Armenia

ARMENIA TRAVEL GUIDE

lgbt_small.png
 

Few nations have histories as ancient, complex, and laced with tragedy as Armenia. The first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion over 1700 years ago - and the first country to make chess compulsory at school level! A capital city older than Rome and ancient monasteries perched atop misty mountains. It's not an easy destination to explore as roads can be rough, public transport hard to find, and language a challenge. As Armenia straddles Europe and Asia, East and West, so does Armenian culture. Armenia is a surprise waiting to be discovered.

RELATED POSTS

WEWILLNOMAD

WEWILLNOMAD

WEWILLNOMAD

MORE POSTS

COLLAPSE

-.png

EXPAND

+.png
Covid Status
 

TRAVEL ADVISORY

LOCATION MAP

Armenia

Asia - Central

REGION:

COUNTRY MAP

Armenia
 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO VISIT

ARMENIA?

arrow&v

<<VISA RESULT>>

<< Visa Details >>

FIND YOUR
WHERE-TO-NEXT
DESTINATION

Advanced real-time filter by visa, region, value, weather & activity

For the latest requirements and details click

 

ARMENIA QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Yerevan

  • Currency: Armenian dram

  • Area: 29,743 km2

  • Population: 2,976,372 (July 2006 est.)

  • Language: Armenian

  • Religion: Armenian Apostolic 94%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (Zoroastrian/animist) 2%

  • Electricity: 220V/50Hz (European plug)

 

Search for flights to

ARMENIA

arrow&amp;v
SEARCH

ARMENIA PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 6 January, Armenian Orthodox Christmas

  • 28 January, National Army Day

  • 24 April, Genocide Memorial Day

  • 9 May, Victory and Peace Day

  • 28 May, Restoration of Statehood Day

  • 5 July, Constitution Day

  • 21 September, Independence Day

Also, Easter, the Transfiguration, the Dormition, and the Exaltation of the Cross.

FESTIVALS IN ARMENIA

Armenia
 

BEST TIME TO VISIT ARMENIA

Peak tourist season from the middle of June to around the end of August and this period is generally marked by dry, moderate weather. with temperatures getting as high as 35 °C at times. Although it does get somewhat busier over this period, prices are similar to the rest of the year and as Armenia is still off the radar of most tourists it's definitely not overrun.

 

The best time to visit Armenia if you want to avoid the hottest period is the shoulder season months of May to June and again September - October. During these times you will find mostly mild weather - suitable for outdoor activities. That said, May and June are the wettest months and you should be prepared for some thunderstorms on occasion. If you plan to travel to Lake Sevan, June through September will be the best time.

 

  • Most of Armenia has a dry, high-altitude climate, though there are some verdant rainy pockets in the Lori, Tavush and Syunik regions. These receive most rain in early spring.
  • In spring temperatures are mild and the countryside is covered in wildflowers, making it a perfect time to go hiking.
  • Autumn has long, warm days and stable weather conditions.
  • Summer in Yerevan can be 40°C with little or no breeze for days at a time; weather in the north is cooler.
  • Conditions in winter can be bleak, with temperatures falling to -10°C or even lower in many areas. Roads are often closed due to snow and ice.
 

ARMENIA WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Armenia’s climate can be described as highland continental, with large variation between summer highs (Jun-Aug) and winter lows (Dec-Feb). The average annual precipitation is relatively low at 526mm. Precipitation intensity is higher in the high-altitude regions with May and June the wettest months. The mountainous regions can also experience prolonged periods of snow cover.

Armenia

ARMENIA TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

FEBRUARY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

MARCH

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

APRIL

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY
WET

MAY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY
WET

JUNE

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

JULY

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

AUGUST

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

SEPTEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE
DRY

WET

OCTOBER

HOT

COLD
MODERATE
DRY

WET

NOVEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

DECEMBER

HOT

COLD

MODERATE

DRY

WET

 

HOT MONTHS:

.

