Armenia may be a small country but it truly has so much to do! These are the best places to visit in Armenia – from well-known places to off-the-path tourist attractions in Armenia that you probably have not heard of!
This guide details some of our favorite places to see in Armenia and we break them all down by region (marz), so you can explore places close by if you have your sights set on a specific place.
What is your favorite destination in Armenia? Let us know in the comments! Thanks!
Places to Visit in Yerevan
One of the most popular Soviet Modernism constructions in Yerevan is the fascinating Cascade Complex.
It truly is one of the gems of Yerevan! There are some fantastic Yerevan cafes situated here and it is one of our favorite places to go for a stroll!
Made of beautiful limestone the masterpiece monument is located in the city center and it’s a stairway that connects the upper part of Yerevan to downtown.
Unique construction contains in it many stone artworks, on each level, garden with open-air exhibitions and also is possible to see many wonderful exhibits of contemporary arts from around the world in Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Cascade.
Address: 10 Tamanyan St
Yerevan is also a unique city because unlike many other world capitals, it has an amazing and impressive gorge crossing through the city center and connecting one part of Yerevan to the other.
Hrazdan Gorge is one of the hidden gems of Yerevan that is connected to the city center by an old Soviet-era tunnel where it is possible to see a partially abandoned Children’s Railway, an old aqueduct, an ancient red bridge, the Hrazdan River, and more!
Erebuni Museum Archaeological Preserve
Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world founded approximately in 782 BC and you can see a lot of the history of the city at the Erebuni Museum Archaeological Preserve.
Located in the southern part of the Yerevan on the hill of Arin Berd (also knowns as Red Hill) it is possible to visit the first settlements of Yerevan, the Urartian Fortress Erebouni, where Argishti I was living in his palace.
The museum is filled with ancient constructions, artifacts, and much more! It is one of the best places to visit in Yerevan!
Address: 38 Erebuni St
Dancing Fountains at Republic Square
A beloved place for locals and tourists to enjoy the warm Yerevan nights and witness an exciting and colorful fountain show … the Dancing Fountains are Soviet-era fountains that put on a musical show every evening during the warmer months in the heart of Republic Square.
Home of ancient manuscripts, the Matenadaran a unique place where it is possible to see one of the biggest collections of Armenian and international manuscripts from different centuries.
Located in the center of Yerevan, it is a captivating building that is impressive both from inside and outside and should definitely be on your Armenia bucket list!
Address: 53 Mesrop Mashtots Ave
Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex
One of the most important monuments in Armenia the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex that was constructed in honor of the victims of the Armenia Genocide by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
The construction of the unique monument started in 1967 (architect = Arthur Tarkhanyan) and has historical symbolism in each element of it. In addition, it is possible to see a museum underground when you’re visiting the complex.
Each year on April 24, there is a big memorial ceremony there.
Address: 8 Tsitsernakaberd Highway
The oldest existing Iranian Shia Mosque in Armenia is located in Yerevan and was constructed in 1768. It is known as the Blue Mosque as a result of its colorful details and accents of blue throughout.
The Blue Mosque is open for visitors where it is possible to get more familiar with the history of the construction, relax in a lovely garden, and photograph the architecture of it.
Address: 12 Mesrop Mashtots Ave
The biggest flea market in Armenia is called Vernissage and it is one of the most popular places in Yerevan and a beloved place for both tourists and locals.
Located in the city center next to Republic Square the Vernissage is offering wide varieties of Armenian handmade souvenirs, clothing, artworks, carpets, soviet-era accessories, and many more.
Address: 1, 3 Buzand St
Sergei Parajanov Museum
Probably the most fascinating and unique museum in Armenia (maybe even throughout the whole Caucasus!) is the museum of Armenian filmmaker, artist, and director Sergei Parajanov.
He is most famous for the film The Color of Pomegranates and at the Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan, you can see memorabilia from his life and masterpieces… and more.
It is one of the best things to do in Yerevan, without a doubt!
Address: Dzoragyugh 1st St
Yerevan Botanical Garden
Located out of the city center and in the Avan district, the Yerevan Botanical Garden is a spacious slice of nature in the city where it is possible to jog, photograph, picnic, play games, and more.
The most interesting part of the area is the Soviet-era greenhouse where you will see a large display of plants, small pools, and stairs to walk up to observe the greenhouse.
The Botanical Gardens is in a state of repair and hopefully it will breathe a bit of new life into the place! Either way, it is a cool place to visit!
Address: 15 Lepsiusi Street
Ararat Brandy Company
One of the points of pride in Armenia (and our symbol of top-quality spirits) is the Ararat Brandy Company. It is the home of the legendary Ararat Brandy (Cognac).
Since 1887, the Ararat factory has been making and perfecting brandy and offering tours to see the history of the beverage and try the drink that was a favorite of Winston Churchill.
