history

Armenia ... It was here, on top of the Biblical Mount Ararat where forefather Noah with his ark found refuge from the Great Flood, after which he planted in the Ararat Valley the first grape vine.  Armenian nation was formed as a result of complex and lengthy process of interaction between different tribal groups on  Armenian Plateau and the territory of Asia Minor. In 8-9 centuries BC Urartians tribes have created the first state in the Armenian highlands with the capital city of Tushpa. Urartu civilization was one of the largest in the ancient world. The processes of consolidation of the Armenians actively went on in Urme region,  where the Hurrians, Urartu, the Hittites and Luvians gradually assimilated with the Indo-European tribe of Armens. The decline of Urartu in the fight against the mighty Assyrians happemned between 590 - 580  BC. Urartu people infused into the Armenian nation. Thus the formation of the Armenians as a nation, was completed. The ancient... View more

Armenia ... It was here, on top of the Biblical Mount Ararat where forefather Noah with his ark found refuge from the Great Flood, after which he planted in the Ararat Valley the first grape vine.  Armenian nation was formed as a result of complex and lengthy process of interaction between different tribal groups on  Armenian Plateau and the territory of Asia Minor. In 8-9 centuries BC Urartians tribes have created the first state in the Armenian highlands with the capital city of Tushpa. Urartu civilization was one of the largest in the ancient world. The processes of consolidation of the Armenians actively went on in Urme region,  where the Hurrians, Urartu, the Hittites and Luvians gradually assimilated with the Indo-European tribe of Armens. The decline of Urartu in the fight against the mighty Assyrians happemned between 590 - 580  BC. Urartu people infused into the Armenian nation. Thus the formation of the Armenians as a nation, was completed. The ancient Armenian kingdom, 6 - 4 BC was in a vassal relationship with the Medes and Achaemenid Persia. In 331 BC Persia surrendered to the power of Alexander of Macedon, after the collapse of which a part of Armenia was ruled by the Yervandouni dinasty, while the rest became part of the Hellenistic Seleucid state. The Hellenistic period in the history of Armenia ended with the conquest of the Seleucid kingdom by the Romans. A large part of Armenia was united under the rule of King Artashes I. The Power of Tigran the Great, with its capital in Tigranakert stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Caspian, from the Tigris and Euphrates to the river Mtkvari. However, this power did not last long: the Roman Empire annexed all of its land except for the Great Armenia.

In 301 Armenia adopted Christianity as the state: the first Cathedral of the world became Etchmiadzin. In 406, the Saint Mesrob Mashtots created the Armenian alphabet. Subsequently, the Holy Bible was translated into Armenian. When, in 451 of Eastern Armenia was endangered to be fully subordinated to Persia and lose cultural identity, St. Vardan Armenian Mamikonyan led the army in the battle of Avarayar gainst the Persians. Despite the defeat, Armenia remained Christian, and the words spoken by the commander, "Being conscious of ones death leads to immortality" became historic. In 5 - 11 centuries Armenia came under the influence of the Byzantines, Arabs and Persians. Between 744 – 1020, after a bitter struggle with the Arabs a part of Armenia regained independence under the rule of Bagratuni with the capital of Ani. Armenian statehood in the 11th - 14th centuries was concentrated in Cilicia on the north-eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. May 28, 1918 was proclaimed the First Republic of Armenia. In 1920 in Armenia were established soviet republic. On September 21, 1991 Armenia proclaimed its independence. Armenia's rich history has left its unique mark on each corner of the country, which for three thousand years had twelve capitals, many of which are represented in the modern republic of Armenia.  Visit Armenia - a living miracle created by God!

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Culture and traditions

Armenian culture and its contribution to world culture is impressive!  Armenia is rightly called the cradle of civilization. There is no country in the world, for which the stone would mean more: since ancient times Armenia had famous masters of architecture, sculpture and stone carving. Lacy khachkars - the cross-stones, became the symbol of Christian Armenia, a country created by God out of stone, which he endowed with soul and turned into a wonderful flower. The cross stones became the symbol of Christ's victory over death and resurrection and rebirth of Armenia, the victory of good over evil, victory of love force over the forces of arms. Unique cross-stones can be seen in the monasteries of Armenia.  In Armenia they have been curved over centuries. Especially beautiful are the samples of curviture of masters Momik and Vartan. The traditions of Armenian music have their roots in antiquity, with its authentic dances, gentle songs of Sayat-Nova, Sherami, Jivani and other minstrels and beautiful church anthems - sharakans. The greatest music of Armenian composer Komitas is filled with such spiritual energy that seems to be impossible to be translated into the musical notes. Moving and wonderful is the sacred music by Makar Yekmalyan. Operas and ballets of Aram Khachaturian, Armen Tigranian Alexander Spendiaryan are of exceeding beauty.

The unique manuscripts of Gospel and books of amazing beauty miniature-decorated by Avag the Prophet, Toros Roslin, Sarkis Pitsak. The art of miniature dates back to the invention of Armenian alphabet by Mesrop Mashtots and the Holy Bible translations and theological works, as well as religious texts by Yeznik Koghbatsi and Koryun. Today we can see them in Matenadaran in Yerevan – the biggest depository of ancient manuscripts. The treasure of Armenian poetry - St. Gregory of Narek, Nerses Shnorhali, Constantine Erznkatsi and their successors Hovhannes Tumanyan, Siamanto, Alexander Ghevond Alishan, Charents, Sylva Kaputikyan go hand in hand with the armenian art.  The writings of  Grigor Zohrab, Shirvanzade and Nar-Dos are full of love and awe for their native land and traditions. Armenian culture has a long history of education: arts and literature were taught at universities adjuscent to monasteries, such as Gladzor, Tatev, Sis, Noravank by prominent figures of science and art of the time - theologian and philosopher Gregory Tatevatsi, philosophers Hovhannes Vorotnetsi, Grigor Magistros and many other. The leading schools of medieval history led by Khorenatsi, Agatangeghos, Pavstos Buzand,  Kirakos Gandzaketsi should be mentioned. The paintings of Saryan, Bashigdzhanyan, Khanjyan and Aivazovsky appeal to hearts and are filled with the aesthetics perception of the universe by Armenians. Armenian culture has given the world wonderful masterpieces of decorative art.

Armenia is a natural workshop where everything exists that might be used by a skillful architect! God gave Armenia not only unique building materials, but also a terrific nature, which gives inspiration, generates desire for creativity and, of course, awarded its people with appropriate talents. Architecture is most characteristic for Armenia, as it best expresses the creative essence of the Armenian mentality. The architecture is closely linked with the emerging of Armenian statehood and becoming at the dawn of history one of the main civilizations in the Armenian highlands. Largely thanks to the art of erecting impregnable fortresses, Urartu people was able to create its own state. Today we can see a masterpiece of the Hellenistic period - the pagan temple of Garni basalt I B.C. The flowering of Armenian architecture begins with the adoption of Christianity. One of the most beautiful creations of Armenian architecture was the temple of Zvartnots, constructed between 641 and 661. New capitals were built - Dvin, Ani: the beauty of these cities competed with major European cities. Masterpieces of not only Armenian, but also world of Christian architecture are considered the Cathedral, the Churches of St. Gayane and St. Hripsime in the Holy Echmiadzin, Geghard cave monastery, monasteries of Tatev, Haghpat, Sanahin, Haghartsin, Goshavank, Khor Virap, Gandzasar, Hovhannavank, Saghmosavank, Marmashen, Sevanavank. In addition, almost every city of Armenia also has its own ancient and beautiful churches. Of dazzlingly beauty is the monastery on the island of Akhtamar with its Church of the Holy Cross, built by architect Manvel.  The Cathedral, Church of St. Gayane, St. Hripsime in Echmiadzin, Zvartnots temple, Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries, Geghard cave monastery are included in the List of World Heritage sites of UNESCO's.

