The mountainous Republic of Armenia is a must-see destination that promises to be light on your wallet, but to linger in your memory. Cheap flights to Armenia operate year-round at both Shirak and Zvartnots international airports, and the country welcomes you with a smile on its face, come rain or shine.
Armenia’s reputation as a welcoming, hospitable nation precedes it. Chamber music lovers and jazz fans alike gather from across the world to take part in the folk festivals, theatre fares, opera shows, and local concerts that take place on its land, so proud of its cultural endowment, and yet so eager to share this cornucopia with its guests. So cheerful and merry is this ancient culture that the capital derives its name from the word ‘Erebuni’ for ‘Happy Site’.
The capital city of Yerevan is slowly approaching its 2,800th anniversary, and it has many architectural treasures to reveal. Etchmiadzin Cathedral, for instance, is the oldest cathedral in the world, but nowhere near the 6,000-year-old wine press recently discovered in an Armenian cave, or the 5,500-year-old leather shoe, older even than the Great Pyramid of Giza. The country boasts the world’s longest cable car line, made specifically to accommodate tourists visiting the renowned Tatev Monastery, which dates from the 9th century A.D. Hiking, mountain climbing, bird watching, brandy and wine tasting, going to the opera, and shopping on Marshal Bagramian Avenue are some of the most popular activities tourists like to indulge in, especially as the prices here are considerably smaller than elsewhere in the world. Obsidians, silver, semi-precious stones, jewellery, hand-crafted decorative items and more can be found at the local Vernissage. From artisan craft to edible produce, everything here is organic, healthy and tasty. From peaches and apricots to lavash and shish-kebabs, the food is inviting, yet humble, much like the people.
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