Hear about a road trip in Armenia as the Amateur Traveler talks to John from JohnTheTraveler.com about his recent visit to this former Soviet country in the Caucasus Mountains.
Why should you go to Armenia?
John says, “Armenia is full of lots of surprises, and it’s really not that well known to a lot of people, especially in North America, unless they have a connection to Armenia. A lot of people ask me, are you Armenian? No, I’m just traveling. But Armenia has a lot of history and a lot of interesting things to see.”
We begin our adventure by immersing ourselves in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. Stroll through the bustling streets, soak in the sounds of the Armenian language, and discover the captivating history of the region. Our first stop is the Armenian Genocide Memorial complex, Tsitsernakaberd, where we pay tribute to the victims and learn about the resilience of the Armenian people.
Continuing our exploration of Yerevan, we venture into the Kentron District, known for its architecture. Enjoy a leisurely walk in Charles Aznavour Square, named after the legendary French-Armenian singer, and then delve into the world of art at the Cafesjian Museum of Art which is itself a work of art. From there, catch a glimpse of the majestic Mount Ararat from Victory Park.
As we venture further into Armenia’s rich history, we make a stop at the Erebuni Fortress, an ancient stronghold that dates back to 782 BC. The journey continues to Etchmiadzin Cathedral, the mother church of the Armenian Apostolic Church, and Khor Virap, a monastery famous for its stunning views of Mount Ararat.
On a day trip from the city, we head on a scenic drive to the ancient temple of Garni. Marvel at its well-preserved Hellenistic architecture and take a breathtaking hike through the Garni Gorge. Our next destination is Geghard, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its cave monastery.
Prepare to be enchanted by the picturesque landscapes of Areni, where we explore the renowned wine region and visit the Noravank Monastery, nestled amidst towering red cliffs. Our road trip then leads us to Goris, a charming town surrounded by natural wonders, including the enchanting Khndzoresk cave village.
One of the highlights of our journey awaits us at Wings of Tatev, the world’s longest reversible aerial tramway between Halidzor and the Tatev monastery.
In the Vorotan Valley John discovered the views of the Vorotan River, Vorotnavank Monastery. and the historic Vorotnaberd fortress. Also near Sisian is Zorats Karer (or Carahunge), often referred to as the “Armenian Stonehenge.”
Our road trip takes us to the Shaki Waterfall and the Jermuk Waterfall before we proceed to the shores of Lake Sevan. On the way, we explore the ancient Orbelian’s Caravanserai and the unique Noratus cemetery.
Continuing our journey, we visit the Hayravank Monastery and the Sevanavank Monastery, perched atop the picturesque Lake Sevan peninsula. From there, we drive through the scenic forests of Dilijan and discover the hidden gem of Haghartsin Monastery.
Our road trip takes us to the charming towns of Ijevan and Alaverdi, where we explore the awe-inspiring Sanahin Monastery and pay homage to the Armenian Alphabet Monument. Marvel at the grandeur of Mount Aragats and visit the Saghmosavank and Hovhannavank monasteries before reaching our final destination.
If you have more time than a week John suggests a trip up to the Earthquake ravaged city of Gyumri in the north.
Snocapped mountains, rich history, and wonderful people await you in Armenia.
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John the Traveler
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Kantar, Yerevan – 2023 Prices & Reviews – Hostelworld
Armenian Genocide Memorial complex (Tsitsernakaberd)
Charles Aznavour Square, Yerevan
Cafesjian Museum of Art
Victory Park, Yerevan
Cathedral of Avan
Republic Square, Yerevan
Wings of Tatev
Melik Tangi Bridge (Vorotan)
Shaki Waterfall (Sisian)
Old Bridge Winery, B&B and Restaurant
Armenian Alphabet Monument
Swift – Rent a Car
All Saviors (Surp Amenaprkitch) Church
Iron Fountain in Gyumri, Armenia
Extraordinary Armenia: An Underrated Country with Plenty to Offer
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