Armenia Region by RegionЧто посмотреть в регионахSehenswürdigkeiten der Region

Armenia consists of ten regions which are called Marzes. All the Marzes have many interesting and attractive places to visit. Down below you can find some necessary information on the all the Marzes and the most popular historical monuments and tourist attractions.

Mountain Aragats
Amberd Fortress

Administrative Center: Ashtarak
Distance from Yerevan to Ashtarak: 18 km
Area: 2753 sq km

This Region is located in the western part of Armenia and surrounds three sides of Mount Aragats, the highest mountain in Armenia (4090 m). Ashtarak – Administrative Center was built on ancient settlements and has many historical sites.

Attractions:

Byurakan: The world known observatory established by Academic Professor V. Hambardzumyan is located here. It is a nice resort in winter and gives an opportunity of forest camping in summer.

Churches Saghmosavank and Ohanavank are unique samples of medieval Armenian architecture.

Amberd is a fortress complex with a church built on the slopes of Mt. Aragats at 2,300 meters.

Khor Virap Monastery and Mountain Ararat

Administrative Center: Artashat
Distance from Yerevan to Artashat: 29 km
Area: 2117 sq km

Ararat is situated in the western part of Armenia, south of Yerevan. The capital Artashat was originally established in Biblical times and was one of the major centers of Hellenic Civilization.

Attractions:

Khor Virap Monastery: It is a unique architectural monument of the 17th century, a fortress monastery, a sacred place of the Armenian Apostolic Church and a pilgrimage destination. In the old times, royal prison was located in this place, hence the name Virap, which means “pit”.  Prisoners were thrown into this deep dungeon-pit filled with poisonous snakes and scorpions.  According to the legend, Saint Gregory the Illuminator, the founder of Christianity in Armenia, was imprisoned in this pit for 13 years.  He was thrown there by the order of king Trdat III for preaching Christianity. The former prison can still be visited today.  A narrow staircase leads to the underground. You have a unique opportunity to go down there and even take some photos.  The eastern part of the region is covered by the Khosrov Reserve, which was enjoyed as a hunting-ground for Armenian nobility. In 1958 the Khosrov Forest was officially declared a reserve, famous fro its representatives of flora and fauna.

Holly See Mother Echmiadzin
Ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral

Administrative Center: Armavir
Distance from Yerevan to Armavir: 44 km
Area: 1242 sq km

Armavir region lies between the mountain Aragats and the biblical mountain Ararat. This region is a home to Echmiadzin Monastic Complex, St. Hripsime Church and the ruins of Zvartnots temple, which are included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites.

Attractions:

Echmiadzin is the central Cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church, worshiped by Armenians all over the world.  It was built in 303 in the place of an old pagan temple.  The former name of the city is Vagharshapat.  Echmiadzin was and is the center of religious power of the country. 

A rare peculiarity of the temple is the fact that besides the main one, there are three other altars, one of which is a holy place, since it is the place where, according to the legend, Jesus came down in his vision to Gregory. On the territory of Echmiadzin one can see a lot of “khachkars” – cross-stones, which were installed on all remarkable occasions, but most often as gravestones.

Three other ancient monuments are noteworthy in Echmiadzin: temples built in the memory of the first Christian martyr women that fled from Rome, from the persecution of the Roman Emperor.  These are the churches of Saint Hripsime (618), Saint Gayane (630), and Saint Shoghakat (1694).

The spectacular Zvartnots Temple built in the 7th century was destroyed by an earthquake in 10th century. Zvartnots means “Celestial Angels” and it used to be the tallest Christian Church in the world in its time.

Lake Sevan and Sevanavank Monastery
Resting at Sevan

Administrative Center: Gavar
Distance from Yerevan to Gavar: 92 km.
Area: 5388 sq km

It is situated in the eastern part and is one of the largest regions of Armenia.

Attractions:

Lake Sevan is on of the highest freshwater navigable lakes in the world. Often called the Gem of Armenian Highlands, Lake Sevan is situated on an altitude of 1900 meters. The area of the lake is 940 sq. km and the maximum depth is 95 meters. Sevan is famous for its trout which is considered a delicacy in Armenian cuisine. There are numerous beaches along the lake shore. There are also numerous historical monuments located around lake the most important of which is Sevanavank Monastery.

Sevanavank consists of two churches Saint Astvatsatsin (9th-10th centuries) and Saint Arakelots (9th century) located on the Peninsula of Sevan.

Hairavank Monastery is located on the Western shore of Sevan and dates back to 9th to 11-th centuries.

The cemetery of Noraduz is home to one of the largest collection of Armenian khachkars (crosses carved on stones). The most common feature of khachkar is a cross with a sun disc below it. The rest of the stone is decorated with patterns of leaves, grapes, pomegranates or abstract patterns. Most of the khachkars in Noraduz cemetery date back to 13th to 17th centuries, while the oldest khachkar dates back to 7th century.

Tsakhkadzor Winter Resort
Pagan Garni Temple

Administrative Center: Hrazdan
Distance from Yerevan to Hrazdan: 42 km
Area: 2089 sq km

Kotayk region is situated north of Yerevan. The Hrazdan River flows through the capital town Hrazdan in deep gorges and canyons.

Attractions:

Garni and Geghard: There is a little village Garni 29 km. east of Yerevan, where the Garni Temple is located. It is a whole architectural ensemble. The most famous building in it is the Temple dedicated to Mitra, God of the Sun, which is the only monument of the Hellenistic period in Armenia. From the 3rd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. Garni was used as the residency of the Armenian kings and the seat of the army. The temple was destroyed as a result of an earthquake in 1679, and only reconstructed in 1970.  Since 1949, archeological dig is being conducted in this place.

