We have selected top 17 original travel destinations in Armenia, we have included both famous tourism destinations and still not wildly know and not yet discovered and original places.
1. Azat reservoir
Visit Azat reservoir and experience unforgettable impressions.
35 km away from Yerevan, the Azat reservoir in Ararat Marz will really leave an indelible impression on you. It was built in 1976, in the middle stream of Azat River. It is surrounded by mountains at an altitude of 1050 m above sea level. It was built for the irrigation needs of the Ararat valley, the area is 3 square km. With its picturesque location, the Azat Reservoir is like a sorceress that attracts the viewer with the magic of the mirror of its sparkling waters. The unique impression is irreversible.
On the right bank of the Azat River, high above the gorge, proud and unblinking, like a giant, stands the ancient pagan temple of the Armenians, Garni, the most significant monument of the early period of Armenia. Garni is a fortress-complex of the 2nd century, a pagan temple built in 77 AD. The magnificent temple has long served as a summer residence for kings and their families. The temple was destroyed by a strong earthquake in Armenia in 1679. Over the years, experts have restored the Garni Temple, and today it fascinates the viewer with its enormous size, proud posture and unfading beauty.
The Geghard monastery complex and the rock-hewn monastery are also located on the right bank of the Azat river. Geghard is the embodiment of incredible strength, unusual will, an inanimate and self-contained monastery carved into a single giant rock. It’s got its name from the traditional Armenian saint Geghard, who was moved for preservation from Etchmiadzin for some time here, as an inaccessible and inaccessible place.
Your trip to the Azat River would not be complete without connecting with the falling stones of the river canyon - the Symphony of Stones. When you look it seems that in the next moment the waterfall of stones will take you in its vortex and throw you like a feather into the waters of the Azat River. But you return to reality and admire the miracle created by nature, a monument resembling a huge organ, with which nature continuously plays its wonderful composition "Symphony of Stones", as a symbol of the harmony of human and nature.
And if you are in love with jeeping, then Azat gorge is the perfect place with with risky hooks and miraculous landings.
Fans of extreme and adventure tourism are also offered to enjoy the pleasure of kayaking right here at Azat Reservoir, not forgetting to observe all the necessary instructions for safe paddling.
While relaxing from the impressions of a really full day, don't forget to enjoy the traditional lavash of Garni and the not unknown Armenian gata.
2. Gyumri and its surroundings, Gyumri cuisine
Gyumri is the original and unique colorful city of Armenia: the city of crafts and arts, the second largest city in Armenia, as the witty and funny locals would say, the fatherland of Armenia. Visit Armenia and not to visit Gyumri is like having a meal without salt. At one time, significant output of Armenian industry was allocated to Gyumri, especially light industry. Gyumri suffered the heaviest losses from the terrible earthquake of 1988. the city was destroyed in half and claimed more than 17,000 lives. But that was in the distant past, and today in Gyumri you can enjoy the unique combination of modern, ancient and national architecture, the silence of the churches built in the Middle Ages, communicate with the unique creators of culture and art. Gyumri is rich in historical fortresses and churches. By the way, Shirak International Airport is located only 5 kilometers from the city. Here legends about Gyumri’s cuisine are told. As the people of Gyumri like to live luxuriously and to the fullest, they also like to eat delicious and delicious food. Only here you can enjoy tatar boraki, keufta, pasuts dolma, baklava and various traditional dishes prepared by master chefs from Gyumri.
3. Deer Park - Dilijan, Lake Parz
The famous resort and spa city Dilijan often is called “Armenian Switzerland”. Forested mountains, fresh and clean air, healing mineral waters: here are the natural treasures of Dilijan that attract thousands of tourists from all over the world. The city stands out for its unique mixture of old and new․ Your visit to Haghartsi built in the 10th century and Goshavank monastic complexes dating back to the 12th century will be interesting. By the way, the Goshavank monastery complex was also known as a large spiritual educational center․ Dilijan National Park covers an area of 33,765 hectares, including the city, the natural wonder Parz Lake and the Deer Park. The national park is one of the truly unique corners of the nature of Armenia, which is unique in its rich biodiversity, and the animal world will surprise you with its variety. An excellent opportunity to relax, merge with nature, and experience nature will be your visit to Parz Lake recreation area and Deer Park, where you can feed Caucasian red deer with your own hands, marveling at their maddening slyness.
