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5 reasons to travel to Armenia

Feel like taking a trip to Armenia but are still not quite sure? Here are 5 good reasons to choose this still little known destination.

  1. 1
    Discover the rich history of the first Christian country
  2. 2
    Meeting a warm population
  3. 3
    Taste a gastronomy born of multiple influences
  4. 4
    Give a taste of adventure to your trip
  5. 5
    Admire the authenticity and variety of the scenery
1. Discover the rich history of the first Christian country

Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world! In existence since antiquity, Armenian culture was forged under the influence of the different powers (Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Byzantine, Turkish...) that over the centuries, exerted a more or less long dominion on the region. Other specificity: Armenia is the world's first Christian country. The Christian religion became the state religion as early as the 4th century AD, which has deeply affected the country's identity.

This history which is both rich and ancient is palpable all throughout the country. It rises to the fore at the top of a plateau on the Greek site of Garni, in the middle of a plain opposite mount Ararat in the form of the monastic complex of Kor Virap, or again at the turn of a street in Yerevan in between Soviet buildings and the city's blue mosque.

2. Meeting a warm population
In the Caucasus, hospitality is not a vain word and Armenia is no exception to the rule. On the contrary! As the country is not yet very touristic, here the visitor is not considered a tourist but a foreigner with all the consideration and well-meaning curiosity that goes with it. If you are lost, Armenians will not hesitate to come to your assistance, making all the efforts in the world to be of help despite their broken or even nonexistent English. It is not uncommon either to be invited to sit down at table to share a meal - or rather a feast - with perfect strangers.
3. Taste a gastronomy born of multiple influences
If the different civilizations that conquered Armenia left their mark in the architecture, it is much the same for the cuisine. Persian, Mediterranean, Arab and Russian influences, in particular, are clearly visible. The gastronomy is so tasty and atypical in Armenia that its discovery is a part of the trip in its own right. You will thus be able to treat yourself to a delicious meal with an infinite variety of meat, either grilled or in sauce prepared with fruits such as pomegranates or apricots. Vegetarians will also be kept happy with a variety of salads and cheeses.
4. Give a taste of adventure to your trip
At once poor and barely touristic, Armenia does not dispose of much infrastructure. You therefore have to show a little resourcefulness in order to travel throughout the length and breadth of the country. Everything can be negotiated: a 200 mile journey by taxi, an improvised meal in a guest house in the remote mountains, a car-share to get to the nearest town when a thunderstorm takes you by surprise in the middle of a hike, the discovery of magnificent places that are just not shown in the tourist guides. In short, when you go to Armenia, being open to others is an integral part of the trip.
5. Admire the authenticity and variety of the scenery
A country situated in the highlands with over 90% of its territory over 3280 feet, Armenia nevertheless possesses a great variety of scenery. In the north, you find thick forests and mountains that remind you somewhat of the Alps. In the south, the dryer climate has fashioned a steppe landscape reminding us that the country is one of the gateways to Asia. Beyond this variety of scenery, what is fascinating is the authenticity of nature. With a low level of urbanisation, the country conceals preserved places and you will not fail to be won over by the savage beauty that you find all across Armenia.
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Why travel in Armenia

I strongly advise those of you fascinated by impressive man-made sites and natural locations to make a trip to Armenia, a country in which man has managed to construct some exceptional buildings in quite wonderful natural locations.
You should go if...
  • Do you have a sensitive appreciation for religious art and/or spirituality?
  • Impressed by mountain landscapes, high rocky plateaus, extinct volcanoes and high altitude lakes, especially when these things are encountered when hiking?
  • Are you comfortable with the idea of people going out of their way to be as hospitable as possible towards you?
  • Do you have a weakness for Middle Eastern cuisine, banquets and restaurant dining?
  • Are you open-minded enough to immerse yourself in a unique national culture that blends aspects of both the East and the West?
  • Are you curious to discover and explore a post-Soviet country experiencing the very last stages of post-colonialism and which has a heritage that combines elements of communism with ancient traditions?
  • Are you aware of and familiar with the great dramas and upheavals of history and prepared to reflect on and render homage to the memory of the Armenian genocide?
You shouldn't go if...
  • Do you like order and organisation? Yerevan is a gently chaotic city characterised by the sound of car horns, disorientation, bustling markets and a sense of improvisation.
  • Do you like the sea, open plains and large Middle Eastern cities? Armenia is in many ways the entire opposite of all that.
  • Ill at ease on high mountain roads and prefer travelling in comfort? Armenia's roads are often chaotic.
  • Little or no interest in history and national cultures? These are to be found everywhere you go in Armenia.
  • Not keen on talking to strangers and prefer travelling around on your own, blending into the background? Armenians love meeting new people!

Customize your perfect trip to Armenia

Discover all our travel ideas for a trip in Armenia.

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When to go in Armenia?

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The best time to go to Armenia is during Autumn: it's not too hot or too cold, it doesn't rain and the days are long. Avoid going during the summer if you can't stand the heat, and the winters can be quite cold as well. During spring, flowers bloom everywhere but it's also always raining, so having a great trip is a question of luck!
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What to see in Armenia?

Top places to discover.

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Prepare your trip in Armenia
Here is some useful practical information to help before you go to Armenia and make life easier when you get there.

What documents to travel with in Armenia?

Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months after the date of your entry to Armenia, and you don't need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days. The customs formalities are much easier nowadays.

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Health advise

There are several recommended vaccinations for a trip to Armenia: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies and you should make sure your diptheria, tetanus, and polio vaccines are up to date. For more information go to the NHS website http://travelhealthpro.org.uk.

Language

The official language is Armenian. However, Russian is spoken all over the country. The younger generations often speak some English.

Time difference

In summer there is 3 hours difference between Yerevan (the capital) and London. So when it is noon in London it is 4 p.m. in Yerevan. In winter there is 4 hours difference (there is no daylight saving time in Armenia).

Phone and internet connection

The international dialling code for Armenia is +374.

If you want to connect to the internet there are lots of cybercafes in the capital. Hotels often have a wifi zone, with computers available, but it is rarely available in the rooms.

Electricity

The plugs are similar to those in France so you will need an adapter.

Embassy of the United Kingdom in Armenia:

34 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan 0019

Tel: 00 374 10 264301

European Medical Centre:

Erevan, 3/1 av. Vasken Sarksian,

Tel: 00 374 10 54 00 03 or 05 40 or 09 40.