religion

To understand the significance of Christianity for Armenians, it is important to remember the words of Saint Vardan Mamikonyan commander - "The enemy thinks that Christianity is only clothes for us, but he will see that it is the color of our skin, which is impossible to change." These words were spoken by him in the days of the struggle of the Armenian people with the Sasanian Iran. Christianity was first brought to Armenia in the I century B.C by Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew. During the II-III centuries the teaching of Christ was widely spread in the country. The preacher of Christianity - Saint Gregory the Illuminator was detained by king Tiridates III in a prison at the foot of Mount Ararat, and held there for 13 years. He survived thanks to a woman who brought him food and drink. All these years St. Gregory prayed fervently and his prayers were heard by the Lord. When the king Tiridates had almost gone mad, St. Gregory offered to cure him and in gratitude the kin... View more

To understand the significance of Christianity for Armenians, it is important to remember the words of Saint Vardan Mamikonyan commander - "The enemy thinks that Christianity is only clothes for us, but he will see that it is the color of our skin, which is impossible to change." These words were spoken by him in the days of the struggle of the Armenian people with the Sasanian Iran. Christianity was first brought to Armenia in the I century B.C by Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew. During the II-III centuries the teaching of Christ was widely spread in the country. The preacher of Christianity - Saint Gregory the Illuminator was detained by king Tiridates III in a prison at the foot of Mount Ararat, and held there for 13 years. He survived thanks to a woman who brought him food and drink. All these years St. Gregory prayed fervently and his prayers were heard by the Lord. When the king Tiridates had almost gone mad, St. Gregory offered to cure him and in gratitude the king declared in 301 a.d. adoption of Christianity as a state religion.  St. Gregory became the first Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church - the supreme spiritual head of all the Armenians: he is considered one of the most important saints also in other Christian denominations. Christ Himself is said to come to St. Gregory, and point to the place where the Cathedral of the Armenian Church was to be built. The place was called Echmiadzin, which translates "Descended the Single One." For over 1,700 years of Echmiadzin remains the center of the Armenian Church at the heart of the Armenian people. Here is the Mother See and the residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians situated. While over the dungeon in which St. Gregory prayed, one of the most beautiful monasteries in Armenia, Khor Virap was built. The Armenian Church has not recognized the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon of 451, thus it has a doctrine, somewhat different from the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. In the absence of centuries-long statehood Armenian Church remained the main unifying force of the Armenian people: churches and monasteries were the main centers of culture, education and writing. Today the Armenian Church is represented all over the world, where Armenians live. The Armenian Apostolic Church is actively involved in the ecumenical movement, organizes programs of child care, centers and hospitals. There is also an Armenian Catholic Church, which owns one of the largest and oldest religious and cultural centers of the Armenians in Europe - the monastery of the Order of Mkhitarian Island of San Lazzaro in Venice, which has a rich library. In Armenia, there are small communities of Armenian Catholics, most of whom live in Shirak region. Much of the Kurds living in Armenia are representatives of Zoroastrianism and are called Yezidis. There is also a Kurdish  minority. Russians in Armenia are represented by Orthodox Church and of the schismatic sect, the Molokans, who live in Armenia for 300 years.

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Climate In Armenia

Armenia displays stunning natural diversity of landscape, flora and fauna packed in a small area of less than 30.000 sq km: blooming Ararat valley, dramatic sceneries of volcanic highlands, gigantic summits of Mt. Aragats with powerful slopes covered with carpets of alpine meadows, marvelous mountain Lake Sevan with its crystal clear water, valleys of fast flowing mountain rivers, breezy forests of Dilijan and Jermuk, “Symphony of Stones” – unique basalt rock formations in the canyons of Azat and Arpa rivers, serpentines of the Great Silk Road set in mountain sceneries, intrepid mountains of Zangezur range with wild growing trees of pomegranate and almond, oak groves of Meghri and vast steppes of Vayots Dzor. All these make up unparalleled beauty of breathtaking sceneries found across Armenia.

Situated between 380m and 4090m above sea level, Armenia is a country of eight geographic zones, seven climate zones, about half of species of plants in the Transcaucasus and nearly two-thirds of all bird species found in Europe. About 90% of the territory of Armenia lies on mountains at the height of 1000 m above sea level and higher, that are part of the Armenian Plateau. Mountains of Armenia meet the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the north of the country. Armenia is a country of mountain peaks: Mountains of Aragats, Kaputjugh, Azhdahak, Vardenis and Mets Ishkhanasar have a height of more than 3500m above sea level. The highest of them is Mt. Aragats at 4090m. Mt. Ararat which is one of the most significant symbols of Armenia is currently in modern day Turkey. Mountains of Armenia form several large mountain ranges which include those of Pambak, Zangezur, Meghri and Vayots Dzor. Armenia is located in a seismically active zone. Volcanic activity stopped here few centuries ago and left Armenia with vast volcanic uplands. Only 12% of the territory is covered with forests. Most of them are concentrated in the northern regions of Lori and Tavush. Some of them can also be found in the southern regions of Syunik and Vayots Dzor. The network of rivers is very large, but is mostly comprised of smaller mountain rivers, not suitable for navigation. All rivers belong to basins of Araks and Kura. Armenia has a few alpine lakes, the largest of which is Lake Sevan – one of the largest fresh water highland lakes in the world.

Ararat valley, a steppe and semi-desert zone, has a dry harsh continental climate with considerable difference in daytime and nighttime temperatures. Here summers are hot, and winters are rather cold, with almost no precipitations. In July temperature exceeds 40 C, and in January it drops below -10 C. In woody areas of the country the climate is moderately warm and humid with mild summers and winters. Mountain regions of Armenia are characterized by moderately cold climate with rather harsh winters and cool summers. Precipitations are mostly observed in spring and beginning of summer. Most humid marzes of Armenia are Lori, Tavush and Syunik. Middle mountain areas and lowlands of central part of Armenia are mostly in moderate and moderately dry climate zones. Southernmost area near Meghri and north-eastern area around Noyemberyan are in sub-tropic zone.

Armenia has a truly stunning floristic diversity with more than 3200 species of plants. Mountain forests of Lori, Tavush and Syunik are home to oak, beech, pine-tree, hornbeam, linden, maple, ash-tree, and birch. In Ararat valley one can come across vines, groves of Nairian poplar, sagebrush steppes, thickets of peach and apricot trees, and some semi-desert vegetation. In springtime mountains of Armenia become carpeted with marvelous flowers. Armenia is the motherland of many varieties of plants, as well as apricot. Here one can find trees of wild apple, pear, plum, pomegranate, grapes, fig, berries and walnut.

Fauna of Armenia holds 450 species of vertebrates, more than 10 thousand species of invertebrates, 304 species of birds, 24 species of fish, 20 species of snakes and many others. In the forests of Armenia one can come across roe, Syrian bear, wildcat, fox, lynx, leopard, and spotted Ussuri deer. Nearly two thirds of birds known in Europe can be observed in Armenia. Lake Sevan has become home to native endemic species of gulls.