4. Lastiver waterfalls, Lastiver Desert
For lovers of creative, non-classical, adventure and extreme tourism, Lastiver with its waterfalls, Lastiver desert and Yenokavan with its zipline will be a real revelation.
Lastiver is located in the northeastern part of Armenia, on the outskirts of Yenokavan village. The waterfalls are on the Khachaghbyur river, which you can reach by going down to the river bank through the thick forests of Tavush. And out of nothing you, it feels like you're in the jungle. But the next moment you notice the interesting and non-standard cabins and huts built on the trees, you realize that you are "saved". Perhaps you won't find another untouched corner of nature, where human and nature are so close, and where you can enjoy the total peace of nature so fully.
Centuries-old caves hang on the edges of Azhdaha Gorge, and the place is called Lastiver Desert after one of them. The local population was sheltered and saved from the Mongol invasions of the 13-14th centuries in this very cave, on the walls of which a wonderful bas-relief of a wedding ceremony made by an unknown artist is still preserved. You can swim in the Khachaghbyur river, catch redfish, sunbathe by lying on the hot stones on the shore, you can use the sauna, natural jacuzzies made in the river.
5. Yenokavan with its zipline
If you look for adventures and non-standard extreme events during your vacation, then choosing Yell Extreme Park, the first adventure park in Armenia, will be the right choice. After a two-hour drive from Yerevan you will find yourself in the village of Yenokavan, Tavush region, where Yell Extreme Park is located. Here you are brave and fearless and you’ll make an unforgettable zipline flight. And what an amazing view: feels like all the green areas are gathered here in Tavush forests from all around the world. Extreme and unforgettable amazing memories make you want returning to Yell Extreme park.
The beauty of Geghama, the blue Lake Sevan, is truly a miracle. There are many recreation areas here and so the choice is really wide. If you appreciate the perfect vacation in a real paradise, then enjoy your vacation directly on the shores of the blue beauty. The exceptionally peaceful location, the welcoming atmosphere, and the high-quality service will make your vacation complete with family and friends. You just need to travel to Sevan and relax fully. The famous Sevanavank church is located on the Sevan peninsula, which can become a part of your excursion to Sevan.
7. Areni․ wine making culture and history, degustation
Visiting Armenia is a must: you should visit Areni village in Vayots Dzor region, where you will find winemaking factories and caves, here you will taste red wine made from grapes of sunny Vayots Dzor.
Wine culture has a history of thousands of years in Armenia, as evidenced by the various wine-making accessories found as a result of excavations. In Vayots Dzor in general, and in Areni community in particular, viticulture and winemaking are the main economic sectors. If you are lucky enough to be in Areni in October, in addition to getting acquainted with the thousand-year-old historical and cultural monuments in the area, the history and culture of wine, you can participate in the traditional wine festival organized here, tasting various wines, and during the wine tours you will enjoy Armenian wine and learn about the history of winemaking. There is no doubt that you will leave Areni with pleasant impressions that will not be forgotten for a long time.
8. Tatev ropeway and church
Armenia is rich in churches and ancient historical man-made monuments: the most wonderful of them is perhaps the monastery complex of Tatev, built at the end of the 9th century and the beginning of the 10th century. This unique example of Armenian architecture was one of the ancient spiritual educational centers of Armenia. If you are already in the monastery complex of Tatev, be sure to pay attention to the powerful walls built on impregnable rocks around the monastery, to the swinging staff in the courtyard of the complex: it is an exceptional medieval structure.
And we suggest to reach the Tatev monastery by the shortest way, by the Tatever cable car, which has been in operation since 2010, providing a wonderful and impressive flight of 320 meters in 12 minutes over the beautiful Vorotan gorge. The cable car is registered in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest reversible cable car in the world: the length is 5752 meters.
