While everyone is boarding the trains to the hot, touristy and crowded Black Sea, the pearl of Armenia Lake Sevan is left untouched, magnificent as ever and with more things to offer each year.
If you’re in Armenia and want to take a nice relaxing day trip, Sevan is the place to go. Taking a newly renovated highway towards north of Yerevan and reaching Sevan city, the lake offers wide variety of activities ranging from sightseeing at monasteries dating back to the 9th century to calm beaches with occasional summer festivals. Don’t forget to pack a nice jacket with you, as the lake is located roughly at 2,000 meters above sea level.
Getting out of the city in the morning is the easiest part, as the traffic is driving towards the city, it should not be hard to make your way out to Tbilisi Highway onto Sevan. So take your car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in the morning and head north to explore the jewel of Armenia.
Where to stay and what to eat
As the lake is one of the few and largest freshwater lakes in the world placed at such high altitude, the taste of the fish largely benefits from it. While near Sevan, try cooked Sevan trout or crayfish with some nice cold beer. While the trout is served at all seasons, the price for crayfish differs from season to season and from year to year, depending how many crayfish there that year. As the Sevanavank is the closest site to the city, most of the hotels are located near the monastery as it is a good base to spend a night.
Sightseeing and beaches
The first stop is Sevanavank Monastery. Dating back to the 9th century, the monastery, no longer an active one, will prove how prominent Armenian architecture can be. The parking area near the monastery is wide and big, however, while the entrance to the monastery is free, parking costs about ~$1.
After Sevanavank Monastery east of the lake to Hayravank Monastery then up north west of the lake towards Shorzha village or Drakhtik, which means little Paradise in Armenian where you can see some trees lined up near the lake. As you reach the beaches there, you will understand the meaning of the village. Parking and camping is possible nearly at any beach.