Looking for a new exciting adventure? Many people can’t even find Armenia on a map, making it all the more appealing for the adventurous traveler. After spending three months living in this gorgeous country, I can offer some of the best places to explore:
1. Yerevan: The capital of Armenia is by far the most modernized part of Armenia. In the summer, outdoor cafés and restaurants are open late—filled with live music, dancing, and of course, delicious food. I highly recommend Parvana, a wonderful restaurant on the Hrazdan River.
With Yerevan as your base, you can easily visit Echmiadzin, the Holy See of the Armenian Apostolic Church, as well as the Hellenistic temple of Garni, and Geghard, an extraordinary monastery that is partly carved out of a canyon. Be sure not to miss the Genocide Museum and the Erebuni Fortess, which dates from the 8th century B.C.
2. Dilijan: One of the most beautiful places in Armenia, this town is surrounded by a nature reserve. Dilijan, often compared to Switzerland, is a nature lover’s dream, known for its scenic views and extensive wildlife. Dilijan is one Armenia’s many regions that offers horseback riding, hiking, biking, and more.
3. Lake Sevan: This mountain-enclosed lake, one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world, is the perfect place for boating, fishing, or just a relaxing day at the beach. Visit the Sevanavank Monastery during your trip and eat at the Ashot Yerkat restaurant close by.
Note: NG Traveler now publishes an Armenian edition four times a year in Armenia.
Photos: Above, Andrew Behesnilian via Intelligent Travel's Flickr pool; below, Kara Marston