Let’s have a look at the most beautiful villages in Armenia! Leave your guidebook aside and explore some magical places with friendly people and unique architecture. Most are popular places for hikers as mountains are the visit card for these villages. In the close proximity of many of these villages, you’ll also find ancient churches and other architectural gems. So, if you want to experience history and adventure at the same time, this list of the most beautiful Armenian villages will come in handy.
What is the most beautiful village in Armenia? Qualifying villages are:
- Areni Wine Village
- Sanahin and Haghpat
Monasteries, excellent options for hiking, incredible nature, and most friendly local people – I guarantee you will find these all in these Armenian villages. If you ever visit these places, don’t forget to ping me on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips. Tell me about everything you experienced there – jokes, stories, unexpected incidents, or whatever!
Areni Wine Village
Areni is known for its winery. It is one of the main attractions of Armenia for vintage wine lovers. On the first Saturday of October, the village hosts a wine festival which is a big event. Travelers from all around the world get to taste new and mature wines from the local area. I was amazed to learn about Areni Cave where a 6000-year-old wine press and other wine equipment were discovered making it one of the oldest wineries in the world.
But Areni is famous for more than just wine. The locals offer master classes with clay. It was such an adventure for me to learn pottery in one of the basements of the Areni culture house called Arhestanots. Don’t worry about locating it. Anyone in Areni village knows its founder Arpine Matevosyan. So, just ask any local. And here you have some basic info about their workshop and a link to their Facebook page.
Arhestanots in Areni village
- Reservation: 24 hours in advance.
- Duration: 1-2.5 hours
- Language: Armenian, Russian, English
- Contact: Facebook // +374 41 31 32 35 (Arpine Matevosyan)
Old Bridge Winery in Areni
Another great place to visit in the surroundings of Areni is the Old Bridge Winery. It is a small winery located about 7-8 kilometers away from Areni village near Yeghegnadzor. This is an amazing local business that I’d absolutely love to see you visiting. Check out their website and consider booking a tour with a wine tasting experience. You won’t regret it.
And if you are in the area and you’re hungry, there is Ar Areni Restaurant right next to the entrance of Areni village. It is run by a lovely couple who also make wine. You can relax in the garden and watch the small winery. So chill!
The village of Odzun is one of the best weekend getaways in Armenia. The population is 4000 which makes it the largest village in the country.
Odzun has a different vibe. Its picturesque monasteries, awesome landscape, and most friendly people create an atmosphere where you can relax and feel at ease. I personally enjoyed the place after a long trip in Lory.
You can visit the Armenian basilica that was built somewhere between the 5th and 7th centuries. Don’t expect to find polished and luxurious architecture in Odzun. This is not going to happen. But if you are a fan of history, you will definitely appreciate Odzun’s remarkable architecture.
Tatev is a small village in the Province of Syunik. The landscape is fabulous when you take the famous Wings of Tatev – a 5.7 km long cableway between Halidzor and Tatev Monastery. You will enjoy the view of the gorge from a height of 320 meters. It will take you to the famous Tatev Monastery in 12 minutes. The same distance would take 40 minutes by car.
Tatev Monastery is located on the verge of a gorge overlooking the Vorotan River. It was an educational and spiritual center for many centuries. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the monastery was a home for the University of Tatev where students studied religion, art, and science. It was also a publishing house.
This beautiful village is located in the Tavush region of Armenia. It is named after Mkhitar Gosh (1130-1213). Gosh was a public figure and a scholar representing the Armenian Renaissance. There is a fabulous monastery in the village Gosh which is called Goshavank. It is located on the main highway that runs through the village. The monastery complex was founded by Mkhitar Gosh, and that’s why it is now named after him.
It’s funny, but the villagers take their pride in Mkhitar Gosh a little to the extreme. There is a bunch of stuff in the village that is named after him. The village itself, the main monastery, but also a lake that carries the same name as the village.
People in this area have a funny tradition. They hung handkerchiefs on one of the trees in the area. They say if you hang a handkerchief and make a wish, your wish will come true. Just a legend! But people still believe in it. So, don’t miss a chance to make a wish if you’re around. Bring a handkerchief with you.
Sanahin and Haghpat
If you are planning to visit the North of Armenia, then Sanahin and Haghpat should definitely be on the list. The village Haghpat is located high in the mountains near Alaverdi. Not far from it is the village Sanahin.
The two are famous for their monasteries that carry the same names as the villages. These are UNESCO sites and visited by travelers who take pleasure in exploring both the culture and environment. I wrote a little more about these UNESCO sites in a separate post earlier. So, check it out if you want to learn more about our internationally protected heritage.
These villages are tucked away, so it’s definitely a trip off the beaten track if you decide to go here. But it’s worth it! I personally loved my trip to these gorgeous historical venues far away from mass tourism.
These five villages are the most beautiful villages in Armenia in my opinion. If you like this post, you might want to learn more about our best hiking spots or explore the most visited cities in Armenia. Wherever you go, you will meet pieces of architecture that are witnesses of intriguing history. And if you happen to visit some of these places, share your photos with me on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I am looking forward to hearing lots of exciting stories from you.
Featured image credits: Alexander Naumov on Wikimedia Commons (CC)
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