Areni Wine Country

Just a couple of villages from Yeghegnadzor is Areni, famous for its wine from grapes of the same name. Nice setting and village, with a couple of the wineries in the area offering tastings.

Noravank Monastery

Hands down the most popular site in the area, this monastery of stunning beauty is in an equally stunning canyon setting. The brick-red cliffs opposite the beige stones of the monastery offer an unforgettable contrast, as does the climb up the stone steps jutting out of one of the churches, to a second story church on top of the one on the first story. The carvings are also very worthwhile, and the monastery has excellent facilities and maybe food for visitors as well.

Selim Caravanserai

If you want to see where silk road traders laid their weary heads a thousand years ago, head up the winding road to Selim Caravanserai. You can see the entrance/bar area, and the large cavernous room the guests would share with each other, and their animals. The room has convenient troughs for the animals to eat and drink from!

Tsakhats Kar Monastery

Up in the mountains is the Monastery of Tsakhats Kar. A nice hike from the village below, or an offroad drive for those with a serious 4x4. Time seems to have forgotten this place, but you need not. It's across from Smbataberd see below, and together they make a great outing.

Smbataberd Fortress

A serious natural fortification with a serious fortress on top. This narrow sheer cape is capped with one of Armenia's biggest fortresses. The views of the valley's are impressive and the sheer drop a bit scary. Impossible to imagine this fortress ever being taken by force.

Mozrov and Arjeri Caves

These rough caves, found very close to one another, were mapped during Soviet times, but there are no markers, no lights, no facilities, no decent road to them. Not many people know them well either, so finding a guide may be tough, but definitely necessary. Mozrov is only 700m long, but has the nicer formations. Arjeri cave, meaning bears cave, is a very extensive cave system, with some good formations, small pools of water, and both have bats.

Spitakavor Monastery and Boloraberd Fortress

These two sites are quite close to each other, and a great day hike from Yeghegnadzor. A local guide, topographic maps or a GPS might be handy, but these very off-road sites also accessible by car, preferably 4x4 are rarely visited.

Gladzor University Ruins and Tanahati Monastery

Another good day hike from Yeghegnadzor, these adjacent sites are easy to find by following the road up past Vernishen village.

Yeghegis Village sites

This village, beautifully sited in the canyon below Smbataberd which may be better accessed from the opposite side of the canyon has the very unusual triangular shaped Zorats Church, where the congregation is meant to stand outdoors. It also has another nice small church and much rougher one, and ancient Jewish cemetery across the river below, and don't be surprised to stumble upon women baking lavash in the traditional underground tonir over!

other sites

Smaller sites if you have the time or are in the area.

Jrovank - a small cave with water seeping through and a little chapel set up inside.

Magili Cave - another cave system, in the canyon leading to Noravank. Deep system, but few formations.

Areni Church - overlooking the village, this nearly thousand year old small church has been immaculately restored.

Khotakenats Vank Monastery - an interesting little monastery in Khachik Village, overlooking Nakhichevan.

Martiros rock-cut church - a small and simple church carved into the stone mountain above Martiros Village.

Arkazi S. Khach Church - very near Tanahati Monastery, plain church said to have a piece of the true cross buried in its walls.

Moz archaeological site

Horadis Church