Eco tourism destination - Patara


Eco tourism destination - Patara.
It is located in the region of Askeran, Artsakh Republic (NKR-Artsakh), 25 km north of the capital city Stepanakert, 8 km west of the north-south highway and is part of the northern tourist route. The village is based on the division of the mountain range of Kusanats, between the cordons of Havqakhaghats and Khoi Khut, and the rivers that descend from them Patara and Pidzi respectively.

How to get there: Transportation and schedules.
Bus: 500 AMD. From Monday to Saturday. 8 am from Patara to Stepanakert, and 3:30 pm from Stepanakert (bus terminal or "avtogaian") to Patara.
Taxi: 3750-4000 AMD approx. It is recommended to download the GG taxi application for smartphone or to agree the price previously with the driver in case of hiring him on the street.
Travel time: 40 min (approx..).
Distance: 25 km.
Prices of 2018.

Climate and time of year:
The summer (end of June, July, August and September) is ideal to visit the village of Patara. The average temperature is 24°C with a thermal amplitude of 10°C. The precipitations vary throughout the year being in summer of 200-300 mm monthly. The breezes are mild.

Natural and historical monument:
The area is 91% covered by forests. Lost in its thickness there are 4 waterfalls (Shrshran, Piulur Tsov, Khravand, Kraklaven), 2 rivers and several streams, caves and drinking mineral water from natural spring wells. There were 100 species of herbs and 50 of mushroom types, of which some are used in regional cuisine. Within the fruit trees we find apple trees, pear trees, plums, walnuts, Hon (local wild dogwood), Zker (common medlar). Fauna is characterized by the presence of bears, wolves, lynxes, jackals, weasel, foxes, wild cats, wild pigs, porcupines, squirrels, woodpeckers, eagles, cu-cu, wild pigeons, owls, hawks and vultures, among others.
Mountain peaks of this region bear the names of the 40 virgins martyred by the Armenian King Trtad III prior to the conversion of the Armenian nation to Christianity (301 AD).

This area is inhabited since prehistoric times. In this region you can find old burial sites considered holy land by their inhabitants, carved stones, monoliths and tumuli. With the advent of Christianity these sites were converted into churches, graveyards or places to pray; while others were forgotten. It had its population and cultural boom during the Middle Ages (S X-XII) as it was a difficult place for the invaders, as water source and fertile land were at hand. It was part of the Armenian princedom of Khachen or Medzarank. At present, 12 historical sites with churches, graveyards, villages and various buildings are preserved, totalizing 200 Armenian historical monuments. Only the town of Patara is inhabited.

Town: Accommodation, Attractions and Gastronomy 
In the village the only formal accommodation is "Albert", who offers two guest rooms with private bathroom (5000 AMD room) and breakfast option (1000 AMD, total 6000 AMD, prices 2018 year). It also has transportation and horses to go to different sites of interest near the village (ask the owner). We recommend asking inhabitants the location when arriving in village. It is possible that someone else informally offers accommodation.
One of the most important activities of the town is “harvest of TUT” (fruit-mulberry), distillation of the "Tuti oghi" (vodka of tut) and preparation of its jam called "doshab". The harvest of the fruit takes place by the end of June.
For those interested in typical gastronomy, the preparation of "Jingalov Hatz" (bread with herbs) from the harvest of 17 different herbs that grow in the area, is a must. Also, you can take part in the preparation of the "Lobi" (typical dish from beans), the "Panir" (cheese), the "ktorej" (fried pork fat) and "Tonirov Hatz "(Bread baked in a traditional underground oven called Tonir). This bread is very popular in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

In addition, you can take part in the process of caring domestic animal, among them the horse is especially valued, of brown-orange color, typical of the Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) area.
The Church of Surb Astvatsatsin is the main religious building and center of people spiritual life.

Surroundings: landscape, hiking, flora, fauna, waterfalls, artesian well, rivers, camping sites.
In the surroundings of the town you can find artesian wells of mineral water and a waterfall 1.5 km away. On the site of the waterfall there is a small rural camping site (without services) with drinking water.
At 3 km from the town, there is an organized campsite, which can be used with prior registration (find contact information for this place). It has a kiosk area with tables and benches, a volleyball court, ping-pong table, WC and showers, electricity to charge cell phones or notebooks. It has access to a stream where you can swim and fish (fishing with conventional bait) salmonids among others. You can access the Khravand waterfall on foot walking about 30 min (approx).
Kachaghakaberd fortress was a military center during the Middle Ages, located 8 km from Patara. You can visit from Patara as a 1-day excursion. "Kachaghak" (magpie) is a kind of white and black bird similar to a crow. The fortress takes its name from this type of bird.

List of sites:
1.Patara: 2 churches (Saint Astvatsatsin and unnamed), numerous Khachqars (cross-stones).
2.Lesnoi: 3 churches. Gavit or entrance of the church, numerous Khachqar (cross stone).
3.Okhte Yeghtsi Monastery Complex (Seven churches Monastic Complex): it remains 3 churches, 2 cemeteries, 1 community dining room, 1 mausoleum, nearby buildings, numerous Khachqar (cross stone). Located 7 km SW of Patara. Ruins of S X to XII.
4.Tsera Nahadak: 1 Church, 1 cemetery, remains of an ancient village, numerous Khachqar (cross stone). Located 4.5 km NE of Patara.
5.Khravand: 1 Church, 1 community dining room, 1 cemetery, remains of an old village, numerous Khachqar (cross-stone).
6.Drpasut: 1 cemetery, remains of an old settlement, numerous Khachqar (cross-stone).
7.Kusanats Kendak Tun: numerous Khachqar (cross-stone).
8.Kusanats Meidan-Shlorut: numerous Khachqar (cross-stone).
9.Patara-Uzuntegher Fortress (site): Patara Fortress, 1 cemetery, 1 church, remains of an ancient settlement, numerous Khachqar (cross-stone).
10.Tandzu bagh: 1 cemetery, numerous Khachqar (cross-stones).
11.Siptak Vegh: 1 Church (Anmenaprkich), 1 cemetery, 1 water slope, 1 mausoleum, numerous Khachqar (cross stone). Located 3 km NW of Patara. Ruins of the S XII to XIII.
12.Otskan: 1 Monastery-Church, 1 community dining room, numerous Khachqar (cross stone). Located 8 km NW of Patara.

Travel tips: Money, visa, clothing, where to locate tents x dangerous animals, take the trash with one.
Money: In cash (Armenian Dram - AMD) since the use of credit cards or other means of payment are not used in this town.
Visa: You can obtain a tourist visa for 21 days in the representation of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) in the city of Yerevan, Capital of the Republic of Armenia. It is recommended to read carefully the page of the ministry of foreign relations of the AR
Clothing: So as, here is a rural and wild landscape, it is recommended to bring clothes according to the activity to be carried out, especially good footwear (hiking, mountain, etc).
Camp: As there are no areas specifically demarcated for that purpose (except the one mentioned above), it is always recommended to ask the locals about where to do it and give notice to the owner of the lodging. Special care must be taken because the area (far from the village) is wild and inhabited by animals that can roam at night. It is also recommended to travel with insect repellent.
Waste: Please carry your waste with you and dispose it properly in a trash can within the village. Let's try to leave the site in better condition than we found it!