Armenia has some unique nature monuments, among them are canyons of Azat and Arpa rivers with their amazing natural basalt columns resembling organ pipes; rock formations with silhouette of a young girl “Harsnaqar”; “Arjeri” and “Mozrov” caves; waterfalls of Shaki and Tsolk, Mt. Aragats with its cultural and natural sights of interest is a unique area for cultural, ecological and adventure tourism. Each mountain and canyon of Armenia has its unique microclimate and can be viewed as a natural monument. This is true of lakes of Armenia, especially those of Sevan, Kari, Arpi, and Parz.

For the protection of natural heritage of Armenia, specially protected areas were created. Among them are reserves of Dilijan, Khosrov, Shikahogh and Erebuni, National Park of Lake Sevan, as well as 10 sanctuaries – all of which are home to numerous endemic species of plants and animals.

“Sevan National Park” incorporates Lake Sevan and the area around it. The lake is often referred to as “blue pearl” and is one of the largest high altitude lakes of the world. It is surrounded by four mountain ranges that were formed over millions of years of volcanic activity here. Over 260 species of birds can be observed here. The area around Lake Sevan is rich in historic and archeological sites.

“Khosrov Forest Reserve” is located on the outskirts of Geghama mountain range. It occupies a territory of 29.000 hectares and is one of the oldest. According to Armenian historian of 5th century Movses Khorenatsi, Armenian king Khosrov the Great established it around 330 A.D. as a private area for royal hunting. Thus, for many centuries it has preserved the unique diversity of flora and fauna. More than 1800 species of plants can be found here. Amazing landscapes of the reserve with its semi-arid lands are rich with traces of volcanic and tectonic history of this area, and wild-growing trees of juniper, pear, oak, apple, apricot, willow and walnut. Here one can come across leopard, wild boar, Syrian bear, moufflon, mountain lynx, spotted Ussurian deer and other animals.

“Erebuni Reserve” is located on the outskirts of Yerevan on the area of about 90 hectares. It is home to wild species of wheat and cereals, as well as some unique species of plants. Three of four species of wild wheat known to the science can be found here: Trititcum urartu, T. beoticum and T. araraticum.

“Shikahogh Reserve” is located on the slopes of Meghri ridge, which together with Zangezur ridge protects the area of 10 hectares of the reserve from winds and cold air masses. This system of mountain ranges and ridges creates a wide diversity of climate conditions. Among 1074 species of plants here one can find endemic species of tulips, relict species of fern and orchids and other species many of which are in Red Book.

“Dilijan National Park” with its area of 28.000 hectares is located in the north of Armenia. This area is not only rich in beech and oak groves, but also with marvelous sights such as monasteries of Haghartsin, Goshavank, Jukhtak, Matosavank. There is a yew tree grove here and several lakes, one of them is Lake Parz with its beautiful hiking and walking trails. Here one can come across hornbeam, ash-tree, honeysuckle, maple, etc. Representatives of local fauna include beech marten, brown bear and roe deer.

Natural heritage and favorable ecological conditions of Armenia attract many lovers of ecological tourism.

5 reasons to visit Armenia

Cultural heritage

Touch the ancient and unique civilization and get acquainted with the richest historical heritage of the world's first Christian country: see Armenian churches and monasteries, fortresses and cities.

Nature and landscapes

Discover the variety of landscapes and climatic zones of Armenia, which are stand out by landscapes of amazing beauty.

Armenian hospitality

Experience the hospitality of the Armenians, as hot as the generous Armenian sun!

Armenian cuisine

Taste delicious delicacies of Armenian cuisine accompanied by world-famous Armenian wines and brandies!

Authentic traditions

Learn the authentic culture and traditions that the Armenian people cherish for thousands of years.

  • Oshakan

          In the neighborhood of Ashtarak is the village Oshakan, where Saint Mesrop Mashtots - creator of the Armenian and Georgian alphabets is buried. Over his grave a chapel was built in 443, which was replaced in the 1875 - 1879 by a  Church, with interiors further painted in the 20th century painter Minasyan  In the village there are ruins of Urartu settlements, temples and fortresses Didikond, as well as prehistoric dolmens dated with third millennium BC.

  • Ashtarak

         Ashtarak is one of the oldest cities in the world, the center of the wine growing region of the Ararat Valley and the main cityl of Aragatsotn. Here you can find many sites - the ruins of the Basilica Tsiranavor the 5th century, the Church Spitakavor 13 - 14 th centuries, the fortress of the 5th century, the three-arch bridge of the 17th century, and of course, well-preserved church Karmravor the 7th century, with its unique murals and the ancient roof.  Just in two kilometers from Ashtarak is the walled monastery Mughni, which includes a refectory, a beautiful garden and rooms of the abbot. 

  • Biblical Mount Ararat

    "And the ark stopped in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month ... on the mountains of Ararat" (Genesis 8:4) According to the Bible, it is on Mount Ararat in Armenia that the Noah's Ark stopped. Thus, Ararat is the Holy Mountain, a place of salvation of mankind, a place of pilgrimage for Christians, including Armenians. The history of the Armenian nation is connected with the history of this majestic mountain. This mountain has enormous spiritual energy, it has inspired poets and pilgrims, artists and writers. Mount Ararat is a true symbol of Armenia and the Armenian people, in spite of the fact that today it is in the territory of Turkey.  The beautifulest panorama of Mount Ararat is visible from Armenia. Ararat is the highest point of the Armenian highlands.

  • Khor Virap Monastery

    The best views of biblical Mount Ararat, however, open from the Monastery of Khor Virap associated with the adoption of Christianity by Armenia in 301.      In ancient times in this place was one of the capitals of Armenia - Aratashat. Translated from the Armenian Khor Virap means "deep pit" - the name is no coincidential, since the monastery was built over an underground dungeon, where St. Gregory the Illuminator was languished for 13 years by the order of King Tiridates the Third for the fact that professed Christianity.  Filled with poisonous snakes and insects the dungeon did not break the faith of St. Gregory. One of the local pious women brought him food and drink. Meanwhile, King Tiridates went mad, St. Gregory cured him and the king accepted Christianity as the state religion of Armenia. In 642 Catholicos Nerses built a chapel over the dungeon. It was later destroyed. In its place a new chapel was built in the 17th. The dungeon, where... View more

    The best views of biblical Mount Ararat, however, open from the Monastery of Khor Virap associated with the adoption of Christianity by Armenia in 301.      In ancient times in this place was one of the capitals of Armenia - Aratashat. Translated from the Armenian Khor Virap means "deep pit" - the name is no coincidential, since the monastery was built over an underground dungeon, where St. Gregory the Illuminator was languished for 13 years by the order of King Tiridates the Third for the fact that professed Christianity.  Filled with poisonous snakes and insects the dungeon did not break the faith of St. Gregory. One of the local pious women brought him food and drink. Meanwhile, King Tiridates went mad, St. Gregory cured him and the king accepted Christianity as the state religion of Armenia. In 642 Catholicos Nerses built a chapel over the dungeon. It was later destroyed. In its place a new chapel was built in the 17th. The dungeon, where St. Gregory was detaine could be visited nowadays: it is 4.4 m in diameter  and 6 m in height.  In 1662 the Church of Virgin Mary was built. 

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  • Noravank Monastery

    The Noravank monastery was built in 13th century over the gorge of the Arpa River out of amazing sheer red cliffs. It is truly the treasury of Armenian religious art. Here are the most beautiful cross stones of one of the famous masters - Momik.  The most unique is the two-story church Astvatsatsin with a chapel on the second floor connected to the first floor through narrow staircases console. The complex also includes the Priory Church of St. John the Baptist, the chapel of St. Gregory the Illuminator. In the 13th - 14th centuries the Monastery became the seat of the bishops of the province of Syunik, one of the major religious, cultural and educational centers of Armenia.

