The Best Day Trips From Yerevan

Noravank Monastery
Noravank Monastery | © Moreau.henri / WikiCommons

Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, is a charming city full of ancient history and good food. It also has a diverse mix of old traditions and modern culture. With a perfect geographical location, Yerevan is a great base from which visitors can take day trips and explore the best of Armenia.

1. Lake Sevan

Natural Feature

© Baia Dzagnidze

At just more than 1,000 square kilometres (621.4 square miles), Lake Sevan is the largest lake in the country and in the Caucasus region, and it’s among the largest freshwater high-altitude lakes in Eurasia. Lake Sevan is a perfect getaway for nature and beach lovers, as it is surrounded by snow-covered mountains, clear coast and one of the most spectacular monasteries in Armenia, Sevanavank Monastery, which was founded here in 874 AD by Princess Mariam Bagratuni.

2. Armenian Alphabet Monument


Armenian Alphabet Monument
© Edgar Keshishian / WikiCommons

Visiting the Armenian Alphabet Monument is one of the more awesome things to do in the country. Just a 50-minute drive from the city, these 39 giant stone letters were installed in 2005 to commemorate the 1,600th birthday of the Armenian alphabet. The area was chosen carefully, as it’s the final resting place of Mesrop Mashtots who is credited with creating the alphabet.

3. Khor Virap

Church, Monastery

Khor Virap
© MrAndrew47 / WikiCommons

For amazing views of Mount Ararat, head to Khor Virap monastery, which is also one of the most important historical sites in the country. The drive from the city takes around 45 minutes. This is where King Trdat III imprisoned Gregory the Illuminator (a patron saint and the first official leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church) for 13 years until Gregory cured the king of his many ailments. The king’s recovery made him a believer in Christianity, which became the first religion of the nation.

5. Geghard Monastery

Church, Monastery

Geghard Monastery
© Սէրուժ Ուրիշեան (Serouj Ourishian) / WikiCommons

This medieval monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is partly carved out of solid rock. Geghard Monastery was founded by Gregory the Illuminator in the 4th century, but the main chapel was constructed only at the beginning of the 13th century. The complex was originally called Ayrivank, which translates to ‘the Monastery of the Cave’. The current name, Geghard, means ‘Monastery of the Spear’, named for a spear kept at the monastery that is said to have wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion and was brought to the country by St. Jude the Apostle.

6. Karahunge

Archaeological site

Zorats Karer,
© Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Karahunge, also referred to as Zorats Karer, is a prehistoric archaeological site that many foreigners refer to as the Armenian Stonehenge. The vertical basalt stones are scattered across an open area and cover approximately 70 square kilometres (43.5 square miles). Archaeological explorations have shown that it is likely the area was used as an observatory and is at least 3,500 years older than Stonehenge.

7. Byurakan Observatory

Natural Feature

© Rita Willaert / WikiCommons

Byurakan Observatory is a great day trip for those who love space. Built during Soviet times, Byurakan served as Armenia’s premier astronomical centre. Back in the day, it housed the largest telescope in the USSR and played an important part in bringing the country into the modern scientific field.

8. Tatev Monastery and Shaki Waterfall

Church, Monastery, Natural Feature

Tatev Monastery
© Marcin Konsek / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

For those who want to get off the beaten track, Tatev Monastery is a great choice. Close to the Iran border, the monastery sits on the top of a cliff overlooking the beautiful Vorotan gorge. Built in the 9th century, Tatev Monastery is known for its gorgeous yet spooky ambiance. To get to the monastery, visitors take a cableway called Wings of Tatev, which offers breathtaking panoramic views. Once across, visitors can explore the monastery, as well as the Harsnadzor Watchtower and Devil’s Bridge, a natural bridge set on the river. Nature lovers should be sure to also visit Shaki Waterfall, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from here.

9. Noravank Monastery

Church, Monastery

Noravank Monastery 2
© Art Anderson / WikiCommons

Many consider Noravank to be among the most stunning monasteries in Armenia. It is surrounded by red cliffs, and it was previously a residence for princes and bishops. Surprisingly, the monastery, built in 1205, even survived the Mongol attacks to the region. To avoid big tourist crowds, it’s best to go early in the morning to freely wander the grounds. Those who want to learn about the history should visit the small museum inside the monastery that also has exhibits of medieval artworks and artefacts.

10. Dilijan National Park

Natural Feature

Dilijan National Park
© Armineaghayan / WikiCommons
Dilijan is surrounded by thick forests, gorgeous mountains and a national park renowned for its healing mineral water springs. The park is home to significant cultural sites, such as Goshavank Monastery, Haghartsin Monastery, Akhnabat church, and Kukhtak Vank. Bird watchers should be sure to make a stop here.
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article