MODERATE MONTHS:

.

COLD MONTHS:

.

WET MONTHS:

.

DRY MONTHS:

.

SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW SPORT IN ARMENIA

The snow sports season in Armenia is from November until April.

HIKING & CYCLING IN ARMENIA

The best time for outdoor activities in Armenia is from May to September. July and August can be hot but perfect for hiking the higher altitudes.

BEACH OPTIONS IN ARMENIA

Armenia may not have a coastline, but it does have the beautiful Lake Sevan with it's many 'beaches' which can be enjoyed over the hot summer months of June to September.

SURFING IN ARMENIA

KITESURF IN ARMENIA

If you're desperate for some wind sports on the water in Armenia, check out Lake Sevan.

For more details on kite surfing in Armenia expand this section!

 
 

HEALTH RISKS IN ARMENIA

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Armenia

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

ARMENIA TRAVEL COSTS

If you have the budget and can split the cost, by far the best and most convenient way to get around Armenia is by car. To rent a car you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) which you should get while in your home country.

 

If you will be making use of public transport you will find that the infrastructure is not the best and information is a bit thin. Most of the public transport websites are not available in English and you should ask at your accommodation for assistance in helping with information on local and intercity buses.

 

Intercity transport in Armenia is best done by bus and minibus (marshrutka). There are three main bus stations in Yerevan, as well as a railway station. Intercity buses are relatively inexpensive but navigating the bus stations can be tricky as English isn’t widely spoken.

The best would be to ask the day before at your accommodation to help find the right bus and on the day get there early and look out for it. Bus fares are cheap and usually based on an hourly fare. Note that even short routes may include plenty of stops which will end up taking much more time than expected.

 

There are also trains on a daily schedule which connects Yerevan to Gyumri (3 hours), Yeraskh (1.5 hours), Araks (1 hour), Arrat (1 hour), and Hrazdan (1.5 hours). During summer months the Hrazdan line will extend all the way to Lake Sevan. There are also affordable trains to nearby cities outside of Armenia such as Budapest and Prague. Depending on the route and the train it could be uncomfortable and painfully slow or surprisingly modern with air-conditioning.

 

ARMENIA TRAVEL TIPS

Armenia isn’t going to break the bank and a budget traveller will be able to get by with well under $40 per day. You will find plenty of free activities, especially if you enjoy the outdoors, which almost makes it hard to spend a lot. Throw in cheap food, beer, and accommodation, and you can really stretch your budget.

 

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF ARMENIA

  • Yerevan - Laze away a few days in the welcoming cafes, wine bars and restaurants of the capital.
  • Noravank - Watch the sun slowly set over the dramatic reddish-gold cliffs surrounding picture-perfect church buildings.
  • Dilijan National Park - Hike through millions of springtime wildflowers.
  • Geghard Monastery - Marvel at the ancient rock-hewn churches.
  • Areni - Visit wineries in a region that’s been producing wine for 6100 years.
  • Goris - Explore an abandoned cave city carved out of soft volcanic rock.
  • Debed Canyon - Visit magnificent medieval monasteries and fresco-covered churches.
  • Tatev - Float to the fortified monastery on the world’s longest cable car.

 

Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, is one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited cities - 29 years older than Rome. Throughout its 2,800-year history, kingdoms, invasions, Communism, and dictatorships have come and gone. Today, Yerevan is a city of one million, with a European ambiance, lined with wide boulevards and sidewalk cafes. Yerevan is cosmopolitan, safe, and affordable—with museums, hotels, overly generous portions of food and wine, and even a night at the opera-going for friendly prices.

