why this B&B network
This non-profit network was started in 2003 by two Canadians, Sheila and Antoine Terjanian, who watched tourists driving in minibuses from Yerevan to view such monastic marvels as Noravank and Tatev and return the same day. They knew that tourists were missing an opportunity to enjoy the best part of Armenia,its people, and they decided to offer tourists a better way -- to stay in the homes of rural Armenians and enjoy that great Armenian hospitality while exploring the wonders of Vayots Dzor and Syunik in a more relaxed fashion. All B&Bs are individually owned and operated so your stay in Yeghegnadzor not only helps you explore the region but, by supporting these small family-owned enterprises, you help rural Armenia develop.
The Yeghegnadzor B&B Network is unique. Not only do we offer individual family homestays, but the Yeghegnadzor B&B Network can EASILY accommodate a busload of up to 50 tourists within the same neighbourhood.
And if you contact us ahead of time, we will happily help you to plan your stay.
why visit rural armenia
The people of Armenia are known for their warm and welcoming hospitality.
Add to that: cultural treasures, abundant monasteries, fortresses,caves, and natural wonders to be explored... there is no shortage of hidden gems for the curious traveler.
Add to that: Wine tasting, the wide variety of eau de vie made from apricots, grapes, mulberries, and yes, even walnuts! Not to forget that famous Armenian cognac
Add to that: hiking, biking, caving, and folk dancing in the back mountains of rural Armenia
Add to that: the fresh produce of Armenia - vegetables and fruits from heritage plants that will amaze your tastebuds, barbecued fish from the cold mountain rivers and Lake Sevan, and preserves like anush sujuk, or sweet Armenian sausage, made from walnuts and fruit leathers -- add to this the traditional Armenian flatbread, lavash and certainly not to forget Armenian ice cream and Armenian chocolate, both of which you must not miss while you are here!
why visit Yeghegnadzor - a destination !
Yeghegnadzor is an easy centre from which to see rural Armenia. In an afternoon, you can choose to visit a number of monasteries and churches, the most famous of which is Noravank, a 20 minute drive from your B&B. After a visit to Noravank, you may want to take a detour to the wineries of Areni, or to the charming village itself with its mountain top chapel surrounded by ancient Khachkars.
In another direction, hike or drive ... to the ruins of 12th century Gladzor University, and a museum dedicated to it, to the Sourp Khach Monaster, and on the way back, take a picnic and hike or drive up a mountain to an isolated monastery called Spitakavor, nestled in the mountain tops.
Go in another direction up the Silk Road, passing through the village of Shatin and hike up a gently sloped mountain to Smbataberd Fortress and see the volcanic ruins of the old capital city of Yeghegis. Keep on to a village church on a gorge which has an outdoor altar used to bless ancient troops before they went into battle. Go for a picnic on the Yeghegis River and visit a medieval Jewish Cemetery that has been recently restored. Continue on to the new LucyTour resort -- for a swim in their indoor pool, and enjoy a lamb roasted on an open spit in their outdoor restaurant (Advance order required!) or continue on the Silk Road up the mountain past Aghinjadzor where they make mountain honey and take pictures of the breathtaking scenery all the way up to the 12th century Caravanserai near the peak.
Go in yet another direction and visit the living monastery of Gndevank and then continue on to the healing waters of Jermuk where you can enjoy a massage or pedicure in a traditional Soviet spa.
Or just hang out around the town of Yeghegnadzor and visit their museum downtown, and maybe your timing will be lucky and you will be able to catch a dance show at the cultural centre, or a concert at the Conservatory, or a mass in the downtown church where you will be amazed at the beautifully sung liturgy. Downtown Yeghegnadzor boasts a great open cafe, Aygi cage near the ferris wheel. You can have a snack at the small non-smoking restaurant in centre town which serves Lamajoun, or Armenian pizza. Or you can walk down to the highway and, on the road to Vayk you can stop at a Shawarma Restaurant, or at Hatsadoun, a non-smoking cafeteria style restaurant. Or you can ask your host to prepare you a supper of traditional village foods. And then take an easy walk down the mountain behind your B&B (an hour to an hour and a half, depending on your speed). On the way, you may be greeted by a farmer or discover some wildlife en route -- or Armenia's gorgeous butterflies - in season). Once down the mountain, you can eat some fresh barbecued fish at one of two great restaurants with open-air tables on the river.
All of these excursions will be happily arranged by your B&B hosts, with or without guides, with or without taxis. You decide!
you can simply spend a comfortable night on your way to Tatev, or Meghri, or Artsakh!