The magical lake Sevan changes its colors all day long. Deep blue, azure and turquoise, pink and orange, depending on the time of day. You can find a secluded spot here and get away from the crowds , or if you love active rest, go swimming, jet-skiing, windsurfing or just save our guide and pass 210 kilometers around Sevan exploring ancient monasteries and climbing the mount Artanish.
In this map you can find camping spots and observation points as well.
Route length from Yerevan- 330 km, road around Sevan-210 km , hiking- 10 km.
Best time to visit - All year round, just be well prepared for cold weather. Mount Artanish- from May to October.
Warning - Be aware of mosquitos and snakes. In winter the road can be frozen. Sevan is a sweet water lake, so be carefool if you don't know swimming well.
Advice- Use sunscreen. Take warm clothes.
Start your journey from Yerevan at 8 o'clock and drive to one of the most visited treasures in Armenia - Lake Sevan. It is the largest lake in Armenia and is located in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia. It is one of the largest freshwater high altitude lakes in the world. Perched at 1,900m above sea level, the great blue eye of Sevan covers 940 km², and is 80 km long by 30 km at its widest. The temperatures are significantly cooler than in Yerevan, and the winters are much longer. The lakeshore is lined with sandy beaches, some teeming with activity and resorts. The most visited destination on the lake is the peninsula, which is home to one of the most notable samples of medieval Armenian architecture, the monastery of Sevanavank- our first destination.
Sevanavank is a monastic complex, not far from the town of Sevan. Initially the monastery was built at the southern shore of a small island. After the artificial draining of Lake Sevan, which started in the era of Joseph Stalin, the water level fell about 20 metres, and the island transformed into a peninsula. The monastery's still active seminary moved to newly constructed buildings at the northern shore of the peninsula. According to an inscription in one of the churches, the monastery of Sevanavank was founded in 874 by Princess Mariam. Take some time to stay here and admire a really beautiful view of lake sevan from this spot.
Hayravank is a 9th to 12th century Armenian monastery located just northeast of the village of Hayravank along the southwest shores of Lake Sevan. The monastic complex consists of a church, chapel, and gavit. Surrounding the monastery are numerous khachkars and gravestones that are part of a small cemetery. To the northwest a short distance from the site, are the remains of Bronze Age through medieval fortification walls and foundations of a settlement. A polished black vessel of the Early Bronze Age was discovered during archaeological excavations in the area. Weapons of metal and stone, tools, clay idols, numerous vessels, fireplaces and two tombs, all from the Iron Age were discovered in the vicinity as well. Next drive to the mysterious Noratus Cemetery.
3 Noratus Cemetery
Noratus cemetery is a medieval cemetery with many early khachkars located in the village of Noratus. The oldest khachkars in the cemetery date back to the late 10th century. During the revival of the khachkar tradition in the 16-17th centuries many khachkars were built. The cemetery is spread over a seven hectare field containing almost a thousand khachkars each of them depicting unique ornamentation. The majority of the khachkars are covered by moss and lichen. Several tombstones in the cemetery depict carved scenes of weddings and farm life. Adjacent to the old cemetery a new modern cemetery has been built separated by a long fence. Nearby the cemetery in the village there is the Holy Virgin church built in the ninth century. Near the Noratus village there is a small town called Gavar. If you are already hungry and tired there is a food court in Martuni where you can have a rest and continue your way to Vardenis. In martuni you can take a horseback tour to Armaghan and see the beautiful view on crater.
Buy the way, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy the breathtaking view spot on the road of Vardenis. Then... Something special is near... Somethig beautiful and powerful... The mount Artanish.
4 Mount Artanish
Before climbing the mount you can stay at Wishup camp zone for a night and the next day start climbing, or you can stay there after climbing the mount. Its summit (2461m above sea level) is the only place from which you can see the whole Lake Sevan. There is a beautiful view of Pambak, Geghama, Vardenis and Areguni mountains as well. It will become your favourite destination if you love winter views and cool weather. After climbing the mount there is also an option to stay overnight at Avan Marak Tsapatagh Hotel.
On the way back there is a food court Tsovagyugh, where you can have dinner and rest. Then you can continue your way to Dilijan or turn back to Yerevan.