Armenia is a country rich in history, and full of spectacular sights and friendly locals. Yet many completely overlook it on their travel bucket lists. This article is here to introduce you to the many reasons that Armenia should be the next destination on your hit list.
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Try some of the oldest cuisines in Europe
The Armenian cuisine is one of the oldest in Europe, and it boasts dishes bursting with herbs, spices and even wild flowers! Try the local dishes and specialities to really immerse yourself in the culture. Spas is a creamy soup popular among locals, Kyufta is meatballs, and Tolma is grape leaves stuffed with deliciously seasoned mincemeat. There are so many more delicious foods to try, including Armenian pita bread which you can find on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Learn about the history of the world’s first Christian country
A lesser-known fact about Armenia is that it was the first-ever country to adopt Christianity as its state religion. Travellers can visit the very first Christian cathedral in the world, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. This is a religious centre for Armenians and a great place to take in the country’s unique history and cultural traditions. There are also a wide array of monasteries available for tourists to visit, including the Monastery of Geghard that was carved into rock over 800 years ago.
You can experience the great Mount Ararat
Visit Yerevan in Armenia and you won’t be able to miss the grandiose Mount Ararat, Armenia’s most imposing natural landmark. The mountain is a sight to behold all year round, and Armenians regard it as a bold symbol of their motherland. According to The Secret Traveller, many Armenians even believe Noah’s Ark is still buried on top of Mount Ararat to this day.
Take a hike up the mountain or ride a gondola – either way, you won’t be disappointed with this wonder.
They have the world’s longest ropeway
Tatev monastery is one of the top attractions in Armenia, and one of the best ways to see it is by the longest ropeway in the world. At 5,752 metres, this is a journey to remember. Balancing above a deep gorge in the River Vorotan, you’ll have the opportunity to take in the dramatic natural landscape around you. You’ll be rewarded at the end with a gem of medieval architecture, the monastery built in the 9th-13th century.
You can try extreme sports
Armenia is dominated by mountainous terrain ready to be explored, and an ideal climate that will encourage you to spend time outside. Over recent years, extreme sports have become particularly popular in Armenia, and they’re a thrilling and fun way to see the country’s dramatic landscapes. There are many great places to paraglide that offer diverse and spectacular views. Those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground will love the hiking trails the country has to offer – the most challenging being the climb up Mount Aragats (4,090m). In winter, Armenia also offers some fantastic ski resorts. The most popular is Tsaghkadzor, boasting clean pistes and affordable prices.