10 February 2013

Travel in ... Armenia

Five top tips for travelling in the country where they claim Noah parked his Ark

Getting your five-a-day is surprisingly easy

1. Dress chic in Yerevan All those diaspora visiting family and bringing their American dollars back to the motherland mean that Armenia’s capital is cosmopolitan. The scene is very much pavement caf├ęs during the day and languid drinks in bars or clubbing in the evening. The level of English in Yerevan is high – expect a warm welcome and impeccable English from younger residents. Armenia has a continental climate: summer is hot, winter is freezing and chic is for all seasons.
2. Take a scarf or shawl for all those churches Claiming to be the first country to adopt Christianity, Armenia has three UNESCO World Heritage churches not to mention countless other monasteries perched in picturesque settings. The younger women in Yerevan may not always cover their shoulders, but outside the capital make sure to cover yours and avoid shorts or short skirts.
3. Be surprised by the food For those expecting a diet of grilled meat and flat bread, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get your 5-a-day. Home to the apricot and cherry, Armenian cooking can be varied with high quality fruit and veg, nuts and grains. There are plenty of restaurants serving tourists barbecued meat and unadventurous salads, but be picky and you will find restaurants with a more appetising array of choices. Don’t forget the de.li.cious pastries. 
4. Get your cash in Yerevan On the whole Armenia feels safe and non-threatening for female travellers but, apart from the fact there are far fewer ATMs outside the capital, withdrawing cash in other parts of the country often means visiting isolated banks with poor lighting.
5. Take your driving licence Armenia is approximately 1.5 times the size of Wales with beautiful verdant gorges to high, mountain plains. The best way to cover this small and naturally diverse country is by car; signs between major towns are generally good and in English and Armenian. But beware the potholes and cars avoiding the potholes - drivers will go to great, swerving lengths to avoid them and just one vertebrae-crunching experience will show you why.  

No comments:

Post a Comment