Condé Nast Traveler magazine has, again, named Armenia one of the best holiday destinations for 2020, describing the country as "a hill-walker’s heaven in the booming Caucasus".
The country had earlier been included in the magazine's list of 20 best destinations for 2020.
Armenia has a huge amount to offer, the magazine says. Its food scene – a heaving panoply of honey-drenched baklava, pillowy manti dumplings and wheelbarrow loads of lavash – is worth experiencing, and "pretty Yerevan is bursting with bookshop cafés and traditional restaurants that look like Old Master paintings".
The publication reminds that the country was the first to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD, and its mountain crags are home to some of the world’s earliest churches. But there’s more to Armenia than its ecclesiastical flourishes, the article says.
"The recently waymarked Trans Caucasian Trail offers lung-pinching hiking (including a part ascension of the towering Mount Ararat) and work will continue throughout 2020 to complete the network of world-class trails running through Dilijan National Park, the Gegham mountains and Vayots Dzor. If you want to lead the way, join a guided supporters’ trek in 2020 to test the trails. In the meantime, adrenalin fiends can make do with mountain biking and zip lining between the snow-capped mountains," the piece says.
"Armenia’s wine industry is becoming increasingly well-oiled, too – unsurprising, given that what are believed to be the world’s oldest-known traces of winemaking have been found at the 6,000-year-old Areni-1 archaeological site in the south. Under the Soviet Union, Armenia was instructed to focus on brandies (there are excellent distilleries in Yerevan), but since its independence from the USSR, for which it celebrates the 30-year anniversary in 2020, there has been a new focus on domestic wines. Areni – with its modern, award-winning vineyards – is emerging as one of the most exciting new wine regions in the world (Armenian whites typically offer notes of tropical and stone fruit, while the Vayots Dzor Areni Noir has a spicy bouquet with cherry notes). The Van Ardi winery is currently building places to stay here overlooking the vines, scheduled for completion in 2020. In lush Vayots Dzor, the country’s first wine route has been established, and will soon compete with South Africa and New Zealand for the coins of adventurous oenophiles after more unusual tasting experiences."
Kyoto (Japan), Rijeka (Croatia), Panama, Rabat (Morocco), The British Virgin Islands, the Frisian islands (Denmark),Qingdao (China), Lebanon, Portland (U.S.), Dakar (Senegal), Egadi islands (Sicily, Italy), Paris (France), Siargao (Philippines), Galway (Ireland), Kangaroo Island (Australia), Salvador (Brazil), Kyrgyzstan,Plymouth (UK) and Pakistan have also made it to the magazine's list.