ARMENIA

ARMENIA

ARMENIA

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Name: Khor Virap
Location: Aramat Province, Armenia
The Khor Virap is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.

Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for about 14 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation. A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular church services are held in this church. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khor_Virap
Name: Republic Square
Location: Yerevan, Armenia
Republic Square is the central town square in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. It consists of two sections: an oval roundabout and a trapezoid-shaped section which contains a pool with musical fountains. The square is surrounded by five major buildings built in pink and yellow tuff in the neoclassical style with extensive use of Armenian motifs. This architectural ensemble includes the Government House, the History Museum and the National Gallery, Armenia Marriott Hotel and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Communications. The square was originally designed by Alexander Tamanian in 1924. The construction of most of the buildings was completed by the 1950s; the last building—the National Gallery—was completed in 1977.

During the Soviet period it was called the Lenin Square and a statue of Vladimir Lenin stood at the square and military parades were held twice (originally thrice) a year. After Armenia's independence Lenin's statue was removed and the square was renamed. Republic Square was the main site of demonstrations during the 2018 Velvet Revolution.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_Square,_Yerevan
Name: Temple of Garni
Location: Kotayk Province, Armenia
The Temple of Garni is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. An Ionic pagan temple located in the village of Garni, Armenia, it is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.

The structure was probably built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the sun god Mihr. After Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the early fourth century, it was converted into a royal summer house of Khosrovidukht, the sister of Tiridates III. According to some scholars it was not a temple but a tomb and thus survived the universal destruction of pagan structures. It collapsed in a 1679 earthquake. Renewed interest in the 19th century led to excavations at the site in early and mid-20th century, and its eventual reconstruction between 1969 and 1975, using the anastylosis method. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Armenia and the central shrine of Armenian neopaganism.

The temple is at the edge of a triangular cliff which overlooks the ravine of the Azat River and the Gegham mountains.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Garni
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO ARMENIA.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Armenian
Currency: Armenia Dram (AMD)
Time zone: AMT (Armenia Time) (UTC+4)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +374
Local / up-to-date weather in Yerevan (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Armenia travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Armenia, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO ARMENIA.

The Armenian currency is known as the dram, sometimes denoted by the symbol “Դ” (ISO currency code: AMD). Wikivoyage will use dram in its articles to identify the currency.

The dram is accepted everywhere, and in some rare cases US dollars will be accepted for larger purchases – though the dram is the only legal currency for commerce. US dollars, euros and Russian rubles can be exchanged almost anywhere in the country, with other major currencies also easy to exchange. Exchange booths and commercial banks do not charge a commission and rates are almost always quite competitive.

ATMs (Bankomats) are widely available in larger towns; though outside of Yerevan, you should have a major system such as Visa or MasterCard on your card for it to work.

Credit cards are not widely accepted outside Yerevan.

BY DAY TOUR:

One of the best options for getting to the major tourist sites – some of which have infrequent public transport – are the many day tours advertised throughout Yerevan. Starting at US$6, you can choose from a variety of half to full day trips which include a good number of the country’s major attractions. Some of the more remote and exotic destinations, such as the Petroglyphs of Ughtasar and many of the caves, for example, require special planning.

BY MINI-BUS OR BUS:

Public transportation is very good and inexpensive in Armenia, with timetables here. Use google translator if you don’t read armenian. It can also be tough to get to more remote sites outside of populated areas. The system could be described as a hub and spoke system, with each city offering local transportation to its surrounding villages and each city offering connections to Yerevan. Most inter-city travel is by 14-seat minibuses or buses. Yerevan has several bus interchange stations that serve the whole country, so depending on where you want to go, you should find out which bus interchange station services the area of your destination. Unlike many countries in Eastern Europe, Armenian mini-buses do not sell tickets beforehand, and do not issue tickets at all. You pay the driver, at any point in the trip (though some will collect at the beginning). Exact change is never required, but a 20,000 dram note for a 1,000 dram ride might present a problem. Tips are unheard of on public transportation.

