alpine-flowers-in-the-upper-svaneti-region

Armenia Travel Guide

Practical information

01:56:18
Language(s)
Armenian
Currency
Armenian Dram
Time zone
GMT +4

Armenian History and Culture

Armenia is an ancient country that has experienced many lives. Its capital city, Yerevan, dates to about 600 BC. Invasions between 1000AD and 1500AD led many Armenians to flee the region to the nearby countries of Turkey, Poland and the Crimea as rule under the Turkish, Persians and Russians was consistently fought over. Towards the end of the 1800s and into the 1900s, under the rule of the Ottoman Empire, many Armenians were again pushed into exile. This continued into the beginning of the 20th century, accumulating in the Armenian Genocide of World War I. Then in 1990, after being part of the Soviet Union for nearly 70 years, the Republic of Armenia was finally declared independent. 

 

The traditional religion of Armenia is Roman Catholic or Orthodox Christian. The adoption of Christianity occurred in 301AD, causing Armenia to be considered as the first Christian state. This is reflected in the religious architecture which is such a prominent part of Armenia’s culture. Given the nickname, “Country of Stones”. Local architects historically adapted to the harsh landscape and earthquake prone region, creating the elaborate monasterial complexes we see today. Another form of ancient sculpture are the intricately carved Khachkars, dating back to the 12th century, which were used as tombstones or memorials. Today, there are still more than 50,000 dotted across the landscape.  

 

Armenia’s distinct culture is a combination of the Western and Oriental influences on the region as a key player on the Silk Road. With this a unique alphabet was developed, dating back to the 5th century, and in turn scriptures of religious literature were created, most famous of which is the Matenadaran manuscripts. These ancient manuscripts portray the development of medieval science and culture throughout Armenia. The local art forms and customs of the region, can also be dated back to medieval times as Armenia has held on tight to it’s traditional values.

Time Zone

The time zone in Armenia is GMT +4.

Languages

Armenian

The language in Armenia is Armenian. 

Useful phrases

  • Hello - Barev dzez
  • Good-bye - Tstesutsyun!
  • I am sorry - Tsavum em
  • Please - Khntromem
  • Thank you - Shnorrhakalutsjun
  • I don’t understand that - Sa es chem haskanum
  • Yes - Ajo
  • No - Votsh
  • Excuse me - Neerhorutsun

Currency

Armenian Dram

The currency in Armenia is Armenian Dram (AMD) and it's symbol is ֏. For the latest exchange rates visit www.xe.com.

The Armenian Dram is an open currency so you will be able to exchange some money before you leave your home country and take it with you. You can also exchange currency at the airport, banks, exchange offices, or with currency exchangers. However, the latter isn't recommended as some exchangers will provide you with counterfeit money.  US Dollars and Euros are the easiest currencies to exchange. There are strict regulations in place throught the banking system in Armenia so all banks are considered to be credible to exchange your money with. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at restaurants and larger shops in the big cities. If you are planning to carry a credit card for emergencies, please inform your card provider in advance. ATMs are also available in the bigger cities to withdraw cash, if you have a pre-paid card such as Monzo or Revolut this can often be done without exchange charges. The only way to pay for things in the smaller towns and villages is in cash. Cards are not accepted in these areas so you will need to carry enough cash for snacks, drinks and any personal expenses. 



The cost of a three course meal for two can be anywhere between ֏10,000-25,000 ($25-60). A taxi ride will generally start at ֏600 ($1.50) and add ֏100 ($0.26) per km, whereas a one way bus ticket for a 10 minute journey will be around ֏100 ($0.26). It is fairly cheap to eat out and travel compared to Western standards and if you are wanting to buy some souvenirs to take home then these generally cost anywhere between ֏2,000-40,000 ($5-$100) for gifts that will pack into your main bag. Don't forget you will also need to budget for drinks too. A bottle of water might cost you $1 to $2, while a local beer can be around $2 to $4. We would recommend a budget of $300 for your time in Armenia. 

USD
AMD

Electricity

For hiking in Armenia there are two plug types: type C and type F.  These operate on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Weather

Summer hiking weather in Armenia, whether you're in the rolling mountains of the Tavush Province or the lower elevations of the Dilijan region, is generally very warm. You will be walking in short sleeves under sunny skies most days, as rain is infrequent in the summer months.  There is a possibility for one or two wet days at higher elevations as the mountains create a rain shadow. Temperatures can range from 4 °C at night to 26 °C during the day. Hikers can expect daytime temperatures around 27 °C in the valleys and 20 °C above 5000 feet—although it's not uncommon to have humid mist on the high trail one day, and T-shirt weather the next.

As for seasonality, hiking in Armenia is best from mid-May through mid-October. We typically schedule our first  trips around the first week of June and finish by mid September. Wildflowers in the alpine meadows are at their peak in late July and early August.

Safety and Security

Your safety and well-being is always the number one priority at Kandoo Adventures.


We operate all our travel destinations in accordance with the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice, which publishes travel advisory notices for British nationals. We also closely follow the advice of ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) which provides support to UK tour operators.  


In addition to this, our extensive, directly-managed operations in each of our destinations, provide us with detailed knowledge and up-to-date information, which enables us to make informed decisions and operate our trips safely.

We always recommend that you regularly check the FCDO's travel advice, in order to keep up to date about the country you are planning to visit.

If you are not a UK resident, we would recommend that you visit your government's travel advisory website for further information:



Alternatively, you may wish to visit our Travel Updates page or seek further information from the World Health Organisation.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage for your alpine trekking tour. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 

  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything you need in the big cities. 
We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed. Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover.
abandoned-village-of-ketrisi

Geography

Armenia, lies just south of the Greater Caucasus mountain range and is landlocked on all sides. To the north and east it borders Georgia and Azerbaijan, while to the southeast and west it’s neighbours are Iran and Turkey. Although it is located in subtropics, 90% of Armenia’s elevation is over 1000m above sea level. The high-mountainous character of the landscape creates rather dry, hot summers (with average temperatures of 25 degrees С) and cold winters (average temperatures of -6 degrees C). This mountainous climate creates opportunities for diverse habitat and Armenia’s flora is widely varied across the arid semidesert, up to the high alpine meadows. Woodlands occupy around 12% of the land, which is particularly prominent in the Dilijan National Park, a heavily vegetated region that displays the Armenian seasons in all their glorious colour.

A country framed by over 3,000km of mountainous terrain, Armenia’s mountains are still very young and seismic occurrences such as earthquakes are still present in the region as the mountains continue to grow. The highest of these peaks is Mount Aragat, standing tall at 4,090 metres, this dormant volcano forms a dramatic backdrop to the capital city of Yerevan.