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Many associate Armenia with the conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the devastating earthquake of 1988 that destroyed large parts of the north of the country, or the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Admittedly, these events make many shudder. In 2018, Armenia saw the Velvet Revolution, in which former President Serzh Sargsyan was deposed, and the tender little plant of democracy has been nurtured ever since.
Armenia, which is about the size of Hawaii or Massachusetts, is today above all a diverse country that has attracted more and more tourists in recent years. No wonder, because the oldest Christian country in the world can call not only countless monasteries, magnificent cathedrals and ancient cemeteries its own. Three ancient sacred sites have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
In addition, Armenia convinces us above all with its unspoiled nature in many places. Especially for hikers, the Caucasus country with its many mountain ranges, Lake Sevan and numerous national parks is a real paradise in which traditional tourism is often still cultivated – i.e. overnight stays with families who look after their guests with their famous Armenian hospitality.
In addition to nature and the old churches and monasteries, it is above all the Armenian culture that inspires visitors. Many customs seem foreign and exotic to us, just like the unique Armenian cuisine. Enough reasons to travel to Armenia! On the following pages we present Armenia and its regions in more detail, show you the most beautiful places and give you practical tips for your trip.
Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, is no longer an insider tip among backpackers. The city, which is home to around a third of the country’s total population, is also one of the oldest settlements in the world. So it’s no wonder that there is no shortage of historical sights here. But the surrounding countryside also offers many exciting discoveries. The Garni Gorge basalt mountains with their “Symphony of Stones” or the Chosrow Reserve are just two of the natural beauties that offer a change from the hectic life in the big city.
The three provinces of Shirak, Lori and Tavush form the north of the small country. The area is mountainous and the climate relatively mild. So here especially hikers get their money’s worth! In the north of the country there is also Gyumri, the second largest city of the country. And everywhere you can find ancient monasteries – so always worth a trip!
Lake Sevan is the largest in the entire Caucasus and so huge that it could almost form its own province. People have settled on its shores for thousands of years and have left their traces here. So you will not only enjoy a natural landscape with many species of animals living only here, but you can also convince yourself of the rich cultural heritage of Armenia in the monastery of Sevanavank, in the cemetery of Noratus and a bit further inland in the temple of Garni.
The south of the country in the border region with Iran lies at the foot of the mighty Khustup Mountain. The mountainous terrain has been dominated by mining for centuries and was an important center of ore mining during the Soviet Union. You can still see the architectural heritage of those years today in Kapan, the most important town in the region, but hiking is also easy here.
To prepare your trip even better, we have created a packing list for you. It contains recommendations for things that will make your trip more comfortable and secure.
Finding cheap flights with good connections is not always easy. We are pros at finding the cheapest and best flights. Here we share our experiences with you.
Money withdrawel can be extremely expensive. Especially those who pay a lot with foreign currencies should therefore have a travel credit card, which is free of charge or offers low fees. We tested the best.