Ashtarak town is the center of Aragatsotn region. It is situated on the right bank of the river Kasakh, at a distance of 20 km from Yerevan. The population is 21500 people.
The town has some attractions that are of interest to foreign visitors. First, we recommend visiting the large Karmavor church built in the VII-th century. The temple has a modest architecture but is considered one of the most ancient and important buildings of the town. Karmavor is also interesting as it is the only monument in Armenia, tiled roof of which has survived to the present days.
Another interesting building is a dilapidated Tsiranavor basilica built in the V-th century. In Ashtarak, you can also visit Spitakavor Monastery (XIII-XIV centuries.) and the Church of St. Marine (1281).
Among the interesting monuments, the town is known for its irrigation channel of Akanates, which operated from the Urartu period to the Middle Ages. You can also see the ethnographic houses of XIX-XX centuries.
Not far from the town is the highest mountain in Armenia – Aragats (north summit 4090 m). It is a popular place among lovers of trekking. In general, the tourists practice climbing on the south summit (3800 m), but those with good training also climb the highest one. Climbing usually starts from a beautiful small lake Kari, located on slopes of the mountains. The area around the lake is the perfect place for camping.