On December 21-22, the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia organized a cognitive visit for about two dozen local media representatives to reveal and present Armenia’s winter tourism potential.
Day one: “Armenian Siberia”
The first stop was in Ashotsk, at the Mikayelyan Ski Center, which was built with EU funding.
The ski center is right next to the racetrack. It is very compact and comfortable; it consists of several halls – 4 bedrooms, which can accommodate 14-15 athletes, а kitchen, and а restroom.
The furnishing is very modest, just what you need to spend the night. The center has a high-quality heating system, and the whole building is made of materials that provide high heat.
All this came true, thanks to the Mikaelyan family – multiple skiing champions. Everyone in this family is involved in skiing: they invest their knowledge, experience, and zeal in training local youths.
Here are the center’s students and our future champions.
Mrs. Alla is Russian, but she was moved to Armenia 23 years ago.
Arthur jokes that he brought Alla from Russian Siberia to ”Armenian Siberia”.
Arthur and his wife Alla welcomed us very warmly. After providing the necessary furniture and instruction, we tried skiing, for some of us, this was the first experience..
Ashotsk ski center has all the prerequisites for an active winter vacation. Visit Ashotsk!
You can contact Arthur Mikaelyan through his Facebook page.
Rafting on snow
The next extreme stage was snow rafting initiated by Gevorg Vardanyan.
I have tried classic rafting, and can say that it is not less interesting and extreme.
Here’s a short video from the scene.
Опубликовано Rafting in Armenia Суббота, 21 декабря 2019 г.
Return to Childhood (Yukigassen)
The inseparable game of our childhood, the snowball, has turned out to be sporty since 1982 with the name “Yukigassen” and even there is a snow battle federation in Armenia.
The president of the federation Tigran and his team provided us with the “armament” we needed, and after a brief instruction, we split into teams to wage “fierce battles” against one another.
The result was a draw, but we were all victorious in terms of emotions.
By the way, this year the Armenian Snow Battle Tournament will be held in Aparan. You can find more information on the official website of the Armenian Snow Battle Federation.
After a hot lunch and cheerful conversations in Mrs. Alla’s kitchen, we were faced with the fourth “test” – a snowshoeing.
The author of this initiative in Armenia is Arshak Mkrtchyan – an escort of mountain and winter hikers.
Arshak also presented snowshoeing opportunities and required safety rules.
Summary of the day
The evening was also interesting. Hovhannes Martirosyan, President of the Alpine Ski Federation, presented their activities, the Armenian peculiarities of the sport and the fun moments.
Day Two: “Traces of Desirable Snow”
Since the weather was not so favorable for winter fun, it was decided to change the planned route. On the second day, we had to visit Tezh Ler Mountain and then Lernanist.
We’ll still visit Tezh Ler Mountain, I suggest reading my post to know more about Lernanist – new winter tourism center in Armenia.
So, depending on the situation, it was suggested to go to Hatis.
Ashtarak – Yeganyan Gastro Yard
Before leaving for Hatis, we had a short stop in Ashtarak in the gastrօ yard of the Yeganyans where we were treated to traditional Armenian dishes and, of course, their own local wines.
The environment is very favorable, the dishes are unique and the approach is caring.
In this video, Sedrak Yeganyan presents their initiative.
Yeganyans' Guest House and Wine Yard
Опубликовано Top Trip – Travel Blog Воскресенье, 22 декабря 2019 г.
I would definitely recommend visiting and enjoying this unique warm atmosphere and delicious cuisine.
Our last stop, more precisely the last height, was Hatis.
On the slope of Hatis Mountain, 2149 meters high, President of the Ski Federation Hovhannes Martirosyan and two other skiers organized a very impressive master class for us.
The professionalism of Hovhannes and his team has made Armenia attractive to European skiers for several years. And their number is increasing.
The visit was definitely successful. Our country has an enormous natural, historical, cultural and human resources, most of which have not yet been discovered. Such visits are intended to reveal and publicize this potential.
Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia
For me, this long official name is no longer a state bureaucratic body, but a team of people who love their work and their country.
- Ingoing tourism
According to the Prime Minister’s statement, this year we have a 12.8% growth in inbound tourism overall.
- Domestic tourism
According to the official statement of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, domestic tourism visits increased by 45.7% in January-September 2019 compared to the same period last year.
- Numbers from Artsakh
Within the framework of the study visit, we had the opportunity to get acquainted with the Head of Artsakh Tourism Department Artak Grigoryan – a gentleman with a good sense of humor and a caring person.
Mr. Grigoryan informed me that 40,000 and more tourists visited Artsakh this year. And that number is growing dynamically, but much remains to be done, both in terms of marketing and infrastructure development.
As a conclusion
I do not cease to admire and fall in love with our wonderful country, to be amazed at the discovery of new cozy corners, the simplicity, and the warmth of the people. And there is still much to discover. So follow our blog and discover more about our beloved Armenia!
P.S. Next year the Tourism Committee plans to organize such a visit within the framework of Lori Winter Festival.
A little frozen, but very impressed: