The Most Beautiful Places in Armenia to Add to Your Itinerary

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN ARMENIA TO ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY

Planning a trip to Armenia and looking for the most beautiful places in Armenia? I’m here to help you with that. I’m sure that after reading this article you will be able to put together your Armenia itinerary and see the beauty of this country.

Armenia is located in the Caucasus region and it holds famous landmarks among the earliest Christian civilizations. Armenia is not a popular destination, so the tourism sector is still very untouched, but it certainly has a lot to offer to its visitors.

Apart from the most beautiful places in Armenia, we will also discuss some important topics and things that you should know before visiting Armenia. Additional travel tips to make your planning even easier. Let’s get to it and let’s put together your Armenian travel guide!

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Is Armenia worth visiting?

Is Armenia worth visiting?

Imagine a land with a millennial history, a decadent charm, an eventful history, surrounded by lovely views and topped with incredibly delicious food & wine. Yes, this is Armenia.

So what to see in Armenia? Armenia is famous for its ancient monasteries and churches and it was the first Christian country in the world. The unique khachkars are also a distinctive sight of Armenian culture. The capital, Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world (it’s older than Rome). And then there is Armenian hospitality. Words can’t describe that.

Sounds totally worth visiting, but if you still have doubts, keep on reading, because, in this guide, we will see the best places to visit in Armenia.

Is Armenia safe to visit?

Is Armenia safe to visit?

Armenia and its tourist attractions are very safe to visit. As mentioned, Armenians are very welcoming and lovely people and they will be happy to meet you. There might be a language barrier, but Armenians will certainly help you if you are lost or need some help.

Obviously, common-sense rules apply to Armenia like in many other countries, but you don’t have to worry.

My only problem in Armenia was with taxi drivers. It is better to download an app called Yandex, so you get a fair price. Also, you will see people on the street offering taxi services. Make sure you don’t sit in the car if it doesn’t have a taxi sign. But once again, this applies to many other countries as well.

How to move around in Armenia?

How to move around in Armenia?

Armenia is a relatively small country. But you still might be wondering how to move around?

If you are an experienced driver, I recommend that you rent a car. You will have to do your research because some roads are worse than others, so preparation is a must. Also, driving in Yerevan can be very messy and I certainly don’t advise that. While in the rest of the country, it can be a pleasant experience.

In case you don’t drive, there are several companies that organize group and private tours. I hired a private driver via Hyur and got a tailored experience with some hidden gems, so I was extremely satisfied. If you are looking for a guided tour, a group trip would be a perfect solution.

Mini-busses are probably the cheapest way to move around Armenia, but if you don’t speak Armenian or Russian, it can be complicated.

The train system might not be the best, but it will take you to some important locations in Armenia or Georgia. The train station is not located in the center of the city, but I still recommend paying a visit.

Yerevan also has a cheap and efficient metro system. Some stations are built in the typical Soviet architecture, which is interesting if you are passionate about brutalist architecture. 

What to eat in Armenia?

Armenian cuisine is a good reason to book your trip to Armenia. Yes, that’s how amazing it is. The cuisine is very similar to their neighbor Georgia, but let’s see together what are some Armenian dishes and specialties you must try!

Khorovats are the typical Armenian barbecue. It can be made from lamb, pork, beef, chicken, or less commonly veal. Lavash and vegetables are usually served with meat. You will see that Armenians eat a lot of meat.

Zhingyalov hat is a type of flatbread stuffed with finely diced herbs and green vegetables.

Topik is a vegetarian meatball, consisting of a chickpea-based paste, mixed with potatoes or flour, surrounding a filling of onions, nuts, and currants, and flavored with herbs, spices, and tahini.

Ghapama is a stuffed pumpkin dish, it includes boiled rice and dried fruits such as chopped almonds, apple, cornel, apricot, plums, dates, prunes, and raisins.

Basturma is a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef which resembles Italian bresaola.

Manti is a type of dumpling usually boiled or baked rather than steamed and tends to be small in size. They are usually served with sour cream and garlic, accompanied by clear soup

Lahmacun is known as Armenian pizza, however, unlike pizza, lahmacun is not usually prepared with cheese and the crust is thinner.

Gata is an Armenian pastry or sweet bread. There are several variants of this sweet depending on the region where is produced. The filling consists of flour, butter, and sugar. Gata can have other fillings such as nuts, most commonly walnuts.