Address: 2 Admiral Isakov Ave
Karen Demirtchian Sport / Concert Complex
One of the masterpieces of Soviet Modernist architecture in Yerevan is the impressive Karen Demirtchian Sport / Concert Complex that is also known as Hamalir.
It is visually one of the most fascinating constructions in Armenia and the entire Caucasus region.
Built next to Tsitsernakaberd hill in 1983, it is the biggest sports and concert complex in the country and has 184 stairs leading to it that are decorated with beautiful stones and water fountains.
Address: 1 Tsitsernakaberd Highway
Yerevan Noy Wine Brandy Vodka Factory
Also known as the Noy Factory, the massive alcohol-producing factory was founded during the Russian Empire times in 1877 close to the territory of the Yerevan Fortress.
The factory offers unforgettable and amazing tours from underground sellers to historical buildings where you will see and sample the premium class brandy and wines.
Address: 9 Argishti St
Saryan Wine Street
As you wander along Saryan Street, you will find some really hip bars and restaurants and you will also find some exciting museums. The museum for artist Martiros Saryan is located there as well as a museum dedicated to poet Hovhannes Tumanyan.
During May, this is also the place where Yerevan Wine Days takes place!
This lovely and well-maintained park in Yerevan is located on Baghramyan street next to the metro station and is one of the most beloved parks in Yerevan for locals, tourists, and couples to hang out.
Head to Lovers Park and enjoy the wonderful terraces, co-work in a cafe, see open-air concerts, and more.
Address: 21 Marshal Baghramyan Ave
One of the oldest neighborhoods in Yerevan is called Kond. The Kond District is a hidden land of forgotten history, small homes, and street art in the city center of Yerevan.
Located on a little hill in the city center, Kond has transformed into the city’s most colorful neighborhood as street art adorns the buildings and narrow alleys.
This is definitely a cool little stop in Yerevan!
Places to Visit in Ararat Region
Khor Virap Monastery
One of the most iconic symbols of Armenia and Christianity is Khor Virap Monastery, located an hour away from Yerevan in the Ararat region in the unique Ararat Valley location overlooking the Ararat Mountain.
Khor Virap Monastery used to be a Royal Prison and where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years by King Tiridates III.
After surviving and getting out, in 301 AD, he made Armenia the first Christian Nation in the World.
Getting to Khor Virap from Yerevan is pretty easy and there are plenty of tours that will take you there!
Khosrov Forest State Reserve
One of the most popular national parks and reserves in Armenia is the Khosrov Forest State Reserve.
The protected area is where travelers can embark on scenic hikes, camping adventures, historical sites, some of the most famous waterfalls in Armenia, and witness the unique wildlife in Khosrov Forest.
The 1700-years-old Khosrov Forest State Reserve is located in the Ararat region about 2 hours away from Yerevan and was named in honor of Armenian king Khosrov because it was his royal hunting forest.
The ancient settlements of Dvin are located near Dvin Village in the Ararat region about 45 minutes away from Yerevan.
These ruins date back to the 3rd-century BC! This is one of the best day trips from Yerevan if you’re into history.
During its long history, Dvin once was the capital of the Armenian kingdom during Khosrov II in the 4th-century.
It was an epicenter for trade for around 13 centuries and was even a base of Katholikos of Armenia at one point.
Located only one hour away in Vedi in the Ararat region, you will end up in a jagged, red rock canyon called Angels’ Canyon (Hreshtakneri Dzor in Armenian).
This awe-inspiring landmark in Armenia is a beloved place for hikers and rock climbers where locals and travelers are hiking to explore the area and take interesting photos.
For extreme sports lovers and exactly for rock climbers, Hell’s Canyon in the Ararat region is a must-visit place if you’re an adventurer and looking to see some of Armenia’s best scenery.
It is often referred to as Aratso Dzor (Aratso Canyon).
Resembling bloody, red-colored rocks, the canyon is still a bit undiscovered and has several hidden corners, waterfalls, caves, and other natural spots that will take your breath away!
Surrounded by colorful, rigid mountains with unusual layers, Azat Reservoir is located less than an hour away from Yerevan in the Ararat region (although most people mistake it for being in Kotayk).
Azat Reservoir is not only one of the most beloved places for hiking for locals and travelers but is also a place where you can go fishing, camping, and just enjoy the serene sounds of being away from the city.
Places to Visit in Vayots Dzor Region
Areni Wine Village
Areni Wine Village is probably the oldest wine-making and production place in the world that we currently know of and it is an essential place to visit in Armenia.
Located in the Vayots Dzor region and surrounded by picturesque and colorful mountains, Areni village is on everyone’s list to visit to try the local wine, hike to the church located up in the rocks, and participate in one of the most famous wine festivals in Armenia known as the Areni Wine Fest.
