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Things to see and do in Armenia

Tourist offices

Armenia Information

Address: 3 Nalbandyan Poghots, Yerevan,
Telephone: (374) 542 303/06.
Website: http://www.armeniainfo.am

Attractions in Armenia

Bird watching

Spot rare species of birds, including eagles, falcons and swans. Armenia is home to 346 of Europe's 550 bird species.

Brandy drinking

Sample some of Armenia's excellent brandies, which Winston Churchill always insisted on after first tasting it at the Yalta conference.

Caving

Explore into some dazzling limestone caverns in Vayots Dzor. Near Goris you can explore cave homes carved into the hillsides.

Cultural sites

Yerevan's impressive array of cultural sites, including the National Gallery (founded in 1919) and the Yerevan library of ancient manuscripts (Materadaran), which houses over 13,000 texts. Don't miss the State Museum of Armenian History in Yerevan, which houses the country's best collection of historical artefacts.

Debed Canyon

Travel to the steep-sided Debed Canyon where you can visit the UNESCO-protected monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin. It is believed that the great Armenian troubadour-poet, Sayat-Nova, was born in Sanahin, and became a monk at Haghpat.

Dilijan

Relax in Dilijan, a town set amid lovely pine forests with walking trails that ascend to alpine lakes. The town has a number of renovated Soviet-era sanatoriums and a community of retired artists.

Echmiadzin

Experience holy Echmiadzin, the capital of Armenia from AD 180-340, and the location of the Cathedral of St Gregory the Illuminator. The cathedral's treasury contains a spearhead believed to have been used to pierce the side of the crucified Christ.

Fishing

Cast a line into lake Sevan, where you can reel into Armenia's famous species of trout, the Salmon trout (Ishkhan), plus many more that swim in Armenia's other lakes and rivers.

Geghard Monastery

Make a pilgrimage to one of Armenia's most dramatic sights, the Geghard Monastery. A monastery has occupied this site since the fourth century AD, and the existing churches, all magnificently carved, date from the 13th century. Take a detour and visit Garni Temple. Earthquakes have destroyed most of the original structure, but the temple's vertiginous position, on a plateau 300m (984ft) above the Azat River, secures its beauty.

Goris

Journey to Goris, a town that has changed little since it was first planned by a 19th century German architect. The surrounding area is worth exploring for its cave dwellings. Nearby is the spectacular Tatev Monastery.

Hiking

Hike through Armenia's spectacular countryside, ambling over country roads through timeless villages or up steep mountain passes to catch a gorgeous sunrise.

Horse riding

Horse ride on Mount Aragats in the spring, when you can traverse Armenia's tallest mountain.

Lake Sevan

Much vaunted for its pure waters, stunning setting and delicious salmon trout, the lake is 70km (43 miles) east of Yerevan and the largest in the Caucasus.