijan, full of greenery and picturesque panoramas. And that's not all! There are plenty of options, as beautiful places in Armenia for relaxation can be found throughout the country.
Unusual Places in Armenia
If you are planning an exciting trip, you should include not only walks around the capital but also visits to unusual places in Armenia. An amazing attraction called the Devil's Bridge awaits you 2 kilometers from the village of Tatev. This is a natural formation created from limestone tufa under the influence of hot mineral waters. In the underground grotto, turbulent streams of water flow down the stalagmites of whimsical shapes, reverberating with a polyphonic echo. Next to the bridge, mineral springs with healing properties gush from the ground.
Lovers of mysterious rarities should see the ancient Armenian observatory of Karahunj, which many compare to the famous Stonehenge. In the middle of a vast valley under the open sky, there are carved stone blocks. Each boulder has holes drilled in it, which were used to observe celestial bodies and calculate the patterns of planetary movement. Karahunj Observatory is the oldest in the world!
Visit the cave city of Khndzoresk, where people arranged their daily lives in small grottoes dug into the vertical cliffs. The exact time of the creation of this place is unknown, and the first mention of it was found in 13th-century manuscripts.
Ski Resorts in Armenia
Traveling during the warm season is always more comfortable. Where should you go if your vacation falls during the harsh snowy period? Don't worry, as the sights of Armenia are still accessible for exploration in winter.
In addition to visiting places on the "must-see" list, pay attention to ski resorts. One of the most popular is Jermuk, where you can not only ski and snowboard but also improve your health in balneological sanatoriums with mineral water springs. Jermuk is famous for its mesmerizing views of Mount Ararat, so you won't leave without stunning photos! Another well-known resort is Tsakhkadzor, where ski slopes stretch for more than 30 kilometers!
If you want something more unusual, go on a snowshoe hike in Dilijan National Park to see the snow-capped peaks of the Tzaghkunyats and Gegham mountain ranges with your own eyes.
The landmarks and attractions of Armenia are so diverse that it's hard to imagine how many extraordinary places there are in this country! Moreover, you can travel at any time of the year, getting a lot of amazing emotions. We are ready to organize the adventure of your dreams for you, which will stay in your heart forever!