TourBuses to serve popular travel routes in Artsakh / Photo: Courtesy of Karabakh.travel
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On July 20, 2017, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Artsakh announced the launch of its new initiative - regular bus routes to popular travel destinations in Artsakh. The TourBus is an easy, convenient and cheap way of getting around in Artsakh and visiting some of the country's must-see attractions. Currently, there are 3 routes available for travelers.
ROUTE #1: STEPANAKERT - GANDZASAR - STEPANAKERT
Gandzasar Monastery, Artsakh / Photo: Lilit Grigoryan
One of the masterpieces of medieval Armenian architecture, the monastery of Gandzasar was build in XIII century. Its main church – the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - was consecrated on July 22, 1240. The monastery derives its name from Armenian words “gandz” (treasure) and “sar” (hill, mountain), and can be translated as “treasure mountain”. According to Christian tradition, Gandzasar bears relics of many saints, including St. John the Baptist, St. Zachariah (father of St. John the Baptist), St. Gregory the Illuminator (who baptized Armenia into Christianity) and his grandson St. Grigoris, St. Pantaleon.
Read more: The Miracles of Gandzasar Monastery
The route also includes a visit to Nikol Duman House-Museum located in the village of Tsaghkashat.
Return to Stepanakert at 1:15 PM.
ROUTE #2: STEPANAKERT - TOGH AQUAPARK - STEPANAKERT
The Palace of Togh Meliks, Artsakh / Photo: Aram Arekhtsyan
This is route offers a perfect escape from the summer heat. Chill by the water and enjoy the facilities of the "New Life" aquapark located in small gorge in the vicinity of the Togh village. It offers various attractions, open-air pools, restaurants, accomodation services, as well as sites for pincic or camping.
During the journey, you will also visit the majestic 2000-year-old Tnjri platan tree and the Palace of Togh Meliks built in 1737.
Return to Stepanakert at 6:00 PM.
ROUTE #3: STEPANAKERT - HUNOT CANYON - STEPANAKERT
Hunot Canyon - a view from the city of Shushi, Artsakh / Photo: Gayane Tonoyan
The Hunot Canyon is ideal for those who can't imagine their life without hiking! The canyon is home to several historical, cultural and natural sites, including the famous Mamrot Kar Waterfall (also known as Zontikner), the ruins of the 18th century Hunot village, bridge and mill, caves, etc. Moreover, the first long-distance hiking trail in Artsakh - the Janapar Trail runs through the canyon connecting it to the town of Shushi.
Return to Stepanakert at 1:00 PM.
The TourBuses will operate on a daily basis, leaving from the Stepanakert Tourist Info Center located at the Renaissance Square once a day (except Mondays).
Departure time: 9:15 AM.
Ticket price: AMD 250 (~0.55$ as of July 24, 2017).