A 7-Day Fun Trip in Armenia: Guide for a First-Time Traveler
Armenia will win your heart despite the number of days you spend there. The country has a unique blend of Asian and European heritage. Thanks to its strategic geographic location as well as dramatic landscape, beautiful lakes, ski slopes ad canyons makes it worth exploring. If you are first-timer who is planning to visit for a week, here are some places that should be on your itinerary.
Spend Two Fun Days in the Capital City of Armenia, Yerevan
In the first two days, you probably have a little bit of jetlag, which can make it hard to partake in any labor-intensive activities. To make the best of whatever time you have, start by exploring Yerevan, which is popular for its stunning architecture. The Armenian Genocide Memorial will give insight into the country’s troubled past. Despite its rich history, the city is vibrant and modern. Parks and gardens are strategically located.
In the afternoon, you can reconnect with nature and relax by visiting the Lovers Park situated in Baghramyan Street. Yerevan Botanical Garden is another great place for sitting under trees and bonding with nature. In the evening, head over to Mozaic Sky Restaurant, which has a fantastic view and delicious meals.
By the second day, you will have more energy to explore all the best places that Yerevan has to offer. Head to Yerevan cascade, which is home to an art center, landscaped gardens, sculptures, and beautiful fountains. Next, visit Levon’s Amazing Underground World, which is an impressive maze with seven big rooms interconnected by stairs. Levon’s masterpiece also has a garden filled with beautiful flowers. Continue the excursion to Ararat Brandy Factory, where you can taste traditional Armenian brandy or head over to the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, which is one of the oldest churches. Either way, you will have fun. Finally, make a stop at Zvartnots temple, which is not only a majestic site but also an architectural masterpiece.
Day 3 and 4 Explore Southern Armenia
Most people travel by direct train from one Armenian city to another, but if you want a custom journey where you can explore the countryside, then it’s best to hire a private car. Ensure you get a translator who can make the experience authentic. When you use a simple phrase such as translator English to Armenian to search online, you are likely to get a reputable company. Choose that which is licensed and has various positive reviews. With online translation software, you will also be in a position to learn the language used. As such, you can communicate with the people you interact with.
Now that you have your means of transport, head over to Spitakavor monastery where you can chat with the locals. Enjoy a picnic lunch or buy local cuisine. Next, follow the trails and hike to Proshaberd Citadel, where you can enjoy impressive views of the mountains and the valley below. Along the way, you will encounter sculptured erosions and bizarre rocks.
The hiking adventure and outdoor activities continue on the fifth day, where you need to head to Khutsup Mountain, which has a breathtaking view and beauty. Its best to start the hike early morning as reaching the top can take you a whole day. Along the way, you will see different flower species, but the view at the top is something you will never forget. To the locals, a mountain is a holy place. The best time for hiking is during warm weather, which is between July and September.
In case you prefer not to hike Mount Khustup, I recommend you try out the following activities in Goris:
- Visit Tavet Monastery, where you will enjoy walking on a natural land bridge, get a view of natural springs, an underground river, and a carven.
- Go to Khndzoresk Cave village.
- Museum of Axel Bakounts for literature lovers.
- Spend time at Goris Stone Pyramids Forest.
- 20th-century church Surp Gregory.
Nature lovers will enjoy a perfect retreat in Rock Forest.
Day 5 and 6: Have Fun in Armenian Switzerland
Dilijan, popularly nicknamed the Armenian Switzerland, is a busy town full of so many fun activities. So for your two-day trip, you can choose from mountain biking, hiking, visiting museums or getting up-close with traditional Armenian architecture. The Haghartsin Monastery is an excellent place for sightseeing with the whole family, while Lake Parz is great for picnics. In the afternoon, you can go for a hike or mountain biking at Dilijan National Park and see various endangered animals. For handmade souvenirs, head to Sharambeyan Street.
Some of the places you should see in your sixth day while in Dilijan are:
- Motosavanak monastery which is a 13th Century church that requires a hike to reach it.
- The Geological museum and art gallery of Dilijan.
- Museum of Folk Art.
- Jukhtakvank monastery
- A village monastery is known as Goshavank in the village of Gosh.
- Lake Gosh.
At night you can book a local guesthouse where you can also enjoy the delicious local cuisine.
Day 7: UNESCO World Heritage Sites Awaits
No need to relax indoors on your last day in Armenia when there is so much to explore in the North area. Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahi, which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are a must-see. There is a trail that connects the monasteries, which gives visitors a chance to hike and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Besides, the churches provide a unique option to know more about Armenian history and medieval architecture as well as Christianity.
Armenia is a magnificent place to visit. Even after covering all the listed above areas, you will still have more new sites to explore the next time you decide to visit. So plan a trip and get to enjoy all the attractions that this country has to offer.