Orient Travel Armenia
Orient Travel Armenia
Armenian vacations isn’t a passive experience. It isn’t just about glimpsing history. You’re enveloped in ancient world, absolutely surrounded by the drama and charm of the planet’s greatest theater; every angle is unique and each moment personalized. Allow Orient's Travel experts to handcraft your perfect immersion, bringing harmonic pleasure to the natural wonder, and discovering you ancient land.
Considering Armenia in terms of must-see sights and check lists reduces it to any other sightseeing vacation, while thinking of it as an immersive journey into a vast old world helps to evoke the inimitably of the experience.
This is a destination where you will be find rich and resilient culture intrigued by history, awed by monuments, amazed by the landscape and charmed by down-to-earth locals. The extraordinary collection of medieval monasteries spread across the country, followed by a noticeably beautiful landscape that is perfectly suited to hiking and other outdoor activities with the unexpected amusing Yerevan – one of Europe's most attractive and charming cities. Vacation in Armenia is attractive and hugely enjoyable travel experience.
What to Expect as a First Time Visitor to Armenia
With the biblical beauty of Mount Ararat, a relaxed pace of life and welcoming residents, Armenia's capital, Yerevan, is the perfect place for rest.
Modernity meets tradition
Cascades comprises a contemporary art museum and sculpture garden, recently integrated with an immense flight of stone stairs and flower gardens. The project, according to a plaque placed at the summit of the stairway, symbolises ‘the beginning of a new era of cultural resurrection and progress of the Armenian people’. The open-air works on display, from abstract bronze figures to merrily obese cats, succeed in lending the area a grand but contemporary feel. Judging by the many pairs of sauntering lovers, the locals have warmed to it too.
Armenia’s claim to fame is that it was the first country in the world to officially adopt Christianity – in AD301.
The Matenadran - hundreds of medieval parchments and intricate documents expound on everything from geometry and cosmology to religion and poetry. One of the showpieces of the museum, a heavy thirteenth-century tract known as ‘The Homilies of Mush’, had been made from the skins of 660 calves. Elsewhere in the galleries were letters, bibles and philosophical works, all beautifully embellished with painstaking calligraphy and hand-mixed natural colours. Were it to come to London, it’s the kind of priceless, mind-blowing collection that would have commentators crowing. Yerevan also has some princely little churches and, within day-trip distance, a set of stupendous Unesco-listed religious sites, but you’d be wrong to expect a city full of overbearing devotion.
To take its secular pulse, in the evening you can found yourself a prime spot at the southern end of Hyusisayin Poghota, a broad, Ramblas-style urban strollway. May watch as the fountains on Republic Square turned into points for families, couples, balloon-sellers and backgammon players.
You could found why Yerevan had earned its reputation as the most relaxed of the Caucasus capitals. Centuries before Turkish or Soviet intrusions, the country was on a key Silk Road route, resulting today in menus full of grilled meats, lightly spiced pastries, fresh salads and oven-warm flatbreads. Some restaurants dressing staff in traditional garb serve homemade apricot vodka rounded off a generous meal of vine-wrapped rice and barbecued lamb.
You can see majestic Mount Ararat is glowing majestically above the rooftops, every bit as mighty as its Biblical status would indicate.
The Khor Virap Monastery which sits just inside the Armenian border. It’s 30 kilometres south of Yerevan, making it the most accessible of the out-of-town sights. It was in a snake-filled pit below this monastery, that St Gregory the Illuminator, bringer of Christianity to the region, spent 12 years.
You are able to enjoy the view, which stretches over vineyards and up Ararat’s volcanic slopes to the mountain’s 5,137 metre-high apex.
Back in Yerevan, the most talked about visitor attraction is the Tsitsernakaberd, the Museum of the Armenian Genocide. Set on a hilltop, it commemorates the death of some 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians between 1915 and 1923. An underground gallery displays the facts baldly – there is no attempt to sensationalize the tragedy, an approach that serves to heighten the horror – while outside, a memorial stands over an eternal flame. There is also a garden of trees planted by representatives of international states who recognize the genocide, including the UK, France and Russia.
A short drive from Yerevan to Echmiatsin is the country’s spiritual heart. Its cathedral and churches had a deep architectural influence on the wider region. The archaeological remains at nearby Zvartnots are also recognised by Unesco.
Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are two Byzantine monastery complexes sit close to each other on the lip of the Debed Canyon in the north of the country. Both were founded in the tenth century.Geghard Monastery reachable as a simple day trip from the capital, Geghard Monastery sits in the glorious Upper Azat Valley and is considered to represent the high point of Armenian medieval architecture.
Located in southwestern Asia on about 30,000 square km (11,500 square km), Armenia meets four seasons of the year with deep and bright colours, special flavour and aroma. The four seasons are clearly expressed in Armenia.
Even though, it is usually advised to travel to Armenia during warm season when there are lots of tasty fruits and vegetables, you can always find something exceptional to do no matter what season you travel to Armenia.