This festival takes place each year in October and is a blast! Be sure to also book a stay at Anapat Canyon when youʻre there – it is one of our favorite places to stay in Armenia!
The 13th-century Noravank Monastery is another very popular historical sight located in the Vayots Dzor region and situated in a very picturesque setting.
After passing Areni village, you will and enter a narrow cliff road to the monastery where you will see red cliffs, colorful mountains, and the powerful Amaghu River.
Noravank Monastery is one of the most visited places in Armenia and its setting makes it unique to pretty much just about any other monastery – so be sure to add it to your Armenia itinerary!
Jermuk Hot Springs
Armenia is a land of mountains and extinct volcanoes, so you will find many unique sights throughout like the Jermuk Hot Springs.
Jermuk is a popular spa town in the Vayots Dzor region where it is possible to drink famous Jermuk mineral water at different temperatures and the minerals contained are exceptional for your health.
In addition, it is possible to bathe in the springs! You can venture to the mountains around Jermuk and soak in the hot springs.
The 8th-century Tanahat Monastery is located in the Vayots Dzor mountains and is another place that you should stop by after visiting Areni.
Just like many other religious centers, Tanahat Monastery has a rich history and survived an earthquake but it contains some of the most interesting stone artwork such as details where an eagle clawed a ram or where a lion attacks a bull.
In 2008 near Areni village in the Vayots Dzor region, archaeologists discovered the world’s oldest winery dating back over 6100 years to the Early Bronze Age in a cave called the Areni-1 Cave.
The impressive cave is located alongside the Arpa River where inside it is possible to see the ancient wine barrels where the wine was once made as well as human remains from ceremonial burials.
You can also see the cave where the oldest leather shoe was discovered (5,500 years old).
Stretching between the Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor regions, the famous Selim Pass was part of the Great Silk Road that passed through Armenia.
Selim Pass Caravanserai (also called Orbelian’s) dates back to the 14th-century and the buildings are covered with medieval stone works and ornaments and was where caravans used to stop by and spend a night before continuing on their journey west.
Tsaghats Kar Monastery
Tsaghats Kar Monastery is another historical monastery that was built in the mountains of the Vayots Dzor region near the Yeghegis River, very close to Smbataberd Fortress.
The 10th-century church is covered with ancient stone ornaments, khachkars, and other ruins nearby and it is iconic because of its beautifully-situated location.
Another historic site in Armenia that was part of the Great Silk Road is Orbelian’s Caravanserai. It was constructed in 1332 in Vayots Dzor region in the Vardenis Mountains at an elevation of 2400 meters.
Also called Selim Caravanserai, Orbelian’s was a stopping point for caravans along the Silk Road.
At 72m high, Jermuk Waterfall is one of the most iconic places in the Vayots Dzor region and is a famous place to visit in the spa town.
The waterfall is unique as it is a sliding waterfall and the water drops into the Arpa River.
The local legend refers to the waterfall as “the hair of the mermaid” because the girl was using her hair to help her beloved man climb up to her.
In between Artabuynk and Yeghegis villages, you will find one of the most renowned fortresses in Armenia called the Smbataberd Fortress.
The 10th-century fortress is located in the Vayots Dzor region and was constructed by Bagratuni King Smbat II and over the centuries, it became one of the most interesting places to visit in Armenia.
On your way back, be sure to stop in Arin village and check out the Lenin statue!
Places to Visit in Kotayk Region
The Temple of Garni
The Temple of Garni is Armenia’s famous and well-preserved Greco-Roman Pagan temple built by King Tiridates I in 1AD to worship the sun god Mihr. It was also used as a summer house for royal families.
The gorgeous Temple of Garni is located 30 minutes away from Yerevan in the village of Garni in the Kotayk region right on the edge of the mind-blowing gorge surrounded by the Gegham mountains.
Arzakan Hot Springs
Lovey Arzakan village in the Kotayk region is only an hour and a half away from Yerevan and presents visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the Arzakan Hot Springs located there.
On the weekends, many locals and travelers drive to Arzakan to relax in the mineral-rich springs, have a BBQ (Armenian khorovats), and picnic.
Tsaghkadzor Ski Resort
The popular spa town of Tsaghkadzor offers so much to do and is home to the most popular ski resort in Armenia.
Tsaghkadzor Ski Resort is located approximately one hour away from Yerevan in the Kotayk Region on Mount Tanegizon (2819 meters high).
When you’re there, you can go skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and so much more!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Geghard Monastery translates to ‘spear’ and it is now preserved in Echmiadzin.
Half of the monastery sits inside of the rock and was created that way. As a result, there are fantastic acoustics for choirs that visit and sing inside of the place.
