Dastakert is located in the Syunik region, 225 km south of the capital Yerevan and 115 km north-west of the administrative centre Kapan. It is situated on the slopes of Mount Ayri (Zangezur Range), near the source of the River Ayri and at an average height of 2,050 meters above sea level․
The village used to be the smallest urban residence in Armenia until 2017 when it became a rural-type settlement. According to historian Stephen Orbelian, the village was founded as a summer resort for the priests of Tatev Monastery. The name is derived from the ancient Armenian word which means ‘summer resort’.
In the 12th and 15th centuries, Syunik and the surrounding areas suffered from the Seljuk, Mongol, and Turkish invasions. In 1813 Syunik became part of the Russian Empire as a result of the Russian-Persian War. After the establishment of the Republic of Armenia, the village became part of the Zangezur region.
During the Soviet Period (in 1945), copper and molybdenum mines were found in the village. In 1951 when the branch of the Zangezur copper-molybdenum plant was established, Dastakert got the status of an urban-type settlement.
During that period the village had nearly 4000 residents. But in 1975 the plant was closed and the population decreased and it became a rural-type settlement. Recently on the base of the Soviet copper-molybdenum plant a branch of the Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine.
The cultural heritage of Dastakert includes a medieval settlement located 2 km northwest of Dastakert, a medieval cemetery in the north of the city, and a khachkar dating back to 1320. There is a lithographic inscription on a rock 2 km north of Dastakert which dates back to the 14th century.