I just returned from a 5-day trip from Armenia and people were asking about my itinerary since they were in an awe with the photos that I posted on my instagram (pinklinger).Before giving you all the details of the trip, I want to give you some facts about the beautiful country of Armenia which few of us are aware of.
- Armenia became the first nation in the world to adopt Christianity
- The first church was built in Armenia
- During the Ottoman Empire, millions were exterminated. This was called the Armenian Genocide
Travel planning is quite a work but is a must. You can’t just decide to visit a country without an itinerary. Here I am to help you with this which I hope will help you.On a side note the country only exchanges major currencies like EUROS and U.S dollars.We had to exchange our dirhams to U.S dollars here in the U.A.E. There is an exchange counter inside the airport who will change your U.S dollars/EUROS to AMD. It’s available before the immigration.
The below are the expenses:
Airfare – We flew via FlyDubai (https://www.flydubai.com/en/). FlyDubai only offers one flight to and from Armenia per day. From Dubai to Yerevan, the departure time was 2:30am. From Yerevan to Dubai, it was from 6:50am. It’s a fairly short flight of 3 hours and 20 minutes. The price per person was AED 1,112.
Visa – Most countries are visa upon arrival.You can check the list of the countries who are eligible for visa upon arrival at http://www.mfa.am/en/visa/ . You can also apply online if you hate long queues.The visa will cost you AMD3000. Philippine passport holders can obtain visa upon arrival or thru online.
Hotel – The prices in Armenia are really cheap. We opted for a 4 star hotel instead of a budget-hostel. We stayed in Paris Hotel Yerevan (http://www.parishotel.am/)for 4 nights and 5 days with breakfast. The breakfast was really good. The room was also spotless and their furniture were all new. The staff were also commendable as they were very helpful and professional. The total price was AED 1,580.
Tour – We took our tour from Best Travel Tours (http://www.besttravel.am/en/). We took all their daily tours (a total of 4 days). I was travelling with a friend that was passionate about photography (which means she will take time in taking some photos) so we opted to take the private tours. Total cost was AED 1,300. The tour includes airport pick up and drop off. I was in contact with the agent, Anika who assured me that it will be worth it and I had the best driver/guide, George who was more like a father than a driver.
The tour covered most of the tourist attractions Armenia has to offer. The tour usually starts at 10-11am which is good since we stay up late and wake up late.
DAY 1: Yerevan city tour (Mother of Armenia, Genocide Museum,Cascade,Republic Square)
Genocide Museum-I had goosebumps inside the museum.I can’t stand the feeling of knowing that a lot people including children had been tortured and murdered
Mother of Armenia- The current statue replaced a monumental statue of General Secretary Joseph Stalin that was created as a victory memorial for World War II.
DAY 2: Lake Sevan, Sevanavank,Tsaghkadzor,Kecharis
Kecharis Monastery Complex
DAY 3: Garni,Geghard Monastery,Vernissage (flee market)
Temple of Garni. The best known structure of pre-Christian Armenia
Geghard Monastery (photo credit: instagram acct. the.lightstalker)
DAY 4: Khor Virab,Noravank,Areni winery (wine tasting), Tatev
Khor Virab Monastery
Areni Winery-They offer different types of fruit wine. You get to taste each wine for free and if you opt to buy a bottle, it will cost around aed10.00
DAY 5: Transfer to Airport
Meals – Average meal per person is around AED 30. By average meal, I am referring to rice, grilled pork/chicken and drinks.
I wish we stayed longer. Armenia surprised me in a way that it offered much more that the attractions that I was able to find in google. The people were very kind and don’t discriminate nor take advantage of you just because you are a tourist. I have encountered a couple of people who went beyond their service. You should see Armenia for yourself for you to experience on what the place has to offer.