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Jermuk - Bridge over canyon into resort areaJermuk is a great place to spend as much time as you can spare to relax and get away from it all. There is one main north to south highway in Armenia, and Jermuk is easily found off of this main road. About 25 minutes off of the highway, it is a nice way to cut the drive from Yerevan to Tatev Monastery or Karabakh in half. It is a mountain village, and was a very large and popular Soviet resort. Today it has very few visitors. The employees at the place we stayed at were extremely friendly and helpful. There are a few places called sanatoriums, which have facilities to bathe in the piping hot mineral water, but most were in very poor condition. There was also a nice hotel which could be reached by turning right at the end of the steel bridge into town and heading to a large bed and breakfast type place near a playground. This place cost less than $10 per person a night and was quite nice with heat in the winter. From here you can visit a sanatorium for a dip in the waters, or visit a roadside pool by the river.
Jermuk resort town has a lot of parks, and forested areas. The resort town is reached by turning left at the end of the steel bridge at the end of the highway. Here you will find a few shops, some reflecting pools, ponds, and a row of urns (see picture) which have different temperatures of Jermuk 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. Across the river from that cafe, by the ride of the road is a small pool full of water from the hot springs.
Jermuk Resort Town - hot mineral water galleryBefore reaching Jermuk resort area at the end of the road, you will pass a few villages and a large town named Jermuk which is separate. There is also a large lake above a dam, with recreational possibilities.
The village of G'ndevaz is perched on some cliffs at the bottom of which lays G'ndevank. I highly recommend you visit it either on the way up to, or down from Jermuk. It can be reached much easier by the dilapidated old canyon road, rather than the new highway.
Written Aug 29, 2009
Noravank (Նորավանք, meaning new monastery) is a 13th century monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay river, nearby the city of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-storey S. Astvatsatsin church, which grants access to the second floor by way of narrow stones jutting out from the face of building. The monastery is sometimes called Amaghu-Noravank, Amaghu being the name of a small recently destroyed village above the canyon, in order to distinguish it from Bgheno-Noravank Monastery, near Goris. In the 13th–14th centuries the monastery became a residence of Syunik's bishops and, consequently. a major religious and, later, cultural center of Armenia closely connected with many of the local seats of learning, especially with Gladzor's famed university and library.
Written Aug 29, 2009
Yerevan ("Երևան" in Armenian; former names include Erivan and ancient name Erebuni; sometimes mistakenly written in Russian transliteration as Erevan) (population: 1,201,539 (1989 census); 1,088,300 (2004 estimate) is the largest city and capital of Armenia. It is situated along the Hrazdan River, which is not navigable, on the Ararat Plain.
Yerevan is a leading industrial, cultural, and scientific centre in the Caucasus region. It is also at the heart of an extensive rail network and is a major trading centre for agricultural products. In addition, industries in the city produce metals, machine tools, electrical equipment, chemicals, textiles, and food products.
Educational and cultural facilities in Yerevan include universities, the Armenian Academy of Sciences, a state museum, and several libraries. The largest repository of Armenian manuscripts, and indeed one of the biggest repositories of manuscripts in the world, is the Matenadaran.
Zvartnots International Airport serves Yerevan.
Written Aug 29, 2009
Berdkunk (161 v, formerly Aghkala), was a transit point on the ancient Dvin-Partev road. On the E edge of the village is a cyclopean fortress called locally Ishkhanats Amrots. From the village 1 km W and 200 m SE of the left edge of the Sevan-Gavar road is a cyclopean fortress with megalithic tombs. Hayravank or Ayrivan 488 v; 22.4 km from the Sevan highway, on the left (E of the road) shortly after the Geghama Pensionat, a paved road leads to a rock outcrop with a fine view of Lake Sevan. There stands Hayravank monastery*, with a late 9th c church, a 12th c. gavit, and khachkars. The rocks just NW preserve substantial walls of a Bronze Age through medieval fort and settlement; nearby are Iron Age tombs. There are two shrines in the village, with inscribed khachkars.
