Armenia Travel Guide

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Armenia is the only country remaining from 3,000 year old maps of Anatolia. It became the world’s first Christian country 1,707 years ago in 301 AD, and has a large Diaspora all over the world. As a former Soviet republic lying in the Caucasus region, straddling Asia and Europe, with an ancient culture, Islamic and a Christian neighbor, and one of the most homogenous populations in the world, Armenia has an ancient and rich culture which is very easy to experience, thanks to a very hospitable people.

Landlocked, Armenia is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Iran to the south, Azerbaijan to the east, and Azerbaijan's Naxcivan exclave to the southwest. Five percent of the country's surface area consists of Lake Sevan (Sevana Lich), the largest lake in the Lesser Caucasus mountain range. The many mountains and mountain valleys create a great number of microclimates, with scenery changing from arid to lush forest at the top of a mountain ridge.

On a trip to Armenia, you will frequently be reminded that Armenia was the world's first officially Christian country. You will have a hard time forgetting this as a tourist, since countless monasteries are among Armenia's premier tourist attractions. Fortunately for those who might otherwise suffer monastery fatigue, many of these monasteries are built in places of incredible natural beauty, making the sites of monasteries like Tatev, Noravank, Haghartsin, Haghpat and Geghard well worth a visit even without the impressive, millennia old monasteries found there.

Since 2001, when Armenia celebrated the 1,700th anniversary of the nation’s conversion to Christianity, the growth in the number of tourists has grown by about 25% every year. Straddling Europe and Asia in the lesser Caucasus Mountains, an ex-Soviet state, with a culture over 3,000 years old and examples of ancient architecture and art all over the countryside, this McDonalds-free country offers something exotic for many tourists.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://wikitravel.org/en/Armenia

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October 30, 2008 change by raffikojian

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