  • Echmiadzin - the religious capital of Armenia

    Echmiadzin is the religious capital of Armenia, and is located 19 km west of Yerevan: the city was founded in the 4th century BC as a fortress.  The Cathedral of Echmiadzin, one of the oldest existing Christian cathedrals in the world.  Next to it is the residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians. The temple was founded by the first Catholicos of All Armenians - St. Gregory the Illuminator in 303 AD after he was Jesus Christ himself with a golden hammer, pointing at the place where the Temple of God had to be built. "Etchmiadzin" in Armenian means the Descent of the Only-Begotten. The monastery also includes the Theological Academy built in the 17th - 19th centuries, the Synod, the monastic monks' cells and a library. Theological Academy is a unique institution of the Armenian Apostolic Church, where its future ministers are trained. In the courtyard of the monastery there are beautiful cross stones of various ages, including cross-stone “Saviour&rdqu... View more

    Echmiadzin is the religious capital of Armenia, and is located 19 km west of Yerevan: the city was founded in the 4th century BC as a fortress.  The Cathedral of Echmiadzin, one of the oldest existing Christian cathedrals in the world.  Next to it is the residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians. The temple was founded by the first Catholicos of All Armenians - St. Gregory the Illuminator in 303 AD after he was Jesus Christ himself with a golden hammer, pointing at the place where the Temple of God had to be built. "Etchmiadzin" in Armenian means the Descent of the Only-Begotten. The monastery also includes the Theological Academy built in the 17th - 19th centuries, the Synod, the monastic monks' cells and a library. Theological Academy is a unique institution of the Armenian Apostolic Church, where its future ministers are trained. In the courtyard of the monastery there are beautiful cross stones of various ages, including cross-stone “Saviour” from 1279 and cross-stones the from 17th-century cemetery of Old Jugha, which is now located outside of Armenia.  In the Treasury of the Holy Echmiadzin relics and articles of church plate of the Armenian Apostolic Church are found. An important shrine of Echmiadzin is the Holy Lance, which is said to be holding the blood of Jesus Christ himself. It was brought to Armenia by the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus, and was originally kept in the Monastery of Geghardavank. In Echmiadzin stores particles of the Life-Giving Tree and the Sand Cross of Christ , a particle of Noah's Ark, which God sent to the bishop Hakob Mtsbnetsi on the slopes of Mount Ararat in the 4th century, as well as the particle the crown of thorns of the Saviour. In the treasury are also relics of St.John the Baptist, St. Stephen Protomartyr, the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew and Thomas, the great saints of the Christ's Church.  The Echmiadzin Church of Holy Hripsime is dedicated to one of thirty-seven Roman women who were tortured to death for their faith.  Other martyrs were Gayane and Mariane: temples in their honor were also erected in Echmiadzin.  The Cathedral, the Churches of St Hripsime and St. Gayane are registered in the Cultural Heritage Site of UNESCO. In Echmiadzin seminary Komitas,  the great genius of Armenian spiritual music. 

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  • Zvartnots

    Ruins of Zvartnots temple, 15 km off Yerevan, are unique. In the difficult years of struggle against the invaders, in the 7th century Catholicos Nerses the Third, laid the Temple of Heaven Vigil Forces, dedicated to St. Gregory the Illuminator. The temple became a symbol of unwavering faith in Christian Armenians. The Temple, considered an architectural marvel, served as a prototype for many other Armenian churches, and destroyed by a strong earthquake in about three centuries after its construction.  The ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral are also included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO

  • Sevanavank Monastery and Lake Sevan

    Lake Sevan is one of the largest Alpine lakes in the world, located at an altitude of 2000 meters. With a surface area of 1240 square meters Sevan is surrounded by mountain ranges and 28 rivers flow into it. The beauty of Sevan landscapes is as marvelous as that of the cultural monuments, located on its shores. One of them is the Sevan Monastery on the peninsula in the northwestern part of the lake: The monastery was founded in 874 by Princess Maryam, daughter of Ashot I Bagratuni. At present the compound includes the Church of Blessed Virgin and that of the Holy Apostles.  Behind the walls of the Monastery in the late 9th century king Ashot the Iron defeated the Arab invaders. The monks fought the battle as well. Today the Monastery includes also a Theological Seminary started by Catholicos Vazgen the First. 

  • Tatev Monastery

    To reach the Monastery of Tatev - the largest center of religion, culture, science and education of medieval Armenia, one should use the longest cable car in the world. The monastery was founded in the year 839. The monastery was named Tatev, because the architect, who built it asked from the Holy Spirit to give him wings to fly. Today the monastery compound consists of three churches: the Blessed Virgin, the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and St. Gregory. The Tatev University, founded by theologist Hovhannes Vorotnetsi in the 14th century, was one of the largest in medieval Armenia. The monastery is situated on a rocky plateau above the picturesque gorge of the dizzying flow of the river Vorotan.

  • Zorats Karer

    In the region of Syunik is a unique megalithic construction consisting of more than 200 boulders, menhirs, which form a perfect circle with a dolmen in the middle. This structure is called Zorats Karer - "an army of stone," it represents, according to some archaeologists, the ancient observatory - the stones are drilled special holes that correspond to the location of stars in the sky in prehistoric times. Zorats Karer called "Armenian Stone Hench " According to another version, this cemetery 2nd millennium BC

  • Dilijan

    Among the beautiful forests, valleys and gorges Aghstev, Dilijan is located - and the famous mountain climatic resort. Dilijan is known for its mineral waters, is located in the heart of the richest national park in Transcaucasia. Many compare Dilijan with Switzerland: resort ideal climate contributes to the improvement of people with lung diseases. Dilijan is famous for its skilled craftsmen who have learned to skillfully handle the wood - the material, which the Lord has given generously of their homes. The city rebuilt the entire block with an ethnographic museum, designed in the spirit of ethnic traditions - from stone and wood with a distinctive mansard roofs and balconies: here, on the street Sharamberyan the works of local craftsmen carving wood and stone. In the resort area a lot of resorts, hotels and resorts

  • Haghartsin and Goshavank

    Around Dilijan one can visit Goshavank Monastery, built in the 12th century, named in the honor of Mekhitar Gosh, the famous Armenian lawyer who wrote the first "Courtbook". The Monastery had a School adjacent to it. In the forests of Dilijan National Park is Haghartsin Monastery of 10 - 13 centuries.  At  the Monastery's school Armenian musical notes – khazes were taught. The monastery was fully restored in 2008 – 2011.

  • Tsaghkadzor and Kecharis

    The name "Tsakhkadzor", which in Armenian means "Valley of Flowers" is due to the fact that the resort is located in the picturesque gorge of the river Marmarik, which is covered in spring and summer flowers. From December to April Tsakhkadzor turns into a high quality ski resort with five chairlifts, ski equipment rental facilities and a team of traineres ready to teach newcomers, and of, course, "a" class hotels. 

    The Kecharis Monastery is located in Tsakhkadzor, which 56 km off Yerevan. The monastery was founded in the 11th century, the Pahlavuni dynasty in the 12 - 13 centuries and soon became one of the most important centers for religeon and cultural life. The oldest church is the Church of the Monastery gates back to1003. T compound also includes three churches of 11th and 13th century.

