In recent years, the united tours to Armenia and Georgia – two neighboring countries of the South Caucasus – are becoming more and more popular among tourists. These countries have a lot in common and a lot of their own unique features. And of course, at the end of each trip any tourist is thinking about purchasing memorable souvenirs and gifts for family and friends. Perhaps, the magnets and souvenir trinkets will not surprise anyone and it’d be better to purchase something colorful that would carry the spirit and originality of the country. Today we decided to help you in this complicated matter and Have created a list of the most in our opinion best souvenirs worth buying during your travel around the South Caucasus:
In the culture of any nation, there are some special national symbols. In Armenia that are khachkars – the stone steles with a cross depiction. The appearance of this art dates back to the 300-th years, when the country adopted Christianity as a state religion. Now these huge blocks of stone, decorated with elaborately refined carvings, cover the Armenian land as the stars cover the night sky. Of course, it is impossible to take such a creation but you can buy a small khachkar as a souvenir. We recommend visiting the same Vernissage where you will find a great choice of khachkars.
Carpet weaving has long been a popular craft in Armenia. On the territory of the country, there are still preserved the antique exemplars of national carpets. Armenian carpets have unique original ornaments, and will definitely please the fans of ethno style. You can purchase them at Vernissage or you can visit «Megerian Carpets» company where you will get acquainted with carpet weaving technologies. In the center of Yerevan on Abovian Str. you can also find suitable stores to make a purchase.
Duduk is an Armenian national musical instrument the soft and lyrical sounds of which accompany all the important events in the life of the nation. The instrument is made of apricot tree and it is said that due to this fact it has such special sounding. If you want to get acquainted with the beautiful melodies of duduk, we advise listening to the records of Jivan Gasparyan – the most famous duduk player in Armenia. Duduk can also be purchased as a souvenir at the open fair “Vernissage” or in local souvenir shops. Vernissage is located in the city center near the Republic Square, here you can buy unique handmade souvenirs, jewelry, carpets, pictures and much more. Be sure to visit this popular tourist place during your Armenia tour.
Puppet making is also quite common in Armenia and has an ancient history. Since ancient times, Armenian masters have created figurines of clay, and later of wood, stone, and silver. At this time, very popular are dolls dressed in traditional Armenian costume, taraz. These bright colorful dolls can be found in Vernissage, they will be an excellent gift for your loved ones!
Is it possible to present the Georgian horseman without a dagger? Of course not! Dagger will also be a wonderful souvenir. You can buy it at a flea market “Dry Bridge” located in Tbilisi on Italian street. Just keep in mind that such a souvenir is necessary to be declared at the airport.
National costumes are also very popular in Georgia, however, such purchase will be quite expensive. As an alternative you can buy famous Georgian hat – papakha. It is a widely spread shepherd’s hat made of sheep’s wool. Now it is rarely used, but as a souvenir, it is very popular. If you do decide to buy a national costume, we recommend visiting the shop “Samoseli Pirveli” in Tbilisi.
All fashion-mongers are advised to pay attention at minankari – an incredibly beautiful Georgian jewelry made of cloisonné. It is made only by hands according to the ancient technology. You can purchase this adornment in Ornament Gallery or Pokany Gallery shops in Tbilisi on Bambis Rigi Str. Not far from the temple of Zion are located not less popular shops – Gallery 27 and Nima Gallery.
As you know, Georgia is famous for its old wine making traditions and is sometimes referred to as “the cradle of wine”. Georgian wine is exported far beyond the country and has a great popularity. That is exactly why one of the most popular gift items here can be considered a drinking horn or other wine vessels. We recommend visiting the flea market at the same Dry Bridge – there is a great choice and a colorful atmosphere. And if you are interested in wine traditions of Georgia, it is advisable to take part in wine tours in Georgia and learn a lot of secrets.