Despite a traumatic twentieth century, Armenia has turned itself around. These days, travel to Armenia to discover its history, Mediterranean culture and vibrant café scene.
The historic capital Yerevan, backed by Mt Ararat, is one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements anywhere in the world although its modern architecture owes more to the Soviet regime than its ancient origins. Visit the many museums and the Vernisaj flea market for a flavour of the country past and present.
The old capital Echmiadzin is a holy centre and site of Armenia's most important cathedral, the Cathedral of St Gregory the Illuminator; it is reputed to hold a piece of wood from Noah's Ark. Elsewhere, Gorls has historic architecture and some unusual cave dwellings carved into the nearby cliffs that are worth seeking out.
Armenia also has a range of natural attractions worth travelling to see. First amongst these is Lake Sevan, the largest lake in the Caucasus. Mount Aragats is the highest peak and home to the ancient Amberd fort and church. Otherwise, head to Dillzhan Hill for attractive mountain scenery, woods and springs; there's some good trekking in the region that allows you to explore the monasteries of Goshavank and Haghartsin.