  • Garni

    The ancient temple of Garni refers to the first century AD and is a magnificent example of architecture of the Hellenistic period. The temple is surrounded by ruins of a compound of temples, baths and palaces, accompanying the summer residence of Armenian kings from 3rd century BC of the 4th century. 

  • Geghard Monastery

    Gegard Monastery is a stunning monument of medieval Armenian architecture: part of it is  carved in the rock.  The monastery is registered on the World Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO. The monastery was founded in the 4th century by St. Gregory the Illuminator, and at first called Ayrivank - "Cave Monastery". The part of the Monastery that reached our days dates back to the 12th - 13 centuries. Geghard monastery is known as the Monastery of the Seven Churches and Forty Altars. The cells of monks and tombs of the princes were also curved into the rocks. Altogether, the compound presents a treasure of Armenian culture. Acoustics in the church of the monastery surprising - in some places, the sound can be heard up to 40 seconds. The mystery of this unique acoustics have not yet been revealed.

  • Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries

    In the north there are two unique Armenian monastery, registered in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage - Haghpat and Sanahin. Sanahin Monastery was founded in the 10th century and was a major center of education: it had an Academy. The book storage of the Monastery of Sanahin was the largest in medieval Armenia are kept church utensils and unique manuscripts.  In the vicinity of the Monastery of the Holy Resurrection Church are 13th century - St. Harutiun is located. Not far from the Monastery of Sanahin is Alaverdi, a city with copper mines. The Statue of Liberty, donated to the USA by France, was produced from the copper, mined in Alaverdy. The town is connected to Sanahin by a bridge, built in 1192.

    The monastery of Haghpat was founded by queen Khosrovanush in the 10th century was one of  the most important center of education: theology, music, painting, were were studied there, books were copied. Monk-scholar Hovhannes Sarkavag famous for psalms and s... View more

    In the north there are two unique Armenian monastery, registered in the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage - Haghpat and Sanahin. Sanahin Monastery was founded in the 10th century and was a major center of education: it had an Academy. The book storage of the Monastery of Sanahin was the largest in medieval Armenia are kept church utensils and unique manuscripts.  In the vicinity of the Monastery of the Holy Resurrection Church are 13th century - St. Harutiun is located. Not far from the Monastery of Sanahin is Alaverdi, a city with copper mines. The Statue of Liberty, donated to the USA by France, was produced from the copper, mined in Alaverdy. The town is connected to Sanahin by a bridge, built in 1192.

    The monastery of Haghpat was founded by queen Khosrovanush in the 10th century was one of  the most important center of education: theology, music, painting, were were studied there, books were copied. Monk-scholar Hovhannes Sarkavag famous for psalms and sermons lived in the Monastery. He was attended by King David of Georgia to get blessings. The monastery compound comprises three churches built in 1025, 1005, and the 10th century.The latter -  the Church Holly Sign is still covered with frescoes. In the 18th century great Armenian poet Sayat Nova lived in the Monastery ,where he was buried after his death

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  • Gyumri

    Gyumri  is  Armenia's second largest city: it is located 122 km north off Yerevan. The settlements on the territory of Gyumri date back to the Bronze Age: and even once became part of the Russian Empire. In 1837 the city was named in honor of Russian queen Alexandra – Alexandrapole. The city was and continues to be the stronghold of the Russian army. In the 19th century was the largest cultural center of Eastern Armenia. Old Gyumri presents a reserve downtown with buildings of black tuff: in modern Armenia is practically the only remaining old city compound. Gyumri has long been famous for its craftsmen - blacksmiths, sculptors, architects, but also musicians and poets. Downtown Gyumri there are many interesting museums, including Museum of Architecture and Urban Life, the sculptor Merkurov Museum, Art Gallery, National History Museum, the poet Avetik Isahakyan Museum sisters Aslamazyan, the Museum of the famous actor Frunzik Mktrchyana Museum.

  • Jermuk

    One of the major Armenian thermal spas - Jermuk is located in Vayots Dzor region. The resort has mineral springs with temperatures up to 62 degrees with unique healing composition. Jermuk is surrounded by mountains covered with forests and full of landscapes of great beauty. In winters Jermuk turns into a ski resort.

    The Gndevank Monastery is located near Jermuk city, in the beautiful gorge of the Arpa River, called the "symphony of stone" because of the unique forms of basalt, resembling organ pipes. The monastery was built by architect Yeghishe in 936. Another Monastery -  Shatinvank Monastery, founded in 929, was a center of religion and education.

  • Mount Aragats

    Aragats  is an extinct volcano and the highest mountain in Armenia. Mount Aragats is composed of four peaks: South - 3879 m, West - 4080 m, East - 3916 m and the north, the highest - 4090 m. According to the legend above the highest peak of Mount Aragats from heaven a lamp is hanging, lit by St. Gregory the Illuminator, first Catholicos of All Armenians, and only the devotees can see It. On the mountain, at an altitude of 3200 m there is a picturesque lake Kari Lich, near which is a the laboratory of Cosmic Rays at the Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of Armenia. Ascent to Mount Aragats is recommended in the July-August, when the climatic conditions are most favorable.

  • Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank

    Aragatsotn region is located around Mount Aragats: there are many beautiful monasteries, castles and churches. On the river bank Qasakh, which forms a canyon of exceeding beauty the monasteries and Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank are situated.  Hovhannavank Monastery, surrounded by partially preserved walls is the oldest building of the Monastery.Thea area once hosted an Early Christian church of the 4th century. 

  • Cave compounds of Goris and Khndzoresk

    Goris is located in a basin surrounded by ridges of colored rocks, forming amazing towers and rock labyrinths, covered with forests - Stone Forest of Goris. Up  to the 19th those caves were inhabited. century people lived. In the Old Goris or Kyores cave churches and houses of 17 - 19 centuries could be seen. Kyores settlement has existed since ancient times. The new city is formed by 36 streets intersecting at right angles, which is unusual in Armenia. The important feature of Goris is also that all the houses are built of stone and designed in one architectural style, having red roofs, typical for the Italian small towns.  The most spectacular cave city of Armenia is the village Khndzoresk, near Goris. 

  • Amberd

    At an altitude of 2300 m on the slopes of Mount Aragats is the medieval fortress Amberd with a beautiful church, built in 1026.  Like most other fortresses in Armenia, Amberd is built on a promontory hanging over the valleys of the rivers and thus protected on the three sides by a natural barrier.

  • Yerevan

    Yerevan is a city with almost three thousand years of history. Yerevan is situated on the Arin-Berd hill, built by king of ancient Urartu Argishti the First as the fortress of Erebouni in 782 BC., several decades before the birth of Rome.    Most common was the pink type of tufa that turned Yerevan into the world's only "pink" capital. In the historical center, as well as in the districts of the capital one can see the beautiful Armenian churches, both old and newly built. On the streets of the small center can be found graceful, elegant two-store and single store houses of the 19th century, decorated with black and red tufa, carved stone and cozy balconies. Most of the buildings in downtown Yerevan are made in the Armenian style of neoclassicism, which distinguishes Yerevan from other world capitals. The architectural ensembles of Republic Square, Mashtots Avenue with the building of the Opera Theatre and Matenadaran,  Baghramyan Avenue with ... View more

