Researching info for a trip to Armenia. If anyone has visited, would appreciate your input. My wife and I are seniors and prefer to travel on our own. Since we do not read the language we will not be renting a car. Thinking about staying in Yerevan and hiring private car for various day trips. Have ordered 2 guidebooks from Amazon as our local Barnes and Noble bookstore has none. I guess Armenia is not a hot destination. Would like to see as much of the country as possible. I am a photographer so I like to spend time at each site to get 'the picture'. Is 21 days ample time? Any recommendations for a private driver/guide? Any advice will be appreciated.
I guess Armenia is not a hot destination.
And this is one reason why it is also high on my list of next places to check out.
Can't offer much advice here other than suggesting 21 days sounds awesome (more than I'm likely to be able to dedicate). From what I've seen and read (admittedly, it's not very well covered), there's plenty to see and do. And a target-rich environment for photos.
I'd be careful about going to the south and any border area - also worth following news of the region from a reliable source (I see lots of crazy "news" sites that look like they're outlets for Russian disinformation bots, so view anything online with some skepticism).
Please post updates about your progress.
Do a search in the archives - there have been a few posts about Armenia.
It has been almost 8 years since I went there so most of my information will be old. Some of the places we went to:
Yerevan including the cathedral area, etc. - did a free walking tour of the city with Envoy tours.
Did a day trip to Gagni and Geghard.
Stopped by Khor Virap and Norovank on the way to Goris where we overnighted. Visited Devil's bridge, took the "wings over Tatev" cable car and visited Tatev monastery.
We traveled from Georgia (taxi). On the way back to Georgia we signed up on a tour with Envoy which included stops at the Sanahin and Haghbat monasteries (believe both are world heritage sites).
Let me know what questions you have though I believe there may be a few others on this forum who have had more recent visits.
We're going in May, so I can't yet personally recommend the driver/guide we've hired, but here's the link to his website Hayk Armenian Guide. He gets good reviews on TripAdvisor and was easy to work be with setting up the trip.
I have been to Armenia many times and each time I'm overwhelmed with joy!!! It is a beautiful county, the people are amazing and very welcoming, there is absolutely no crime and I felt safe the entire time there, which has been 31 days for each visit. There is ample to see and do. Yerevan is just incredibly beautiful, many many restaurants and hotels to chose from. Our guide was Arthur and he was amazing. He drove us everywhere. I would not recommend renting a car, as driving is a bit challenging, even if you read the language. Outside of Yerevan is a bit easier to drive but the city is harder. Hiring a driver is the smarter way to go and it's not costly, so the comfort and no stress is worth it. If you can make sure to visit Artsakh and spend a night or two there. Lake Sevan is incredibly beautiful and worth spending a night there as well. You will not be disappointed, the food is delicious, the people are very welcoming and the country is just amazingly beautiful. I can not wait to visit again. Most places in Yerevan have a direct view of Mt. Ararat, this is something not to be missed. Make sure to visit the Eternal Flame of the Genocide and the Victory Park. Yerevan has transformed through the years, but it's pink Tuff stone buildings remain and add to the beauty of Yerevan. Make sure to visit Zvartnots (not the airport) but the ancient site. Armenia has many ancient sites that are even older than those in Greece or Italy but don't have the crowds of it. If you love wine, then you must try it, if you love dried fruits then you are in the right place to have it. Armenia offers tons and tons to see, do and enjoy...
I’ll be going to Armenia and Georgia in September, all arranged by a close friend who goes regularly. He has a travel agent he uses in Yerevan who has put together our itinerary, guide/driver, hotels. Send me a PM and I’ll look it up.
Tip: seats on planes are tough to get so book as far out as possible. We’re leaving from Paris. Air France has a flight a few times a week from CDG, but we were warned to book right away because it would fill fast, and it did!
The Met in NY had an exhibit on Armenian treasures this past year. The images are probably still on line.
Thanks to all who answered my Post. Our trip dates have changed to early May 2020. Want to see the beautiful wildflowers and hopefully the current unrest with Iran has settled down.