BY TAXI OR CAR:

For the average western tourist, you can hire a taxi to go most anywhere in the country on very short notice. If you have decided to travel heavy by bringing big bags, then going by taxi will be the best option. Prices are about 100 dram a kilometer. Most taxis do not have meters though, so you should negotiate a price before you leave. Anyway, taxi is a good option in longer trips, especially if you don’t like waiting a minibus for hours.

You can rent cars in Yerevan. Driving in Armenia for the average tourist will be different than at home, though roads are getting better and better and driving style is quite good in general. If you decide to rent a car, there are a growing number of car rental companies, including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo, National and others throughout the central Yerevan.

Most main roads around Yerevan are in decent to fair shape with some being in unusually good condition. When you travel north (Dilidjan) or south (Jermuk), roads are less maintained and rather bumpy and you can feel it especially when using public transport! (Minibuses are often in bad condition too) Pot holes are very much a part of the experience and can test your driving skills. Be careful and when renting an automobile, consider an all wheeled vehicle or sport utility if available.

BY TRAIN:

All trains in Armenia remember Soviet times. There is only one fast train: the international Yerevan-Tbilisi (+Batumi in the summer). All other trains are slow but cheap. There are several daily trains towards Gyumri and one to Yerakhs at the closed border with Nakhichevan. On summer weekends, one daily train operates from the northern Almast station to Lake Sevan, all the way to Shorzha on the far side. Click here http://www.ukzhd.am/en.html for the timetable (passenger traffic on the left for details).

The only station north of Gyumri that is officially accessible to passengers is Vanadzor, where the Georgia-bound train stops. North of Vanadzor there are only technical stops to which tickets can’t be bought (Pambak, Shahali, Sanahin, Ayrum). One can still try to enter/leave the train though and ticket inspectors may allow this.

EAT:

  • Khorovats is a barbecue which can be chunks of pork, lamb, chicken or beef (called Shashlik in other post-Soviet countries). Usually, it is flavored with onions and other Armenian spices. Tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers are also part of the khorovats meal. Kebab is the ground-meat version of khorovats, and is cheaper.
  • Harissa – A kind of homogeneous porridge made of previously stewed and boned chicken or lamb and coarsely ground soaked shelled wheat. The dish dates back many centuries, and is traditionally served on Easter day. It is considered a national dish of Armenia, and is widely prepared by Armenians around the world.
  • Borscht is a commonly served Ukrainian vegetable soup. It is traditionally made with beetroot as a main ingredient, which gives it a strong red color. It is usually served warm with fresh sour cream.
  • Khash is a traditional dish, originating in the Shirak region. Formerly a nutritious winter food for the rural poor, it is now considered a delicacy, and is enjoyed as a festive winter meal. Made from less commonly used parts of animals, most visitors consider it an acquired taste.
  • Dolma – stuffed grape leaves; varieties with stuffed cabbage leaves, or bell peppers and aubergines also exist.
  • Byorek – consists of phyllo dough folded into triangles and stuffed with cheese, spinach or minced beef, and the filling is typically spiced. A popular combination is spinach, feta, cottage cheese (or pot cheese) and a splash of anise-flavored liquor (such as raki).

Desserts and snacks:

  • Gata or Nazook – A flaky pastry with a sweet filling.
  • Alani – pitted dried peaches stuffed with ground walnuts and sugar.
  • Kadaif (ghataif) – shredded dough with cream, cheese, or chopped walnut filling, soaked with sugar syrup.
  • Anoushabour – dried fruits stewed with barley, garnished with chopped almonds or walnuts (a traditional Christmas pudding).

Armenian fruits and vegetables are special. One should definitely try them and will never forget the taste of Armenian apricot, peach, grapes, pomegranate, etc. Especially the watermelons in Armenia and neighboring countries with similar altitude and climate are of superior taste.

Armenian bread is very tasty. There is a wide range of different types of bread, including black, white lavash (a soft, thin flatbread), and matnaqash.