Overall, you will find a lot of meat dishes and not so many seafood options. There are some great choices for vegetarians and vegans as well.

What to drink in Armenia?

Armenia is one of the oldest wine-producing regions of the world. The oldest known winery was found in the Areni region, which to this day is still known for its wine production and endemic grapes.

Pomegranate wine is also a typical Armenian drink you should try during your visit. Spirits like brandy are also very popular. These products are exported abroad.

Overview of the most beautiful places in Armenia

As you already know, Armenia has a lot of breathtaking landscapes and unique monasteries all around the country. In this list, we will cover the most beautiful places in Armenia, tips for traveling to these places, and everything else that you need to know before visiting. I want you to be fully prepared, so you can take the most of your time in Armenia and discover this hidden gem in the heart of the Caucasus.

Yerevan

Yerevan is the capital and the biggest city in Armenia and it’s the perfect base to start your Armenian travel. It is also called the “pink city” because most of the buildings are built from pink stones. Once you got up to the viewpoint, you will notice that immediately. Also, you will see strong Soviet influence in architecture. As mentioned, it is one of the oldest cities in the world.

There are many places to visit near Yerevan and a lot of companies organize tours, nevertheless, there are many unique things to do in Yerevan.

Here is a bucket list of things that you shouldn’t miss in Yerevan.

  • See the dancing fountains every evening (except Mondays) in Republic Square.
  • Shop antiques and souvenirs at Vernissage market.
  • Climb the Cascade to admire the sunset on mount Ararat.
  • Meet Mother Armenia in Victory Park.
  • Unlock the secrets of Armenian Brandy at Noy or Ararat.
  • Taste the Armenian flavors in style at Tavern Yerevan (Khorenatsi) or Քամանչա kamacha.
  • Learn Armenian history and tradition at the museums of Genocide and Folk art.
  • Go church hunting and see the Blue Mosque and Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral.
  • Take a photoshoot in traditional Armenian costumes at Taraz National Dresses Photography.

If you are looking for an unforgettable stay in Armenia check the Golden Palace Hotel Yerevan.

Garni Temple and Gorge

Garni Temple and Gorge

Garni is probably one of the most famous Armenia tourist places. It’s located a short drive away from Yerevan and many companies organize guided tours to this tourist attraction in Armenia.

In Garni, there is probably the most famous and one of the oldest landmarks in Armenia: the Garni Temple. This is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union.  It was damaged after an earthquake in 16 but it was rebuilt using at least 80% of the original material.

Visiting the temple will give you the chance to travel back in time. The details of capitals and architraves are a delight for the eyes. Also, in my opinion, it is the most instagrammable place in Armenia.

The entrance fee is 1000 AMD (2.39 EUR). In summer it is open from 10:00-21:00 and in winter from 10:00-17:00.

Not far from the temple lies another famous Armenian landmark the Symphony of Stones and it is free of charge. On your way to the Symphony of Stones, don’t miss one of the most hidden places in Armenia, the Hayrapet Church of Garni. Here you can feel the spirituality and take pictures of one of the cutest Armenian churches.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Garni, Geghard, Echmiadzin, and Zvartnots: see the details and book it here.

Tatev

Tatev, Armenia - the most beautiful places in Armenia

Tatev Monastery is one of the most beautiful places in Armenia. This ancient monastery lies in the south of Armenia and it hosted  Armenian medieval universities.

The fortified Tatev monastery consists of three churches, the most important is the Church of Poghos e Petros built between 895 and 906. It is located on the top of a mountain and surrounded by the gorges of the mountains, making it a perfect natural fortification.

The breathtaking location makes it also one of the most picturesque places in Armenia. The Tatev viewpoint will give you the chance to snap the perfect picture of the complex of buildings.

Don’t miss the experience of the “Wings of Tatev”, the world’s longest reversible aerial tramway where you can admire a stunning landscape of the valley.

The easiest way to reach Tatev Monastery is a car. Another option is a guided tour or a private driver. There are no buses or trains to take you there. On your way to Tatev from Yerevan make sure you make a stop at Zorats Karer, which is the Armenian Stonehenge and the town of Goris.

