Lake Sevan: Activities, Attractions and Sightseeing
Lake Sevan is so attractive and popular that every foreigner visiting Armenia detours to this turquoise beauty, even those taking the shortest visit. If Mount Ararat crowns the Armenian sky, Lake Sevan adorns the Armenian earth. Sometimes the water is so crystal clear that you see the sky under your feet and feel upside down. If you want to spend quality time around the lake, check our article.
Table of Contents
Facts about the Lake Sevan
Lake Sevan, which is of volcanic origin, is located 60 km north-east of Yerevan. This 30,000-year-old blue giant, situated at an altitude of 1900m above sea level, is the second largest high-altitude lake in the world, after Lake Titicaca in South America. During harsh winters, it sometimes freezes over, and the best time to swim in the lake is from mid-July to mid-September, when the temperature of the lake reaches about 21 degrees. It is worth mentioning that the maximum recorded temperature of the water was 23 degrees. If you want to ride around the lake, it will take you 5 hours by car.
Attractions around the lake
The peninsula, which was an island by the mid-20th century, is a great viewpoint for the lake. The sunsets are especially impressive here, with the purple sky seeming so close from the height of the peninsula. As it grows colder and darker, the gulls scream dramatically with the fear of losing food because of their leaving food-givers. Before climbing up the stairs leading to the peninsula, you’ll see the monastery perched in the middle of it. Arakelots Vank, or Monastery of Apostles, was erected on the island in the 9th century, but the monastic life here started as early as the 4th century. Because of its isolated location, the island was a perfect place for the hermits. If they could visit the peninsula nowadays, they would go mad after seeing so many laypeople, especially women in high heels showing too much skin.
Sevan Writer’s Resort, the gem of Soviet modernism
Among the most honored guests who have visited Lake Sevan in the past were French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and his wife Simone de Beauvoir. They were hosted in the Writer’s Resort of Sevan, located on the lower part of the peninsula. This building is one of the most prominent buildings of Soviet modernist architecture constructed by Armenian avant-garde architects Gevorg Kochar and Michael Mazmanyan, who were advocates of functionalist architecture. The building engages with climate and topography. In 2016, the Getty Foundation included this building in the project “Keeping It Modern”, which means that the building will be renovated and conserved. So before planning your lunch or stay here, you should check if this iconic building is available.
Sailing in Sevan
Do you want to immerse yourself in the blue tranquility of the lake? Then sail! If you take a shared ship, which you can find around the peninsula, you will enjoy the boundless lake surface and the vistas of the mountain chains surrounding you. If you want to feel the freedom granted by the lake, choose a motorboat or windsurfing. Note that the weather can change drastically around the lake during the day, so try to plan sailing activities in the afternoon.
Other activities in Lake Sevan
After visiting the peninsula, you will understand how spectacular the panoramic outlook of Lake Sevan really is. The good news is that there is a chance to enjoy the whole epic view of the lake from the top of Artanish Mountain, located near the north-eastern shore of the lake. We offer you a hike to this mountain as a memorable adventurous activity. Not only is the amazing scenery of the lake breathtaking, but the slopes of the mountain enveloped in wild flowers and the green and boundless landscapes embracing the horizon is a magical sight. After experiencing this amazing hike, you can taste freshwater fish on your way back in one of the local restaurants.
Beaches around the Lake Sevan
If you have time, we recommend you to avoid the overloaded public or commercial beaches, which often spoil the view of the lake through chaotic infrastructure and noise. The best place to swim or camp around the lake is its western shores, where you can enjoy the best of the lake, far from civilization. If you need music, the waves are not going to let you down and if you want a choir, the gulls are there to sing for you.
Are you already excited to explore the lake with all its attractions? Join us and you will discover more than this article by your own experience. Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen and sunglasses!