Armenia is a nation, and former Soviet republic, in the mountainous Caucasus region between Asia and Europe. Among the earliest Christian civilizations, it’s defined by religious sites including the Greco-Roman Temple of Garni and 4th-century Etchmiadzin Cathedral, headquarters of the Armenian Church. Khor Virap Monastery is a pilgrimage site near Mount Ararat, a dormant volcano just across the border in Turkey.
Armenia is one of the most ancient and unique countries in the Caucasus. Despite its small territories, this country has so much to offer to its foreign guests: picturesque mountainous landscapes, ancient sights, delicious cuisine, exciting places for active holiday lovers! We must also note the hospitality and kindness of locals who warmly welcome their foreign guests. So no wonder that Armenia is becoming more popular day by day. If you get interested in Armenia as a tourist destination just get aqcuianted with some tips which will be very useful during your holiday.
May. The beginning of the month of May is characterized with heavy showers, like April. Thus, the best time to visit Armenia is from late May to early June. This time of year, the weather is comfortable before the heat sets in, making it an ideal time to explore the country.
Currency: The dram
Official language: Armenian
Armenia was introduced to the world as part of the Roman Empire in 114 CE and in 301 CE became the first Christian country, adopting Christianity as the official state religion. This is a fact of which Armenians are very proud and which plays a big role in the country’s heritage.
For centuries, control of Armenia was the subject of great conflict with the western region under the Ottoman Empire and the eastern region under Russian forces. At the beginning of the 19th century, Russian powers took over the entire region of what we know today as modern Armenia.
The first genocide of the 20th century was experienced in 1915 when a quarter of a million Armenians were slaughtered by the Ottomans, who decided that their presence in what was then Anatolia was too much of a liability. In addition to these atrocities, hundreds of thousands of Armenians were forced to flee their land, which accounts for the large Armenian diaspora around the world today. As a result, Armenia and Turkey refuse to have diplomatic ties even to this day.
After the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War, Armenia became one of the three Soviet republics, along with Azerbaijan and Georgia. In the early 1990’s, they began to fight for independence during the Karabakh conflict, establishing the Pan-Armenian National Movement. The Karabakh conflict escalated to a war which the Armenian’s won in the military sense, but not in terms of really improving quality of life. Full diplomacy was never reached and the borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan and Turkey remain closed.
Those interested in learning more about the country’s turbulent history should visit the Museum of the Armenia Genocide (Tsitsernakaberd Hill, Yerevan) which provides a simple, no-frills account of the event and the State Museum of Armenian History (Republic Square Area, Hanrapetutvan Hraparak, Yerevan) which spans all the way from 3000 BCE to the present day.
Armenia’s culture is as varied and dynamic as their terrain. Bordering Europe, Asia and the Mediterranean, Armenia has adopted traits from all of these regions while managing to remain quite distinct.
Music plays an important role in the culture of Armenia. Classical music is very popular and Armenian musicians are highly accomplished. Travelers can experience a taste of the arts through the renowned performances of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra who perform at the Yerevan Opera House. Jazz also plays a prominent role with many summer performances taking place in outdoor venues like parks.
Examples of Armenian architecture can be seen all over the country in a myriad of religious buildings. The design and detail of Armenian cathedrals and monasteries also provide an indication of the evolution of the design from simple basilicas to niched buttresses.
Most visitors to the region express their love mostly of the Armenian people, who are notoriously sociable and hospitable. Don’t expect to leave an Armenian home without a belly full of food and drink or an earful of pleasant and jovial conversation.
Armenia is mostly mountainous (more than 90% of the territory is over 900m/2,286ft above sea level), so expect a dry highland climate. Springs are short with mild temperatures. ... May to June and September to October are good times to visit Yerevan, as the weather is warm but mild.
Travelers must have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the planned date of arrival in addition to at least 1 page available for stamping. The Armenia e-Visa is Single Entry and allows applicants to remain in the country for 21 days Per Entry or 120 days Per Entry.
Armenia has no domestic flights.
Biking in Armenia is increasingly popular despite its mountainous landscape and pothole-riddled roads. Even with the poor road conditions, it's far more enjoyable to avoid main highways in favour of provincial roads. There are no restrictions on wild camping in the countryside, just make sure to ask locals beforehand. Bike repair shops are nonexistent outside of Yerevan.
Most moderately sized towns are accessible from Yerevan's Kilikya and Hyusisayin bus stations or mashrutky (minibus) stands around the city, but travelling in between the towns can be a serious headache.
Car & Motorcycle
Hiring a car is the best way to visit if hopping from town to town or visiting entire regions. Unfortunately, roads are terribly potholed and, to make matters worse, the holes are often dug out long before any repairs get done making the bumps more treacherous. Speed limit signs are rare, but the limit is 70km/hour on major roads outside of Yerevan and 90km/hour on the Sevan highway. Watch out for speed traps going into the Dilijan Tunnel.
Armenia's train system is old and very difficult to navigate without speaking Armenian or Russian. Tickets are only available at the stations in Yerevan and some major cities like Gyumri and Vanadzor. The recently added weekend express train between Gyumri and Yerevan is a welcome sight.
Due to the unreliability of mashrutky and relative costliness of taxis, many travellers and locals alike stick out their thumbs and request lifts around the country. Popularity aside, hitching is never entirely safe, and we don’t recommend it. Travellers who hitch should understand that they are taking a small but potentially serious risk.
Before you leave on your holiday, there are at least four health-related things you should do. Please check the handbook for specifics, but for now, here’s the short list:
Step 1: Check with the CDC for their recommendations for the countries you’ll be visiting.
Step 2: Have a medical checkup with your doctor.
Step 3: Pick up any necessary medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
Step 4: Have a dental and/or eye checkup. (Recommended, but less important than steps 1-3.)
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