Geghard Monastery is an important Christian site and is a popular place for those on a pilgrimage, as well as history and nature lovers.
It is located in the Kotayk region about 45 minutes from Yerevan. It is often visited alongside the Temple of Garni.
In Kotayk, you will find a village near Tsaghkadzor called Meghradzor. Translating to ‘Honey Gorge’, Meghradzor is a fantastic day trip.
The village is home to several murals created by PATMI and street artists from around the world.
There is also a waterfall (Meghradzor Waterfall) that you can hike up to nearby and enjoy a picnic beside).
It truly is one of the most undiscovered places in Armenia and one we recommend visiting!
Dedicated to famous Armenian writer Yeghishe Charents, this creation of Rafael Israelyan is located on the way to Garni in Kotayk. It is such a fantastic pit stop where you can get a stellar view of Ararat Mountain and the valley from it.
Charent’s Arch was a beloved place of the poet because of the sunset views of Ararat.
Crystal clear Lake Akna (Akna Lich) is located in the Kotayk region in the range of the Gegham mountains and is a holy grail for hikers, campers, and nature lovers.
Located at an altitude of 3032 meters, the natural wonder, mountain lake is 35 kilometers away from Etchmiadzin and is often seen in conjunction with Azhdahak.
Rock climbers and hikers will love visiting the Voghjaberd Caves close to Yerevan (they are actually in Yerevan region but right on the border of Kotayk and best visited from that direction).
People used to inhabit the caves all the way back to the 12-13th centuries.
The caves are on the way to Garni village, only 30 minutes away from Yerevan.
One of the most beautiful natural spots in Armenia is the 3,597 meters high extinct volcano of Azhdahak, located in the Kotayk region.
The last time that the volcano erupted was in 1900 BC and after that, mother nature created a stunning, red-colored landscape as well as a mountain lake at the top of it with crystal clear water.
This is a popular spot to hike to during the summers.
The Armenian medieval Bjni Fortress is a beautiful 9th-century historical landmark in the Kotayk region near Bjni village, located on the slopes of the rocky plateau that divides the village in half.
The Pahlavuni family fortress was a defensive construction that presently is a picturesque location for hikers to hike or photographers to enjoy the landscapes surrounding it.
Symphony of Stones
Right below the Temple of Garni in the Azat Gorge is another unique natural wonder of Armenia, the Symphony of Stones.
After collapsing, the rocks of the volcano created basalt columns in pentagon and hexagon shapes that are more than 50 meters high. Definitely don’t miss seeing this when you visit Garni!
Visually, the formations feel like they are hanging from the rocks and will almost remind you of organ pipes!
Places to Visit in Armavir Region
The spiritual center for all Armenians around the globe is the Holy City of Etchmiadzin.
It is one of the biggest cradles of Christianity in the world and is located in the Armavir region, only 20 minutes away from Yerevan.
Many UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (probably one of the first Christian churches in the world) are located in Etchmiadzin and it is also the seat of the Catholicos of Armenia.
Ziarat Yazidi Temple
In the village of Aknalich in Armavir, you will find Ziarat Yazidi Temple, the world’s largest Yazidi temple that was unveiled to the public in 2019. The architect for the project was Artak Ghulian and he is known for his Armenian Apostolic churches.
The new church was built next door to the old Ziarat temple that had opened in 2012.
Zvartnots Cathedral Ruins
The ancient ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral are located in the Armavir region near Etchmiadzin and the Zvartnots Airport.
They are an easy half-day trip (or shorter!) from Yerevan.
The 7th-century cathedral had centrally planned aisled tetra-conch type architecture that was later destroyed during an earthquake.
Is possible to walk around the old remains, see the stone art and visit the interesting museum located near the historical site and learn the full history of the area.
Zvartnots Cathedral is one of the best places to visit in Armavir!
Saint Hripsime Church
Probably one of the most complete examples of ancient Armenian architectural masterpieces is the Saint Hripsime Church in Etchmiadzin. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage churches in the Holy City.
Located in the Armavir region right at the entrance of Etchmiadzin, the 7th-century church accepts thousands of visitors from around the world and was named in honor of martyred Saint Hripsime who sacrificed her life for her faith. Her remains are in the basement of the church.
Constructed in 1968, the Saradapat Memorial was constructed in the Armavir region in honor of the Battle of Sardarabad against the Turkish army in 1918.
Visitors can see the 35m high bell tower, walk around the memorial wall, and enter the museum where it is possible to see many interesting artifacts. This is a great destination for history lovers near Yerevan.
Places to Visit in Gegharkunik Region
The biggest freshwater lake in the Caucasus, also known as the Blue Pearl of Armenia, is the mesmerizing Lake Sevan.
It is one of the most beautiful and important natural landmarks in the country.
