COVID-19 Travel Update: Learn More
National dances at the Tolma Festival (Photo by Hrant Sahakyan, My Armenia Program)

National dances at the Tolma Festival (Photo by Hrant Sahakyan, My Armenia Program)


Armavir is located in the Ararat Valley and is one of the hottest, driest regions of Armenia. Because there are orchards everywhere, especially apricot orchards, the traditional occupations here are viticulture and winemaking, with brandy production now also developing. Grape seeds, which are some 8,000 years old and discovered in the Aratashen archeological site, reveal the ancient tradition of viticulture in the region. In some settlements, you can still find potters, skilled carpenters, and blacksmiths. There are attractive fishing spots in Armavir as well.

To this day, people in the region preserve the tradition of baking bread in tonirs—enormous clay vessels placed in the ground. You may try local dishes, such as Etchmiadzin tolma, Etchmiadzin kufta, harissa, tonir barbecue, and Easter pilaf with raisins and dried fruits. Grape vodka, white, rose, and red homemade wines are very popular—as are dried fruits, sweet sujukh, peach alani, and other local sweets.

The region is home to Etchmiadzin, also known as Vagharshapat, which is the spiritual center of Armenia and all Armenians, with the Mother Cathedral from the fourth century, Gayane and Hripsime churches, and many other Christian sites. Nearby, Zvartnots Cathedral is another monument of world significance. All these sites are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here you may also visit the Bronze Age fortress city Metsamor, an archeological monument that features an ancient worship site, observatory and metallurgical complex. In the Sardarapat Ethnography Museum you may see remarkable examples of traditional folk culture.

Stay Informed

Sign up to learn more about upcoming events, activities, and our work to preserve and share Armenia's cultural heritage.