A Two-Week Travel Itinerary to Armenia

Haghpat Monastery | © Diego Delso / WikiCommons
Haghpat Monastery | © Diego Delso / WikiCommons
When planning a trip to a new destination, all you want is to make the best of your time and visit all the great places the country offers. However, coming up with an itinerary for Armenia might not be easy as it still isn’t a popular destination, and information is lacking online. But don’t you worry. We’ve got you covered! Here’s a two-week travel itinerary to Armenia for a comfortable and stress-free trip.

Day One: Arriving in Yerevan

Spend two nights here

Start your day with a full, energy boosting breakfast at one of the Yerevan cafes. Afterward, start exploring the city and stroll around the streets of Kenton. Visit the Blue Mosque and Surb Sargis Church, then climb up the Cascade to enjoy panoramic views of the city. For something a bit off the beaten path, explore the Kond district.

In the afternoon, head towards one of the most ancient urban areas in the world, the Erebuni Fortress, and get acquainted with its history. When you get hungry, try the local cuisine at several restaurants.

For late evening entertainment, check out Yerevan’s bustling bar scene.

Start your second day in Yerevan with the Armenian Genocide Museum, and learn a bit more about the horrific events of 1915. Even though it’s not a pleasant place to visit and is quite emotional, it will help you understand the culture and mentality of the city. Afterward, you can either have lunch or head towards a few of the city’s favourite contemporary art galleries.

For a relaxing afternoon, you can enjoy your time at one of the parks, and later, you may want to visit some of the museums that best suit your taste. Don’t forget to come to the Republic Square later in the evening to watch the singing fountain show.

Government House on Republic Square in Yerevan © Dan Lundberg / Flickr

Day Three – Garni and Geghard

Yerevan’s great geographical location enables visitors to go on day-trips to visit some of the must-see landmarks of the country; the possibilities are endless. For the first-day trip, head to Garni and Geghard. The Temple of Garni is the only standing Greek-Romanian colonnaded building in the country, as well as in post-Soviet countries. It’s the best example of pre-Christian Armenia located in the village of Garni, around 30 km (18.64 miles) from Yerevan.

Geghard Monastery is quite close to Garni and takes about 20 minutes to get there by car. The scenery of the monastery is truly magical. Carved out of rocks and surrounded by cliffs, Geghard is a UNESCO World Heritage Site offering breathtaking mountainous landscapes from every vantage point.

Garni Temple © Matthias Süßen / WikiCommons

Day Four – Khor Virap

On your fourth day, do another day-trip from Yerevan towards the Khor Virap monastery complex. Known for the best views of the breathtaking Mt Ararat, the area is very popular among many travelers. History buffs will enjoy learning more about the area, while nature lovers will have a fantastic day out in the wilderness surrounded by splendid mountain views.

Day Five – Sevan Lake

For your third day-trip from Yerevan, go to Sevan Lake. This enormous lake spans more than 1,000 sq. km (386 sq. miles), making it the largest lake both in the country and in the Caucasus region. If you happen to travel to Armenia in the summer, Sevan Lake is a perfect alternative to a beach resort, as many locals try to get away from the hottest days in Yerevan.

Lake Sevan © Heretiq / WikiCommons

Day Six – Arriving in Areni

Spend one night here

Near the town of Areni, there’s a beautiful monastery complex called Noravank. Because of its surroundings, many consider it to be one of the most fascinating religious buildings in Armenia. Nestled among the Red Cliffs, Noravank used to be a residence of bishops and princes. As the area is quite popular among locals and visitors, it is recommended to go early in the morning to beat the crowds and walk around freely.

Noravank Monastery and the Red Cliffs © Art Anderson / WikiCommons

Day Seven – Arriving in Tatev

Spend two nights here

The town of Tatev is home to another magnificent monastery of the same name. Situated close to the border of Iran, the Tatev Monastery sits on the top of the cliff and overlooks the breathtaking Vorontan Gorge. Therefore, to get to the monastery, you need to ride a cable car called the Wings of Tatev. From there, you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views while on your way to the monastery. Once you are done with exploring this ninth century complex, return to your guesthouse and get a good night’s sleep for the next day.

Near Tatev, about an hour-and-a-half away, is the beautiful Shaki Waterfall. Basalt lava flows have solidified to form a ledge 18 meters (59 ft) high, from which the waterfall cascades down. The place is absolutely stunning, so don’t miss out on it.

Tatev Monastery © Diego Delso / WikiCommons

Day Nine – Arriving in Dilijan

Spend two nights here

Dilijan is a spa town often called by locals as ‘Armenian Switzerland’. This is one of the most significant resorts in Armenia situated within the Dilijan National Park. Spend one day exploring the city and admiring Armenian architecture.

On the next day, do a bit of hiking in the park, which has plenty of choices of trails that accomodate all hiking levels and experiences. Adventure and nature lovers may want to ditch the city sightseeing and spend all their time in the park exploring beautiful waterfalls, Parz Lake and the monasteries within.

Lake Parz in Dilijan National Park © Ji-Elle / WikiCommons

Day Eleven – Arriving in Lori Province

Spend two nights here

For the off-the-beaten-path experience, go to Lori Province, a great example of Armenian sacred architecture. Home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Haghpat and Sanahin, as well as the well-preserved Akhtala Monastery, the area will leave you quite fascinated.

Haghpat Monastery, built in the tenth century, is a beautiful example of medieval Armenian architecture. Sanahin is very close to Haghpat, taking only 30 minutes by a car. Both monasteries are quite similar, but once you’re in the province, it’s better to see both of them. Sadly, both churches are empty today, serving as landmarks rather than monasteries.

It takes around an hour to get to Akhtala Monastery from those small villages. Akhtala is a masterpiece of medieval architecture blended with a few Byzantine elements. This well-preserved fortress protected northwestern regions of the country from invasions.

Haghpat Monastery © Diego Delso / WikiCommons

Day 13 – Arriving in Yerevan

Head back to Yerevan and do some souvenir shopping at Vernissage flea market (if it’s the weekend), relax and enjoy your last hours in the city.