    Yerevan is a city with almost three thousand years of history. Yerevan is situated on the Arin-Berd hill, built by king of ancient Urartu Argishti the First as the fortress of Erebouni in 782 BC., several decades before the birth of Rome.    Most common was the pink type of tufa that turned Yerevan into the world's only "pink" capital. In the historical center, as well as in the districts of the capital one can see the beautiful Armenian churches, both old and newly built. On the streets of the small center can be found graceful, elegant two-store and single store houses of the 19th century, decorated with black and red tufa, carved stone and cozy balconies. Most of the buildings in downtown Yerevan are made in the Armenian style of neoclassicism, which distinguishes Yerevan from other world capitals. The architectural ensembles of Republic Square, Mashtots Avenue with the building of the Opera Theatre and Matenadaran,  Baghramyan Avenue with  the residence of the President of Armenia and  National Assembly of Armenia are good representatives of the this style. A beautiful panorama of the city opens from the top of a huge staircase with fountains – Cascade. Here you can find works of world famous sculptors. The most characteristic architectural complexes of the 21st century are in the newly opened Northern Avenue in downtown Yerevan, with large modern buildings, as well as the Yerevan City Hall and a number of business centers.  Tsitsernakaberd or "fortress of swallows" is a complex dedicated to the memory of innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide.  Yerevan is a city of museums and theaters. Museum of the History of Armenia and the National Art Gallery are unique collections of treasures of the Armenian culture. The Matenadaran of Yerevan posesses the richest collection of medieval manuscripts and books in the world.

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Events and festivals

January 5 - Christmas Eve of Christ: on this day in all the churches the Liturgy of the Saints is celebrated with the burning of candles and lamps with which the faithful illuminate the houses. The light of the lamps represents the light of the Star of Bethlehem, which indicated the path of the Magi to the Infant Jesus. Christmas is preceded by a post: Christmas Eve is being prepared for Christmas dinner: as a rule, fish and lenten pilaf with raisins and dried apricots are served on the table. On Christmas Day, January 6, the Armenian Church also celebrates the Baptism of the Lord and the Holy Epiphany. In the temples there is a solemn hymn "Khorurd Khorin" - "The Great Mystery". Armenians greet each other with the words “Christ was born and appeared to us: good news to you and us!”: This must be answered “Blessed is the appearance of Christ!”.

Christmas

January 06, 2019

Saint Sarkis was a commander: in the Armenian tradition, he is revered as the patron saint of lovers. In the evening before the feast of St. Sarkis, young people do not eat anything except a salty pancake: at night, in a dream, they should see their fiancé or fiancee. Also in Armenia, Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14.

Saint Sarkis Day

February 16, 2019

“Ter and araj” or “Ter and dzes” means “the Lord is with you”: this is how the name of the holiday Terendez is explained. The holiday, which is established in memory of an important event in the life of Jesus Christ: Holy Mother of God, 40 days after the birth of Christ came to Temple for making a cleansing, thankful sacrifice to God. February 13, after the evening Liturgy, Andastan is held in Armenian churches - the consecration of the four cardinal points and the blessing of a candle, the fire of which personifies the saving, life-giving light of Christ: this feast is also me blessings of newlyweds are lit up. Candles blessed in churches kindle fires through which newlyweds jump, girls and boys in love, and also childless women: they jump by taking each other's hands for endless love and the future family for strong and indestructible. In pagan times, Terendez was a holiday when sheafs of hay — symbols of a good harvest — were set on fire at the doors of houses.

The Presentation of the Lord, Terendez

February 13, 2019

The main Christian holiday is celebrated with a true national scope. On Holy Sunday of Easter, Armenians greet each other with the words “Christ has risen from the dead! ", to which they respond," Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ! " Festive liturgies are held in all the churches of the country: the main service is held in Holy Echmiadzin under the leadership of the Catholicos of All Armenians.

Easter , Zatik (March-April)

April 21, 2019

The Transfiguration of the Lord is one of the most important celebrations of the Armenian Apostolic Church. On this day, the Transfiguration of Christ took place on Mount Tabor, the clothes of Christ became whiter than snow. The triumph of the Transfiguration of the Lord eclipsed the ancient Armenian holiday Vardavar, when people poured water on each other. Now in Armenia, on this day there is also a tradition of watering and releasing pigeons. It reminds us of the Great Flood and the dove, which Noah released from the Ark to see if the land was free.

The Transfiguration of the Lord. Vardavar

November 06, 2018

This is one of the most important celebrations of the Armenian Apostolic Church: the day is dedicated to an event that is of exceptional importance for Christians all over the world - the Assumption and Ascension of the Most Holy Theotokos to heaven. The ceremony of blessing grapes, which ripen in this time in Armenia, is timed to this great celebration. In the church they bring the first harvest of grapes as gratitude to the Lord God for the benefits that have been sent down. From that day, grapes can be eaten.

Assumption of the Holy Mother of God Virgin, Surb Astvatsatsin

November 06, 2018

Exaltation of the Holy and Life-giving Cross of the Lord. The celebration is dedicated to the memory of how the Bishop of Jerusalem, Jacob, who found the particle of the Holy Cross, raised it high and revealed to the believers accompanied by the sharakan chant “Thy cross, O Christ, we worship.”

Khachverac

November 06, 2018

One of the widely celebrated holidays. Most cities hold cultural and music festivals mainly in early spring, and further, during the summer, almost every region holds a number of traditional festivals.

New Year - Amanor

December 31, 2018

Among the annual festivals in Armenia are the Wine Days on Saryan Street in Yerevan. The quarter of Saryan Street, famous for its sophisticated wine cellars, is closed to cars and becomes completely pedestrian. Dozens of producers from all over Armenia and from Artsakh present their wines here. Authentic Armenian wines from the Ararat valley, the provinces of Vayots-Dzor, Aragatsotn, Tavush and the wineries of Artsakh can be tasted with regional cheeses, delicious Armenian delicacies and sweets.

Wine days in Yerevan

May 03, 2019

The International Jazz Festival is held annually in the Yerevan Cascade. This is a major event, which brings together Armenian virtuosos of jazz, inviting artists from around the world, including from Russia, the United States, France and South America. The famous Armenian jazz musician Levon Malkhasyan always performs at the festival.

International Jazz festival in Yerevan

November 06, 2018

Armenia is famous for the annual festival of one of the favorite national dishes - tolma. The festival takes place every year in various villages that are famous for their culinary traditions. The festival is designed to acquaint Armenians and guests of the country with unique ancient recipes of dolma, as well as their bold author's interpretations and innovative culinary experiments. Visitors of the festival will taste traditional tolma in grape leaves, several types of summer dolma and numerous exotic varieties of bean and currant leaves stuffed with fish and seafood.

Tolma Festival

November 06, 2018

An unusual Sheep Shearing Festival takes place in the villages of the southernmost region of Armenia - Syunik province, in the vicinity of the Wings of Tatev cable car, the longest in the world. The program of the festival includes sheep shearing competitions, numerous numbers of tightrope walkers, national Armenian dances and, of course, tasting of unique dishes of the region. In addition, guests can purchase local delicacies at the souvenir and regional delicacies fair, among which are jengyal hats green pies, various jams and pickles, and mulberry vodka.

Sheep Shearing Festival

November 06, 2018

In mid-summer, the annual watermelon festival takes place in the center of Yerevan, at Swan Lake. Here participants can compete in tasting ripe and juicy Armenian watermelons, and will also come up with amazing compositions from these fruits, many of which will turn out to be true works of art.

Watermelon Festival in Yerevan

November 06, 2018

Taraz is a traditional Armenian costume. Now the art of Taraz is given a new impetus and Armenia has become one of the unique countries where the national style successfully combines with modern fashion trends. Young and promising designers give a fresh new vision of Taraz as clothing in the best way that highlights the elegance and beauty of an Armenian woman. The Taraz Festival is held annually in the center of Yerevan - on Northern Avenue.

