Hey buddies! Are you bored of spending your holidays in the same familiar places and would like to try something new?? Okay! I’ve got something for you then.
The answer is Armenia!! Is this the 1st time you heard about this country?
For all of you who are not familiar in this country then let’s start exploring it together! So, come with me as we look at some of the great places to visit in Armenia.
Armenia being one of the oldest countries in the world was also the first country to adopt Christianity as its state religion back in 301 AD (that’s more than 1,700 years ago!).
This country is located in the Caucasus region between Asia and Europe.
It is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Iran to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and Azerbaijan’s Naxcivan exclave to the southwest.
It is a small country that has a lot to offer.
We arrived around 3PM in Armenia airport. Don’t worry about getting the visa as for Filipino citizens can obtain visa upon arrival.
But make sure you have Armenian Drams with you as the immigration officer will not let you have your Visa unless you pay them in their currency and they want exact amount of money!
Holidayme staffs fetch us from the airport going to Hotel Silachi.
We stayed at Hotel Silachi, check out their website for more infos. at https://hotelsilachi.am/
The exchange rate fluctuates from time to time so better you check the rates again. The below numbers are based on today’s rate.
If you’re coming from Philippines, then you have to book a flight going to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, or shall I say find a flight that has UAE stop over. Unfortunately, there’s no direct flight from Philippines to Armenia. Since, I’m UAE resident, it’s much easy peasy for me to get a flight going to Armenia & for sure much cheaper for the flight cost.
The first place we have visited was the Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church, Yerevan.
St Gregory the Illuminator church was built by the initiative of the All Armenian Catolicose Vazgen I and was dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of the Christianity adoption in Armenia.
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Church
After visiting the church, we head back to Hotel as the night was approaching and we really can’t bear the coldness outside.
We first stopped by at Charent’s Arch and it is overlooking the Mt. Ararat (it is known from the Bible as the landing place of Noah’s Ark).
You can’t see behind the full image of Mt. Ararat as it’s hiding from the foggy clouds.The place has a breathtaking view of Mount Ararat..
The words that run the length of the arch are from Charents’ poem «For My Sweet Armenia» and read: It’s written on the arch : Travel the world: you will never find a crest as pure as Ararat’s, As an impassible road to glory, I love my Masis Mountain.
The Garni Temple
The Temple of Garni is one of the oldest sights in Armenia worth to be seen once in a lifetime. Look how beautiful the temple is, and Mr. Sunny is approaching the Garni temple as it’s surrounded by the snow. As you look around the area, you see a whole band where the sweet and relieving sounds of symphonic metal seem to be played and to make you relax and enjoy the entire beauty opening in front of you with the temple.
Monastery Of Geghard
The monastery of Geghard contains a number of churches and tombs.
The monastery was founded, according to tradition by St. Gregory the Illuminator, and was built following the adoption of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia (beginning of the 4th century AD).
Khachkars: Armenian Cross-Stones
After a Khachkar is completed and blessed, the stone is believed to yield power towards the salvation of the soul. These remarkably intricate steles have been inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List since 2010.
Next stop is Tsaghkadzor! We really had a great experience while visiting this place. We had a chance to try the rope way / cable car. OMG, it’s freezing there!
Tsaghkadzor is a city in Central Armenia, known for being a ski resort, with forests and an ancient monastery.The ropeway is the main place to go if you are in Tsakhkadzor.
The ticket price is not costly as we paid only AMD 2,000 / 208 pesos.
The challenges we had faced was you have to literally jump and sit on the open cable car seat and pull the handle bar down to secure yourself from falling down. I must say I was thoroughly thrilled to be riding on it…
I guess this one is not good for those who are faint-hearted! But you can still stay in the cafeterias and drink coffee and tea to warm you up. Then you can take photos as the Ski resort has an amazing view.
It has a great view while in the cable car, especially on top of the mountain with snow. I enjoyed riding in a cable car though the temperature there was below freezing. Whoah!
Here’s the cost for our 2nd day tour.
Khor Virap is the site where Armenia became the world’s first Christian nation in 301 A.D.
Khor Virap Monastery, 30km south of Yerevan, is a famous pilgrimage site with an iconic location at the foot of Mt Ararat. You’ll see plenty of tempting pictures of the place on postcards and souvenir books long before you get there.
After in Khor Virap, Areni is our next destination to visit.
When you think about wine you directly have France or Italy in mind. Yet, Armenia really deserve to be known in the wine industry as Armenia is not only one of the oldest nation to produce wine, but Armenian wine came to be very tasty.
We stopped in this place as a part of a one day tour for Wine tasting.
Areni village is located about 120 km from Yerevan on the banks of the river Arpa. At the entrance to the village, right at the road on the left side a private smal wine factory “Areni” is located, which you can visit to get acquainted with the production process, taste the local wines.
On the first floor you can taste some local wine and buy some. Also some variety of souvenirs is presented. The cost of wine per bottle is around AMD 1,500 & it’s approx. 156 in pesos.
While on n the second floor you will find a nice cafe, where you can drink coffee or local tea as well as enjoy some hot meals and play the piano! Great place to stop for a small rest. 🙂
I got a bit tipsy after tasting the wines as some has 11% alcohol. Since I have alcohol intolerance, right after drinking different flavors of wine then my face started to feel numb and reddish Lol. 😛
And finally our next destination is Noravank..this is one of my hands down favorite!
The scenery is magnificent.!
Noravank is a medieval Armenian monastery standing out not only with its appearance but also the surrounding marvelous scenery. It is believed that in the place of the monastery there used to be a sacred site.
This monastery is most famous for its two-storey church whereby you will have to climb up to the main entrance via a narrow staircase made from stones jutting out from the face of building.
The grandest structure is Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), also called Burtelashen (Burtel’s construction) in the honour of Prince Burtel Orbelian, its financier. It is situated to the south-east of the Surb Karapet church.
There is fine relief sculpture over the entrance, depicting Christ flanked by Peter and Paul.
Now, it’s about time to have our dinner! Our tour guide Tiko recommended a restaurant which is Lchak, Yeghehnadzor.
The restaurant is located in a nice place and has a very charming decor.
This place sits on a lake where you can eat in a secluded structure with AC or sit at a table on the water.
Below are the cost of our 3rd Day Tour.
On our fourth day, we have to leave early in the morning as we have to catch our flight at 12:10 PM going back to Dubai!
Thank you so much Armenia for a wonderful memories. Don’t you go changing!
I hope one day you’ll get a chance to visit this amazing country. 🙂