Armenia – a top destination for first holiday of 2016: Lincolnshire Echo

As another year draws to a close, the looks at some top holiday destinations for 2016 and offers to visit Armenia, among others.

“Armenia is a Christian nation on Asia’s edge, where east and west collide, bordering Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Azerbaijan,” explains Kerry O’Neill, of Secret Compass, which organizes the Armenia: Fables, Myths and Legends expedition.

“This team expedition across the rugged ridge lines of its Southern Caucasus mountains was tough but not impossible, totally wild and ultimately very satisfying.

“The 12-strong team got on brilliantly, working in small teams to set up camp and cook every night.

“We exchanged travellers’ tales and learned about Armenia’s turbulent history from our guides, the cloudline sometimes below us, sometimes above. The mountain peaks rippled out as far as the eye could see, southwards into Iran, eastwards into Azerbaijan.”

“We experienced the incredible hospitality – and ferociously strong alcoholic shots! – of our kind hosts near Tatev Monastery at our adventure’s end. Used to the normally conservative nature of travel in the Middle East, Armenia offered a breath of high-altitude fresh air.”

Highlights include: Scaling two mountains above 3,200m in the very remote and wild Arevik National Park; visiting Tatev Monastery, perched precipitously on the side of the Vorotan Gorge, Armenia’s deepest gorge; and exploring Yerevan afterwards, a buzzing capital city.

The Lincolnshire Echo offers to follow in Kerry’s footsteps on the Armenia expedition from August 27 to September 4, 2016.

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