Spring is the season of love and beauty. Spring in Armenia usually starts daily average temperature at about 13°C in Yerevan, feels like end of the summer in some of the European countries. While you can take Yerevan’s temperature as a starting point, but should keep in mind that the weather conditions differ depending on which part of the region you might visit. Among the recommended early spring activities are museum and concerts in Yerevan. It is possible to visit sightseeing that are on the south of the country. Starting from April travelers can fully enjoy outdoor activities with sweet smell of new grass and flowers. Spring is totally green in Armenia!
Summer is perfect for mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, diving, paragliding and other extreme sports, sightseeing, bus and walking tours, museums, etc, etc . Mountains are everywhere around the country and the beautiful high view are always worth to climb the heights. Lake Sevan is a perfect choice for hot Armenian days.
Autumn is multicolored in Armenia and it is getting cold pretty late, by the end of October. Until then all outdoor activities are still common and in addition to beautiful views, travelers able to taste delicious fruits and vegetables of autumn abundant with the “flavor” of the sun. Lots of hiking tours are organized to the monasteries and churches. Autumn is the perfect time to visit Yerevan for travelers loving of cultural events. Starting from September, there are a number of classical concerts, as well as some well known annual festivals, theater performances and exhibitions happening.
Winter brings some well-known winter sports to Armenia, particularly, to Tsakhadzor ski resort. The mountainous landscapes and climate are perfect for winter active holiday lovers. One of the most popular winter resorts of Armenia is Tsakhkadzor . Tsakhkadzor is a paradise for skiers, who come here from around the world to experience a real drive, and ski down the magnificent mountain slopes. The city has equipped ropeway, exciting ski slopes, hotels that meet the highest standards, as well as several good restaurants. The ski equipment can be rent at rather low prices and those who wish can use the service of an instructor. If you climb to the highest point of the ropeway (2819 m), you’ll get a breathtaking view of Mount Ararat. In short, Tsaghkadzor is an excellent option for those who prefer active holiday and want to spend it in Armenia. Come and you won’t regret!
There is a lot to do in Armenia in every season.
Is Armenia Safe to Visit?
In terms of crime, Armenia is one of the safest places you can be. Most visits to Armenia are trouble free. Violent crimes in Armenia and in its capitol Yerevan are fairly uncommon. Crime is increasing in Yerevan especially (though from a very low base level) and visitors should take sensible precautions. The risk of being a victim is, however, much less likely than in most western European and American cities. Far greater risks after dark are either tripping up on pavements in need of repair or else falling into holes dug during the pavement’s reconstruction. Watch out, too, for missing manhole covers. These risks have reduced, at least in the centre of Yerevan, but can still be a problem elsewhere. Assaults are very uncommon, though it does occur. Pickpockets operate at a couple of the most crowded tourist spots, so keep your wallet close at Vernissage and take your normal precautions. Any trouble should be reported to police, who you should also feel comfortable contacting if a taxi driver is insisting on an exorbitant price from you. It is also a good idea to keep in mind that many businesses in Yerevan, including hotels have pos terminals, however some businesses and hotelsoutside of Yerevan only accept cash. In Yerevan and in major cities, you can easily find ATMs to get cash.
There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Armenia. It's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Armenia. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also a hepatitis A vaccination is recommended and when travelling longer than 2 weeks a vaccination against typhoid.
If you are staying longer than 3 months or have a particular risk (travelling by bike, handling of animals, visits to caves) you might consider a rabies vaccination. Vaccination against Tuberculosis as well as hepatitis B are also sometimes recommended for stays longer than 3 months.
Malaria only occurs in the Ararat Valley during the summer months, but taking malaria pills is not necessary. Just use mosquito reppelant and wear long sleeves when it is dark.
Finally, other possible health issues include diarrhea and other general travellers' diseases like motion sickness. Watch what you eat and drink and in case you get it, drink plenty of fluids (to prevent dehydration) and bring ORS. For most visitors though, all you need to know is that drinking the tap or stream water may lead to diarrhea for days - not a fun way to spend your trip. Bottled water is widely available for cheap, but if you don't want to waste plastic, or are camping, etc, you can use purification tablets, water filtration pumps, or a new product called AquaStar that kills all bugs in the water with ultraviolet light. All of these should be purchased before heading to Armenia, where they are not available.
Armenia has one of the highest (if not the highest) numbers of doctors per capita, in the world. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, they have fallen behind due to massive budgetary cuts, but excellent physicians are available.
Little testing has been done in Armenia in regards to AIDS, so although rates are thought to be low, accurate numbers are not known. Always be safe.
The Quality of Accommodation
Accommodation options in Armenia are still developing, as the number of visitors grows rapidly. This has led to a large number of expensive rooms being built, while neglecting mid to low-range hotels. If you are happy with US$100-200 rooms, there is no shortage of options, though even these can get booked from July-September. There is also a very nice youth hostel, and many visitors wanting mid-range hotel rooms instead find themselves very comfortable with short term apartment rentals. Others try home-stay options and get to experience staying with an Armenian family. Depending on how long you're staying in Armenia and what your sightseeing goals are, staying in places outside of Yerevan is also an option.