Written Aug 29, 2009
Whether you want to soak in the Soviet style bathtubs that dominate Jermuk and Arzni, the hot water rooms of Hankavan Village, or the swimming pools of Arzakan, you'll have plenty of hot mineral water options to keep you relaxed and healthy.
Jermuk is the jewel in the crown of Armenia's hot springs, and the waters are bottled and sold everywhere you go in Armenia. The bath is piping hot, and very relaxing, but most places stick to the old Soviet bathtub and nurses regimen, insisting this is only medical treatment. The town is beautiful, the setting gorgeous, and the rumors of ski lifts coming are rampant.
Written Nov 24, 2008
Yerevan is a bit more tourist friendly in terms of traveling solo. There are more group tours to take rather than paying for individual trips like you do in Georgia. Most places are a day from from Yervan while a few take a couple of days. Lake Sevan is a great day trip and allows you to see some of the monasteries. You are surrounded by snwo capped mountains which help make this a great trip.
Written May 10, 2008
On a hill in the south-western suburb Arin-berd in Yerevan is the Urartian fortress of Erebuni. It was discovered in the 1950s when a farmer found a stone tablet with writings on it and excavations begun.
It must have been an impressive fortress with palace, storerooms, workshops, a place for animal sacrifices and splendid views. Some of the ruins have been reconstructed and on the palace walls the paintings are replicas. From a cuneiform tablet found at the excavations it is known that the fortress was built by the Urartian king Argishti I in 782 BC.
Before you walk up the hill to see the ruins of Erebuni fortress you should see the museum with items found at the excavations on the site. Among other things there are cuneiform tablets, Urartian seals, pottery, bronze artefacts and jewellery. The museum building is just up some stairs (in an old Soviet style building) and that’s where you buy the ticket. Entrance fee is 1000 drams (June 2006).
I took a marshrutka to Erebuni (nr 6) from Nalbandyan Poghots. It was 100 drams (June 2006).
Updated May 22, 2007
Zvartnots Cathedral is situated along the Yerevan - Echmiadzin road, only 3 km from Echmiadzin. The church and the patriarchal palace are in ruins, but you can see that this church looked different from other churches in Armenia. It was a round church with a high dome, and it is supposed to have been the largest round church in the world when it was constructed in the middle of the 7th century. During the 10th century it was destroyed by an earthquake and Arab invaders.
Today you can see finely carved stone pillars and other decorated stone fragments, the pool for baptism and remnants of a palace and winery. In the Armenian History Museum you can see a model of how the church once looked.
In the background you can see Mount Ararat, and occasionally airplanes as the international airport is nearby.
Together with Eechmiadzin, Zvartnots is an Unesco World Heritage Site.
Entrance fee is 1000 drams (August 2006).
To go to Zvartnots from Yerevan you can take any bus or minibus from the corner of Mesrop Mashtots Poghota and Sarian Poghots (near the Modern Art Museum) going to Echmiadzin. Along the road look for a pillar with an eagle on top, because that’s where you are getting of f. The bus to Zvarnots was 400 drams and the marshrutka back to Yerevan was 250 drams (August 2006). Going back to Yerevan you just stop a bus passing by.
Written May 17, 2007
If you have time after visiting Hagphat and Sanahin, you should check out Akhtala. Although we weren't able to go inside (the Lonely Planet guide said that the people who live near there have the key to unlock it, but we didn't see them), we enjoyed the area around it and the views of the river. A young boy did follow us around for awhile trying to sell us some rocks - but we never could figure out what kind.
There are thick walls around the complex that used to be part of a fortress. Lovely spot.
Written Jan 30, 2007
This is another must-see monastery complex in northern Armenia. Not far from Hagphat, Sanahin is slightly older and laid out differently with a rectangular wall around the building itself. Inside we met a very old woman selling candles for saying prayers. The atmosphere is very tranquil and holy here - and very charming. Be sure to explore the cemetary behind the church - Armenians put their pictures on their gravestones and sometimes even cause of death. So you'll learn that one entire family perished in a car crash, or that one woman lived 50 years longer than her husband but doesn't look a day older than him ;)
Written Jan 30, 2007
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