About 1500-2000 meters high above the sea level, the region of Shirak is the coldest in Armenia sometimes with an air temperature of -46°C in winter.
The region borders with Turkey in the west and Georgia in the north. The ancient history of Shirak reminds that of Ararat Valley, sometimes more legend than history, but according to scientists it has been inhabited 25,000 years ago, with settlements mainly found along the Akhurian Valley since around 9000 BC.
The region’s major river is Akhuryan flowing out from the reservoir of Lake Arpi. A dam was built on the source of the river, thus transforming the lake into a reservoir.
Urartian cuneiforms and epitaphs, as well as ruins of fortresses, castles and bridge traces can be seen in different parts of the region. Just a few kilometers away from the state border, currently in the territory of Turkey, one can see the ruins of the ancient Armenian capital Ani, “the city of a thousand and one churches.”