About Armenia

Armenia is a country where the boundary of the reality and myth is invisible. Armenians are ancient people in an ancient country. Their homeland is the plateau sprawling around the biblical Mount Ararat, the mountain on which according to the legend, Noah’s Ark landed after the global flood (Genesis 8:4). In those highlands more than 3000 years ago the State of Armenia has struggled for its existence, and recently, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, September 1991, has restored its independence.

Culturally, historically and politically, Armenia is considered to be a part of Europe. However, due to its location in the southern Caucasus, on the conventional boundary between Europe and Asia, we can say that it’s an intercontinental country.

Armenia is a country of undiscovered treasures for all types of vacationers. Whether you’re a risk-seeking hiker or sophisticated connoisseur of ancient culture, here you’ll find something to indulge your aesthetic senses. From lush forests to majestic sun-capped peaks and the azure waters of the Lake Sevan, Armenian landscapes will never cease to surprise you with a diversity and pristine beauty on each stage of your trip. And, of course, famous Armenian hospitality will make you feel the warmth of the family hearth outside of your homeland.

 

Geografical Information

Armenia is located in the South Caucasus, bordered by Georgia from the north, Iran from the south, Azerbaijan from the north-east and the south-west and Turkey from the west. The Republic of Armenia occupies a territory of 29 800 square km, lying at an average altitude of 1800 meters above sea level. The highest point is Mount Aragats (4090m), while the lowest point is the valley of the Debed River (400m). The capital is Yerevan. According to the general census of 2003 the population of Armenia is 3,2 million, 1,1 million of which lives in Yerevan.

 

Country: Republic of Armenia (Հայաստան - Hayastan)

Capital: Yerevan

Largest cities: Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Kapan, Armavir, Ijevan, Razdan

Political system: Governmental Republic

Head of State: The President

Official Language: Armenian, a separate branch of the Indo-European language family.

Alphabet: Armenian (unique)

Religion: Armenian Apostolic Church

Currency: Armenian Dram (AMD)

Phone Code: +374

Time zone: 4 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+4)

Public transportation: metro, buses, minibuses, taxi services

Administrative Division: 10 regions (marzes) - Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori, Shirak, Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Tavush. The capital city,Yerevan, is a separate administrative unit.

 

Weather

Armenia has a dry tropical climate. Clear sunny days are mostly dominant in a year. The summers are hot here, the temperature fluctuates between +22C to +36C. The winters are mainly cold, the average temperature is between -15C to -1C. The mountain peaks are covered with eternal snow, while their slopes are lined by alpine meadows. The best time to visit Armenia is spring or autumn.

 

Flights

Armenia has two major airports. The main airport is Zvartnots International Airport, which is located at a distance of about 12 km from the centre of Yerevan, while the second one is situated in Gyumri. There are flights to and from Yerevan from more than 50 cities of the world, including Moscow, Paris, Vienna, Prague, Rome, London, Beirut, Saint Petersburg, Tehran, Milan, Warsaw, etc.

 

Holidays

31 December: New Year’s Day

6 January: Christmas

21 January: St. Sarkis Day

28 January: Army Day

8 March: International Woman’s Day

7 April: The holiday of Maternity and Beauty

1 May: Labor Day

9 May: The Holiday of Victory and Peace

21 September: Independence Day

11 October: Yerevan City Day

 

Armenian clothes

The traditional Armenian clothes are very colorful and various. The traditional man's suit consisted of silk or cotton color shirt with low collar and side fastener and wide trousers from dark wool or cotton.

Women's traditional clothes of both eastern and western Armenians were homogeneous. The outerwear included a long dress of arkhaluk type with a cut on chest and cuts below hips. The waist was wrapped in long folded silk or woolen scarf. Women's headdresses, especially in the east, looked like a "turret" made from cotton fabric with ornaments tied with several scarves covering a part of face. Western Armenian women used to wear ornate head bands with capes.

 

National Music

Armenian music is like no other. It has its special melodic pattern and rich sounding. This originality is reached due to the use of original Armenian instruments which have survived from the early Middle Ages – pander and bambir, the violin prototypes; the strings – tavikh and knar.

A lot of songs were created by people – about love and marriage, lullabies, and lamentations. The songs were sung by folk singers - gusans.

It’s hard to imagine Armenian music without its sad and deep sound of duduk, an old national woodwind instrument. Duduk that was played on Armenian ceremonies such as birth of a child and christening, weddings and funerals, has entered now the musical mainstream and is played in the albums of Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Brian May, Sting and Lionel Richie, in the film ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and the series ‘Game of Thrones’. UNESCO proclaimed the Armenian duduk and its music as a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005.

 

Armenian National Dances

If you are going to visit Armenia, you should definitely see Armenian national dances, as they reflect the history of the whole nation and will help you to get a closer touch with the country’s culture. If you prefer warlike dances, then you would be interested in “Berd” and “Trahag”. If you are a fan of slow and gentle dances, then you would be interested in “Uzundara.”  Kochari is also one of the most famous dances of Armenians.

It is impossible to fully learn about the culture and history of Armenia, without seeing the Armenian national dances.

 

Armenian Wedding

Armenian wedding is a very big holiday. The ceremony includes betrothal, engagement and wedding itself. The tradition of “seven days seven nights” celebration has become obsolete. The abundance of guests at Armenian wedding is a must. The so-called “God family” act as witnesses.     

Wedding is accompanied by a number of various cheerful ceremonies. During the redemption of the bride any amount of money can be asked, and it's a matter of Godfather's honor to find this money.  At the wedding the bride is given a boy to cuddle – it is desirable that first-born is a boy. Next morning after the wedding women related to the groom bring a red apple symbolizing the virginity to the bride's home.

Tours to Armenia

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