9. Halidzor observation point
Since ancient times, the Armenian world has been subjected to the attacks of foreign enemies who wanted to occupy the Armenian land and take possession of its natural resources. That is why we, Armenians have always had a defensive instinct, pushing to build inaccessible fortresses and fortifications, not forgetting to immediately alert their own people in case of the slightest danger. In order to better observe the movement of enemy troops, observation posts were built. Giant bells were hung in the observation posts, which warned about the imminent danger. The Halidzor observation deck is one of the observatories built in the Middle Ages, from where a unique view will open before you, as if you could have the entire visible area in the palm of your hand. For centuries, the bells of the watchtower alerted the locals about the attacks of enemy troops. If you have traveled to the southern part of Armenia and planned to visit the Tatev monastery complex and its surroundings, make sure to stop at the Halidzor observation point on the way.
10. Khndzoresk, swinging bridge
Rocks, cliffs, and their old hanging caves in Armenia…
That caves served as shelters for local residents, then inaccessible places to shelter from enemies. This is one of the wonders of Syunyats, Khndzoresk village, which you will see during your visit. The greatest Armenian artist Martiros Saryan considered this heavenly place the largest museum of antiquities, and believe me, he was not mistaken. You will see for yourself. And the bridge, the swinging bridge that connects Old and New Khndzoresk - it is huge and large-scale․ It was built in 2012 with the initiative and sponsorship of a local businessman. The length is 160 meters, the height is 63 meters, the total weight is 14 tons. About 700 people of average weight can cross the bridge at the same time. When crossing the bridge, you can clearly see all 4 churches of the village, which were built in the Middle Ages. During an excursion to Syunik, be sure to visit the Khndzoresk swinging bridge and your excursion will become original and unforgettable.
11. Goris – cave town
Goris is indeed one of the oldest settlements in Armenia. Visiting Goris, you will agree that it resembles a giant row of pyramid-shaped stones, where each rock has a large hollow in its chest. People have lived in them for 3000 years. While walking around Old Goris, you will come across a 3000-year old rock-hewn theater. You will see monasteries of Anduri, Karmir (Red Monastery), castles, fortress, as well as the centuries-old records of ancient Goris - the cemeteries of the Melik houses. The city of Goris and its surroundings are rich in mineral springs. The most famous of them is the mineral water of Devil’s Bridge near the road from Goris to Tatev, which has been considered healing since ancient times. Devil’s bridge is a natural bridge, and it is 30 meters long and 60 meters wide in some places. Water spilling from cracks of the bridge's rocks has created natural rock pools where you can swim. A unique attraction is the Stone Forest of Goris. It has a volcanic origin, it is a symphony of narrow rocks with sharp peaks, unusual looking stones. It's as if someone has cast a spell and turned the tree-filled forest into a fairy-tale silent forest of shaped stones. If you have planned to visit Goris, you can organize a 2-day excursion for yourself, spend the night in Goris and continue exploring Armenia the next day.
12. Trchkan waterfall
A wonderful view opens before you when you visit Trchkan Waterfall. It is the second highest in Armenia (23.5 m) and is located in the border zone of Shirak and Lori marzes, on the Trchkan tributary of Chichkhan River. You will definitely be attracted by the wonderful nature near the waterfall. here there are no lush and dense forests, but the height of the mountains surrounding the waterfall gives it a kind of indescribable grandeur, pride, and audacity. The waterfall area is a specially protected zone and the waterfall is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
13. Jermuk, mermaid’s hair, curing mineral water and natural geysers
At a distance of 173 kilometers from the capital city of Yerevan, in the upper part of the Arpa River, there is located the largest resort town of Armenia, Jermuk. Restless nature, life-giving air, healthy mineral water, natural geysers and waterfalls of fantastic beauty will accompany you everywhere during your tour. Jermuk is one of the most ecologically clean cities of the Republic, and thanks to the rich and lush vegetation, the air is saturated with oxygen. The city is located in a valley, which is an important factor of the city's attractiveness. Winds are completely absent in Jermuk. Jermuk mineral water is famous in the world due to its composition: the presence of biological and active microelements make mineral water indispensable for a number of diseases. It is also important that mineral water is not carbonated from the outside, but comes naturally carbonated. Visiting Jermuk and drinking the gift of nature, you will see for yourself how relieved and rejuvenated you feel. Thousands of springs of mineral hot water originate in Jermuk. Sanatoriums and high-class hotels have been built near them, which will make your active rest and treatment complete. And of course one of the magnificent natural monument is Jermuk "Mermaid's Hair". This waterfall of fantastic beauty simply fascinates and captivates the viewer. You will see the beautiful waterfall originating from the springs on the Jermuk tributary of the Arpa River, which looks like a mermaid's hair. Flowing from a height of about 68 meters through 3 domes, it rests in the arms of the Arpa River. "Mermaid's Hair" is so beautiful and impressive that you can't take your eyes off it.
