Situated at the southeastern end of modern-day Armenia, Vayots Dzor covers an area of 2,308 km² (7.8% of total area of Armenia). It is one of the most sparsely populated province in the country. It borders the Nakhichevan exclave of Azerbaijan from the west and the Shahumyan Region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic from the east. Domestically, it is bordered by the Gegharkunik Provincefrom the north, Ararat Province from the northwest and Syunik Province from the southeast.
Noravank (literally "new monastery") is a 13th-century Armenian monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Amaghu River, near the town of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. The gorge is known for its tall, sheer, brick-red cliffs, directly across from the monastery. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church, which grants access to the second floor by way of a narrow stone-made staircase jutting out from the face of building.
Noravank was founded in 1205 by Bishop Hovhannes, a former abbot of Vahanavank near the present-day city of Kapan in Syunik. The monastic complex includes the church of S. Karapet, S. Grigor chapel with a vaulted hall, and the church of S. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God). Ruins of various civil buildings and khachkars are found both inside and outside of the compound walls. Noravank was the residence of the Orbelian princes. The architect Siranes and the miniature painter and sculptor Momik worked here in the latter part of the thirteenth and early fourteenth century.
Gndevank (meaning "Round cathedral") is a 10th-century Armenian monastery in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia, along the Vayk-Jermuk road.
The monastery is located on the west side of the Vayk-Jermuk road on the bank of the Arpi river. The old road is blocked by landslides and the monastery is approached by walking about 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from the junction with the old road, after a bridge crossing. About 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away from the church is the rock known as "Vardan Mamikonian". There is a spring water in the vicinity of the church and a few picnic tables.
Orbelian's Caravansera (formerly known as Sulema Caravanserai and Selim Caravanserai) is a caravanserai in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia.
It was built along the Vardenyats Mountain Pass (previously known as the Selim Mountain Pass) in 1332, by prince Chesar Orbelian to accommodate weary travelers and their animals as they crossed from, or into, the mountainous Vayots Dzor region. Located at the southern side of Vardenyats Mountain Pass at a height of 2410 meters above sea level, Orbelian's Caravanserai is the best preserved caravanserai in the entire country. Ruins of a small chapel may still be seen adjacent to the vestibule, across the road from a spring.
Surb Astvatsatsin of Areni (meaning the "Holy Mother of God Church"; also Areni Church) is a single-nave two-aisled domed church completed in the year 1321. It is located atop a plateau overlooking the Arpa River and the village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia.
Two portals lead into the structure from the south and west. An effigy of the Virgin Mary is carved upon the tympanum in high-relief above the lintel of the west portal. This carving and many others that may be found on the church are considered to be masterpieces of artwork done by Momik Vardpet, who according to inscriptions was also the architect for the church. He is best known for his high-relief carvings at the monastery of Noravank, located approximately 6 kilometers southeast from Areni. Upon the tympanum above the lintel of the southern portal are the carvings of crosses.
The Areni-1 cave complex is a multicomponent site and late Chalcolithic/Early Bronze Age ritual site and settlement is located near the Areni village in southern Armenia along the Arpi River. In 2010, it was announced that the earliest known shoe was found at the site. In January 2011, the earliest known winery in the world was announced to have been found. Also in 2011, the discovery of a straw skirt dating to 3,900 years BCE was reported. In 2009, the oldest brain was discovered.
The Bears’ cave is located in the Vayotz dzor Marz (region) of the RA, 8 km south-west from the river of Arpi, in the barely passable rocks in front of the village, which are possible to overcome through the narrow and difficult mountain pathways. The cave is the longest karstic cave in the RA and generally in Transcaucasus. The height of the cave is 1655 m. The Bear cave was discovered in 1981 by the hunters and was named so because of the discovered bears' bones there. The entrance area of the cave is approximately 10 square meters. It has not been seriously subjected to geological studies after it had been discovered.
Mozrov Cave is one of Armenia’s little known natural wonders. Located in Vayots Dzor province near the town of Yeghegnadzor, the cave was discovered 30 years ago during the construction of the road that leads to Mozrov village. It is a deep cave rich in diverse geological formations. By that time the cave was considered a “blind one” – these are the caves which do not have an exit to the surface. The constructors had exploded the mass of the cliff which caused the origin of the cave.
Magil Cave is one the largest in Armenia. The territory is 1,7 km inland, though there are several undiscovered places as well. Bones and tools of Stone Age, as well as findings of IX century were discovered in this Neolithic cave. In those past days it was considerable to construct inaccessible caves with narrow entrances. The entrance of Magil Cave is so narrow that only a person can enter it. The purpose of inaccessible caves was protection from enemies, because such constructions were reliable shelters during invasions.
A group of archаeologists discovered a shoe, dating back 5500 years. It is 1000 years older than Egyptian Pyramids of Giza. What is really surprising is that the shoe was preserved quite well. After the finding of 5500 years old shoe, the researchers discovered the most ancient winery. This finding is very important and unique, because it proves that the largest wine production in the world was in Armenia. Magil Cave is a rare underground ecosystem: settlement of thousands of bats. Bats are inseparable part of Armenian ecosystem and preserving the stability of it is of key importance. The cave is closed and entrance is possible only with an expert.