Armenia is a fascinating place, boasting an ancient history, a rich and extremely irrepressible culture, as well as an awe-inspiring landscape and some incredible monuments. Travelling here can be very satisfying, and although very little English is spoken, the hospitable locals will do all they can to help you.
The biggest draw of this under-visited country is its medieval monasteries that are dotted throughout the country, but its breath-taking scenery and rugged landscape also offer great appeal, especially to outdoor enthusiasts. Yerevan, recognised as one of Europe’s most intriguing cities, adds the icing on the cake of a visit to beautiful and endearing Armenia.
What To Do
The number of churches and monasteries in Armenia is huge and it is mind boggling to imagine the tales that the walls of these incredible buildings could tell. For starters, visit the stunning Geghard Monastery, carved into a rock mountain, and Tatev Monastery, located in a breathtakingly magical setting against Mt Ararat.
The capital, Yerevan, is definitely worth a visit. The stunning architecture created out of pinkish volcanic rock give the city a unique look that changes with the light throughout the day. For a burst of culture, explore some of the most famous attractions, museums and monuments including Mother Armenia Monument, Republic Square and the Vernissage Art Market.
Nature lovers will appreciate a trip to Sevan Lake and those who enjoy a tipple or two should definitely taste the delicious fruit flavoured wines.
As old as its history, Armenian cuisine is loved far and wide. The abundance of meat enjoyed in Armenian dishes, such as shashlick, can be attributed to the country’s traditional reliance on cattle breeding, while the use of cereals such as millet, barely, wheat, rice and beans is testament to the country’s fertile valleys.
Soups are a mainstay on an Armenian table, and khash, made with sheep’s feet or head, is a favourite. Vegetables and fish are consumed regularly, and no meal would be complete without the traditional Armenian bread known as lavash.
Blessed with a continental climate, this country has variable temperatures that change with the seasons. Summer can be hot, reaching 40°C, but winters are usually much colder, with snow falling in the north.
Spring sees rain although the south of the country stays dryer, and in fact there is plenty of sunshine year round. June and September are good months for visiting as temperatures are pleasant and rain is unlikely.
How To Get There
Travel to Armenia offers many options, but flying does involve a stop-over, usually in Warsaw, Athens or Vienna. The two main airports are Zvartnots International Airport and Shirak International Airport. British Airways, LOT and Aegean offer the best fares, but pick carefully as journeys can take between 8 and 18 hours. Upon arrival, Shuttle Direct can be there to collect you for your onward transfer.
For the more intrepid traveller, a train from London to Yerevan is an option, although this trip will take several days. If you have unlimited time, the trip through Istanbul and Tbilisi is a wonderful experience, and remember that Shuttle Direct can meet you at the station in Yerevan for a smooth onward journey to your accommodation.
Travelling to Armenia? Don’t Miss…
Matenadaran (The Museum of Ancient Manuscripts) in Yerevan is where you can find out about one of the oldest alphabets in the world.
Garni, the ancient site believed to date back to 3BC, is a popular attraction. Visit the Hellenistic Garni Temple built in Greco-Roman style and the mosaics in its bathhouse.
Khor Virap, the well-known pilgrimage site, is a monastery located 8km from Turkey. Views of Mt Ararat from here are breathtaking.
About Shuttle Direct:
Shuttle Direct offers low cost transfers to and from airports, cruise ports and train stations all across Armenia, and throughout Europe and North Africa. Pre-book an airport transfer via our secure online booking system, and all your onward travel arrangements can be in place before you leave home.