Armenia’s Unseen Treasures: A Joyous Journey
Nestled in the Caucasus region, Armenia has remained a hidden gem for many travellers. But those who venture to this ancient land are rewarded with breathtaking landscapes, welcoming people, and a rich cultural heritage that has been preserved for centuries. This article takes you on a journey through the hidden treasures of Armenia, from ancient ruins to vibrant festivals, and everything in between.
Discovering Armenia’s hidden gems
Armenia’s natural beauty is simply breathtaking. From lush forests to snow-capped mountains, there is always a new landscape to discover. One of the best ways to explore Armenia’s hidden gems is by hiking through its national parks. Dilijan National Park, for example, is a nature lover’s paradise, with dense forests, sparkling streams, and hidden waterfalls waiting to be explored.
From ancient ruins to stunning landscapes
Armenia is home to some of the world’s oldest and most well-preserved archaeological sites. The Temple of Garni, for instance, is an ancient pagan temple that dates back to the 1st century AD. Another must-see site is the Geghard Monastery, which is carved into a cliff and has been a place of pilgrimage for over a thousand years. And if you’re a fan of medieval architecture, then the Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are not to be missed.
The warm hospitality of locals
Armenians are known for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature. Whether you’re in a small village or a bustling city, you’re sure to be greeted with a smile and a friendly conversation. One of the best ways to experience Armenian hospitality is by staying in a homestay, where you can get a taste of local life and traditions.
Savouring traditional Armenian cuisine
Armenian cuisine is a blend of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours, with a focus on fresh ingredients and hearty dishes. Some of the must-try dishes include khorovats (grilled meat), dolma (stuffed vegetables), and lavash (a traditional flatbread). And of course, no meal is complete without a glass of Armenian brandy or wine.
A cultural journey through time
Armenia has a rich cultural heritage that dates back millennia. From ancient petroglyphs to medieval manuscripts, there are countless treasures to discover. One of the best ways to explore Armenia’s cultural heritage is by visiting its museums, such as the Matenadaran, which houses over 17,000 ancient manuscripts, or the History Museum of Armenia, which showcases the country’s history from prehistoric times to the present day.
The fascinating history of Armenia
Armenia has a long and complex history, with a rich tapestry of influences from neighbouring cultures. From the early kingdoms of Urartu and Artaxiad to the Soviet era and beyond, there is always something new to learn. And if you’re interested in the Armenian Genocide, then a visit to the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex is a must.
Unique crafts and souvenirs to take home
Armenia is known for its traditional crafts, from intricate lacework to handmade ceramics. There are plenty of markets and shops where you can find unique souvenirs to take home, such as Armenian cognac, handmade rugs, or decorative pottery. And if you’re looking for something truly special, then a visit to a master craftsman’s workshop is a must.
Excursions to off-the-beaten-path destinations
While Armenia’s major tourist destinations are certainly worth a visit, there are also plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. The Zorats Karer megalithic site, for example, is a mysterious prehistoric stone circle that rivals Stonehenge in its scale and complexity. And the Tatev Monastery, perched on a cliff overlooking a deep gorge, is one of Armenia’s most awe-inspiring destinations.
Armenia’s vibrant and colourful festivals
Armenia is a country that loves to celebrate, with a calendar full of festivals and holidays throughout the year. From the Vardavar water festival to the Yerevan Wine Days, there is always something to see and do. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during the Apricot Festival, you can indulge in all things apricot, from jams and juices to pies and pastries.
Memories to last a lifetime
Armenia is a country that leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, hiking through stunning landscapes, or savouring traditional cuisine, you’ll find yourself surrounded by warmth and hospitality at every turn. So why not embark on a joyous journey to Armenia, and discover its unseen treasures for yourself?
Armenia’s hidden gems are waiting to be discovered, from ancient ruins to stunning landscapes, warm hospitality, and vibrant festivals. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, there is something for everyone in this ancient land. So pack your bags, and get ready for a joyous journey through Armenia’s unseen treasures.