Armenia has been included in Condé Nast Traveler magazine's list of 20 best destinations for 2020.
The magazine starts the list of the best places to go in the coming year by surveying their well-traveled staff, and then the hyper-connected network of writers based all over the world.
"Armenia is on its way to being one of next year’s most talked-about destinations, and there’s more to the tiny Caucasus nation than what makes the nightly news (or Kim Kardashian’s semi-regular visits)," the piece says.
"First-time visitors should linger in Yerevan, Armenia’s “pink city” of grand Soviet buildings hewn from salmon-tinged stone. After checking in to your hotel, hit the main sights, such as Republic Square, the Cascade (a collossal Soviet modernist stairway), and the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex, dedicated to the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Then snag a table at any outdoor café on Amiryan Street or Mashtots Avenue, where people-watching—a favorite local pastime—perks up after sunset."
Beyond the capital, much of Armenia’s tourism revolves around the churches that dot the countryside, the magazine says.
"Khor Virap, Noravank, Geghard, and the Ancient Roman temple of Garni are so history-packed and picturesque they’ll leave even the staunchest nonbeliever breathless. But Armenia’s foremost architectural jewel is Etchmiadzin, the oldest cathedral in the world, consecrated in 303 A.D. and the Armenian equivalent of the Vatican," the article says.
"The country’s natural wonders are perhaps even more arresting than its man-made ones. Lake Sevan, which engulfs 16 percent of the country, is a magnificent sight against the rugged foothills of the Caucasus Mountains and makes for refreshing dips during the scorching summer months. Off its northern tip is Dilijan National Park, a lush wooded reserve home to lynx, bears, and wolves, where a 50-mile section of the Transcaucasian Trail was bushwhacked into existence last spring to the glee of adventurous hikers."
The magazine's list also includes Bahia (Brazil), Botswana's Salt Pans, The Canadian Arctic, Canary Islands (Spain), Copenhagen (Denmark),Dominica, Dubai (UAE), El Chaltén (Argentina), Guyana, Metz (France), Mokpo (South Korea), Nashville (U.S.),Okinawa (Japan), Rwanda, Slovenia, Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast, Southeastern Australia, Southwest Michigan (U.S.) and Tangier (Morocco).
The Armenian capital of Yerevan was recently included in Forbes' list of 10 underrated, off-the-beaten-path destinations where you can "immerse yourself in nature or culture far from hordes of international tourists."