Geghard Monastery

Geghard Monastery

Geghard Monastery was the highlight of my Armenian trip. This charming and ancient monastery is located near Garni, in a spectacular mountain landscape. Geghard monastery is part of UNESCO heritage, and one of the most beautiful places in Armenia

Geghard monastery dates back to the 4th century and once you will step in you will feel like in another world. You will immediately feel a mystic spirituality and a sensation of inner peace.

There are chapels dug in the rocks of the mountains, and it’s a real architectural masterpiece. Don’t miss the different points of view of the chapels, caves, tombs, and churches.

The interiors are decorated with ancient Khachkars, bas-reliefs, and columns rich in details that will definitely attract your attention, especially when the sunlight brightens them up.

There is no admission fee, but I encourage you to make a donation for the preservation of the place. The monastery is open every day from 9 am to 7 pm.

You can get to Geghard monastery on private tours or by car. There are also mini buses that will stop you in a town called Goght, but you will have to take a taxi anyway, so I don’t recommend this option.

Before getting to the monastery, make sure you check stands where locals sell their products. Here you will be able to find souvenirs and typical Armenian products like Gata, wine, lavash, and Churchkhela.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Garni, Geghard, Echmiadzin, and Zvartnots: see the details and book it here.

Akhtala

Akhtala - what to do in Armenia?

Akhtala is another of those beautiful places in Armenia. This little town hosts another important monastery-fortress.

Just like Tatev, the complex consists of 3 churches the main one being St. Astvatsatsin. Akhtala was built during the Renaissance era in Armenia. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful architectural structures in the territory of Armenia.

Akhtala is located in the Debed Valley, in the north of the country almost at the border with Georgia. It has a train station on the way Gyumri-Tbilisi.

Since it is located far away from Yerevan, you need to plan your trip. If you depart from the capital it will take you approximately 4 hours to get there. The best way to get there is with a rental car or as a part of a tour.

Haghpat

Haghpat - hidden gems in Armenia. What to see and do?

The sights of Haghpat and Sanahin are often visited together as they are located within a short drive distance.

Haghpat is a UNESCO heritage site and one of the best places to visit in Armenia. The monastery is a magnificent example of medieval Armenian architecture and it dates back to the X century. Here you will find some of the most beautiful khachkars in Armenia.

Sanahin monastery includes several churches and tombs. Numerous earthquakes damaged the sites but you can still admire and appreciate the beauty of the buildings. 

The interiors are very raw and yet you will have the sensation to travel back to the times, when famous philosophers, intellectuals, and artists studied here.

Sanahin and Haghpat are located in the north of the country, not far from Akhtala, so once again you need to plan your trip accordingly. It will take you approximately 3.30 to reach these sights from the capital.

Dilijan

Dilijan - the best autumn destination in Armenia

Dilijan is one of the cutest towns in Armenia. It is located in Dilijan park, which is hands down one of the most beautiful places in Armenia. You can reach it from Yerevan in less than 2 hours by car. Alternatively, you can take a “marshrutka” from the Yerevan bus station. Dilijan is known as the Little Armenian Switzerland due to its houses, the forests, and the mountains that surround the town.

Sharambeyan Street in the city center has been preserved and maintained as the heart of Dilijan’s old town, complete with craftsman’s workshops, a gallery, and a museum.
Other popular activities in Dilijan are hiking, and mountain biking.

You already know that in Armenia you will be hunting for unique monasteries and breathtaking landscapes. Nearby Dilijan you can find some of the most popular monasteries in Armenia: Haghartsin and Goshavank. And the Dilijan National park for some epic landscape views.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Lake Sevan and Dilijan: see the details and book it here.

Sevan

Lake Sevan, the Shorgoli monastery and Sevanavank

Set 1900m above sea level and covering 1240 sq km, the vast expanse of Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia and the Caucasus.

The blue pearl of Armenia is one of those places to visit near Yerevan, and one of the best places in Armenia. If you don’t have a car, Sevan Lake can be reached by bus or train.
A taxi is also an option for approximately 20 Euro, the drive will take approximately 30 minutes.

Since Armenia has no sea, Sevan Lake is one of the most popular destinations in Armenia for the summer season. The tourists can camp by the lake and enjoy the beaches along the shore. Here you can find several resorts and facilities.

In the Sevan National Park, you can meet 336 species of vertebrate animals and even more species of plants. So it’s a perfect destination for nature lovers.

