Armenia

Armenia is one of the few remaining European countries that truly, really gets far less tourists than it deserves. This small country between Europe and the Middle East has delicious food, friendly people, and an incredibly rich history and culture. To top it off, the monasteries in Armenia are some of the most fascinating in the world, many of them perched in strikingly scenic settings.

Travel-worthiness verdict: A great choice if visiting the region

Cultural Icons: Monasteries, smoking culture, great cuisine

Prices: Cheap. It is, believe it or not, still “Eastern European cheap”.

You’ll love: The off-the-beaten-path factor, the rich history, the monasteries, the friendly people, the cheap eats, cheap lodging, cheap taxis

You’ll hate: Smoking culture, some scams here and there, towns are run-down and uninteresting outside Yerevan, closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan

Difficulties traveling: There are fewer English speakers in the Caucasus than in other areas of Europe. The infrastructure is also noticeably less advanced than in other places on the continent.

Language(s): Armenian, Russian also widely spoken

Culture, Arts, and Society: Being the world’s first Christian country, Armenia has a fascinating religious heritage. Many of its best tourist sights are its atmospheric, old monasteries, built in a unique Armenian style. Armenia’s culture is influenced by cultures of neighboring countries, but retains distinctly unique elements. This is especially evident in Armenia’s music and dance. There is a lot of national pride. Even the rock music of Armenia is largely influenced by the ancient folk tunes of its heritage.

Ethnic Makeup: 98% Armenian

Food: Armenia has a rich cuisine, largely influenced by the cuisines of its neighbors.

 

Top Destinations

Yerevan: Laid back capital and one of the oldest cities in the world. The museums do a great job of explaining this small country’s fascinating history.

Northern Armenia: Debed Canyon and the Dilijan area are home to gorgeous scenery and beautiful monasteries.

Garni Temple and Geghard Monastery: These two sights are two of Armenia’s highlights, and make a great day trip from Yerevan.

 

 

 

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