If you want to run from the city heat and need a beach, but don’t have time or other options to go far to the sea, then the only option is to drive 1 hour from Yerevan and reach Sevan Lake, the beautiful gem of Armenia. There are a lot of lakes here, most of them are small and located near different mountains. Sevan is also surrounded with Geghama mountains but is the biggest and the most wonderful. The dark blue water shines under the sun rays, lots of seagulls flying over the lake making sounds and fishing.
During the day weather is nice and calm, it’s not very hot, but need to be careful because of the high level of UV rays. Sun really burns the skin and you can become red like a lobster just in a few hours. Better to avoid the direct rays of sun after 1pm, when it’s the most dangerous, always use sun protectors and stay in shade. Usually it’s windy here, especially on evening times. But the best benefit of the wind is the sound of waves that start in the evening times and lasts until morning. This relaxing sound can take you really far from reality, if you just sit near the water, on the beach and hear it. It’s amazing!
Water also is not hot in this lake, like it’s in seas or oceans.. The average of temperature can vary from +19 up to +21 degrees. Not everybody would like this 🙂 The beaches are mostly grey sandy with not big stones. But there are some private beaches, which are covered with yellow sand and the feeling is totally different. Even the color of the water is different in these areas, than on the other side of the lake. All over the beach you can see little white shells on the sand. They are spread in any corner. But you’ll also see many of small frogs jumping into the reeds. Unfortunately there are some places, where the lake started become a swamp.
Changes on water are also seen during the day, especially on the sunset, the water gets another color, and the sky.. If you’re on the west side of the lake, you can admire with the sunset looking at the sky, on the clouds that change their style every minute. But if you’re on the east, you will see how the sun is going down like directly into the water, and the sky will become red, as it’s burning in fire. In any case, from every side of the lake, it’s beautiful..
And how to organize a rest near the lake? Well, there are lots of private Guest houses and hotels all around the lake, on any side of it. You can choose the one that mostly meets your needs: a cheap guest house with small rooms, that still have all that you might need (beds, sofa, fridge, TV, etc.) or a luxury hotel with cozy rooms, own beach areas, pools, water attractions and much more.
If you don’t want just to stay in a hotel or swim, but prefer to do some sightseeing, you can visit the small peninsula at the northwest shore, climb up the hill by steps and admire with the breathtaking view of Lake Sevan. Right there you can visit Sevanavank Monastery complex with its 2 churches: Surb Arakelots meaning the “Holy Apostles” and Surb Astvatsatsin meaning the “Holy Mother of God”. The complex found in 874 by Princess Mariam (the daughter of king Ashot I) in memory of her husband initially was built on a small island but during the time the water level fell about 20 meters and the island transformed into peninsula.
There are also several legends telling about Lake Sevan and Sevanavank Monastery. The most popular one tells the following:
During the battle between Armenians and Arabs, King Ashot I was on the island. His soldiers were too few in comparison with the Arab army. Even with many monks and fishermen who joined their King, Arabs kept being more in number. Then Ashot I spoke to one of his wise fishermen and asked for advice. The fisherman lived there for years and knew the peculiarities of weather well. He advised the King to attach the Arabs early in the morning when the sun just starts to rise. The King followed the advice and led his soldiers in boats towards the Arabs. The sun was behind the Armenian forces and, therefore, blinded the Arabs. Armenians managed to win the battle, after which the lake was full of Arab soldiers. Because of the dead bodies and their uniforms, the lake looked black, hence the name Sevan (“sev” means “black”).
As you see, this place is worth to visit, doesn’t matter you want to have a short day-trip or spend a week relaxing on the beaches. Every kind of activity will find its place.
So come and enjoy. Sevan always welcomes you 🙂