On the banks of the Lake, you will find some monasteries as well. My favorites are the Shorgoli monastery and Sevanavank. Sevanavank is one of the most famous landmarks in Armenia and it is located on a peninsula on the lake.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Lake Sevan and Dilijan: see the details and book it here.

Here is a private tour from Yerevan to Lake Sevan: see the details and book it here.

Gyumri

Gyumri

Gyumri is the second biggest city in Armenia and lies 120 km north of Yerevan. It can be reached easily by train and minibus from Yerevan. It is famous for its building of black tuff.

In 1988 a violent earthquake devastated the city, and the famous French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour organized a fundraiser to rebuild the city. It is considered an artistic center and the cultural capital of Armenia and there are several places to visit in Gyumri.

One of the most famous places is The Black Fortress. It was built in the 19th century by the Russian Emperor Nicholas I and it has a round shape with volcanic black tuff.

Amenaprkich church is one of the most unique churches in Armenia. Just like the fortress, it’s built with black tuff and orange decorations which reminds apricots, one of the products Armenians are the proudest of. The church was severely damaged during the earthquake, the inside is still under renovation.

If you are passionate about architecture, The Kumayri historic district is the oldest part of Gyumri with its own unique architecture. The majority of the structures of the Kumayri district have survived the two earthquakes in 1926 and 1988.

If you are passionate about art, don’t miss the Gallery of Mariam and Eranuhi Aslamazyan Sisters. Here you will find the largest collection of the Aslamazyan sisters’ paintings, prints, drawings, and ceramic works in any museum in the world. It is also the only museum named after female artists in Armenia.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Gyumri: see the details and book it here.

Abovyan

Abovyan

Abovyan is located 16 km away from Yerevan and I consider that one of the secrets of Armenia. It is quite hard to find information about this place and you won’t find guided tours unless you request a tailored one. This is, in fact, an industrial center of Armenia, nevertheless, it holds some secrets that will make it worth a visit.

I am talking about the Saint Hovhannes Church, one of the most picturesque places in Armenia. This Church was quite recently built, in fact, the construction started in 2006 and finished in 2013. The church is built in Armenian-style architecture.

When you visit, it will be impossible to miss the khachkars around the church and climb the stairs to appreciate the facade and the decorated doors. Make sure you add this place to your Armenia itinerary, but it is going to be a quick stop. No more than 1 hour.

Echmiadzin

the Zvartnots cathedral

Echmiadzin is the Holy city of Armenia and if you are into religious history and architecture it has to be added to your Armenia bucket list. Also, Echmiadzin is one of the most common pilgrimage destinations in Armenia.

It is located 30 km away from Yerevan and you can reach it by bus or car. There are also several tours that will take you there.

The most famous building is the Echmiadzin Cathedral. The cathedral is part of the UNESCO heritage and it is one of the most beautiful places in Armenia, it was built between 301 and 303. This makes it the oldest Christian building in all of Armenia, and all the former Soviet countries. Around the cathedral, you will find other significant religious buildings like Saint Gayane Church.

A few kilometers away, there is another famous Armenian landmark, the Zvartnots cathedral. This is the third and last UNESCO heritage building in Armenia and it has a charming history. Take a picture with the ruins of the cathedral and Mount Ararat in the background.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Echmiadzin: see the details and book it here.

Here is a group tour from Yerevan to Garni, Geghard, Echmiadzin, and Zvartnots: see the details and book it here.

Khor Virap

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN ARMENIA TO ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY

If you google photos of Armenia, one of the first results you will see, is a picture of Khor Virap with Mount Ararat in the background. Khor Virap is one of the most important monasteries in Armenia and it lies at the border with Turkey. 

You can reach it from Yerevan with a private tour or with a car, it will take you approximately one hour. A bus is also an option and you will have to choose Ararat Destination.

It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia and it attracts a very large number of tourists. Once you arrive, you will notice many caged doves. They say that releasing doves brings good luck and doves end up in Mount Ararat, but I don’t encourage you to participate in this activity as doves are treated poorly and likely won’t survive once you release them.

Since the place is quite popular, I recommend you to arrive as soon as possible. If you can’t arrive early, come here for sunset. The light will be perfect if you are planning to snap some photos of the place.

On your way from Yerevan don’t miss Ralina Restaurant and Hotel for some authentic Armenian taste.

Here is a group tour that covers Khorvirap, Noravank, & Areni Winery: see the details and book it here.

