The Most Thrilling Adventure Activities in Armenia
Hot Air Ballooning | © Samuel Wong / Unsplash
Are you an adventurer seeking various activities to boost your adrenaline? Then consider coming to Armenia. With its diverse landscape, there are plenty of possibilities for you to have a memorable and adventurous holiday. Here are some of the most thrilling adventure activities you can do in Armenia.
Zip-line in Yell Extreme Park
Zip-lining is for extreme seekers and not for those who are afraid of heights. However, you don’t need to be a professional to enjoy this activity. The Yell Extreme Park in the village of Yenokavan, 150 km (93 miles) from Yerevan, is a great place to enjoy zip-lining. Open year-round, the park has five different lines, so you can boost your adrenaline any time you visit the country. The average visit duration is 90 minutes, including 15 minutes of special safety training, as well as walking time after each flight to get from one line to another.
In addition to the zip-lining, the park has many activities for adventure seekers, such as a rope park, paragliding, zorbing (or globe-riding), paintball, horseback riding, rock climbing, off-road tours and mountain biking.
Try hot air ballooning
If you’d like to see Armenia from a bird’s perspective, try hot air ballooning. The country’s beautiful landscape provides stunning scenery and the method of transport offers a unique experience for visitors. You’ll fly over some of the most gorgeous landscapes for about 40 minutes to an hour at 1,000 meters (3,280 ft) above the ground. This also depends on the direction you are flying and the speed of the wind. You can choose to watch the sunset or sunrise. However, take note that the whole process takes around four to five hours, including the drive to the location, the balloon set-up, and the beginning of the flight.
The activity can be enjoyed all year; just make sure you dress accordingly if you plan on flying in winter months. If you are traveling with a loved one, this is one of the most romantic activities you can plan for him or her. However, doing it with friends or family members is also a good way to have a bit of fun and an unusual experience together.
Go on various hikes in Armenia
Armenia, much like its neighbor Georgia, is a mountainous country. Therefore, hikers will enjoy following the trails through beautiful landscapes and exploring wildlife. If you love exploring nearly untouched trails, Armenia is the place to go. Some of the best hiking destinations in the country include Mount Aragats (the tallest mountain in Armenia with many different paths to its four prominent peaks), Amberd Fortress, Kari Lake, and several monasteries in the lowlands. It must be noted that the southern peak is a bit easy to trek compared to the northern one.
If you are not a mountain hiking enthusiast, but would love to enjoy a relatively easy hike, head to the Dilijan National Park and take a short hike to Jukhtakvank Monastery, Parz Lake, or even Haghartsin Monastery if you are up for a 13 km (8 mile) hike.
Ski or snowboard at Tsakhkadzor
Tsakhkadzor ski resort, located about an hour from Yerevan, is a perfect place to ski and snowboard off the beaten path. Here, the slopes don’t crust and the undisturbed snow supports your board. The ski resort is also a great place for cross-country skiers. Don’t worry if you are a beginner, the resort features slopes and paths of all levels of difficulty. The highest point for skiing is 2,819 meters (9,248 ft) and you’ll need to take a ropeway to reach all of the resort’s trails.
When the weather is nice and clear, you can even see Lake Sevan from the very first ropeway station. When you reach the peak of the mountain, you’ll enjoy the views of Mount Ararat.
Feel like a bird for a while
Armenia enjoys around 300 days of sunshine, which is the biggest advantage for paragliding. There are several companies that provide paragliding services for the country’s visitors; however, the locations of the take-off points are pretty much the same. Mountains Hatis and Gutan are very close to Yerevan and are two of the most popular destinations for those wanting to try paragliding. Mt Teghenis, known for the ski resort Tsakhkadzor, is a great place to experience paraskiing, while flying over Lake Sevan is also offered by companies. As you can see, the possibilities are plenty. You just need to decide on a place where you’d like to fly.
Armenia is home to around 350 different species of birds, 245 of which have been recorded to breed here. If you are an avid bird-watcher, visiting Armenia should be on your bucket list. The location of the country, between the Black and Caspian Seas, makes it an ideal bio-geographic bridge between Europe and Asia. Lake Arpi and Lake Sevan are home to the world’s largest breeding colonies of Armenian Gull. Additionally, Arpi is also home to a small population of Dalmatian Pelican species.
The best time to bird watch in Armenia is between May and July and again in September and October. Plan your trip to Armenia for at least eight days in order to have a full experience. There are several companies that offer birdwatching tours, so choose the company according to which birds you want to watch.
Learn about ancient astronomy
Armenia is home to one of the oldest scientific sights. Karahunge, or Zorats Karer as it’s often referred to, is a perfect example of how advanced ancient locals were regarding astronomy centuries ago. Basalt stones are vertically situated around 70,000 sq. meters (753,000 sq. ft) of land and have small holes in them. Archaeological explorations have proved that Karahunge was a functioning observatory a millennia ago. This might not be a typical adventure activity, but it’s one of the unique places you can visit here.
These recommendations were updated on June 18, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.