Official name: Republic of Armenia
Capital city: Yerevan
Area: 29.800 sq.km. (11.490 sq. miles)
Religion: Christian (Armenian Apostolic)
Religious center: Echmiatsin (Vagharshapat)
Population: 3,2 million
Ethnic composition: 96% Armenians, 4% minorities
Currency: Dram (AMD)
Visa required: Armenia, Karabagh
Time: GMT +04
Armenia is located in the southern Caucasus, bordered by Georgia from the north, Azerbaijan from the east, Iran from the south and Turkey from the west. Contemporary Armenia has a territory of 29 800 square km, lying between 1000 and 2500 meters above sea level. The highest peak is mount Aragats (4090m), while the lowest point is Debed River Canyon (400m). According to the general census of 2003 the population of Armenia is 3, 2 million, 1, 1 million of which lives in the capital.
Armenia is usually referred to as a sunny country. Its climate ranges from dry subtropical to cold. The summers are hot, the temperature fluctuates between +25C to +36C. The winters are short but cold; the temperature is between -15C to -1C.The mountain peaks are covered with eternal snow, while their slopes are lined by alpine meadows. The best time to visit Armenia is spring or autumn.
There are about 3200 kinds of the plants distinguished in Armenia. The fauna of Armenia totals up to 450 kinds of vertebrates, among them there are 76 kinds of mammals, 304 kinds of birds (including 100 - wintering), 44 kinds reptiles (among them - more than 20 snakes), 6 kinds of amphibious and 24 kinds of fish. Invertebrates are totalled more than 10000 kinds; many of them are typical only for the Armenian plateau.
In the steppes and semi deserts there live numerous rodents - field-votes, mole rats, jerboas; the reptiles are Caucasian agamas, Greek turtles, lizards, Armenian adders.Wild boars, cane cats, jackals are found in coastal thickets of Araks; ducks, geese, larks, hoopoes are distributed. There are also eagles there.
Processes of volcanic and tectonic activity going on at the Armenian plateau for thousands of years, have formed in its bowels a real "geological museum" where one can find samples of all rocks making the crust of our planet.A special place here belong to the stone «tuf» - orange, yellow, pink, black. Except for tuf, Armenia is rich with deposits of marble, travertine. The turquoise, versions of onyx and other semiprecious stones are also extracted in Armenia.
According to the general census of 2003 the population of Armenia is 3, 2 million. Over 95% of the residents are ethnically Armenian. There are more Armenians living outside of the borders of Armenia today than inside.They live im more than 60 countries- Great Britain, Russia, USA, Canada, France, Greece, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Lebanon, Iran, Turkey etc.
The Armenian banking system consists of 21 commercial banks, which are supervised by the Central Bank of Republic of Armenia. The banks in Yerevan are open from 10 am to 4 pm on week-days and from 10 am to 1 pm on Saturdays. No lunch breaks! The ATMs can be found on all the major streets.
Armenian national currency, the Dram, was introduced in November 1993. There are banknotes of 500, 1000, 5000, 20000, 50000 Dram denomination. There are also coins of 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 Dram denomination.Foreign currency can be exchanged in banks and currency exchange offices throughout the country.
The main air-access to the country is through two airports, the first one is Zvartnots in Yerevan (about 15 km from the city centre) and the second is located in Gyumri.
A number of international airlines have regular weekly flights to and from Yerevan.
These are:British Airways, Armavia, Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, Atlasjet, Airlines, Aeroflot, Caspian Airlines, Sibirian Airlines, Syrian Arab Airlines.
Armenians celebrate both public and religious holidays. The celebrations here are usually accompanied with joyful songs and traditional circle dances. Usually all stores are open on holidays and Saturdays. Most of the shops and supermarkets are open on Sundays, too.
Holidays and Memorial days
31December 1-2 January New Year's Day
6 January Christmas
28 January Army Day
8 March International Women's Day
7 April Mothers' & Beauty Day
24 April Genocide Remembrance Day
1 May Labour Day
9 May Victory Day
28 May First Republic Day
1 June Children's Day
5 July Constitution day
21 September Independence Day
7 December Earthquake Remembrance Day
The official language is Armenian, a separate branch of Indo-European family. The written characters are very unique and are not similar to any other alphabets. However most of the shops and official buildings are also marked with Latin-letter signboards. Besides Armenian, nearly everyone speaks Russian here, and many can communicate in English, too.
The traditional Armenian cuisine has a large variety of richly flavoured dishes. Fresh vegetable and meat is considered to be the most favourite food in Armenia. No Armenian celebratory table can be imagined without the most favourite barbecue, kyufta, dolma. There is also a traditional dish called khash, which foresees a great ritual, starting from its preparatory process till the last moment at the table. The numerous restaurants in Yerevan offer authentic local food. There are also many restaurants serving the dishes of different world-known cuisines.
The post offices in Armenia have regular working timetable from 9 am to 7 pm. Sunday is a day-off. One of the central post offices is located at the Republic Square opposite the Government building.
Armenians accepted Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD. The religion is deeply rooted in Armenia.Most ethnic Armenians belong to the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox church. The head of the church is the Catholicos of All Armenians, who resides in Holy Echmiadzin.
The country code is 374, Yerevan city code is 10.
Outgoing international calls can be made by dialling:
- 00 followed by the country, city code and the number
- 107 and ordering an operator-assisted call.
Time difference between Armenia and Europe is +3 hours; with GB +4 hours: with East Coast of the US +9 hours and with the West Coast +12 hours. Armenia observes the clock changes for daylight savings.