Artsakh village culture is so contagious! Let us note that the majority of AR people live in rural areas, villages. So many traditions you are going to witness once you step into one of these villages. Taking into consideration the fact how hospitable Artsakhian people are, you are going to be welcomed to their house. This is typical for the whole Armenia. A guest is always honored and there are no stranger guests. You will be offered coffee or tea at first. We usually make grounded coffee on the gas; it’s ready when the coffee comes to top of jazzve - a special bowl for making coffee. Coffee is being drunk alongside some sweets, and of course, Artsakhian women love to cook amazing cookies and cakes with walnuts, seasonal fruits and all that jazz. Tea is being served with sugar cubes or caramel, in case you love your cup of tea sweet. Chances are you may even end up having lunch or dinner with the locals.
These villages not only carry a big hug of hospitality but also have a rich history and heritage. More than half of the villages of the land have 500-600-years-old history, some of them were founded 800, 900 years ago, i.e. earlier than many European capitals. How does this sound to you? Heritage mixed with traditions, hospitality and modern things too. Artsakh is developing and so the villages.
Since 2009, some villages (Patara, Ghshlagh-Tsaghkashat in Askeran region, Chartar, Ashan in Martouni region) were turned into guest houses with all the modern conveniences and high level service in the old Artsakhian living quarters. The Landlords will sprinkle your visit with such homelike cordiality; they even organize equestrian and pedestrian walks around the village and its surroundings by telling the history of the village and legends connected with it. It’s all fun and smiles, warm conversations and good energy.
Depending on the season, you can even take part in some awesome festivals like grape or mulberry harvests, and watch the process of making the popular Artsakhian mulberry vodka, famous from the times of Alexander the Macedonian. You can also watch the cooking of the unique product called doshab, a syrup of mulberry that has unique healing properties. By the way, sujukh - the so called “Armenian Snickers”, is also made from mulberry syrup and walnuts of course.
Something amusingly rural: the visitors can take part in the sheep shearing process. You will see how sheep are sheared, the wool of which is used to make carpets that are known and sold all over the world. You may also taste sheep cheese. The visitors may have an opportunity to visit farms, apiaries, and to visit the high alpine pastures together with the shepherds and sheep.
You have already imagined how much fun, adventures, new emotions you are going to experience here. In almost every village there have remained the ancient churches, fortresses, houses and paved streets, that give the flavor of old mountainous villages of Artsakh. In the village of Ghshlagh-Tsaghkashat, there can be found the house-museum of the famous freedom fighter of the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th cc. – Nikol Duman (Nikoghayos Ter-Hovhannisyan). The ethno-quarter of the village has been restored and renders exactly the atmosphere of an Artsakhian village of the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.
There is an amazing ethno district in the village of Mets Tagher, where you can take part in master classes in the village of Patara, Ttsmakahogh, Togh, etc. In many villages such as Dadivank, Vank, you can relax in the lap of nature, swimming in local lakes and thermal springs.
The lovers of agricultural tourism will get many positive emotions and impressions during their stay in the village, will get acquainted with the traditions and aspects of rural life, so far from the urban troubles of contemporary world. This will be a truly amazing experience and somehow life-changing. You will rescale the values in your life, and you will want to come back. Just be sure you are always welcomed to visit Artsakh.