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Located in in the mountainous Caucasus region, Armenia is a landlocked nation with Azerbaijan to the east, Turkey to the west, and Georgia to the north. The country was a part of the Soviet Union until 1991. Formerly under Persian, Byzantine, Mongol and Turkish control, few countries have histories as ancient and complex as Armenia. Among the earliest Christian civilisations, the country’s first churches can be traced back to the fourth century. Armenia is dotted with religious sites of great importance including the 4th century headquarters of the Armenian Church, Etchmiadzin Cathedral, and the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni. The 9th century Sevanavank monastery borders the high-altitude Lake Sevan and the Khor Virap Monastery is located near the dormant volcano Mount Ararat. Other major landmarks in Armenia are the Medieval Geghard Monastery, Byzantine Haghpat Monastery, Kasagh Gorge, Debed Canyon, Yeghegis Valley, Selim Pass, Tatev Monastery, Sanahin Monastery, and Saint Hripsime Church. Local government organizes annual festivals to familiarize tourists with traditions of Armenia. Some of these festivals are Yerevan with Flair (the festival of Armenian ritual dishes), Yerevan Taraz Fest is the festival of Armenian national costumes and, Yerevan Beer Fest for beer enthusiasts.
Popular Destinations in Armenia
Yerevan is the capital of Armenia and among the most ancient cities of the
world. It is the country’s cultural and spiritual center with several
monuments, churches, parks, and architecture masterpieces. Many tourists
visit Yerevan for its cultural heritage and distinctive architecture in
addition to its rich history and modern infrastructure. Major landmarks in
Yerevan are Republic Square, Yerevan Cascade, Armenian Genocide Memorial
Complex, Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Singing Fountains, Mother
Armenia monument, Saint Sarkis Cathedral, Zoravor Surp Astvatsatsin Church,
Yerevan Vernissage, and, Hovhannavank Monastery. The historic city is home
to traditional teahouses which co-exist with modern European chic cafes.
Yerevan is lined with a number of state-of-the-art museums and performing
art venues such as History Museum of Armenia, Yerevan Opera Theatre,
Matenadaran, Modern Art Museum of Yerevan, Cafesjian Museum of Art,
National Gallery of Armenia, Karen Demirchyan Complex, and Erebuni Museum.
Nature lovers can explore Yerevan Zoo, Mount Aragats, Yerevan Botanical
Garden, and Yerevan Lake.
Located 30 kms west of Yerevan, Vagharshapat is an ancient town nestled in
the scenic Ararat Valley, close to the Turkish-Armenian border. Founded in
the 1st century, the city is the former capital of Great Armenia
and is considered to be Armenia’s spiritual capital today. Major historic
landmarks in Vagharshapat are Zvartnots Cathedral, Saint Hripsime Church,
Shoghakat Church, Saint Gayane Church, and Metsamor Castle. History
enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the city’s museums, including Alex and
Marie Manoogian Treasury House Museum, Khoren Ter-Harutyunyan Museum, and
Historical and Ethnographic Museum of Echmiadzin.
Located in the Shirak Province, in north-western Armenia, Gyumri is the
second largest city in Armenia. Known as Alexandropol in the latter 19 th century, the city was among the largest in Russian-ruled
Armenia. Gyumri is home to some of the most important cultural institutions
of the country, namely, Dzitoghtsyan Museum of Social Life and National
Architecture of Gyumri, Aslamazyan Sisters House-Museum, and Sergey
Merkurov House-Museum. The Kumayri Historic District is the city’s oldest
area with a number of ancient buildings found here. Major landmarks in
Gyumri include Vartanants Square, Holy Saviour's Church, Marmashen
Monastery, Victory Park Gyumri, and Bagratunyats Monument. To enjoy
panoramic views of the city, visitors should head to Sev Berd or the Black
Fortress on the hill which overlooks the city. Gyumri is also the seat of
the Diocese of Shirak of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Best Time to Visit Armenia
The best time to book Armenia flights is the months from late May till early June or from late September till early October when the weather is pleasant to explore outdoors and enjoy everything the city has to offer. Visitors who are looking to get cheap flights to Armenia must avoid the peak season from mid-June to August.
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