Lake Sevan in Armenia: photos and reviews of tourists
Hospitable and sunny Armenia is beautiful! This is an amazing corner of the Earth, which is full of historical, architectural and natural attractions. Without a doubt, one of them is the beautiful Lake Sevan. It is not surprising that all guests arriving in Armenia are eager to see this picturesque place.
It is believed that Lake Sevan, the photo of which can be seen in all tourist booklets of Armenia, was named after the oldest building - the Sev Vank temple. It was built in the IX. This name is translated from Armenian as "black monastery". It is really built from black tuff. There is another version of the appearance of this name. The Urartu tribe, who lived here long before the Armenians appeared on these lands, was called Sweeney. However, experts do not always agree with this version of the origin of the modern name of this natural object.
Once the shores of Lake Sevan were covered with dense forests.Many valuable tree species grew here - oak, beech and others, which were used in shipbuilding. Today, the forest area has decreased significantly.
In those days, the maximum length of the lake was 75 km, and its width - 37 km. The width at the narrowest point did not exceed 8 km.
This natural feature is located in the mountains at an altitude of 1900 m above sea level. The depth of Lake Sevan in some areas is 90 meters, its area is more than 1,240 square meters. km
The lake has two parts, which are called Small and Big Sevan. Great depth and indented shores are characteristic of Small Sevan. The largest volume of water is concentrated in this part of the lake. In the second part, the bottom is even, the banks are not much cut.
The length of Sevan is 70 km, its width is 35 km. 28 small rivers flow into it. Maerik is the largest of them (its length is less than 50 km). And the only river that flows out of the lake is the Hrazdan River, which is a tributary of the Araks. Lake Sevan, the photo of which you see in our article, was formed about 25 thousand years ago.
It is striking in its beauty. Its water surface has an unusual azure-blue color, the water is clear and transparent. According to the legend, only gods and stars drank water from Sevan. In addition, the lake water can change color.On a bright sunny day, it is pale turquoise, lead-gray in bad weather, and silvery at night.
Lake Sevan attracts tourists with a great climate. Even in the strongest heat here it is always cool. Very picturesque coastline. These are densely forested slopes, and bare stone cliffs of white color, and mountain steppes turning into alpine meadows. Here is a wide strip of pines and sea buckthorn.
Flora and fauna
The animal and plant world in these places is very diverse. There are 1,600 species of plants, about 20 species of mammals and a lot of birds inhabit the shores of the lake: mallards, partridges, gulls, ogar and others. During the flights on the lake, flamingos, pelicans, mute swans, cormorants, roosters and other birds stop to rest on the lake in total up to 180 species. Many of them nest in these places. Lake Sevan today is a national park, which consists of 5 reserves and 22 reserves with a very rich flora and fauna.
The surroundings of this natural object are known for the numerous monuments that are located on its coast. As we have said, Lake Sevan was named after the ancient monastery.Today, on its shores, you can see the ruins of an unknown church, fortifications, monastic cells.
Lake Sevan is rich in endemic fish species: the Sevan flux, the Sevan temple, the Sevan trout, which was previously represented by four subspecies. Many species are endangered due to competing species: the whitefish, imported from Ladoga and Peipsi lakes, narrow-fingered crayfish, and crucian carp.
This is the only fishing area of Armenia where valuable fish species are bred. Until the early 1960s of the 20th century, the most valuable fish breed living in Sevan was the Sevan trout. The people called it Ishkhan. In translation, this means "prince-fish." It received its name due to its high taste and large size. According to fishermen, some specimens of Sevan trout weighed more than 12 kg.
Today, the "prince-fish" is under the protection of the state. It was listed in the Red Book of Armenia. The population of this fish is artificially maintained in 4 plants located on the shores of the lake. It must be said that while the trout is on the verge of extinction in Sevan, it got accustomed to life in Issyk-Kul Lake (Kyrgyzstan). She was brought there from Armenia.
Armenia, Lake Sevan: recreation
Today, this picturesque place is not only a conservation area, but also a popular holiday destination. A lot of sunny days, the freshest mountain air, crystal clear springs, mineral springs, healing peat are the basis of the resort resources of Sevan. Modern, comfortable hotel complexes, cottages provided with infrastructure were built in specially selected places. The beach season is short here - only two months (July and August). At this time, Lake Sevan gets as warm as possible. The temperature of the water rises to + 19-20 degrees.
