“We’ll visit Armenia this summer!” – Words that are rarely uttered by travelers and tourists. But we all love ancient relics, churches, authentic food and lakes up so high that they’re surrounded by mountains; so why not visit a country that has all of these wonderments in one place?
You must be raising an eyebrow with a face full of doubt right about now but worry not because it’s time, that you prepare for a journey to a country in the eastern part of Europe which will make you question your travel plans in an instance.
Armenia is a historically rich destination. Being the first country to ever establish Christianity as a state religion, Armenia has a pool of trenching churches and biblical relics that would blow your minds. The state establishment took place in 301 AD, making historical architecture stand out as some of the most magnificent in the world. Followed by these, the churches are 800-year-old Monasteries sitting on the ridges of Armenia’s mountains.
Yerevan – the capital of Armenia is a city like no other, just for the sole factor that you can’t look up and miss Mount Ararat. And the best part – you can visit the footing valley of the mountain without having to take a flight. Armenians are well known for their hospitality and Armenian culture goes as far as being the only culture with a mythical God of hospitality.
Armenian cuisine is a major part of their cultural offering and will surely take you back in time with the exquisite flavors. The country has been cooking up its recipes since ancient times, with eastern European spices and a wide variety of exotic agricultural produce. To give you an idea; their plates come with decadent items starting from creamy cheese to light soups with low calorie content. It’s the least pretentious cuisine you could find in this part of the world. Hence, upon visiting, don’t forget to indulge in Armenian yogurt (matsun), Armenian kyufta (meatballs) or tolma (grape leaves stuffed with minced meat). To meet your sweet tooth cravings, try some Armenian sweet pasty called gata.
In short, Armenia is the best place to strike up a foodie’s love-affair.
While Armenian people are down to earth, the adrenaline factor over there is sky high. The country’s rocky terrains make it a perfect spot for experiencing extreme sports. During winter the mountains turn into an amazing skiing zone. The experience centers are packed with high tech and modern systems to give you the experience of a lifetime.
Tourists from all over the world report that the lake’s beauty is unlike anything else they’ve ever seen and it’s about time that you experience it for yourself. Take a trip to a lake up high and within mountains. Lake Sevan is a surreal lake that meets the sky and reflects its blues into elusive amazement.
Just around the heights of its mountains reside several monasteries that will amaze you. The monastery of Tatev is one that ought to be mentioned. To visit this ancient place you would need to take a 4 hour ride by a car through the swirling mountainous paths leaving Yerevan behind. The best part of the journey includes the 4 hour ride, which is full of breath taking views that will stay with you forever.
After all of your senses are tingled by the mysteries of Armenia, you will find your ears entranced by the local music. Armenian local music is the most soothing and the mellowest of them all. The most appreciated local music comes from a national instrument made from apricot wood, called duduk. According to visitors, the sound of duduk comes from its mountains, metaphorically implying the sadness of the mountains.
Last but not least; Armenian night-life has much to offer. To leverage its beauty you must visit The Republic Square, where every evening is spent with local, classical, rock and pop music. Several artists gather around the square to entertain tourists and locals. Along with beautiful water fountains, the atmosphere becomes enchanting with the music in the Armenian air. At the end of an eventful day, the city has great places to go and relax with some good dinner and company. If you are looking for a cozy night out, you must comfy yourself in one of the cafes around the square that all offer signature Armenian food. Remember to visit the Northern Avenue after you have had a stroll around the city.
So perhaps it’s time you pack your bag and book a ticket to Armenia for an unexpected trip to bliss.