The name of the region, Aragatsotn, indicates its inclusion of Mount Aragats. The combination of Aragats, Ara mountains, and Kasagh River gorge create stunning views. Medieval monastic complexes of Hovhanavank, Saghmosavank, and Mughni are situated along the deep and picturesque gorge of Kasagh. The powerful tenth-century Amberd Fortress, the petroglyphs on the slopes of Aragats, the vishapakar or dragon-stone monuments, and the Bronze Age settlement of Agarak are among the most popular destinations.
The regional center, Ashtarak, built in an urban style typical of the 18th and 19th centuries, has many buildings that are excellent example of folk architecture, as well as several legendary churches. In Ashtarak and surrounding villages, you may find restaurants in old wine cellars, which serve fresh lavash baked in a tonir, as well as local dishes such as tolma, tonir barbecue, emmer wheat pilaf, harissa, krjik, kloolik with pickles, and khash during the cold winter months. You may also enjoy white and red homemade wines, fruit vodkas, teas made with mountain herbs, and sweets made from fruit juice and nuts, Ashtarak sujukh, alani, fruit lavash, and various dried fruits.
Near Ashtarak is the equestrian club Ayrudzi, where you may also watch performances of the traditional Armenian Shadow Theater.
Aragatsotn has a rich traditional culture. The folk songs and dances of the people of Sassoun have been preserved in the villages of Talin. There are many skilled blacksmiths, potters, silversmiths, carpenters, wood carvers, and other artisans in Aragatsotn. The region is also home to Yezidi communities known for their distinctive traditional culture and history.
Aragatsotn is also home to Byurakan Observatory, which is one of the world’s most important scientific centers.