The small country of Armenia rarely finds itself on the tourist map. Unfairly so – it has much to offer. Besides stunning landscapes, picturesque villages and extremely welcoming people it even has its own versions of Stonehenge and Parthenon and boasts the world’s longest cable car. So if you are looking for your next offbeat destination – Armenia is a perfect choice.
- Magnificent Khor Virap Monastery at the foot of Mount Ararat – one of the most worshipped places in the country. Centuries back St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Baptist of Armenia, had been kept here for 13 years in a dungeon with poisonous snakes and scorpions for disseminating Christianity.
- Set against a dramatic mountainous background Noravank – New Monastery – is actually over 7 centuries old. Hidden in a narrow gorge between breathtaking red rocks it remains one of Armenia’s most popular tourist sights.
- 9th-century Tatev monastery is well-hidden among stiff Armenian cliffs. Getting to it is an adventure in itself – a ride in the world’s longest cable car provides breathtaking views over the canyon. Couple this with crystal springs, natural land bridge and fairy-tale fortress of rocks – and you’ll get one of the most unforgettable places in the country.
- An absolutely unique must-see in Erevan – giant stairway complex Cascade. Getting to the top might be challenging but definitely worth it – the city view is stunning.
- Geghard monastery is a must on any Armenia tour. Literally carved out of cliffs it is one of the most spiritual places in the country providing an unparalleled opportunity to wander around a multitude of small caves, chapels and hidden rooms with stunning carved work inside.
- Garni never stops to surprise foreign tourists – just imagine finding almost an exact copy of Greek Parthenon in Armenian landscapes. Apparently there were many before – but today Garni is the only pagan temple that survived the Christianization of the country in the early 4th century.
- Sevan – one of the largest freshwater mountain lakes in the world and one of the most picturesque locations in Armenia. Legend says that after Armenians won the battle over Arabs the lake was full of Arab soldiers. Floating bodies completely covered water surface after which locals gave it the name Sevan – “black”.
- Sevanavank Monastery on Sevan lake was founded back in 874 on a rocky island. Today it is a peninsula. Artificial draining of the lake in the Soviet times significantly decreased the level of water in the lake – but the place remained just as scenic.
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