Armenia might not have a sea, but it has a natural gem that is just as beautiful; namely Lake Sevan. Sevan is a beautiful destination located on the shores of the river. Situated 1905 meters above sea level, Sevan is the perfect town to head to on hot summer days to take a fresh dip, and when the weather is not good enough to swim, you can still enjoy a delicious local fresh fish barbecue by the lake. The most popular sight of interest there is the monastery Sevanavank. This historic church is beautiful for the crude black stones which make up its exterior design and the stunning old altar located inside. It is also the best spot to enjoy stunning views of the vast lake.
Kapan, the biggest city in Syunik, is the perfect town to go to to unwind, enjoy breathtaking natural views of high mountains and beautiful valleys, and breathe fresh air. The name itself comes from ‘kapel,’ meaning to lock, referring to the interlocking chains of mountains converging in Kapan. Kapan’s downtown area is of the most pleasant with its relaxing leafy parks, water streams, and outdoor cafés. Visitors can also head to the 9th century monastery, Vahanavank, which is about 7 km away from the town to see the place which was once the religious center for the kings of Syunik.
Dilijan is a major spa town in the province of Tavush, which is most famous for its mineral water curing fountains. A favorite destination among both locals and tourists, the green town offers quite a number of lovely hotels and sanatoriums, giving visitors the opportunity to take in the beauty of the surrounding National Park and the impressive historical sights. Locals sometimes refer to Dilijan as the ‘Little Switzerland’ or ‘Switzerland of Armenia.’ This beautiful forested town also boasts some traditional Armenian architecture, especially in the ‘old town,’ and is the perfect spot for mountain biking, hiking and even picnicking.
Jermuk is a relaxing little town famous for its mild climate, stunning nature and healing mineral waters. Many visitors to Jermuk come for health treatment purposes, making it the number one town for health resorts. You can also go to the different water stations where you can try the fresh sparkling water at varying temperatures. In total, there are around 40 hyper-thermal mineral wellsprings in Jermuk. One of the other main attractions in town is the Jermuk waterfall, the second largest in the country with waters falling from an altitude of 68 meters.
Situated in Armenia’s Lori Province, Odzun is an important and beautiful historic village located on a plateau above the left banks of the Debed River gorge. Natural landscapes in the area are breathtaking, especially when viewed from the very famous Odzun Church which overlooks the gorge. The ancient 5th century Church itself is worth visiting, and is actually the main attraction in this town, as it has one of the most stunning basilicas in the country with the finest cupola.
Situated north of the capital Yerevan, Tsaghkatsor is the most popular spa town and ski resort. This small laid back town is the perfect vacation spot for all seasons. In the summer, the weather usually stays sunny and mild, allowing visitors to take the ropeway lifts to enjoy breathtaking mountainous views, and have a picnic surrounded by peaceful and green sceneries. In the cold winter, visitors can rent all the ski equipment that they need locally to go skiing or snowboarding down the mountain. The equipment prices are low in comparison to the rest of the world, making it an attractive ski destination for many. It is also one of the Armenian towns with the best tourism infrastructure development including luxury hotels, entertainment facilities and incredible fine dining options.
Ashtarak is known to be one of the most ancient settlements in Armenia. As such, it offers numerous cultural and historical monuments which showcase the country’s prominent architectural features. Indeed, the town was first mentioned as a rural settlement in the 9th century. There are a number of churches to visit, each with their own stories attached to them. Another interesting sight of interest is the 17th century bridge built on the Kasagh River, which is situated in the gorge right below the beautiful church of Surp Sarkis.
Armenia’s rich cultural heritage is visible everywhere you look, especially in the country’s stunning capital city of Yerevan. Most buildings are of an early Soviet architectural style, and the city also hosts a couple of large scale postmodern wonders. Yerevan is sometimes referred to as the ‘Pink City’ because of the pink color of the tuff stones used for making the buildings. Armenia’s capital is home to a number of art galleries showcasing the work of talented local artists, as well as history and culture museums to visit. Those on a culinary tour will also be delighted to hear that most Armenian gatherings center on food, and that Yerevan is home to a wide range of restaurants offering the best of Armenian cuisine.
Located in the province of Kotayk, Arzakan is a beautiful little village home to the popular mountain resort, Aghveran. Many go there just to relax and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Visitors of Arzakan can also enjoy the large 10th century ruins of the once-beautiful monastery called Neghutsi Vank, which is situated along a ravine northwest of the small town, and the 13th century ruins of another majestic monastery named Ghuki Vank.