Unusual things to do in Armenia

Lavash bakers

There are lots of traditional forms of entertainment in Armenia like eating at the best restaurants or exploring ancient monasteries hidden on top of picturesque mounts. But some things are unique to Armenia. It’s a country where East and West mix in a fantastic aura.  If you are excited to do unusual things in this fairly undiscovered country, this blog post is for you. I guarantee you will leave with a big baggage of energy from this mountainous country. At least, that is what I feel every time I visit Armenia.

 I will give you tips on how to fill your day with unique experiences. If you like my ideas, ping me on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips.

Here are some unusual things you can do in Armenia. Things to do in Yerevan.

  1. Drink from a pulpulak
  2. Take photos of hanging linen
  3. Shop for lavash at the Gum market
  4.  Enjoy singing fountains
  5. Take Yerevan zipline
  6. Take a photoshoot in a national Armenian dress (taraz)
  7. Make your own perfume with a professional master

Things to do in Armenia (outside Yerevan)

  1. Go horse-riding in Yenokavan
  2. Overcome obstacles at Rope Park
  3. Drive off-road
  4. Go rafting on the Debed River
  5. Learn pottery at Areni village
  6. Take a hiking tour to Lastiver

What unusual things to do in Yerevan

Drink from a pulpulak

Pulpulak is a small water fountain that you can see almost on all streets of Yerevan. Yerevan water is super delicious and it originates from the mountains. You can enjoy it absolutely free. Pulpulak is a source of pride in Armenia. It is built with or in stone and is approximately one meter tall.  You may find pulpulaks dedicated to cherished soldiers with their names on the water fountain. We commemorate their memory with cold mountain spring water that never stops flowing.

By the way, we even have an app that helps you track all pulpulaks in the town and stay hydrated. I recommend you carry your water bottle with you and fill it in from pulpulaks around Yerevan, especially in summer. The weather can be really hot during the day. Check out my post about useful apps in Armenia to learn more about the Pulpulak app and others.

Take photos of hanging linen

Here is an idea for a cool photographic hunt for you! You may happen to see it in other post-Soviet countries. In Armenia, people hang linen and clothes on long ropes outside the buildings. These ropes usually connect buildings that stand opposite each other, or sometimes they connect to a central slope stretching to it from various windows in the surrounding area. It seems strange and funny for some travelers to see linen outside the buildings in an urban setting like Yerevan. So, I think it’s a pretty cool experience and a nice opportunity for interesting camera shots.

Also, try to hypothesize about the family who owns all those hanging clothes and linen. I think you can deconstruct a lot about family affairs based on the laundry that they hang out. 🙂 It’s fun speculation!

Shop for lavash in GUM market

GUM market is the coolest fresh food market and the best local market in Yerevan to visit. Here you can buy the famous Armenian bread – lavash. You will also meet an amazing line of dried fruits that you can taste and buy. Don’t be surprised if you leave the market with a full stomach. Everyone will treat you with a piece of dried fruit so that you can taste it before buying. By the way, I talk more in detail about GUM in my post about street shopping in Yerevan, so check it out.

Enjoy singing fountains

One of the breathtaking scenes you will see in Yerevan is singing fountains on the Republic Square just in front of the History Museum. The fountains are accompanied by lovely music in various genres such as classical music, contemporary jazz, rock, and pop. The music is accompanied by different light effects. The colors of the lights change according to the rhythm of the music. It’s very spectacular!

Fountains start working from late May till October. They normally operate during evening hours from 9 pm to 11 pm. So, don’t miss it! Check out the video below to get an idea of what it looks like.

Take Yerevan zipline

You may have taken ziplines before. The nice thing about the Yerevan zipline is that you can have a view of the city. Yerevan zipline is the longest in Armenia and the only one in the world that passes under a bridge. It’s pretty fast – up to 120-140 kilometers per hour. I am pretty sure you will get a huge dose of adrenalin. And it’s a pretty unique thing to do in Yerevan!

Take a photoshoot in a National Armenian dress (taraz)

Taking photos in national Armenian costume has become popular not only among locals but also among travelers. The idea is to promote the Armenian Taraz (traditional dress). There are many studios that provide national costumes and Atelier Marashlyan is one of them. It was founded in 2013 by a repatriate Armenian – Emma Marashlyan.

