Lake Sevan

Most take 2-3 days to explore the beaches of Lake Sevan, one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world.

Most take 2-3 days to explore the beaches of Lake Sevan, one of the largest high altitude lakes in the world.  The lake has sandy shores, forested beaches, and crystal-clear waters that foster a perfect environment for the bohemian atmosphere and extreme water sports that have flourished around it. Water sports include sailing (yacht or catamaran), jet skiing and motorboat paragliding. 

The north shore is where you will find most of the beaches, along with Sevanavank, the 9th century monastery on a peninsula that was once an island for royal exiles. The meandering shorelines have a variety of habitats, from deserted rocky bays to secluded sandy beaches and campsites.

Driving around its 220km circumference offers a wealth of experiences. The first site is the vast remains of the abandoned Iron Age city of Lchashen, one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. Near its narrowest point are the 9th century monastery of Hayravank, and the field of Noratus, with over one thousand khachkars (cross stones). With khachkars dating as far back as the 10th century, this is the largest collection in the world! Further south are the cemeteries of Nerkin Getashen and Dzoragyugh, with 4th century Greek khachkars and ancient crosses carved from pagan Vishaps (dragon stones). Much like those in Karahunge, many of these stones have holes through which it is believed that ancient astronomers would have surveyed the night sky.

At Martuni, a mountain road climbs the Geghama Mountains to the Selim Pass, once used by caravans of camels laden with spices, silks and gold; now a motorway past a 13th century caravanserai and into the province of Vayots Dzor, home to Jermuk and the medieval city of Yeghegis. Far to the east is the city of Vardenis, from which a mountain pass leads into the steep-faced gorges of Karvachar, in the north of Artsakh. Coming back around Sevan via the north side are quieter beaches, home to retreats for writers and artists. The narrow point on the north side is marked by the impressive Mt. Artanish, from which on a nice day, the whole of Sevan is visible.

Once back on the Sevan highway after a relaxing day in the sun, stop at one of the many restaurants, dine on fresh caught fish, and spend the night in one of the lake’s resorts.