Lake Sevan is a high-altitude lake surrounded by Gehamal Mountain where it is possible to see the amazing landscape, ancient churches situated on the top of the islands, and rocks.
The natural wonder is located approximately an hour away from Yerevan in the Gegharkunik region and it is easy to reach Lake Sevan from Yerevan.
Sevan Writers’ House
One of Armenia’s most notable and iconic masterpieces of Soviet Modernism is the Sevan Writers’ House situated on Sevan Peninsula.
The Sevan Writers’ House was built in 1963 and you can still technically stay there today.
We actually would love to see this place get a bit of attention and better up-keep in the future. It is such a gem!
Armenia is the land of khachkars and that typical artform only exists there. In the countryside next to Lake Sevan and near the city of Gavar, you will find Noratus Cemetery, a medieval cemetery with a large collection of ornate khachkars.
The cemetery spans from the 9th to the 17th centuries and today, it is possible to see more than 800 khachkars with different artwork styles stories. Noratus is definitely one of the best day trips from Yerevan.
Located in a spectacular location right on the edge of Lake Sevan is Hayravank Monastery.
The 9th-century ancient Armenian monastery is located in the Gegharkunik region near Noratus Cemetery and it is a great location to bike to! It is a fantastic stop off of the main highway.
Places to Visit in Syunik Region
One of the many gorgeous waterfalls in Armenia, Shaki Waterfall might just be the most visited waterfall in the country (or perhaps Jermuk is), but either way – it is spectacular!
Located in the Syunik region, Shaki Waterfall is 18 meters high and flows into the Shaki River.
The name is based on a legend about a girl named Shaki who jumped from the cliff in order to not be captured by conquerors.
Probably one of the coolest and most mysterious places in Armenia, the abandoned village of Hin Khot is located in the Syunik region.
Also known as the Armenian Machu Picchu, the mind-blowing 2nd-century BC Hin Khot village is in a gorge that was actually inhabited all the way until the 1970s.
One of the best things about visiting Hin Khot is that it is part of the Legends Trail, a hike that winds from Khndzoresk all the way to Khustup.
One of the brightest diamonds of Armenia architecture is the 9th-century Tatev Monastery. This historic monastery is on most itineraries for Armenia and for very good reason!
Located in the Syunik region near Tatev village on the edge of Vorotan Gorge, Tatev Monastery used to be the spiritual and educational center of the region.
Besides driving to Tatev Monastery, you can also take a cable car there.
The ‘Wings of Tatev’ is the world’s longest non-stop double track cable car that will take you 5.7 kilometers above the gorge. We recommend visiting Tatev from Yerevan as an overnight trip.
One of the most beautiful and iconic mountains in Armenia is Mount Khustup in Syunik.
It is a dream destination for hikers, rock climbers, campers, and lovers of rich and wild nature.
Khustup is 3201 meters high and is covered with alpine meadows and forests and is located near Kapan city. It is part of the Bargushat Mountain range.
Wings of Tatev
The record-breaking Wings of Tatev attraction is the world’s longest reversible aerial cableway, stretching for 5.7 kilometers.
The jaw-dropping cableway helps visitors get to Tatev Monastery in a much easier fashion by connecting Halidzor to Tatev Monastery.
The ‘flight’ over the gorge is breathtaking and one of the most exciting things about visiting Tatev Monastery.
Located on the slopes of the gorge called Khor Dzor, Khndzoresk is probably the most famous abandoned cave village in Armenia where people were inhabited until the 1950s in half cave houses.
The fascinating landmark is located in the Syunik Region near Goris town in the mountains surrounded by lush green forests and caves.
To get there, you need to cross a hanging bridge. It really is one of the coolest places to visit in Syunik!
One of the most underrated places in Armenia where travelers see unique mountain nature and ancient petroglyphs is Ughtasar in Syunik.
This is not an easy place to get to and must be visited during the warmer months and in a tour group or with an all-terrain vehicle.
Hikers will enjoy the trails in the region as they will see rare flora and fauna as well as prehistoric petroglyphs.
Arevik National Park
Spanning a territory of 344 km², Arevik National Park is another incredible destination in Armenia that contains a rich geological and biological ecosystem with diverse nature and wildlife.
The national park is located in the southern part of Syunik, about 17 kilometers away from Meghri. It is home to Armenian mouflon, brown bears, Bezoar goats, the rare Caucasian leopard, and other animals.
Shikahogh State Reserve
The second-largest forest reserve in Armenia the Shikahogh State Reserve.
It is home to massive oak, beech, and other trees within the forest as well as rare species of animals like bears, leopards, vipers, snowcocks, and more.
The reserve is located near Khustup Mountain and offers wonderful hiking opportunities, rock climbing, and camping in the area.