 

WESTERN ARMENIA

Those looking to break out of Yerevan for a short trip will be ecstatic to know that some of Armenia’s best sights are a short drive from the capital. Three Unesco World Heritage sites are less than an hour’s drive, including Armenia’s Vatican, Mother See of Etchmiadzin; the 7th-century Zvartnots Cathedral ruins; and Geghard Monastery carved out of a rock face. Armenia’s second-largest city, Gyumri, which is soaring from the ashes following its devastating recent past, is also found here. Gorgeous hikes abound, you can zigzag up and around Armenia’s largest mountain, Mt Aragats, or church hop along the Kasagh Gorge near Ashtarak. In winter, the Tsaghkadzor ski resort continues to be popular well after Soviet athletes trained there in the 1960s. While we recommend exploring the entire country, of course, you’ll get a healthy taste of Armenia in this region.

 

NORTHERN ARMENIA

Armenia’s northern region is decorated with verdant mountain ranges and ancient monasteries, many of which are in the process of being consumed by their lush natural surroundings. As with the rest of Armenia, crumbling Soviet buildings populate the cities and towns, save for the pretty resort town of Dilijan, which now boasts several superb restaurants and B&Bs.

The north is better explored outside of the cities. Hiking is terrific here, and you can dip your toes into the Transcaucasian Trail (TCT), bounce along the rapids of the Debed Canyon or soar through the air on a zipline over Ijevan. This is a region nature lovers won’t want to miss.

 

Download map waypoints for Armenia here: KML / GPX

 

More location information and points of interest are available in the above map

 

LAKE SEVAN & AROUND

Set 1900m above sea level and covering 1240 sq km, the vast expanse of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in the Caucasus and one of the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in the world. Its colours and shades change with the weather, forming dazzling azure to dark blue hues, and a thousand shades in between. Fish populations include the endangered ishkhan (prince trout) as well as introduced crayfish and sig (whitefish). In the 1950s, Soviet planners irrigated the nearby Hrazdan River, causing Lake Sevan’s water level to drop 20m. The drop uncovered forts, houses and artefacts dating back 2000 years, but combined with overfishing and sewage dumping, also led environmentalists to declare the lake is on the brink of destruction. Lake Sevan’s beaches are very popular with Russian tourists and noisy day-trippers. For some tranquillity, head to the eastern side to visit Wishup Shore or the Tufenkian Avan Marak Tsapatagh Hotel.

 

SOUTHERN ARMENIA

Armenia’s southern regions stretch from Karabakh to the east and the Azerbaijani enclave of Naxçivan to the west. Vayots Dzor (Gorge of Woes) centres on the headwaters of the wine-growing Arpa valley. The name comes from a history of ruinous earthquakes across these mountainous valleys and cliffs. It’s a great area to winery hop or explore off-the-beaten-track trails by foot, horse or 4WD – just keep an eye out for snakes. The province of Syunik, in the extreme south of the country, is accessed via the high-altitude Voratan Pass. The landscape here is surrounded by epic mountain ranges, high pastures that are home to grazing animals, drifts of wildflowers and clusters of beehives. Its main settlement, Goris, is populated with charming 19th-century buildings and is next to a mysterious ghost town of abandoned caves carved out of volcanic rock. Travellers must cut through Syunik when visiting Karabakh or Iran.

WHAT TO PACK FOR ARMENIA

 
Armenia

WHAT TO EAT IN ARMENIA

The Armenian kitchen is hundreds if not thousands of years in the making, combining fresh flavours and spices from its own fertile soil along with borrowed flavours retrieved by its expansive diaspora. If invited in for dinner, accept; it could very well be the best memory from your trip. Armenian cuisine combines elements of the foods of all its historic neighbours – Arabic, Russian, Greek and Persian – but remains distinctive. The quality of local produce is high, and the fruits and vegetables on offer are fresh and packed with flavour. This is because crops are often grown on a small scale in villages and backyards across the country without the use of greenhouses or pesticides. Meat isn’t factory farmed, as evidenced by highway cow and sheep traffic jams.

 

If there’s one word for dining, it’s khoravats (barbecued meat). Pork is the favourite, though lamb, beef and sometimes chicken are usually available too. Ishkhan khoravats is grilled trout from Lake Sevan. Siga is another good grilled-fish dish. Kebabs are also very common. The signature herb is dill – Armenians use it in innumerable dishes but especially in salads.

