Flag of Armenia
But for starters, you have to know a few things about Armenia that'll help you navigate your way around. This isn't your average European vacation destination, and some patience is richly rewarded to one of the world's most friendliest countries.
It is also said to be the oldest Christian country in the world--the official religion since 301AD. Throughout its 29,000 square kilometers you'll find just short of a bazillion small churches and chapels smattered all over the place.
Some really high up, considering only 10 percent of Armenia is below 2,200 feet. That means winters can get really, really cold--and snowy for that matter. So, unless you're a polar bear--that means Armenia is best enjoyed in May and June, September and October. OK, July and August are great, too.
These are the best times to see some of Armenia's 346 species of birds--more than half of the 500+ species found within Europe.
Armenia is also known for its caves--the cave homes, found close to the town of Goris, are known all over the world. Other areas that should appeal to lovers of the outdoors would be the Alpine lakes in Dilijan, and all the hiking and horseback riding trails. Or, fishing at Lake Sevan, either.
For city life, head to Yerevan, Armenia's capital city, where you can see the National Gallery and the Yerevan Library--home to over 13,000 historical manuscripts.
Over in the city of Echmiadzin is the Cathedral of St. Gregory--said to house the spearhead relic that speared the side of Jesus. You shouldn't leave out a visit to Armenia's Geghard Monastery, built more than 1600 years ago.
In addition to all the religious sites in Armenia, the country is famous for its Opera, Theater, and Ballet performances. They're top quality considering how inexpensive tickets are.
To get around in Armenia to all these wonderful places isn't easy, but worth it. There aren't any domestic flights between cities, and roads are poor. Rail might be slow, but it is one of the most convenient ways to move between places. In Yerevan, there's a small subway system and taxis are readily available--just negotiate fares beforehand.
It is best to take out medical insurance before you leave, since even crossing the street can be, ah, hazardous. Drivers in Armenia look at stop signs and red lights more as suggestions.
Armenians aren't trying to be rude--in fact, they are some of the friendliest people. Hospitality is key--and they'll make you feel totally welcome, even if you don't speak Armenian.
Who cares if you don't speak the same language--just enjoy an Armenian Brandy like Dvin with your new found friends. A smile and good drink will go a long way.