Armenian Tourist Attractions: Lake Sevan
 lake sevan
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"Lake Sevan - A white sand beach with cows."
© Raffi Kojian, 1996
Location in Armenia Ah, a khorovadz on the shores of Sevan. One of the most relaxing experiences I can think of. This huge mountain lake which takes up 5% of Armenia's surface area and is 2,000 meters above sea level. On a clear and sunny day, the water is a deep turquoise color. Maxim Gorky once said about the waters that the were like a piece of the sky that had descended to the earth among the mountains. The shores are white sand and most beaches are uncrowded. The monastery peninsula is the most popular spot, and is the closest place to visit as well. The water is about 18-22 Celsius in the summer, a very refreshing swim after a hot week in Yerevan. It is a freshwater lake, so you do not have any salt residue after swimming. There are fish in the lake, but I do not know the regulations for fishing.

On the peninsula there is the monastery of Sevanavank, consisting of two rather rough churches. It is worthwhile to climb up the many stairs for the view and the green khatchkars. They were carved from a plentiful local green stone and stood out from the others which are all made of tuff. All over the West and North shores are places to stay. On of the nicer (normal) ones is the Sevan Hotel at the very north end, just past the massive remains of an unfinished Soviet construction. On the East shore is the painters house at the tip of the opposite penninsula near Shorjha, and just south of that is probably the nicest beach on the lake. Kilometers long, nice waters, and some pine trees for shade behind them. It is perfect for camping or getting away from the crowd on the West shores. (About 40 minutes of extra driving down from the north, very bad road if you drive up from the south) If you go down the western shore you will reach Hayravank, a nicer monastery which very few visit. A bit further lays Noratus with a nice old church, and old basilica ruins, and more importantly the largest khachkar cemetery in Armenia. Continuing south towards Vardenis you will hit the nice monasteries of Ddmashen, Vanevan and Makenyats.

"Fishermen in Southern Lake Sevan."
© 2000 Raffi Kojian, All rights reserved

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