Taraz Festival in Yerevan

November 06, 2018

In the greenest region of Armenia - Tavush, the annual Festival of honey and berries is held. Here, eyes scatter from the various gifts of the forest - berries from the Shamshad land - raspberries, blackberries, currants, as well as dozens of local honey varieties. At the festival you can try and buy different types of honey and berries, as well as look at the dance performances of national teams.

 

Honey and Berries Festival in Tavush

November 06, 2018

Despite the fact that BBQ is a traditional dish that is found in almost all nations of the world, Armenians rightly hold the palm in the art of its preparation. That is why the shish kebab festival takes place in Armenia every year. Anyone can take part here - both professional chefs and amateurs from different parts of the country compete in barbecue skills, presenting to the guests several dozens of kebabs from various types of meat and fish. In addition, the festival program includes numerous dance performances and traditional Armenian games.

BBQ festival in Akhtala

November 06, 2018

Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world, it was founded as early as 782 BC. Urartu King Argishti I as a fortress of Erebuni. Each year, the Day of the Holy Translators is celebrated and the day of the Armenian capital Erebuni - Yerevan: this is always a memorable and vivid event in the life of the city. A variety of contests, creative exhibitions, historical expositions, performances of dance groups, marathons are held at the venues in the center of Yerevan and its other districts, and the celebratory concert at the Republic Square with colorful fireworks becomes the crown of events. These days many museums in Yerevan work for free.

Erebuni - Yerevan

October 20, 2018

One of the largest and most popular festivals of Armenia is the wine festival in Areni, which takes place every year on the first Saturday of October in Areni, a picturesque valley where the oldest winery in the world was found. Not only wine makers from the Areni Valley present their wines here, but also masters from all over Armenia. Dance and folklore performances take place, and girls traditionally squeeze the grapes for wine. Accompanied by the exquisite Armenian wines are the freshest pita bread and savory local cheeses, juicy Armenian fruits and unusual sweets, meat delicacies.

 

Wine Festival in Areni

October 05, 2019

Opera performances
Zip Line

Khash is a rich broth made from beef legs and cicatrix (sometimes also with the addition of a head or tail). Pre-ingredients for broth are soaked in cold water for about a day, and then boiled for almost 8 hours, without adding salt and any spices. According to Armenian tradition, hash should be eaten in the morning exclusively hot. Salt, chopped garlic, greens and radish are served on separate plates. They eat khash not with a spoon, but with the help of specially dried pita bread scrolls: one half of the scroll must be crushed into broth, making it thick, and the rest is used as a cutlery. As a rule, khash is eaten during the cold months of the year mainly in the men's company. However, in Armenia there is a place where you can eat hash all year round - this is the famous Hashanots on Mount Aragats near Kamenny Lake. Even when it is scorching heat in Yerevan, the breath of winter is felt here and therefore the rule will not be broken. Khash is eaten only accompanied by vodka - brandy and wine do not suit it. Khash is one of the ancient Armenian dishes and it has spread in many neighboring countries. They are trying to challenge the Armenian origin of the dish, but numerous handwritten sources from different eras confirm it, just like the etymology of the word "hash", which comes from the Armenian verb "khashel" - to boil. 

Khash

One of the foundations of Armenian cuisine is thin and unleavened bread - pita bread, which is baked in a special clay oven - tonir. Lavash is a traditional Armenian bread baked from ancient times. Lavash accompanies every breakfast, lunch and dinner: fresh vegetables and greens, meat, cheese, salads are wrapped in it, not a single holiday is complete without it. Real pita bread should be stored for a very long time and not lose its unique taste.

Lavash preparation is a laborious and complicated process. First, prepare the dough, then roll it out and attach the sheets to the hot walls of the stone oven. In a few moments, the most delicious bread is ready! From generation to generation, women in Armenian villages inherit the unique art of making pita bread.

Lavash

Each meat dish is characterized by a special and multi-stage preparation of meat, in general, Armenian cuisine is an amazing combination of simplicity of ingredients and complexity of cooking technologies! Talma is Armenian cabbage rolls. Grape and cabbage leaves, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and other vegetables fill the meat mixed with the best mountain herbs. The most famous tolma is in grape leaves, it is from their name that the name of the dish, which foreigners often call “dolma”, comes from.

The so-called dolma is common in many countries of the Middle East, but it is of Armenian origin. The Armenian name for the dish “tolma” comes from the word “toli”, which means “grape leaves”. The classic version of the autumn-winter dolma is grape leaves stuffed with meat. In Armenia, tolma is filled not only with minced meat, but also with finely chopped fillets. When cooking this dish, the degree of freshness of the vine leaves is important. As a rule, it is served with a sauce of Armenian matsun seasoned with garlic.

Summer dolma is another kind of famous Armenian dish. For her use fresh tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, as well as cabbage. One of the important differences of the summer dolma from the traditional Slavic cabbage rolls and food analogues in other cuisines is a special range of spicy herbs, many of which grow only in Armenia.

Tolma

Armenian BBQ is called “horovats” and only men cook it. It is often cooked in a special stone oven - tonir or "Tandoori". 

Khorovac is not only made of meat - it is the common name for all dishes that are cooked under the influence of smoke from hot coals.

 In Armenia, one can taste various types of choir, including pork, lamb, beef, Sevan trout, sterlet, chicken and other types of meat and fish.

Kabab is horovats, but not from whole pieces of meat, but ground beef. The classic kabab is made from lamb meat, but now there are many variations of this dish.

In order that the crushed meat did not flow down from skewers when cooking kebab, it is carefully beaten off.

Khorovats - BBQ

Khashlama is a national Armenian stew dish accompanied by potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables and greens.

As a rule, khashlama is made from tender lamb or veal: as it is cooked, very little water is added to the dish and the meat is stewed in its own juice.

Often, Armenians prepare Khashlama in wine sauce, as well as with the addition of dried fruits - prunes and dried apricots.

At the same time, which is typical for other Armenian meat dishes, many spices are not added to Hashlama, in order not to interrupt the natural taste of meat.

Khashlama is a traditional rural dish, which very often acted as a full-fledged lunch for residents of remote corners of Armenia.

Khashlama

Kufta is a favorite dish of all Armenians. No one knows exactly how old he is.

For a long time, the best beef was picked up and beat it on the stone with wooden hammers for a long time before turning it into a smooth, homogeneous mass.

From this mass they cooked ihl kufta in the form of meatballs, which are served with a variety of vegetable sauces, as well as kufta - a chop, which is usually served accompanied by spelled with mushrooms.

Kufta is an incredibly tasty, juicy, delicate dish.

Qufta

Khurdzhin is a real masterpiece of Armenian cuisine. This is finely chopped meat baked with vegetables and spices in a bag of thin pita. Fresh Armenian greens are often served to the dish.

Khurdjin

After the Great Flood, Noah's Ark found its shelter on the top of Mount Ararat. Having descended from the mountain, Patriarch Noah planted a vine in the fertile Ararat valley, and then produced the first wine in the world. Thus, Armenia has become the birthplace of viticulture and winemaking.

It was in Armenia, in the Areni cave, that the oldest winery in the world dating back to the 4th millennium BC was found. There were found many Karas - vessels in which the process of aging wine. Since ancient times, tens of endemic grape species have grown in Armenia.

