Popular choices for a trip to Europe are France, Spain, and Italy. It was very unlikely to have Armenia on travelers’ bucket list due to its transportation inconvenience. However, today’s improved public transportation system has now pledged to take tourists to the most beautiful places in Armenia by stretching its rail lines!
Also, locals are always friendly and welcoming that language won’t be an issue. Considering Armenia for your next travel?
Here are 7 of the most beautiful places in Armenia to include in your itinerary:
The Lake Sevan, also known as Sevana Lich, is a vast, high-altitude lake in Armenia. It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world and the largest in the Caucasus. Also, it has a healthy population of fishes, including the endangered Prince Trout or Ishkan, which shows how Armenia value the preservation of nature and its living species.
The beauty of the lake is more astounding! It has a shimmering bright cyan blue color and a thousand more shades of blue!
How to get to Lake Sevan?
The best way to travel to Lake Sevan from Yerevan is by taking a minibus from the Northern Bus Station. The bus leaves every 20-30 minutes and will take you to Sevan City. The fare is around USD1. Tip: Ask the driver if he can drop you to the lake so you don’t have to walk far.
Khor Virap Monastery
Khor Virap Monastery is the most ancient Armenian monastery located in Mount Ararat. Accordingly, Saint Gregory, the Illuminator was imprisoned in the monastery’s pit for 13 years but managed to live.
King Tridates III, who commanded for the imprisonment, was amazed that he survived. From then on, Saint Gregory received recognition as the mentor of Christianity, and the King decreed all Armenian be Christian.
Another interesting part of visiting the monastery is that you can actually see four neighboring countries: Armenia, Turkey, Iran, and Azerbaijan.
How to get to Khor Virap Monastery?
There is no direct bus service to Khor Virap from Yerevan so the best way to go is to take a bus bound for Ararat and get off at Pokr Vedi. From there, you can walk to the monastery for about an hour. The bus departs at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, and 2:00 PM. The fare is only about USD1. Just make sure to inform the driver that you are going to Khor Virap so he can drop you at the right place.
As the first Christian nation, Armenia has 4000+ monasteries and churches all over the country; Noravank Monastery as one of them. Said monastery, founded by Bishop Hovannes way back 1205, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s also the last work of Momik, the master sculptor and architect or Armenia. A visit to this place will also get you to the three churches such as Surb Astvatsatsin Church, St. Stepanos Church, and St. Karapet Church.
How to get to Noravank Monastery?
There is no direct bus service from Yerevan to Noravank. The best way to go is to take a south-bound bus like buses going to Vayk, Sisian or Goris and alight near Areni. From there, you will have to walk to the monastery. For convenience, we highly suggest you book a South Armenia day tour which includes a visit to Noravank Monastery.
Temple of Garni
With all the temples in Armenia, the Temple of Garni is noted as one of the oldest and most eccentric. It was once a pagan temple mainly built to honor the sun god, Mihr.
Today, it is just a free-standing Greco-Roman construction that shows a lot of Armenian history. The Temple of Garni, one of the most beautiful places in Armenia, is also recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated in a cliff overlooking Geghama mountains and Azat River, so expect that the view is breathtaking!
How to get to Temple of Garni?
From Yerevan’s city center, take a bus or taxi to the Mercedez Benz outlet in the outskirts of Yerevan. From there, take a bus/marshrutka number 266 or 284 to Garni. Travel time is around 30 minutes and the fare is around USD0.50. You can also book a day tour to the Temple of Garni and Geghard for a more convenient experience.
When going to the monastery, you can have an option to travel on the Wings of Tatev, the Guinness Book of World Records’ longest aerial tramway.
Tatev comes from the Liturgical Armenian meaning “Let the Holy Spirit give me the wings”. Accordingly, a master finished his work in the monastery, threw himself down, and had two wings to fly.
While the monastery is rich in legends, it is also rich in well-preserved natural views!
How to get to Tatev Monastery?
From Yerevan, take a bus to Goris. From there, take a taxi to the Wings of Tatev in Halidzor going up to Tatev Monastery. This is a scenic ride, so you should take this cable car rather than taking a taxi direct to the monastery. The taxi cost from Goris to Halidzor is around USD5. The Wings of Tatev cable costs around USD12 for a one-way trip for roughly around USD15 for a roundtrip fare. For a hassle-free experience, you can book a day tour to Tatev Monastery from Yerevan.
The Geghard Monastery is popular for its rock-cut tombs and churches. The place is well-preserved up to this day portraying the rich Medieval Armenian architecture.
Similar to all the most beautiful places in Armenia, the Geghard Monastery has an incredible view surrounding it. It is ALSO never crowded with people, so going here will give you a peaceful moment with your travel buddies!
How to get to Geghard Monastery?
To get to Geghard Monastery, you can follow the instructions above in going to Garni. Geghard Monastery and Temple of Garni are close to each other so you can visit both in one trip.
Located in the city of Vagharshapat, Armavir Province, Etchmiadzin Cathedral is considered as the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church. It is located near the Aras River and is not too far away from Mount Ararat and Yerevan. The cathedral was designed as a part of a UNESCO World Heritage zone in 2000 CE.
How to get to Etchmiadzin Cathedral?
To get to Etchmiadzin, take a marshrutka from the corner of Mashtots Avenue and Saryan Street in Yerevan’s city center. The travel time is around 30-40 minutes and the fare is around USD1.
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