There are hundreds of sights in Armenia. And the choice of the tourist is truly great. But, like in any country, Armenia has its own “visiting cards”. Over the years of work, we have identified for ourselves the Top 5 attractions that are necessary to see and which tourists most often choose for their routes!
In fifth place is the well-known Lake Sevan or the Geghama Sea, as it is also called. In ancient manuscripts, it was indeed called the sea. In the cuneiform writings of ancient Urartu, the lake was called “Suiniya”.
Sevan is one of the largest alpine lakes in the world. It was formed during the formation of our planet, during the next eruption, lava blocked the movement of ancient rivers and the valley of the Geghama Range was flooded. Now Sevan feeds more than 20 rivers and streams, and the lake itself “feeds” the whole region. Sevan is not only a unique natural attraction, but also a source of fresh water, a source of fish and the famous Sevan crayfish. A large colony of Armenian gulls lives on the lake.
The shores of the lake are diverse – from sandy beaches with pine trees you move to a pebble beach with a convenient entrance to the water, and from there to the rocks of the peninsula. Near the lake there are several beautiful and ancient monasteries and an old cemetery with more than 900 khachkars from different eras. Sevan is a real pearl of Armenia.
On the fourth place is the Tatev Monastery. Or rather, the whole complex of attractions: the medieval monastery itself with a complex of buildings, the beautiful and dangerous gorge of the Vorotan River and the Wings of Tatev cable car.
The world’s longest reversible cable car, which is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records, will help you fly over the gorge, see a stormy river, and get a bird’s eye view of the Devil’s Gate and Devil’s Bridge. And to understand why the monastery was an impregnable fortress. Surrounded on three sides by a powerful wall with loopholes, from the side of the gorge it stands on a sheer cliff. An oil mill, a winery and a unique pillar warning of earthquakes and enemy attacks – all this is located just a couple of hours drive from Yerevan, in Syunik.
In third place on our list is the monastery of Khor Virap.
First of all, it is known for its legend – it is here in a deep dungeon (this is how the name of the monastery is translated – “deep dungeon”) that Gregory the Illuminator languished in captivity, who would later be pardoned and baptize first King Trdat III, and then all of Armenia in 301 . And on the site of his prison a monastery will be erected.
But besides the historical value, the monastery is known for its location. It is located on the border with Turkey, at the foot of the biblical Mount Ararat, and it is from the fortress walls of the monastery that stunning views of the mountain and the Ararat Valley open up.
Garni and Geghard
Two completely different temples – the ancient pagan temple of Garni and the medieval Christian monastery of Geghard, we combined into one attraction not by chance. Due to the proximity, tourists usually come first to Garni, and then to Geghard, as part of one trip. In addition to territorial proximity and undoubted historical value, there is nothing in common between them.
The temple in Garni was once inside the fortress walls, and many buildings were adjacent to it – baths, outbuildings. But for more than 2000 years of existence, the fortress, like the temple itself, was destroyed by the elements and man. In Soviet times, it was decided to restore the fortress temple from the ruins. Some missing parts were made again. And now we can observe the temple dedicated to the god of the Sun almost in its original form. Garni is the only monument that has survived in the territory of Armenia, belonging to the era of paganism and Hellenism.
Geghard Monastery was built later, in the 4th century AD, and after 500 years it was almost completely destroyed by the Arab conquerors. It was rebuilt in the 13th century. And since then the monastery complex has been perfectly preserved. The name Geghard, and its full name – Geghardavank, is translated as “monastery of the spear.” Here, before being transported to the Mother See of Etchmiadzin, the spear of Longinus was kept, with which they pierced the body of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
The monastery is also interesting because its churches are completely or partially carved into the rock. And in one of the temples there is a spring with holy water. Cells and utility rooms were carved into the rocks around.
The monastery is located among the rocks covered with forest and above the gorge with a stormy and beautiful river.
In the first place is one of the main attractions of Yerevan. With the exception of the Republic Square (and it is rather geographically in the first place) – this is the most visited attraction of the capital of Armenia. The cascade is loved by both tourists and locals.
In fact, the Cascade is a giant staircase with terraces, halls and waterfalls leading to the obelisk in honor of the 50th anniversary of Soviet power in Armenia. The project was designed in the master plan of 1924 by the architect Aleksandr Tamanyan. And they began to build it already in 1980 according to the project of architects J. Torosyan, S. Gyurzadyan, A. Mkhitaryan. But the Cascade was already completed after the collapse of the Union at the expense of the philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian.
In 2009, the Cascade became the way we see it now. The cascade became the cafesjian center of arts. Dozens of objects of contemporary art are exhibited here, numerous exhibitions are held. And the view from each of the five terraces has become canonical for every guidebook in Yerevan. In good weather, it is from there that a view of Ararat opens.
Of course, there are many other favorite and popular places where our guests are sure to come, such as Dilijan, Noravank, Karahunj complex, Echmiadzin, Zvartnots temple and much more, but perhaps everyone who has ever visited Armenia knows these 5 places.
Choose the tour to Armenia that suits you and we will visit all these sights together with you.