Nestled in the mountains between Asia and Europe, the nation of Armenia is truly a hidden gem. Despite its size, Armenia is packed with stunning natural landscapes, adrenaline filled activities and rich and unique culture. Also home to the longest zip-line in the world, Armenia boasts a thriving festival scene. From food to wine, music and even adventure, there’s a festival for everyone in Armenia. Here are five epic festivals in Armenia.
Perhaps one of the most popular food festivals in the country, Tolma Festival draws food lovers from all over Armenia to the village of Hnaberd. The annual event is centred on the traditional Armenian dish ‘tolma’, a stuffed vegetable dish.
The festival focuses on two things: cooking and eating! Armenian tolma-makers come together during this event and prepare the dish using rare and forgotten recipes. Visitors have the opportunity to taste more than 50 types of tolma, filled with a range of ingredients.
When: May 19
Where: Hnaberd, Ararat
Taking place in Yell Extreme Park, Yell Extreme Festival is one of the most picturesque festivals in Armenia. The annual event celebrates the birthday of the park, which offers a range of experiences and activities such as horseback riding, mountain climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, zip lining and more.
During the festival, visitors can also enjoy a range of musical performances, local food and beverages and camping under the stars.
When: July 27-28
Where: Yenokavan, Tavush
Sevan Music Festival is an annual event that takes place in the Armenian province of Gegharkunik. The festival originated in 2015 with the purpose of uniting young Armenian people around music. The unique event encourages positive and creative young people to come together and creates an opportunity for young people to perform in front of large audiences.
The first day of the festival showcases primarily rock bands and the second day features folk bands. In addition to musicians and performers, cooks are also invited to the event, and prepare popular traditional dishes from local fish.
When: August 10-11
Where: Sevan, Gegharkunik
Located on top of the Vayots Dzor highlands, Gata Festival takes place at Khachik. Residents of the village gather each fall to celebrate the popular Armenian dessert ‘Gata’. Visitors have the opportunity to both make and taste gata; while enjoying folk music, traditional dances, games and more.
The festival also features a marketplace where local vendors display their handmade arts and crafts. Each year, the village bakers also come together to prepare the world’s largest gata, which grows in size more and more each year!
When: September 21
Where: Khachik, Vayots Dzor
Areni Wine Festival is the major wine festival of Armenia. Originating over a decade ago, the festival takes place next to the famous Areni Cave, the oldest winery cave in the world!
Visitors have the opportunity to taste some of the most popular wines in the country, which are highly successful in the local and European market. The Festival also showcases a colourful parade of winemakers, as well as a range of competitions, songs and dances. You can also find a range of locally produced products and goods, as well as handmade arts and crafts.
When: October 5
Where: Areni, Vayots Dzor
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Rad's top 10 action sports, adventure events and music festivals in 2019