Karahunj is also known as “Zorats Karer” and is a fascinating, prehistoric observatory located in the Syunik region about 5 kilometers away from Goris. Karahunj Observatory is said to be around 7500 years old.
The ancient stones are displayed in a circle and have holes in them.
Based on research, it is said that these holes were created for people to observe the skies, stars, and other things in the solar system.
By order of Queen Shahandukhtin in 1000, Vorotnavank Monastery was built on one of the edges of the Vorotan Gorge in Syunik.
The spectacular location attracts thousands of travelers to observe the ancient church, its huge walls, and opportunities to photograph nature.
In between Vorotan Gorge and Tatev Monastery in Syunik is a cool place called Devil’s Bridge.
Over millions of years, nature created this wonder with petrified lava and water. It is definitely worth a stop if you’re near Tatev Monastery or anywhere around Kapan.
Medieval Goris Cave Dwellings
Charming and historical, Goris has a lot of unique architecture that is very specific to the city.
The town is also famous for being surrounded by amazing natural dwellings and volcanic clusters on the eastern part of Old Goris. People have inhabited this area since the 5th century.
Places to Visit in Shirak Region
Located near the border of the Shirak and Lori regions, approximately an hour away from Gyumri and two hours away from Vanadzor, Trchkan Waterfall is another natural wonder that is on everyone’s Armenia bucket list to visit.
The 23.5-meter high Trchkan Waterfall is situated in a picturesque area on the left bank of the Pambak River where many hiking tours take place.
One of the must-visit places in Armenia for those in Shirak is Marmashen Monastery.
Situated north of Gyumri, this 10th-century Armenian monastery consists of 5 churches and they all have a similar style to that of Khtzkonk Monastery.
One of our favorite villages in Shirak is Amasia, a small village located north of Gyumri that is on the way to Lake Arpi National Park.
This village is home to the Amasia Wool Factory, colorful homes, a Lenin statue, and much more! It is a cool stop on the road to Lake Arpi and Amasia is one of the best places to visit in Shirak!
Kumayri Historic District
The second-largest city in Armenia is Gyumri. Located in Shirak, you can explore traditional Armenian architecture that was constructed from the 18th to 19th centuries from a black volcanic stone call tuff.
Kumayri Historic District is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Gyumri.
Known also as Cultural Museum-Reserve, the district is teeming with buildings with unique architecture including museums, authentic hotel boutiques, hip cafes, and much more.
Checking out the district is one of the essential things to do in Gyumri!
Lake Arpi National Park
One of the most underrated natural gems in North Armenia, Lake Arpi National Park is a unique ecosystem that is in the works to develop tourism in the future in Shirak.
Lake Arpi National Park is located an hour a half away from the city of Gyumri and it’s a little slice of heaven covered with wildflowers, a gorgeous lake, rich and rare flora and fauna, and is an area where visitors can fish, camp, hike, and picnic in the woods.
Ashotsk Ski Centre
Known as one of the coldest places in Armenia during the winter season, the Ashotsk Ski Centre is also an amazing place to learn how to ski and be inspired by the natural surroundings.
Founded by a local, legendary skiing family, Ashotsk Ski Centre is located near Gyumri and provides great opportunities for cross-country skiers regardless of whether they are experts or merely beginners.
There are several 19th-century fortresses constructed during the Russian Empire in Gyumri as defacing points and on the most popular ones was recently renovated.
Also known as Sev Berd in Armenia, visiting the Black Fortress is a must for anyone visiting Gyumri from Yerevan!
Places to Visit in Tavush Region
Lake Gosh is a small mountain lake that is located high in the mountains of the Tavush region deep in the forest.
The lake is located only 25 minutes away from the famous spa town of Dilijan and is considered a great hiking and camping destination for nature lovers and active travelers.
Located in Armenia’s lovely Dilijan National Park merely 20 minutes away from Dilijan (town) is Haghartsin Monastery.
This beautiful monastery can’t be missed out on while you are visiting the spa town!
The 10th-century Haghartsin Monastery is located in the middle of the forest where you will find ancient khachkars, amazing architectural elements that were used to build the church, and visit a lovely cafe near the historical monument.
Be sure to grab a tea at the cafe!
Dilijan National Park
Located in the Tavush region and surrounding the town of Dilijan is Dilijan National Park.
This is one of the most picturesque corners of Armenia where dense forests uncover hidden gems like waterfalls, historical remains, alpine meadows, mineral springs, diverse wildlife, and more.
Dilijan National Park is one of the best places to hike and camp because the area offers beautiful trails that pass through rivers, waterfalls, and mountain views.
Picturesque, mysterious, and fabulous are the first words that come to mind when you see Lastiver and the treehouse camp in the area.
Lastiver is located in the Tavush region about 10 kilometers away from Ijevan.
The area contains everything to give you a memorable experience!