Everyone who comes on vacation is offered to settle in well-equipped campsites and hotels built right on the lake. In the summer, it is very crowded here, so hotels are often overcrowded. Guests can choose from 3 *, 4 * and 5 * hotels. They offer various services: indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, water park, spa treatments, beauty salon, tennis court, table tennis, basketball fields, playgrounds, billiards and others. The staff of many hotels speaks foreign languages, including Russian and English.
Each year, the infrastructure in these scenic spots develops. The level of service increases, it becomes more diverse.This, undoubtedly, has a positive effect on the quality of rest.
Many tourists love beach holidays on Lake Sevan. The beaches are sandy, sometimes there are small pebbles. Most hotels have well-equipped private beaches, but there are also wild ones. It offers travelers a lot of water entertainment.
In numerous cafes and restaurants located on the banks of the Sevan, you will be offered amazing Armenian cuisine. Often, the residents of Armenia come here to feast on delicious Sevan trout, skillfully prepared by local chefs. In addition, we recommend that you try crab kebabs and whitefish shish kebab. It is really very tasty. And even the most sophisticated gourmets will appreciate it.
In addition to Armenian cuisine, you can choose any other to your taste: Chinese and Arabic, European or Georgian. And the water here you can drink from the tap - it is completely clean. The water is very clean in almost all of Armenia, and the locals are very proud of this fact.
Almost all the hotels in the neighborhood have numerous shops and shops where you can buy various goods.Be sure to buy Armenian wine and, of course, the famous cognac.
You can purchase original souvenirs, but their prices are quite high.
What to see
Rest on Lake Sevan (tourist reviews allow us to say this) is not only great beaches. Here you can visit the most interesting excursions to ancient monuments.
Be sure to visit the peninsula to see the ancient monastery of Sevanavank. It was founded in 874 by the charming Princess Mariam, who was the daughter of Ashot I the Great, the prince, who later became the king of Armenia. Currently, the monastery operates a seminary.
Try to go on an excursion to the Selim gorge. In ancient times, the Silk Road passed through it, linking East Asia and the Mediterranean. Here came countless camel caravans carrying jewels and other goods. And since all the merchants and travelers needed at least a short-term rest, Prince Chesar Orbelyan issued a decree on the construction of the Selim caravanserai here.
Of particular interest to tourists is an excursion on the steamer "Kilikia", built according to ancient drawings.It was made the most interesting trip around the world. Nowadays there are fascinating excursions on the lake.
Lake Sevan - an archeological find
This amazing lake has not yet been fully surveyed, although active work has been going on for the fourth year. Underwater research is aimed at obtaining accurate topographic data that is necessary for archaeological excavations.
These studies were initiated by French submariners, as well as by Armenian specialists - Stefan Kogayan and Claude Tulumjyan. A year ago, they created a diving research center. The work of the past three years has allowed them not only to photograph a huge part of the bottom of the lake, but also to take part in cleaning it from debris.
Tourists often ask the guides a question: “What did you find on Lake Sevan?” Last year, during an underwater expedition at a depth of sixteen meters, a wooden sunken ship was found 18 meters long. He managed to find the diver Vahe Melkonyan. This find on Lake Sevan was named after him “Vahe”. Today, experts determine the age of this invaluable object.
In 2014, the work of researchers was carried out for 8 days (from July 20 to July 28).At the press conference, the head of the group of scientists Stepan Kocayan unveiled the good news: the state of Lake Sevan in ecological terms has significantly improved in recent years. The water level has noticeably increased, and this allows the lake not to be swamped. Various types of fauna and flora were recorded in Sevan, the number of harmful algae was significantly reduced.
Every last Sunday of August, since 1999, Lake Day is celebrated in Armenia. The program for the preservation of Sevan includes activities related to this day, including cleaning the coast. Scout and environmental teams are involved in this work.
Many tourists who spent their holidays on the island of Sevan, reviews leave enthusiastic. Naturally, most of these responses relate to the stunning nature of this place. Many tourists with warmth recall the hospitality and friendliness of the staff. Hotel rooms do not cause any complaints - they are comfortable and very comfortable. Many say that it is possible to visit Lake Sevan not only in summer, but also in winter.True, the beach holiday in this case is canceled, but the enchanting beauty of the boundless lake in winter outfit more than compensates for this disadvantage.