With the countdown to the Eid Al Adha break now on – this year expected to run from 28-30 June – across the region computer keyboards are starting to heat up with intense vacation booking site browsing.
And while the usual top Eid holiday destinations will still see plenty of action, travel experts say hidden gem Armenia is one to watch in 2023.
Here are five reasons why it could be this year’s hottest destination:
- Incredible history
With majestic medieval architecture juxtaposed against striking surrounding landscapes, you can pay a visit to the mysterious Monastery of Geghard, half-carved in the rock and over 800 years old. Or why not fly over the deep gorge to the Monastery of Tatev, a pearl of medieval Armenian architecture. History buffs will be spoiled for choice.
- Awe-inspiring mountains
If you love taking pictures of breathtaking mountains, Mount Ararat and its two major peaks – Sis and Masis – will light up your Instagram. This magnificent natural monument can be seen from the capital Yerevan and is of particular significance due to its mention in the tale of the Great Flood, which names the landmark as the final resting place of Noah’s ark (yes, really).
- An ancient, tantalising cuisine
Armenia is a foodie’s delight. One of the oldest cuisines in Europe, the dishes are diverse and delicious thanks to the use of lots of spices, herbs, and wildflowers. Try Armenian kyufta (meatballs) or tolma (grape leaves stuffed with minced meat), and juicy barbecue or ‘khorovats,’ as the locals say.
- The warmest hospitality
What makes Armenia a must-visit destination is the warmth and hospitality of its people – notably to visiting foreigners. They’ll seize any opportunity to set a table for guests, friends and relatives and transform any occasion into a celebration.
- It’s easy to get to
Starting from June – and just in time for Eid – Saudi Arabia’s leading low-cost airline Flynas will have a new non-stop route from Riyadh to Yerevan. Meanwhile, for UAE travellers, Flydubai already runs regular flights to Yerevan – both carriers take just three hours to get to the country.