Don’t miss trying milk products. Along with ordinary milk products, there are some traditional and really tasty and refreshing ones. Matsun (yogurt) is a traditional Armenian dairy product that has centuries of history. It contains a number of natural microelements, which have high biochemical activity. It’s really refreshing, especially when you try it cold during hot summers. Diluted with water or whey (or both) until drinkable, it becomes tan, and is sold in bottles. Okroshka is cold soup with tan, cucumber and dill; it is a healthy and refreshing dairy product. Spas is really tasty hot matsun soup with grains in it.

Café culture rules in Armenia, and the best places to have a cup of coffee and people-watch are sidewalk cafés. Any place near the Opera is certain to be jumping late into the summer nights. A popular chain is “Jazzve” (several locations throughout the city, including near the Opera and off Mesrop Mashtots Avenue), which offers many varieties of tea and coffee as well as great desserts.

DRINK:

Alcoholic: Vodka, tutti oghi (mulberry vodka), honi oghi (cornelian cherry vodka), Tsirani oghi (apricot vodka), local beer (Kilikia, Kotayk, Gyumri), wine (can also be made of pomegranate), and brandy. Respected wines include Karas, Karasi, Kataro, Armenia and some new wines hitting the market. Many are made with Armenian grape varietals not being grown anywhere else in the world. Areni is one of the most popular grape sorts which the largest number of red wines are made from, and the name of Armenia’s wine country, while khndoghni is a variety grown in southern Karabakh that the Kataro wine is made from.

Other: Tan (yogurt combined with water and salt), Jermuk (mineral water), masuri hyut (rose hip juice), chichkhani hyut (sea buckthorne juice), bali hyut (sour cherry juice), Armenian coffee, and herbal teas.

Across Armenia, you can find bed and breakfasts that are pleasant and will give you a true taste of Armenian culture. The language barrier will be significant in the rural areas of Armenia if you do not speak Armenian or Russian, but if you take a phrase dictionary with you, you should have no trouble, as people are patient. If you don’t personally know any Armenians, one way to access the true Armenia, away from the Westernized hotels and “Armenian branded” hotels is to find a reliable travel agent based in Armenia.

In Yerevan, there are a couple of hostels. Outside Yerevan, there are a few main recreational areas that offer very reasonable accommodations, but you will be required to live without some conveniences. At the high end are some hotels on Lake Sevan and in Northern Lori Marz (50 km from the Georgian border). Here you will miss nothing, but you will pay Western prices for the accommodations. Around Lake Sevan, there are numerous types of cottages and hotels. Prices are reasonable and start at about $10 per day for a cottage with electricity and within walking distance from Lake Sevan. The city of Sevan, due to its proximity to Yerevan, is the most popular place on Lake Sevan but the history, culture and non-Western feel of the accommodations change as you go south on Lake Sevan.

Tavush Marz is a wonderful place to summer. Dilijan and Ijevan are wonderful towns in which to be based, with day trips to the many ancient churches that pepper this remote region. Costs are very reasonable and Dilijan is known for its sanatoriums from the Soviet era. Do not expect hot water all hours of the day, but you can have a lovely room that will accommodate a family, including food for about US$20 a day. Take another US$20 to hire a car for the day to visit the surrounding historical sites.

Lori Marz is the second most beautiful region after Vayots Dzor. It has many health resort areas such as Stepanavan, Dendropark (Sojut) next to village Gyulagarak. Lori is considered to be the Armenian Switzerland. It has numerous churches, monasteries, medieval bridges and monuments. The Stepanavan area is great for hiking, tasting fresh dairy products, etc. Small hotels and B&Bs are available in the area of Stepanavan, Odzun, Tumanian, etc.

Tsaghkadzor is a well-known winter retreat. It has many lovely hotels and is popular year round. Check with a travel agent to find the best deal depending on what activity you are looking to undertake. Jermuk, made famous by the bottled water of the same name, is a wonderful get away, but will again require you to leave your western expectations behind.

Armenian carpets, cognac, fruits, handicrafts and Soviet memorabilia are some of the most popular things people take home from Armenia. Most of these are plentiful at Vernissage, a seemingly never-ending weekend flea market next to Republic Square with the more touristy stuff in the back half, further from Republic Square.