12 km away from Garni, you can see the famous in-rock monastery Geghard, located on the slope of an almost closed amphitheater of steep cliffs. The original monastery, the exact foundation date of which has not been defined yet, is famous for its in-rock architecture which can successfully compete with ground-based buildings. In 923 the Monastery was robbed and burnt by Arabs.  Today’s architectural ensemble belongs to the 12th – 13th century. Geghard Monastery is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The tracks of the mountain ski resort Tsahkadzor, which is famous since the Soviet times, are situated on Mount Teghenis (2,821 m). The ski season lasts here from November to April. The snow height reaches 1, 4 m. The average temperature in winter is -6°C. The new 3 level ski lift is capable of serving from 600 to 1,200 people per hour. The whole length of the ski tracks is 7,200 meters (a total of 50 extremely interesting tracks). The total area of the ski lift is about 800 hectares Tsahkadzor mountain resorts are well known of high-level service, unique nature and climate.

Hakhpat Monastery
Sanahin Village

Administrative Center: Vanadzor
Distance from Yerevan to Vanadzor: 112 km.
Area: 3795 sq km

Lori is located in the northern part of Armenia and borders with Georgia.  Here you can find wonderful forests with a big variety of wild fruit trees and bushes.

Attractions:

Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries were built in the 10th century and are fine examples of Byzantine monastic architecture. Both Monasteries are included in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Haghpat and Sanahin monasteries have been a major center of learning, housing great collections of manuscripts. These monasteries have been a home to scriptoriums, libraries, refectories and universities.

Odzun basilica which dates back to 6th century is one of the finest examples of Armenian basilicas with a cupola.

The ruins of Kobayr Monastery dates back to 12th century. Perched on a shelf of a gorge in thick forest the Monastery is famous for its many beautiful frescoes on the walls. There are numerous mineral springs around the Monastery.

Trchkan Waterfall
Marmashen Monastery

Administrative Center: Gyumri
Distance from Yerevan to Gyumri: 115 km.
Area: 2681sq km

Shirak regions occupies the north west corner of Armenia and offers some of the best but least known picturesque and natural features.

Attractions:

Gyumri – the administrative Center of the region is the second largest city of Armenia. It is a historic city, with a rich urban heritage and culture. Many museums and theatres, churches and a unique open air food market are among the attractions of Gyumri.

Haritch Monastery (7- 13 century) was built with huge semi colored stones. Haritch was the summer residence of Armenian Catholicoses for centuries.

Tsak kar (hole stone) is another famous monument which is situated in Toparli. It is a monument of a huge stone with a hole. The legend says that the people who pass through the hole will acquire eternal happiness.

Tatev Monastery
"Zorats Karer" - Armenian Stonehenge

Administrative Center: Kapan
Distance from Yerevan to Kapan: 298 km
Area: 4540 sq km

Syunik is located in the  southern part of Armenia and is the largest region.

Attractions:

Goris town is located in a mountain hollow of river Vararak’s valley. The rocks that surround the town are known as “Goris stone forest”. They represent a magnificent labyrinth of colored columns, pyramids, cones and towers. These figures, combined with the light and shade game make an unforgettable impression

Tatev Monastery (11th – 12th centuries) is situated one kilometer away from the Satan’s bridge. The monastery was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake. In the 17th century it was rebuilt. The monastery is located by the steep of river Vorotan canyon, not far away from village Tatev, which in translation from Armenian means “give wings”. Built in the 9th century and hidden from strangers’ eyes, the monastery was for some time the religious and political center of Syunik duchy. In the center of the architectural ensemble, Saint Poghos-Petros temple rises. Along the perimeter of the fortress wall there are facilities that continue the in-rock foundation of the monastery, which gives more majesty to the architectural compound.

Haghartsin Monastery
Dilijan Town

Administrative Center: Ijevan
Distance form Yerevan to Ijevan: 124km
Area: 2724 sq km

Tavush is famous for its trees, mountain and fresh air and is often called “Small Switzerland”. It is a real heaven for bird-watchers as more than 240 kinds of birds can be observed here.

Attractions:

The small town of Dilijan located in lush forests is a popular resort and tourist destination in Armenia. The old section of the city has been preserved and maintained as an "old town," complete with craftsman's workshops, a gallery and a museum, hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking are popular recreational activities in the town.

The 13th century Haghartsin Monastery is hidden in the lush forests of Dilijan National Park.

Goshavank Monastery is located close to Haghartsin and is famous for its intricate khachkars (cross stones) and elaborate carvings. The Monastery once housed a large medieval university.

Jermuk Waterfall

Administrative Center: Yeghegnadzor
Distance from Yerevan to Yeghegnadzor: 123 km.
Area: 2308 sq km.

Vayots Dszor region is located in the south east of Armenia. The administrative Center Yeghegnadzor is on Arpa River and was established in ancient times on the famous Silk Road.

Attractions:

Jermuk used to be a very large and popular Spa resort. It has a lot of parks, and forested areas. Here you will find a few shops, some reflecting pools, ponds, and a row of urns  which have different temperatures of mineral water pouring out from a tap. If you go down to the river from the town, you will find a waterfall, and near there is a cafe built under a natural land bridge. 

Noravank Monastery is considered to be a masterpiece of Armenian Monastic Architecture. This spectacular monastery was built in 13th century nestled deep in the Noravank canyon. According to the legend Noravank housed a piece of the True Cross stained with Christ’s blood. The two storied sepulcher church was built in the 14th century. Noravank Monastery rests in perfect harmony with the magnificent nature surrounding it.