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Traumhafte Kulisse in Armenien, Bild: Leonid Andronov / shutterstock

Armenia – untouched nature in the Caucasus

Many people don’t even know where Armenia is. But the small country in the Caucasus is full of myths and legends. A real insider tip for nature lovers. Armenia’s history is long and eventful, and the country is also home to an incredible variety of different landscapes and treasures from the past. The state is more unknown than it should be, because the old monasteries, the small villages, the flower meadows, the rocks and caves make this country unique. The Armenian population is incredibly warm and helpful, and the country is also considered one of the safest in the world.

Interesting facts about Armenia

Armenia is located in a high mountain range and borders Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran and Georgia. It is the oldest Christian country in the world and is home to almost three million inhabitants. In the capital, English is spoken in addition to Armenian and Russian, outside of Yerevan only the fewest locals understand English. The country is about the size of Brandenburg and is very warm in summer and very cold in winter. The average Armenian earns less than $100 per month, converted to Armenian dram. Outside the cities, it is very difficult to get around by bus, but hitchhiking is a good alternative. A trip to Armenia is particularly worthwhile between April and October, because then the apricots and grapes on the orchards are ripe and the flower meadows are in full bloom.

In the capital, pink dominates

Yerevan with a view of Aragat
Yerevan with a view of the Aragat Mountains, Image: GaroManjikian / shutterstock

There is a lot of volcanic rock in Armenia and it used to be used to build houses. The rock is pink to red in color and bathes the cities in a warm light. Unfortunately, the traditional architecture was lost under Soviet rule, and many buildings were built in the typical Soviet-modern style. After the end of the Soviet Union, most of these buildings were simply not built on and ended up as haunted houses, and in some cases there are even entire ghost towns in Armenia. The half-finished houses make a visit very exciting. Yerevan seems neglected in some places, but the city exudes a charm of its own. Many cafés and restaurants in the public squares invite you to linger. In the city center is the Republic Square, where a show with music, fireworks and fountains takes place every evening at 9 pm. The event has become a ritual for the inhabitants and you quickly come into contact with the friendly people. If you want to learn about Armenian history, you should visit the Genocide Museum .

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The past lives in Odzun

The small village of Odzun has been largely spared from the communist era. Odzun is located on a plateau above a gorge and offers excellent views over the surrounding landscape. The basilica dates back to the 7th century and transports the holidaymaker to another time. In general, there are a lot of historic buildings in the city, so you can’t avoid a visit.

Dilijan – A famous spa town

The Medieval Monastery of Noravank, Armenia
The medieval Noravank Monastery, Image: Mike Ilchenko / shutterstock

Dilijan is the most popular resort in Armenia. It is located in the national park of the same name and is surrounded by dense pine forests. The air is very clean and water shoots out of the fountains with healing properties. The monasteries of Haghartsin and Gshavank can be hiked from here and there are many hotels in the city. Many craftsmen have settled here and offer their handmade goods. With Jermuk, the country has another famous spa town. There are 40 mineral water springs and the second largest waterfall in Armenia, which plunges 63 meters into the depths.

Armenian cuisine

Armenian food is very healthy and mostly locally grown. The people in Armenia are very hospitable and like to invite tourists to eat, even though you haven’t exchanged a single word before. The food is fantastic, so you shouldn’t turn down the invitations. For breakfast there is fresh fruit, dried fruit or homemade jams. At lunchtime, for example, there are the national dishes Harisa, Horovats or Tolma. Harisa is a type of muesli and is made with roasted meat. Tolma are grape leaves filled with vegetables and meat, and horovats is the traditional Armenian barbecue. Humus, bulgur and flatbread round off the meal. The cost of living in Armenia is very low, so you can get a full meal for the equivalent of one to two euros.

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The highest mountain in Armenia

The Aragat is more than 4,000 meters high and is covered in snow in summer, which is why you should pay attention to the right clothing when exploring. On the mountain itself there are many forts, old monasteries and flower meadows. The shepherds drive their sheep across the pastures and sell their handmade products. Relaxation is definitely on offer with the breathtaking view.

The Armenian Sea

Armenia has no access to the sea, but it has a good substitute. Lake Sevan is located at an altitude of 1,900 meters and is one of the largest high mountain lakes in the world. It is very popular with locals and tourists because it is pleasantly cool in summer. There are now several hotels in the region and diving, boating and windsurfing round off the program. A few meters away from the lake you will find the quiet landscapes and the beautiful monastery complexes.

The monastery grounds

There are a large number of monasteries in the country, because the country has been Christian for a very long time. Some are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and are accessible.