For example, there is an ancient cave called Anapat where locals hid from Mongol invaders, wooden treehouses to camp in, hidden hiking trails, a gorgeous river, and a waterfall.
Goshavank Monastery Complex
One of the most famous monasteries in Northern Armenia located in Dilijan National Park is Goshavank Monastery.
It is home to the famous “Aseghnagorts” khachkar which translates to “The Needle Carved” in Armenia.
Located in the Tavush region about 22 kilometers away from Dilijan town, this monastery was named in honor of Armenian scholar Mkhitar Gosh who wrote the civil code of laws and Canon law. He also founded a school there.
Yell Extreme Park
One of the most picturesque adventure parks in Armenia, Yell Extreme Park is located in the mountains of the Tavush region in Yenokavan village, only 25 kilometers away from the city of Ijevan.
In the park, it is possible to experience exciting activities like zip-lining, a rope park, offroading, horseback riding, and more.
Another natural spot that is located in the center of Ijevan is the Ijevan Arboretum (Dendropark).
It is one of the most underrated places to visit in the city, without a doubt!
The unique atmosphere of Ijevan Dendropark offers visitors to explore the lush green hills of the area, take in the scent of nature, and views colorful arrays of flowers and trees throughout.
There are talks about letting visitors camp overnight – fingers crossed this happens in the future!
Matosavank Monastery is probably one of the most mysterious and fascinating monasteries in Armenia and it is hidden in the forests of Dilijan National Park.
Located only 3 kilometers away from Dilijan town in the Tavush region, this 13th-century monastery is one of the most desirable places for hikers to set off for and see this ancient cultural center with their own eyes!
Less than one kilometer from the Dilijan town center in the mountains, you will find a hidden lake called Lake Parz.
If you’re visiting Dilijan, it is imperative to drive up to Lake Parz (or hike there), enjoy a cup of coffee next to the cafe, and take a boat ride. Also, it’s a great hiking destination as there is a loop trail that goes to the lake.
Sharambeyan Old Street
Dilijan is an old spa town where it is possible to see wonderful nature and old Armenian architecture.
One of the streets to view it is called Sharambeyan Street.
Made from bricks and wood, the 19th-century buildings are situated in a greener area of the town where it is possible to feel the old scenes of the city.
On this street, you can relax in the small cafes, stay at the Tufenkian Old Dilijan Complex, and more.
Places to Visit in Aragatsotn Region
The 7th-century Amberd Fortress was built on the way to the top of the Aragats Mountain at an elevation of 2200 meters in the Aragatsotn region.
It was built to protect the country from Parthians, Persians, and other conures and many famous Armenian kings and generals were staying in Ambers over the cemeteries.
The tallest mountain in Armenia, the mighty Aragats Mountain, is a four-peaked volcano located in the Aragatsotn region about an hour away from Yerevan.
Mount Aragats is 4090 meters high and offers great activities like hiking, bird watching, skiing, exploring cold water mountain lakes (Kari Lake, for example), and a great spot to indulge in Armenian khash, one of the best winter foods in Armenia.
Founded in 1946 by scholar Victor Ambartsumian, the Byurakan Observatory is one of the interesting constructions built during the Soviet-era in Armenia.
The astronomical observatory is located in the Aragatsotn region in Byurakan village where visitors can enter inside the observatory, see the telescope, and learn more about space and the universe.
Armenian Alphabet Monument
The Armenian alphabet was created more than 1600 years ago and in its honor, you can see an entire monument dedicated to it in the Aragatsotn region near Artashavan village.
It is called the Armenian Alphabet Monument.
There are 39 letters made from huge pieces of volcanic stone called tuff. Since being built in 2005, it has become one of the essential places to visit in Armenia and is a great destination to cycle to!
Mesmerizing Mount Aragats has several mountain lakes on it, but the most popular and the largest one is Kari Lake, where hundreds of travelers and hikers end up on their Aragats adventure.
At an elevation of 3,185 meters high, Kari Lake is not only a unique natural place to hike or drive up to in the warmer season, but there is also a small restaurant located nearby where you can eat traditional Armenian khash.
One of the most famous and scenic gorges in Armenia is Ashtarak Gorge. It is known for its picnic and family resort area but it has so much more to offer! Inside of it, you will find historic churches situated on the edge of cliffs.
Two of the most famous churches are Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank Monasteries. You will also find several hiking trails, swimming areas, and more!
If you’re looking for a great place to stay, don’t miss out on Yeganyan’s Guest House and Wine Yard!
Radio Optical Observatory Telescope ROT-54
Known also as ROT-54, the impressive Radio Optical Observatory is a Soviet-era telescope built-in 1986 in the Aragatsotn region near Orgov Gorge.
There are hiking trails that lead hikers to view this obscure construction. It truly is one of the coolest Soviet constructions in Armenia!
