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5 reasons to travel to Armenia

Feel like taking a trip to Armenia but are still not quite sure? Here are 5 good reasons to choose this still little known destination.

Discover the rich history of the first Christian country

Armenia is one of the oldest countries in the world! In existence since antiquity, Armenian culture was forged under the influence of the different powers (Persian, Greek, Roman, Arab, Byzantine, Turkish...) that over the centuries, exerted a more or less long dominion on the region. Other specificity: Armenia is the world's first Christian country. The Christian religion became the state religion as early as the 4th century AD, which has deeply affected the country's identity.

This history which is both rich and ancient is palpable all throughout the country. It rises to the fore at the top of a plateau on the Greek site of Garni, in the middle of a plain opposite mount Ararat in the form of the monastic complex of Kor Virap, or again at the turn of a street in Yerevan in between Soviet buildings and the city's blue mosque.

Meeting a warm population

In the Caucasus, hospitality is not a vain word and Armenia is no exception to the rule. On the contrary! As the country is not yet very touristic, here the visitor is not considered a tourist but a foreigner with all the consideration and well-meaning curiosity that goes with it. If you are lost, Armenians will not hesitate to come to your assistance, making all the efforts in the world to be of help despite their broken or even nonexistent English. It is not uncommon either to be invited to sit down at table to share a meal - or rather a feast - with perfect strangers.

Taste a gastronomy born of multiple influences

If the different civilizations that conquered Armenia left their mark in the architecture, it is much the same for the cuisine. Persian, Mediterranean, Arab and Russian influences, in particular, are clearly visible. The gastronomy is so tasty and atypical in Armenia that its discovery is a part of the trip in its own right. You will thus be able to treat yourself to a delicious meal with an infinite variety of meat, either grilled or in sauce prepared with fruits such as pomegranates or apricots. Vegetarians will also be kept happy with a variety of salads and cheeses.

Give a taste of adventure to your trip

At once poor and barely touristic, Armenia does not dispose of much infrastructure. You therefore have to show a little resourcefulness in order to travel throughout the length and breadth of the country. Everything can be negotiated: a 200 mile journey by taxi, an improvised meal in a guest house in the remote mountains, a car-share to get to the nearest town when a thunderstorm takes you by surprise in the middle of a hike, the discovery of magnificent places that are just not shown in the tourist guides. In short, when you go to Armenia, being open to others is an integral part of the trip.

Admire the authenticity and variety of the scenery

A country situated in the highlands with over 90% of its territory over 3280 feet, Armenia nevertheless possesses a great variety of scenery. In the north, you find thick forests and mountains that remind you somewhat of the Alps. In the south, the dryer climate has fashioned a steppe landscape reminding us that the country is one of the gateways to Asia. Beyond this variety of scenery, what is fascinating is the authenticity of nature. With a low level of urbanisation, the country conceals preserved places and you will not fail to be won over by the savage beauty that you find all across Armenia.
Rémi Manesse
68 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018
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