Armenia is becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction, with the small but charming nation boasting a rich history. The mountain is Armenia’s national symbol despite its peak lying just over the Turkish border and Ararat is considered holy by locals due to its mention in The Bible – it is where Noah’s Ark landed. Armenia is home to countless beautiful monasteries and they are often found in areas of truly outstanding natural beauty. Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, is one of the most rapidly developing cities in the whole of Europe as the nation continues to embrace tourism.
By far the largest city in Armenia, the capital Yerevan is a great place to start for anyone wishing to explore Armenia. The city is home to the grand Republic Square, while climbing the Cascade to see the city’s monument to Soviet victory in the Second World War is a must. Yerevan is a deeply historic city and visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial is a must to learn more about the nation’s troubled past.
2. Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan, found in the heart of Armenia, is the country’s largest lake and a beautiful place to visit during a break in the country. The lake is surrounded by some stunning monasteries – the most impressive of them being arguably the Sevanavank Monastery – providing a glorious scenic backdrop to a relaxing trip. Windsurfing is among the recreation activities available at the lake, which also has a wide choice of excellent seafood restaurants along its shore.
3. Mount Aragats
Mount Aragats is one of Armenia’s most stunning natural sights, with the dormant volcano located in the north of the country. It is Armenia’s highest peak and there is a lot of rock art to be enjoyed around its base, with paintings of animals and human-like figures dating back hundreds of years.
4. Amberd Fortress
Dating back to the seventh century, Amberd Fortress is one of the most stunning places to visit in Armenia. Formerly among the Armenian Kingdom’s primary military-defensive points, the fortress can be reached in about an hour from the capital city Yerevan. However, snowfall can make the fortress inaccessible during the winter months, with the weather usually improving by late May. The view from the top of the fortress is truly breathtaking, while the building itself is also stunning. Amberd Fortress is a short trip from the village of Byurakan, home of the Byurakan Observatory.
Armenia’s mountainous scenery makes it ideal for winter sports and the country’s best ski resort can be found at Tsaghkadzor in the heart of the country. Ski lifts are paid for by the ride and are among the most affordable in Europe. Tsaghkadzor boasts some of the finest hotels in the country, while the resort also has one of the nation’s biggest entertainment centers in the form of the Senator Royale casino complex. Tsaghkadzor also has the Kecharis Monastery, which is one of Armenia’s most important religious complexes, dating back to the start of the 11th century.