Besides spectacular alpine landscapes, Aragats Mountain is home to the famous Gegharot Waterfall.
At 17 meters high, the waterfall is situated 3000 meters above sea level in a picturesque location between gigantic rocks and it is one of the most beloved hiking destinations in Aragatsotn.
The 13th-century Saghmosavank Monastery is located in the Aragatsotn region right at the top of the edge of the Kasagh River Gorge.
This is a famous place to go hiking. Legend has it that there was a priest from the church that stopped the Tamerlane Conquest and saved the entire region.
On the other side of Saghmosavank Monastery, there is another 5th-century church that used to be a theological center on the edge of the Kasagh River Gorge in the Aragatsotn region in Ohanavan village.
It is called Hovhannavank Monastery.
There are famous hiking trails in between the two churches and one notable HIKEArmenia trail that takes you 7.5 kilometers through the gorge from church to church.
The rustic-colored, 10th-century Dashtadem Fortress is located in the Aragatsotn region close to the beautiful Kristapor Vank 7th-century church.
Also known as Qagheni Fortress, the construction was used to defend from Arab invasions and there are many historical ruins to check out during your visit.
Places to Visit in Lori Region
Lori Gorge (Dzoraget Canyon)
The picturesque 176 km long canyon in Armenia’s north actually looks like a giant crack down the middle of the Earth. This is one of the most prominent features in the Lori region.
Lori Gorge is home to many natural and historical monuments like Lori Fortress, Kobayr Monastery, the Debed River where you can go rafting, Horomayr, Odzun, many hiking trails, and much more.
Lori Berd (Lori Fortress)
The 11th-century Lori Fortress, also known as Lori Berd, is located in the Lori region only 15 minutes away from Stepanavan.
The impressive historical monument is situated right on the edge of Lori Gorge and over the years, it has gained popularity for travelers to hike there to see the construction, view the ancient cross-stones, and photograph the views.
Haghpat & Sanahin Monasteries
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Haghpat Monastery is situated up high in the mountains and is a wonderful example of when nature and man combine forces to create something magical.
Haghpat Monastery construction started in the 10th-century at an altitude of 2,500 meters.
Sanahin Monastery, yet another gem of Armenia and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located close by in Alaverdi and most travelers visit both monasteries together.
Sanahin Monastery was founded in the 10th-century and it is a complex of different constructions like St. Gregory Chapel, the monastery’s library, and another chapel surrounded by wonderful nature and mountains.
In the North of Armenia, you will find Akhtala Fortress and Monastery, a place that is a worthwhile stop near Alaverdi and if you’re also visiting Sanahin and Haghpat.
Also known as Copperchurch, Akhtala construction began in the 10th-century and is merely one kilometer away from the Akhtala town.
It is a wonderful stop on the way from Tbilisi to Yerevan, or vice versa.
One of the biggest villages in the Lori region is Odzun. This gorge is a famous stop in the north of the country and there are many top sights located in its vicinity.
The jewel of Odzun Village and all the region is Odzun Church, one of the oldest churches in the world. Its construction started in the 6th-century in the center of the village.
Stepanavan Dendropark offers visitors to connect with nature in a 35 hectares natural forest where it is possible to see the nature of the Lori region at its best.
Stepanavan Dendropark is located in Gyulagarak village, approximately 12 km away from Stepanavan.
You’ll be able to see rare types of flowers, trees, and birds while you stroll along the well-kept paths through the gardens.
Kobayr Monastery Complex
One of the most sacred places in the Lori region, the 12th-century Kobayr Monastery Complex is an absolute hidden gem to hike to and see in Lori Canyon.
Located on the edge of an epic cave, the Kobayr Monastery Complex is a half-ruined historical monument where you need to hike up through the village of Kobayr to get there. This is such a cool place to stop and visit!
Horomayr Monastery Ruins
Located right on the cliff of the Lori region near Odzun village is Horomayri Monastery.
It’s not easily accessible but the 7th-century Horomayr Monastery ruins are a good, moderate day hike for those who want to get deep into the gorge to see this remarkable church hanging over the ledge.
Dsegh is a village in Lori that is one of the most charming places to visit in the province.
In Dsegh, you will find the house-museum of Hovhannes Tumanyan, a famous Armenian poet who was born there. There are also several hiking trails and natural places in the village.
St. Nicholas Abandoned Russian Church
There are several functional and also abandoned Russian churches in Armenia… and St. Nicholas one of them.
Located in Amrakits village close to Stepanavan, this mysterious 19th-century, Slavic-style construction is slowly gaining fame as people realize how hauntingly beautiful it is to photograph.
So, what did we leave out? What are your favorite places to visit in Armenia? Let us know the top attractions and landmarks in Armenia in the comments!