One of the most popular sightseeings included in winter tours in Armenia is Khor Virap monastery, built in 642, translated from Armenian means "deep hole". Khor Virap is one of the shrines of the Armenian Apostolic Church, a place of pilgrimage. The most interesting fact of this monastery is the fact that it was built on the site of the royal prison, where the Gregory Illuminator - the patron saint and the first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church was previously imprisoned for 13 years by the Armenian king. In winter from the territory of the monastery there is a peculiar view of the biblical mountain Ararat which is covered by a white thick layer of snow.
Areni Cave or Bird Cave is located near the tributary of the Arpa River Gnishik: at 30 m height. It is situated in the rock and comprises a range of spaces, hewn in the rock, linked with narrow aisles. The location of the cave allows everybody to visit it even during the winter holidays in Armenia. Since 2007 archaeological researches have been held there. As a result, materials dating back to 4200-3500 BC were found: crockery, plant residues, apricot and grape kernels, knitted of reed, pieces of cloth, women jewelry and so on. Several years ago a place, equipped for wine production was found in Bird Cave. This most ancient winery in the world has 5000-5500year history. During the archaeological excavations the oldest shoe in the world was found which was filled with grass to keep the form of the shoe. The laboratory studies showed that the shoe has history of 5637-5387 years.
Noravank Monastery is located among the wonderful steep red rocks on the ledge of a meandering gorge. It was founded in the XII century on the site of two ancient churches existed earlier. The monastery built by the famous architects Siranesi and Momik and is considered to be the most famous spiritual center and sanctuary in the Vayots Dzor region. It is one of the majestic monuments of the Armenian medieval architecture. It leaves an indelible impression especially in the snowy winter days in Armenia, when the mysterious shade of red rocks is harmoniously combined with white and shiny snow, making the monastery one of the most popular sightseeings during winter tours in Armenia.
Viticulture on the territory of Armenia originated many years before our era. Areni is considered to be the birthplace of Armenian winemaking. Here is located the oldest wine factory in Armenia, where around 20 grape sorts are being cultivated. The most valuable of these is the Areni grape sort, from which the famous Areni wine is made. It is produced over 300 tons per year and is sold not only in Armenia, but beyond its borders. You can visit Areni Wine factory at all seasons of the year, take part in the cognitive tour and taste delicate wines. Winter vacations in Armenia will surely become warmer due to the delicious taste of Areni wine.