Taking a photo in a national Armenian costume is a great way to learn more about our culture and traditions. And I spoke to many Armenians about this and none of them felt like this was a form of cultural appropriation if foreigners were wearing our traditional dresses. And to give you a good idea of the results of such a photoshoot – this is me! 🙂

Me on a photoshoot at Marashlyan

Make your own perfume

Visit Gevorg Simoanyan’s garage and make your own perfume. This master will teach you how to mix different scents and make real perfume. In the end, you will get a certificate as a certified perfumer. Cool, isn’t it? And how unique! You can choose the smells you like, to mix something that will be uniquely yours and you will certainly use it. And all of these in a small garage!

Unusual things to do outside Yerevan

Go horse-riding in Yenokavan

You may have heard about beautiful nature and ancient churches in Armenia. That’s true and Armenians are normally proud of their history. But if you want to have a more entertaining vacation, Yenokavan is the place to go.

Yenokavan is a village located in the north of Armenia in the Tavush region. The area has magnificent views and has attracted lots of travelers in recent years.

Horse riding is one of the unusual things you can do in Yenokavan. Since there are many other types of leisure activities that you can do in this resort village, staying overnight is a pretty good idea. There are several places you can consider for overnight stays at Yenokavan. Apaga resort hotel is a great option.

Overcome obstacles at Rope Park

Rope Park includes diverse trials on trees. One should keep one’s balance on the ropes, pass bridges and overcome other barriers. The total area of Rope Park is 3000m2Rope Park is also in the village of Yenokavan.

Drive off-road

If you happen to visit Yell Extreme Park, one of the rather unusual things you can do here is drive off-road. Off-road is a type of adventure holiday, which includes overcoming various obstacles, difficulties, and barriers in off-road vehicles, driving on bumpy roads, made of materials such as sand, riverbeds, rocks, and mud. Even a skilled driver will feel challenged here, I’ve been told. So, it sounds pretty cool!

Go rafting on the Debed River

Rafting is also gaining popularity in Armenia and one place to go rafting is the Debed River. The river is 152 km long and the difficulty level is 4. After getting your dose of adrenalin and having fun with friends, you can visit nearby attractions, including the monasteries of Haghpat, Sanahin, and others. The best time for rafting in terms of weather is in May. So, plan your trip accordingly. Check out the page of one of the local rafting groups, to see their schedule.

Learn pottery at Areni village

Another fun and unusual way of spending your time is to visit the village Areni. Areni is famous for Areni wine. The village often hosts wine days and you can meet lots of travelers that want to taste the local wine.

You can also visit Arpine Matevosyan’s art studio, Arhestanots, where the host will teach you how to make pots with clay. Making your own pot and taking it with you as a souvenir is a nice way of remembering Armenia.

Take a hiking tour to Lastiver

And, of course, you can make a hiking tour to the famous Lastiver. You will see small houses constructed on the trees, a waterfall, and caves, where the hermits used to live. This place looks wonderful every season. Literally, Lastiver means “up the dam” and this is because there is a ladder of logs that takes to the caves which is more like a dam than a ladder. That’s why the area is called “up the dam”.  You can take a private tour to Lastiver and spend a day there.

Visit Red Deer Breeding Center

If you have followed my blogs, you’ll probably know that I’m a huge history buff and foodie. But you might not know that I also love animals. If you are, too, you should definitely visit Red Deer Breeding Center. This facility’s goal is to breed Caucasian Red Deers and reintroduce them to Armenia by re-releasing them into Dilijan National Park. The guests are allowed to touch or feed the deers. The whole thing is in a huge park which is pleasing to the eyes of nature lovers.

Final words on unusual things to do in Armenia

Yep, the country has a lot to offer. Famous for its ancient history, Armenia has become an entertaining place both for active and passive leisure lovers. Doing unusual things in Armenia is not unusual. You just need to know the places. And yep, if you happen to be in Armenia in July, Vardavar is the most fun! If you think I have helped you make your tour more entertaining, ping me on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips. As always, I will read your stories with great delight.

Featured image credit: Photo by Armine Aghayan on Wikimedia Commons (CC)

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