Armenian wine and cognacs are unique in that they are produced mainly from Armenian grape varieties, and their taste qualities are formed not so much by the properties of the soil, which in Armenia are rather poor - of volcanic origin, but by the generous Armenian sun and natural features of the country, which predominates over a larger area. sharply continental climate.

In Soviet times, Armenia was primarily known as a producer of fortified and semi-sweet wines. However, now more attention is paid to classic dry wines. In recent decades, many modern wineries have been opened, where leading experts from France, Italy, Argentina and other countries have been invited as technologists.

The main regions of winemaking in Armenia are the Areni valley, Ijevan district, Ararat plain, Aragats foothills and Artsakh. Among the most famous producers of Armenian wines are Karas, Armas, Zorah Karasi, Hin Areni, Voskevaz, Armenia Wines, Ijevan Winery. In Armenia, according to ancient recipes, a unique pomegranate wine is produced.

Armenian Wine

A special place in the diet of Armenians is occupied by cheeses, which are consumed accompanied by fresh vegetables and greens.

Due to the fact that in summer in Armenia it is very hot people consume much more salt than in cooler countries to regulate the balance of water in the body.

That is why salty varieties prevail among Armenian cheeses. Magnificent and diverse climatic conditions, the presence of alpine meadows allow Armenians to successfully engage in dairy farming and produce a variety of cheeses.

Chanakh Armenian cheese ripens in brine and is not subjected to heat treatment: it contains a lot of easily digestible protein, calcium and phosphorus.

The most popular semi-solid Armenian cheese is Lori, it is produced not only in the region of the same name. Another semi-solid variety - Alashkert is notable for its delicate sourness and creamy aftertaste.

White sheep and goat cheeses are produced in Armenia, as well as various types of smoked and curly chechil-type cheeses. Yeghegnadzor goat cheese is made with the addition of fragrant mountain herbs and stored in earthenware jars.

There are authentic varieties of Armenian cheese with mold, which in recent years have become popular in other countries.

Cheese

Fruit of Armenia does not need advertising - grapes, apricots, pomegranates, peaches, plums, quince, dried apricots, walnuts, dogwood, melons, watermelons are consumed both fresh and dried: preserves of fruit and berries, juices are popular. Armenian dried fruits and desserts are known far beyond the region.

In the hands of Armenian hostesses, delicious fruits are turned into real works of art! What is important, Armenian sweets, unlike many Eastern analogues, are not so viscous and it is very easy to eat them.

Here they cook sweet sujukh - nuts in a frozen fruit syrup: the color of sweet sujukh depends on the fruit from which the syrup is made. Red is from pomegranate or sweet cherry, brown and the most common is from grapes. The varieties of sweets Alani are various - these are dried fruits (peach, apricot and even tangerine), stuffed with nuts, sweets and cinnamon.

Fruit is used to make sour pita bread - various kinds of pastes, which, in turn, are used to make fruit rolls with nuts.

The best place to buy dried fruits in Yerevan is the Armenian market, which is located near the Tashir Shopping Complex on Khorenatsi Street.

Friendly sellers will not only help you choose sweets, but they will also surely treat you - therefore, it is better to plan a visit to the market on an empty stomach. In the market you can buy meat delicacies - dried sujukh and basturma, Armenian cheeses, greens, mountain herbal teas, village pita bread and much more!

Sweets

In the second half of the XIX century, Nerses Tairyan founded the first brandy factory in Armenia. Subsequently, he sold the plant to the Russian industrialist Shustov, who managed to bring brandy production to a new level and make Armenian brandy famous throughout the world.

In Soviet times, the Yerevan Brandy Factory was nationalized, and brandy became one of the main specializations of the Armenian food industry. Armenian brandy is becoming one of the country's most recognizable brands. Even such a wine connoisseur like Winston Churchill preferred Armenian cognac to French.

The oldest of the plants is now divided into 2 plants - one of them produces brandy under the brand "Ararat" and the other under the brand name "Noah." In Armenia, there are now more than 20 enterprises that produce the legendary drink even today. Among them are such large ones as the Proshyan Brandy Factory and the Ijevan Wine and Brandy Factory.

For Armenian brandy, mainly endemic Armenian grape varieties are used. The traditions of winemaking and brandy production in Armenia today received a new impetus: it is slowly regaining the status of authentic art.

Armenian grapes absorbed all the sweetness of the Armenian sun and the freshness of Armenian nights, the smell of mountain flowers and the purity of spring water. This is what makes Armenian wines and brandies unique. Armenia also produces numerous varieties of fruit wines and vodkas.

Armenian Brandy

Gata is one of the oldest desserts in the world and a favorite delicacy of Armenians. Gata is very high in calories, but you cannot consume it in small quantities!

Gata is made from puff pastry: it can be of different shapes, and choris is usually used as a filling, a mixture of sugar and butter, although in some regions also cottage cheese and nuts are added.

According to one of the versions, the origin of the name “gat” is associated with the Armenian word “kat” (in a number of dialects “gat”) - milk.

Each Armenian mistress has special secrets when cooking ghats. There are also special recipes of ghats in almost every Armenian province. Thus, the most famous are Stepanavan, Karaklis, Yerevan and Gyumri gata.

And the most popular among tourists is, of course, the gata from the village of Garni, which is made in the form of a large round cake.

Gata
Visa Support

Citizens of most countries are required an entry visa which can be obtained online, at Armenian embassies abroad, or upon arrival at “Zvartnots” International Airport or other border-control points. Tourist visa for 21 days is issued upon submission of visa application form, photograph, original of the passport with validity period of minimum 4 months and visa fee of AMD 3000 (approx. USD 7). For further details visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia web site www.mfa.am. Processing of visa in foreign countries through Armenian embassy usually takes 7 business days. Processing visa upon arrival to Armenia usually takes 30 minutes. Visa can also be processed online by credit card and picked up upon arrival to Armenia.

Climate in Armenia

Situated between 380m and 4090m above sea level, Armenia is a country of eight geographic zones, seven climate zones, about half of species of plants in the Transcaucasus and nearly two-thirds of all bird species found in Europe. About 90% of the territory of Armenia lies on mountains at the height of 1000 m above sea level and higher, that are part of the Armenian Plateau. Ararat valley has a dry harsh continental climate with considerable difference in daytime and nighttime temperatures. Here summers are hot, and winters are rather cold, with almost no precipitations. In July temperature exceeds 40 C, and in January it drops below -10 C. In woody areas of the country the climate is moderately warm and humid with mild summers and winters. Mountain regions of Armenia are characterized by moderately cold climate with rather harsh winters and cool summers. Precipitations are mostly observed in spring and beginning of summer. Most humid marzes of Armenia are Lori, Tavush and Syunik. Middle mountain areas and lowlands of central part of Armenia are mostly in moderate and moderately dry climate zones. Southernmost area near Meghri and north-eastern area around Noyemberyan are in sub-tropic zone.

Currency

National currency of Armenia is dram (AMD). Paper notes are issued in denominations of 1000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000. Coins are issued in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500. For exchange rates see Central Bank of Armenia website: www.cba.am. Credit cards are accepted in the majority of shops and hotels of Yerevan. Foreign bank notes can be easily exchanged at numerous exchange bureaus and banks in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia. Large supermarkets such as “SAS” also have 24-hour money exchange office.

Safety

Armenia is one of the safest countries of CIS with a low crime rate. Tourists are safe to travel all over the country and walk in the streets of Yerevan at any time of the day and night. The only issue of concern is traffic - visitors are highly encouraged to pay close attention when crossing the streets, even at green lights.

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