Most shops and restaurants are open every day and offices and schools are open Monday to Saturday. Mornings are usually slow, and places don’t tend to open early, or even on time.

MARKETS:

Vernisage Crafts and Flea Market – every Saturday and Sunday near Republic Square, there is a huge open market with great shopping for tourists and locals alike. There are large sections for old carpets, intricate wood carvings and backgammon boards, paintings, souvenirs, old porcelain and old housewares, with smaller sections for needlework and embroidery, stone work, books, military surplus and countless other random things.

The GUM Shuka farmers market is a large covered market near the Tashir Mall near the intersection of Tigran Mets Ave and Movses Khorenatsi Street. Inside are fresh fruits and vegetables along with great dried fruits, as well as a butcher section and dried herb section. Outside on one side are more butchers and on the other more fresh fruit and vegetable vendors, next to a row of hand made metal wood-burning stove stalls.

For Armenian- and Russian-speaking visitors, a visit to the used book market can be quite interesting. Located in a park near the corner of Abovyan and Moskovyan Streets, close to the Yeritasardakan Metro Station, vendors sell thousands of books. You may try to bargain.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Armenia
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Khor Virap
Location: Aramat Province, Armenia
The Khor Virap is an Armenian monastery located in the Ararat plain in Armenia, near the closed border with Turkey. The monastery was host to a theological seminary and was the residence of Armenian Catholicos.

Khor Virap's notability as a monastery and pilgrimage site is attributed to the fact that Gregory the Illuminator was initially imprisoned here for about 14 years by King Tiridates III of Armenia. Saint Gregory subsequently became the king's religious mentor, and they led the proselytizing activity in the country. In the year 301, Armenia was the first country in the world to be declared a Christian nation. A chapel was initially built in 642 at the site of Khor Virap by Nerses III the Builder as a mark of veneration to Saint Gregory. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly rebuilt. In 1662, the larger chapel known as the "St. Astvatsatsin" (Holy Mother of God) was built around the ruins of the old chapel, the monastery, the refectory and the cells of the monks. Now, regular church services are held in this church. It is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khor_Virap
Name: Republic Square
Location: Yerevan, Armenia
Republic Square is the central town square in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. It consists of two sections: an oval roundabout and a trapezoid-shaped section which contains a pool with musical fountains. The square is surrounded by five major buildings built in pink and yellow tuff in the neoclassical style with extensive use of Armenian motifs. This architectural ensemble includes the Government House, the History Museum and the National Gallery, Armenia Marriott Hotel and the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Transport and Communications. The square was originally designed by Alexander Tamanian in 1924. The construction of most of the buildings was completed by the 1950s; the last building—the National Gallery—was completed in 1977.

During the Soviet period it was called the Lenin Square and a statue of Vladimir Lenin stood at the square and military parades were held twice (originally thrice) a year. After Armenia's independence Lenin's statue was removed and the square was renamed. Republic Square was the main site of demonstrations during the 2018 Velvet Revolution.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_Square,_Yerevan
Name: Temple of Garni
Location: Kotayk Province, Armenia
The Temple of Garni is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. An Ionic pagan temple located in the village of Garni, Armenia, it is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.

The structure was probably built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the sun god Mihr. After Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the early fourth century, it was converted into a royal summer house of Khosrovidukht, the sister of Tiridates III. According to some scholars it was not a temple but a tomb and thus survived the universal destruction of pagan structures. It collapsed in a 1679 earthquake. Renewed interest in the 19th century led to excavations at the site in early and mid-20th century, and its eventual reconstruction between 1969 and 1975, using the anastylosis method. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Armenia and the central shrine of Armenian neopaganism.

The temple is at the edge of a triangular cliff which overlooks the ravine of the Azat River and the Gegham mountains.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Garni
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN ARMENIA / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
Washington DC: TBC

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Washington DC: TBC

...WHO ARE WE?

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My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

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