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Just north of Ashtarak on the M3 highway you will find three churches like pearls sitting on a string. The first one is St. Gevorg Monastery in Mughni village. It is small, special and known for its dark color and checkered design. The second one is Ohanavank, sitting by the edge of Kasakh river gorge, offering you a panoramic view with the church, the gorge and Mount Ara in the background. Parts of the monastery date back to the 7th century, while some parts are much older. Just before the road turns right to Ohanavank you will see a small fruit stall. Make sure to stop: the owners, mother and son, are such nice and generous people. In season they have delicious apricots, cherries and "sujukh" - a traditional sweet, a string of walnut covered in dark, caramelized grape juice. Yummy! From Ohanavan, the village housing Ohanavank, you can hike through the gorge to Saghmosavank, the last and most famous pearl. Start by the new cemetery in the north of the village and follow the gorge. The route is around 9 km. Tip: Saghmosavank is similar to Ohavanank in its architecture, however it offers majestic photo opportunities for capturing the depth and length of Kasakh gorge as it twists and carves its way through the landscape. Here you will also see a flock of painters, with strokes of their brushes trying to capture the mesmerizing beauty of the surroundings.
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