Noravank and Areni wine

Noravank and Areni wine in Armenia

As I previously mentioned, wine is an important part of Armenia. Trying local wine Areni is one of the best things to do in Armenia and you shouldn’t miss it.

Areni is located 110 km away from Yerevan and it will take approximately 2 hours to reach it. It is best known for its wine production. The majority of wine is produced locally from the nearby village of Getap. Here you will have the chance to try some of the Armenian excellences in Areni Wine Factory or Areni Wine Winery. 

While visiting Areni, you shouldn’t miss the unique landscapes around. Natural habitats include semidesert, calcareous grasslands, and juniper woodlands alternated with cliffs, canyons, and rocky outcrops. Noravank Monastery is located a very short drive away from Areni and it is an interesting landmark in Armenia that you should visit as well.

Here is a group tour that covers Khorvirap, Noravank, & Areni Winery: see the details and book it here.

In conclusion…

This is the end of the most beautiful places in Armenia and we covered all the best things to do in Armenia. I truly hope that you will be able to take a road trip around Armenia or join a guided tour and discover the untouched beauty that this country has to offer. It’s still a secret to many, but I believe that you will be able to unlock this secret.

If you are planning to combine your visit to Armenia with Georgia, make sure you read my recommendations here. I spent 3 months traveling around Georgia and I share everything that I learned during that time.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any feedback or additional tips, leave a comment below. Also, check out my Instagram for regular travel videos and travel inspiration. Or explore other destinations on this travel blog.

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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN ARMENIA TO ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN ARMENIA TO ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY

16 Comments

  1. August 30, 2022 / 10:08 pm

    This guide is awesome, I have always been very intrigued by Armenia and really hope to go one day soon

  2. August 29, 2022 / 3:03 pm

    WOW. Bucket list trip! The monasteries just look spectacular, but honestly, I’d probably try to knock off every single place on your list.

  3. July 7, 2022 / 3:39 am

    This place wasn’t even on my list but I now need to visit! You have curated the most beautiful places in Armenia. Love the history, charming towns, and the stunning vistas.

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 10, 2022 / 1:54 pm

      Ohh, that makes me so happy! Glad you could discover something new here!

  4. July 6, 2022 / 9:41 pm

    This post really inspired me to wanna visit Armenia!! Love all the historical buildings mentioned, and definitely want to try out the loca wine! Thanks for sharing about this beautiful country, I learned a lot more about this country now!!!

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 10, 2022 / 1:49 pm

      Oh, that makes me so happy! Armenia is a hidden gem and certainly deserves to be discovered… hopefully you can visit soon!

  5. July 6, 2022 / 9:32 pm

    I haven’t made it to Armenia but it looks and sounds amazing! I will definitely be adding Lake Sevan to my list and will have to try Gata too!

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 10, 2022 / 1:48 pm

      Ohh I’m glad to hear! And hopefully, you can visit Armenia very soon!

  6. July 6, 2022 / 9:17 pm

    I have a friend from Armenia, and after she told me about it, I’ve wanted to go ever since! Thanks for sharing this awesome guide with so many things to do in Armenia. It’s such a beautiful country!

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 10, 2022 / 1:47 pm

      It really is! And I hope more and more people can discover the beauty of Armenia 😍 That’s cool!

  7. July 6, 2022 / 7:34 pm

    OMG I want to go to Armenia right now. First of all the food sounds absolutely decadent (I love mante) and the landscapes look incredible. Thank you for sharing, because I didn’t know much about it before!

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 10, 2022 / 1:35 pm

      Glad you discovered something new here! And sounds like you would like Armenia 😍

  8. Vija
    July 6, 2022 / 7:14 pm

    Deļ granātābolu vīna vien ir vērts aizbraukt uz Armēniju🤣🤣
    Burvīga vieta❤

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 10, 2022 / 1:34 pm

      Vai ne? 😍😍

  9. Flavio
    July 5, 2022 / 1:43 pm

    I simply loved Armenia! It is such a charming place, with a long history! These are really the most beautiful places in Armenia! I simply can’t wait to go back and enjoy some more pomegranate wine and barbecue with Lavash! Also, I would love to take more pictures of those beautiful monasteries! and discover even more hidden gems!

    • lasma.plone
      Author
      July 6, 2022 / 6:27 pm

      I know, right? Sounds like a perfect plan haha!

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