If you're looking for somewhere different to go on holidays, you might be interested to learn that Ryanair has announced four Armenian routes for the first time.

The shady alley of a garden that leads to the Shia Blue Mosque, decorated by colorful tiles, Yerevan, Armenia
The Shia Blue Mosque in Yerevan, Armenia © efesenko/Getty Images

There will be two new routes from Yerevan to Milan Bergamo and Rome Ciampino starting in January 2020, and two new routes from Yerevan to Berlin Schönefeld and Gyumri to Memmingen starting in summer 2020. For those who are unfamiliar with Armenia, few nations have histories as ancient, complex and laced with tragedy, and even fewer have a culture that is as rich and resilient.

A view of Geghard monastery located in Armenia
Geghard monastery is an Orthodox Christian monastery located in Armenia © takepicsforfun/Getty Images

The extraordinary collection of medieval churches and monasteries scattered across the country is its number-one attraction, closely followed by a dramatically beautiful landscape that is perfectly suited to hiking and other outdoor activities. Check out Geghard Monastery, where you can marvel at the ancient rock-hewn churches at the World Heritage–listed monastery. 

Novarank Monastery in Armenia in front of cliffs
You could also head to Noravank to see the dramatic reddish-gold cliffs that surround church buildings © MisoKnitl/Getty Images/Getty Royalty Free

You could also head to Noravank to watch the sun slowly setting over the dramatic reddish-gold cliffs that surround picture-perfect church buildings.  Or you could float to the fortified monastery in Tatev on the world's longest cable car. If you choose to visit the dramatic Debed Canyon, you can check out the magnificent medieval monasteries and fresco-covered churches. And then there's the unexpected delight of Yerevan, one of the region's most exuberant and endearing cities. You could enjoy lazing away a few days there in its welcoming cafés, wine bars and restaurants.

Elevated view of Yerevan, Armenia, at dusk
Yerevan is one of the region's most exuberant and endearing cities © Vigen Avanesyan/500px Royalty Free

Outdoor-lovers will enjoy hiking through springtime wildflowers at Dilijan National Park, or head to Goris, where you can explore an abandoned cave city carved out of soft volcanic rock. If you are a wine aficionado, head to Areni, a region that's been producing wine for 6100 years. You should bear in mind Armenia is not always an easy place to explore, as roads are rough, transport can be hard to navigate and those who don't speak Armenian or Russian may find communication difficult.

Vahramashen Church near Amberd fortress on the slopes of Mount Aragats in Armenia
The  extraordinary collection of medieval monasteries  and churches in Armenia is its number-one attraction © marlenka/Getty Images

“These four new routes will further promote Armenian tourism, and will deliver over 130,000 customers annually to/from two European countries to one of Europe’s fastest-growing tourism destinations," says Ryanair’s David O’Brien. "We look forward to developing new Armenian traffic growth, new routes and jobs in the coming years."

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