 

Broadly speaking, western Armenian cuisine has a Levantine influence, while eastern Armenian cuisine incorporates Russian and Georgian influences. Besides khoravats, staples include dolma (rice wrapped in vine leaves), spas (yogurt soup) and lavash fresh from the oven. Khash is a thick winter stew made from animal parts. Starters include cold salads, farmyard-smelling cheese and dips such as matsoon (sour yogurt) and jajik (yogurt with cucumbers and fennel). Cured meats include sujuk (dark, cured spicy sausage) and basturma (finely cured ham).

 

There are few strictly vegetarian restaurants in Armenia but many restaurants offer beet salads and veggie stews made with tomatoes, rice, eggplants (aubergines), zucchinis (courgettes) and a profusion of herbs and spices. Western Armenian cuisine features hummus, tabouleh, labneh, fatayer (cheese or spinach pastries) and other vegetarian dishes associated with Lebanese cuisine.

 

In Yerevan, you will find a booming restaurant scene with international cuisine available everywhere. Much Armenian cooking is based on lamb, either grilled and served as shashlik with flatbread, or prepared as soup or stew - often in combination with fruit or some form of nut.

 

Some local specialties:

Shampours - skewers with marinated meat and vegetables.

Ghapama - pumpkin stew with rice, raisins, apples, and cinnamon.

Khash - A broth made from ham-hocks and herbs with a tradition going back centuries.

 

Take a wine tasting tour:

Considering that Armenia has a 6 000-year-old history of making wine it's probably unsurprising that the region produces 500 unique and native varieties of grapes - virtually unknown to the world outside Armenia. If you are a wine lover, taking a wine tour is a must. Sadly most of the wineries were shut down during the Soviet era but over the last decade, Armenia has rediscovered its winemaking roots.

 

LGBTQ IN ARMENIA

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Armenia are not legislated in both the legal and social spheres. Same-sex marriage and civil unions are not legal in Armenia and The Constitution of Armenia limits marriage to opposite-sex couples. Although homosexuality has been legal in Armenia since 2003, the situation of LGBT citizens has not changed substantially.

 

Homosexuality remains a taboo topic in many parts of Armenian society with even the younger generation of Armenians still not knowledgeable about many LGBT issues. There is no real legal protection for LGBT persons whose human rights are violated regularly. Many LGBT Armenians fear being socially outcast by their friends and families, causing them to keep their sexual orientation or gender identity secret.

 
Armenia
 

WHERE TO STAY IN ARMENIA

CHOOSE NEXT DESTINATION

arrow&amp;v
GO

RELATED POSTS

WEWILLNOMAD

WEWILLNOMAD

WEWILLNOMAD

MORE POSTS

RECENT BLOG POSTS

Vanlife Portugal - Travelling by Campervan 2022

Travelling Southern Spain By Campervan 2021 - 2022

Is Wild Camping Legal in Spain? 2022

PLAN YOUR TRIP

VISA

Let iVisa take the pain out of travel planning and assist you with Electronic visas, Travel Authorizations, Visas on Arrival, and even Paper Visas. They can also help with Health Declarations, Embassy Registrations and even photos. If you're from the US, they provide a One-Stop Shop to renew your Passport securely and error-free.

FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines search they index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION
Hostelworld is the number one resource for researching and booking hostels. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as in our experience they consistently return the cheapest rates.

TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance will protect you against unexoected illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never travel without travel insurance and we have using World Nomads for a number of years. Our favorite companies that offer the best options and value are:

 

Need more to book your trip?
Check our complete resource page for the all the best companies to use when you travel. You will only find the companies we use ourselves.

Please note that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you end up making a purchase. We recommend only products and companies we believe in and use ourselves and the income goes to keeping the site ad free.