Goris is a small town upon which town status was conferred far back in the 19th century - in 1870. Goris is considered to be the most conveniently planned town, featuring uniformity of architecture and color. The town covers 8 km2 with a population of about 24 thousand people.
Goris is in the south of Armenia, located on the bank of the river Vararak, the left tributary to Voratan river. It sits at a height of 1400 meters above sea level, and is surrounded by high mountains. Part of the steep mountain slopes leading down to Goris is covered by forests, another part is covered by grassy carpet. Natural erosion has gradually shaped the rocks in the east and north-east into huge stone columns, most of them topped with “crowns,” giving a miraculous charm to this fantastic scene. Goris lies on a slightly sloping area with a curved surface. However, the streets here are straight and they cross each other at right angles, making the town look like a big chessboard. Also, the town's reddish color bursts upon the eye.
The climate in Goris is mild and temperate, with moderate humidity all year round. The seasons here are pleasant and healthy. Summer is cool, winter is warm, spring is sunny and lovely, autumn is velvet and abundant with fruit. The average temperature in January is -1.30 C, in July - + 190 C. The highest temperature recorded was +330 C, the lowest - 270 C. There are no more than 60 days without sun during the entire year.
The first record of information about Goris dates from the 8th century B.C., though it was known as a settlement from earlier periods. During the Middle Ages the town evolved into a transportation hub as one branch of the Great Silk Road passed through it. The name Goris, it is supposed, means “rocky place”, which is quite fitting, given the geographical location of the town. From a chronological point of view, the town should be called New Goris, because Old Goris, Kyores, is located higher, four kilometers farther. It consists of dwellings carved into rock - a place of great historical significance and interest. The modern-day town of Goris was founded at the end of the 19th century. Within a short period of time it became a major educational, cultural and economic center in the south of Armenia. Today the town maintains its status of an important hub, as roads connecting Yerevan to the second Armenian Republic, Artsakh, and to Armenia's neighbor, Iran, pass through Goris. There is a number of higher educational establishments, including Goris State University, which provides an opportunity for young people to pursue higher education. Goris is the birthplace of many outstanding persons, such as poet Axel Bakunts, writer Sero Khanzadyan, composer Konstantin Orbelyan and others.
The beauty of its natural surroundings and its comfortable climate provide conditions for wonderful summer vacations in Goris. A traveler may visit many picturesque places, including historical monuments of Armenian architecture and art, museums, and art galleries. One may have a taste here of local delicious fruits and quench one's thirst with ice-cold water. In the vicinity of Goris one may visit the famous Tatev monastery, which can be reached from a nearby local village via the world’s longest skyway cablecar. Also there is Khndzoresk village, famous for dwellings carved into rock.