Orchards are the symbols of the Ararat region. You can witness this yourself while driving towards the south along the highway that is decorated with vast apricot and peach orchards on both sides. Along the way, you can stop by small seasonal stalls that burst with a variety of colorful, sun-bathed fruits and their dried variants, jams, and more.
The region is located in the heart of the Ararat Valley—the symbol of Armenian identity. A glorious view of Mount Ararat opens from the Khor Virap Monastery, which is a favorite place not only for Armenians, but also for guests from abroad. Ararat Valley is one of the world’s centers of grape domestication and viticulture origins, and contains one of the highest densities of aboriginal grapes anywhere. Some popular dishes are summer tolma with stuffed vegetables and cabbage, grilled and fried vegetables, pork and lamb barbecue, khashlama, pilaf with raisins and dried fruits, emmer wheat pilaf, and Lenten tolma.
In the villages, people practice various crafts; some settlements have carpet weavers, silversmiths, and jewelers. The potters and tonir makers of Yuva village are respected throughout Armenia. These centuries-old crafts are still practiced in Yuva, thanks to the tradition of passing skills from one generation to the next.
Ararat is home to two famous capitals of Armenian history: Artashat, founded in the second century BCE; and Dvin, its successor. The Khosrov Forest Reserve, founded in the fourth century, is located near Dvin, and is known for a variety of plants, animals, and excellent opportunities for hiking and active recreation.