Located on the eastern border of Turkey, Armenia was once a part of the Soviet Union. Since the Soviet Union's fall, it has become an independent nation that draws tourists interested in its rich heritage and history.
As a nation, it is one of the oldest in the world and found on maps dating back far before Christ's birth. It was also the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD.
If you want to experience an interesting culture, there is no better place than Armenia. But before you leave, make sure to buy
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance
as protection in case something goes wrong.
Things to Do for Travelers in Armenia
Armenia is not a typical tourist destination. You won't be able to go diving or visit nightclubs. But it is a laid-back nation that offers spectacular scenery and glimpses into a relaxed, easygoing lifestyle that has been lost in much of the developed world:
Travel to the ancient city of Yerevan
The capital of Armenia, Yerevan, was built in 780 BC, making it older than Rome by three decades. However, little remains of the ancient city apart from the name. The modern Yerevan is a classic Soviet city with broad boulevards and a vast city center. The most important buildings line the central plaza, known as Republic Square. You must be sure to visit the National History Museum and Government House. These two buildings have a variety of artifacts from Armenian history on display. On Northern Avenue, beside the square, there is a large Opera House.
Echmiadzin is the center of the Armenian Church that belongs to Oriental Orthodoxy. The Cathedral at Echmiadzin was founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator in 301 AD and has been expanded and modified over 17 centuries. If you like ancient art, you'll be thrilled to view the frescoes that decorate the sanctum. The bell tower is an interesting addition from the 1800s.
Relax at Lake Sevan
Located about 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) from Yerevan, Lake Sevan sits at an altitude of 6,000 feet (a little more than 1,800 meters). This huge freshwater lake sprawls across 33 square kilometers (about 12.75 square miles) and measures over 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) in length. The blue water merges into the sky, producing a panorama that is truly breathtaking. There is not much scope for water sports, but you can hire a catamaran or yacht and spend a day on the lake. The local cuisine is dominated by delicious grilled Armenian trout from the lake.
Drop in at the Tatev Monastery
A four-hour drive from Yerevan, but well worth it. Positioned in a steep gorge, the medieval monastery is austere and can only be reached by a cable car. As the valley opens up below you, enjoy the scenic beauty for 20 minutes, followed by a quick tour of the monastery. The Vorotan River winds through the valley and provides a picturesque backdrop.
Springs at Jermuk
Located in the south of the country, this city was once the hub of medical tourism in the Soviet era. There are about 40 hot springs here, the water from which is considered to be enriching and curative. The first mention of Jermuk is in a travelogue written in the 13th century extolling its virtues and ability to cure exhaustion. There are the ruins of an old fort where you can spend an afternoon, and (of course) lots of spas to bathe in and wipe away your fatigue.
Travel Risks for International Travelers in Armenia
For a traveler, Armenia is a low-risk country. But that does not mean it is a no-risk country. The biggest problem is the language barrier. Not only is English not commonly spoken, but French, German, and Spanish are not spoken, either. Unless you speak Armenian, most of your communication will be restricted to vigorous hand gestures. Travel to Armenia is not without some uncertainty.
- The weather is exceptionally dry. Carry water everywhere, and apply moisturizer several times a day.
- There are hiking trails throughout the country, but the infrastructure is lacking. Before you set out on a trail, inform locals and ask for a search party to be sent if you are not back as scheduled.
- Be careful at spas. They are terribly slippery, and a false step can land you at the hospital.
- Armenia is a deeply religious country. You would be expected to behave with decorum and soberness.
Armenia Travel Medical Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Though the place is warm and welcoming, there is minimal medical infrastructure. The nation is sparsely populated, and medical care is found only in the capital, Yerevan. If you contract anything complicated, air evacuation to Turkey is your only fallback option.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Armenia?
There is no mandatory requirement for you to buy travel medical insurance before you arrive in Armenia. However, considering that the nearest available option for significant treatment is in Turkey, which requires mandatory travel medical insurance, you would do well to buy adequate coverage.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Armenia?
An idyllic vacation filled with trips to medieval monasteries and a lake in the sky can quickly turn into a nightmare. Illness strikes without warning, and you could suffer a fracture or even a cardiac arrest due to overexertion. Medical treatment in neighboring Turkey is expensive, and you should buy travel medical insurance to defray expenses.
Armenia Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
Trip cancellation is not as rare as you think. It can happen to anyone at any time. If someone in your family falls ill, you may have no choice but to call the vacation off. Sadness and frustration are accompanied by financial loss.
Why buy trip cancellation insurance for Armenia?
Trip cancellation insurance cannot take away your heartbreak. But it can do the next best thing – compensate you for the amount you have already paid for hotels and flights, if you had to cancel for a reason covered in your policy. Having travel insurance would help mitigate a huge monetary hit.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Armenia?
The covered reasons for trip cancellation vary from plan to plan, but they are listed in your policy's certificate wording. Be sure to read the fine print before purchase so you know what you're buying. Most standard trip cancellation insurance policies protect you against the two most common causes for cancellation, illness or death in the family and inclement weather.
Apart from this, some insurance policies can cover for other factors such as political unrest and rioting. Remember to buy travel insurance to reduce your loss.
Before You Travel to Armenia - Do This
Have loads of fun traveling through Armenia, but please heed the following advice:
- Remember to maintain your travel documents, passport, visa, and hotel receipts in a separate folder.
- Be careful while you are on holiday. Small risks can cause a big disaster and rob you of your peace of mind.
- Buy adequate travel insurance to keep you and your loved ones safe. Enter some basic information, browse through a wide variety of plans, and select the one that best fits the needs of your current trip.