14. Tsover of Dsegh
Lori is wonderful. nature has been generous here, creating magnificent natural monuments one after the other. Tsover lake in Dsegh village stands out among them. Here you will spend your ideal vacation, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here you seem to merge with mother nature, becoming an inseparable part of it. This mysterious rest of yours can be interrupted from time to time with a picnic in forests, you have the opportunity to do horse riding and of course fishing. Believe me, you will remember this unique vacation on the shore of Tsover of Dsegh for a long time as fragments of unforgettable and pleasant days.
15. Mendz Er cave and Zarni-Parni
It is said that these wonderful caves of Lori were inhabited by prehumans, then they served other purposes, and today they are one of the favorite places of tourists. Mendz Er Cave is located in the neighborhood of Sanahin village and Sanahin monastery, a fairy-tale scene opens from here: giant mountains, majestic and proud Lalvar, beautiful velvet plains. Mendz Er Cave now features its own cave museum, serving as a cultural venue and café. Zarni Parni cave complex is located on the road leading to Haghpat village. It is a unique recreation center with its museum and recreation area. The Haghpat monastery is located near the cave. You can taste various foods in the cave. This multifunctional recreation center offers a number of services: museums, bakery, cafes, restaurants, master school.
16. Tsaghkadzor: ropeway, hot geysers
Valley of flowers, gorge: this is the meaning of the name of Tsaghkadzor city. Indeed, it is. The nature of Tsaghkadzor is incredibly, simply fantastically beautiful. You will see for yourself by visiting this cozy modern resort town, where high-class hotels, ski resorts, and surrounding hot springs - geysers await you. Here you will enjoy the wonderful nature, the clean air rich in oxygen, you will get to know the rich historical and cultural monuments of the city, in particular the Kecharis monastery complex built in the late Middle Ages. Tsaghkadzor's climate is mild, and evening walks in the cool forest will give you unforgettable pleasure. Tsaghkadzor ropeway is widely known in the world. It was built in 1967 and was fundamentally renovated in 2007. The cable car stretches along the eastern slope of Mount Teghenis, at an altitude of about 2800 meters above sea level. Today, it provides an active, well-equipped and safe rest for visitors. The cable car has 5 stations and 10 slides with a length of about 30 kilometers. Alpine skiing enthusiasts will attest to the favorable natural conditions for training. It remains to add that there is free high-speed WiFi along the entire length of Mount Teghenis. But your visit to Tsaghkadzor will be incomplete if you don't visit the natural hot water geysers around Tsaghkadzor. These mineral springs are the magnificent gift of nature. They flow out of the earth's crust and have a special medicinal value.
This type of adventure and extreme tourism, which will give you unforgettable sensations, is already a reality in Armenia. Canyoning is rock climbing, adventure travel in a canyon and river, combined with waterfall rappelling, swimming, diving. In addition to causing extreme and risky feelings, canyoning also creates an opportunity to assimilate and enjoy the beauty of inaccessible places of nature. If you are fearless, not afraid of obstacles, like to overcome every challenge, then you make this one as well. Canyoning is for the bravest people, and we are sure you are one of them. And to sum up, in 4 carefully studied zones in Armenia, you can enjoy the pleasant and at the same time intense moments of canyoning.
- Canyoning in Dragon Canyon
- Canyoning near Devil’s Bridge on the way to Tatev