For some, a vacation in Armenia may seem boring due to the former Soviet republic’s lack of access to the sea, but many tour operators note the increased interest of Russians in this ancient land of the Caucasus. And in many ways, the demand is justified – nowhere else in the entire post-Soviet space can one find such a number of temples, ancient monasteries and natural sites that have no analogues in the world, including those included in the UNESCO lists.
Pros and cons of Armenia
- Unique mountain climate and clean air
- Ancient architecture and monuments
- Friendly attitude towards Russians
- Low prices for accommodation and products
- You can travel without a visa
- Language barrier – young people do not speak Russian well
- Smoking areas not regulated
- The quality of service is better than in Russia, but worse than in Europe
- Some attractions can only be reached by car
According to toppharmacyschools.org, a general description of the weather conditions in Armenia is extremely complex, because the country is de facto located in three zones at once: subtropical, temperate continental and mountainous. Large elevation changes and specific circulation of air masses sometimes give unpredictable weather.
Summer in the republic is hot, but at the same time it is relatively dry in the Ararat plain, rainy in the foothills, and subtropical features prevail in the southeast with a lot of precipitation all year round.
Winter in the central regions has little snow, but frosts down to -7 °C are possible. In the north and east, the cold is milder, but the amount of snow in December falls twice as much as in Yerevan. In mountainous areas, frequent frosts down to -17 °C.
The off-season in Armenia is always pronounced, with sharp temperature changes. At the same time, it rains infrequently in spring and autumn, which makes these seasons the most favorable for tourism and recreation.
Rest in Armenia will not do without buying memorable gifts – for yourself and all your friends and relatives. Affordable prices of local markets, variety and the opportunity to bargain always guarantee an influx of guests who will definitely not leave without a couple of souvenirs.
National pride and the main export commodity of the country. Strong alcohol brands “Ararat” and “Noy” are sold all over the world, but not everyone knows that the best varieties with many years of aging remain only for the domestic market. Expensive, but any company is responsible for the quality of its reputation
The apricot branch flute is considered the main national musical instrument, despite the fact that its sound range is only one octave. At the same time, playing it is not easy – you need trained lungs and perfect hearing. Simple “pipes” are relatively cheap and are sold at any bazaar, but you will have to look for a craftsman’s tool in branded salons in Yerevan
The tradition of Armenian icon painting dates back to the early Middle Ages, and tribute is paid to it even today – the faces of the saints are depicted on solid pieces of wood, processed from aging with reliable compositions. This souvenir cannot be called cheap, but for a believing tourist it will be the best memorable gift.
Armenians became famous not only for architecture – leather bracelets, bags and everyday accessories are also known far beyond the Caucasus. You can buy them everywhere, and some craftsmen work right on the street, creating truly incredible gizmos in front of the astonished public.
It is exported as well as cognac, and unique compositions make skin care products truly unique. Out of competition – the body oils of the company “VakiPharm”, which has long won the love of Russian women. At home, a package of such nut butter will cost half as much as in our stores.
Thyme is popular in the republic, followed by mint – it is with such additives that it is customary to drink tea here, cold in summer and hot in the cold season. It is important not to confuse medicinal formulations with those that you can drink at least every day, but both types are easily sold in pharmacies without a prescription and with instructions in Russian
Once upon a time, in Soviet apartments, Yerevan lace napkins were an indispensable decoration of the TV. Intricate “webs” of snow-white threads have always been valued, both as an interior element and as practical and durable utensils. For table setting, you can buy an inexpensive paper set, and as a present – lace, always made by hand using an ordinary sewing needle
Visa and customs
For Russians, since February 23, 2017, holidays in Armenia have become much easier. Now you can not apply for a foreign passport, but travel with an internal Russian passport. But in this case, you can stay in the country for no more than 180 days in a row every six months.
When traveling with children, they must have passports with them, or birth certificates and a parent’s passport with the appropriate mark if the child is under 14 years old.
Russians are allowed into the territory of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic only with valid foreign passports with a mandatory stamp in the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.
Read more about customs regulations here.
Frequently asked Questions
Is there a classification of hotels in Armenia according to “stars”, and what is the best way to choose a room to stay?
The rating system was introduced in 2004 on a voluntary basis. Since most of the hotels were built back in the Soviet years, they are reluctant to be accredited, not meeting most of the stated requirements. Therefore, you should not believe the number of stars on the sign. In order not to get into an unpleasant situation, you should carefully study the service of each hotel. For example, it may have a luxurious and inexpensive restaurant with live music, but it may not have a Wi-Fi signal at all.
How is the situation with crime in Armenian cities, and who to call in case of an accident?
The level of criminal situation in comparison with the 90s has decreased several times. There are areas in Yerevan where it is unsafe even during the day, but they do not concern tourist routes. The rest of Armenia is for the most part absolutely safe for any foreign citizen. If you need to call the police, you can simply dial 133 from any device, for emergency medical care – 144. You should also inform the consular department of the Russian embassy at the round-the-clock number: +374-94-00-47-95.
When is the best time to go on a tour of Armenia? I heard that it is very hot in summer, and because of the mountainous climate, the weather is hard to bear, is it so?
Yes, it is, but not only in daytime temperatures. Summer in the republic is the season of flowering gardens and surrounding meadows with alpine buds, known for their allergens. Therefore, the best time to visit the country is from May to June or from September to October inclusive. The heat in these months is not so strong, and the flowers, especially outside the city, do not create the very heavy air for an allergic person.
Do Russian mobile operators work in Yerevan? Or is it better to buy a local sim card?
There is only one local operator – this is U!COM. But the subsidiaries of Beeline and MTS are much more popular with the Armenians themselves, so you can come with a “native” number and simply switch the tariff to profitable roaming.