Armenia is one of the oldest civilizations surviving until nowadays and it has many attractions to offer a traveler. Armenia is an open air museum with beautiful mountainous nature and variety of ancient monasteries and churches, that’s why it is one of the top travel destinations in the world. Tourists with different preferences can find the places that will interest them or the type of tourism they like.
There are different types of tours you can take in Armenia, such as cultural and historical, religious pilgrimages, soft adventures, bird watching, and hiking tours.
Matenadaran – Institute of old Manuscripts
Involve in your cultural/historical tour a visit to Matenadaran, the institute of ancient manuscripts and a visit to Tsitsernakaberd; the memorial and museum dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 byt the ottoman Turkey. It is worth to visit Sardarapat Memorial, as it is exactly the place of battle for Armenia’s successful efforts to save the nation form the Turks on May 26 in 1918.
Erebuni Museum – Urartian Language Stone
The one of the top attractions of cultural and historical places is Erebuni Fortress and Museum, where you will learn about the history of Yerevan that dates back to 782 BC founded by Argishti 1st.
You should start your religious tours from holy city of Echmiatsin, where is situated Echmiatsin Cathedral, which is the residence of the Catholicos of all Armenians of the Armenian apostolic Church. You should also visit St. Hripsime Church dedicated to one of the 40 virgins who came to Armenia escaping Roman Emperor Diocletian. The other destination in the city is St. Gayane Church, one of the finest Armenian architectural structures of the Middle Ages. The churches are also registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Best UNESCO Heritage sites are Tatev Monastery, where you will enjoy the longest rope-way in the world. Not far from it is located Zorats Karer or Karahunj – Armenian Stonehenge dating back to 5th millennium BC.
The best places for adventure tours, biking, hiking, and bird watching are Dilijan, Tsaghkadzor,Sevan, Khosrov Natural Reserve, Trchnaberd Mountain, and Lastiver.
According to National Statistical Service, 104,374 tourists visited Armenia during the first quarter of 2012. The head of the Armenia’s tourism agency has announced that the annual growth of the number of visiting tourists is 20-25%.