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An update from Evaneos

Best places to visit in Armenia

Armenia, a country of volcanic light, with its basalt mountains, its lakes, canyons, waterfalls, ancient churches and colourful culture, holds many different attractions. All but an island, perched on the heights of Lesser Caucasus, it boasts an incredible heritage, suited to the history of the first country to have adopted Christianity, at the beginning of the Fourth Century.

Travelling through Armenia from top to bottom, you'll discover picturesque gorges and places filled with incredible spirituality. Remote monasteries, whether still occupied or in ruins, tell the stories of the first hermits. At Geghard, Sanahin or Noravank, the ancient Armenians built their temples in harmony with the mountainous countryside, using a plain but elegant style of architecture which reaches its pinnacle with Etchmiadzin, the Armenian Vatican. This country also offers magnificent civil architectural ruins: the forts of Smbat and Amberd or the Selim caravan are all sights worth seeing.

Then there's the environment itself: the volcanic summit of Mont Aragats, the lakes of Sevan, Akna or Kari, the basalt canyon of the Azat river, the verdant mountains of Vayots Dzor: all beautiful places where you can revel in the wide open spaces, from rocky, moon-like plateaus to the temperate forests. And let's not forget the snowy peaks of Mont Ararat, towering over the Erevan plain...

As for Erevan, the lively capital, it distills Armenia down to its essence, with its cafe and restaurant culture, where you can sample the delicious cuisine; its sense of hospitality; its friendliness; its very Oriental music; its traditions and museums, where you can appreciate the creativity of the Armenian artists... At once Western and Eastern, Christian and post-Soviet, Armenia is a civilisation fully worth exploring in its own right, with its contrasts and contradictions.

Nicolas Landru
A little town hidden away in the mountains, Tsakhadzor is a spa town and popular Armenian ski resort.
Aparan (Armenia)
Aparan
2/5
Aparan, a small town that is as severe as it is picturesque, lies at the foot of Mount Aragats, Armenia's roof. A small town in the high plateaus, buffeted by the winds, dry and freezing in winter, it is an ideal point of departure for climbing Aragats.
A small, average town set in a beautiful mountainous landscape.
Urtsadzor is a small town located at the edge of the Arafat Plain. It lies in the lower foothills of both the Gegham Mountains and Khosrov National Park. Standing guarding the entrance to the high Vedi valley, it serves as a place to stop and visit on the road from southern Armenia.
Situated in the far north of Armenia, the town of Stepanavan enjoys beautiful surroundings on a high basaltic plateau, towering over picturesque canyons. In this majestic scenery, Stepanavan presents little interest to tourists however.
A small village by lake Sevan, in the foothills of the Gegham mountains, Tsaghakashen is the highest village and offers access to lake Akna and to the Eastern face of the Ajdahak mountain. Stop and visit the pretty little church of Sourp Hovhannes.
Tsapatagh is a small village on the shore of the magnificent Lake Sevan, on the southern side of its eastern shore. Although it is not very developed for seaside activities, it still has beaches and a renowned hotel. The village itself, however, has hardly any attractions.
Situated to the west of the Erevan, the capital, Zvartnots is a small, rural town that's home to a once magnificent cathedral.
Sévan (Armenia)
Sévan
1/5
An industrial city by the lake, Sevan has nothing to offer tourists; unless, that is, you like the idea of exploring a Soviet ghost town.
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