Visiting Armenia without spending at least one day on the country’s “inland sea” is the same as failing to see the country. The lake is about an hour’s drive from the city center to the east of Yerevan, on the western coast of Sevan. If you have the time and desire, you can drive around the lake while admiring the scenery of the Gegharkunik marz (region), which has Sevan as its capital. For this, you need to rent a car Yerevan. Yerevan rental cars are affordable and comfortable. And car rental in Armenia is mostly popular among tourists. So Yerevan rental cars will be part of your journey. With Yerevan car rental you will be confident.
According to historians, the name of the lake comes from the Urartian words “Suinna” and “Shanna” – “lake country”. Lake Sevan is geographically divided into two unequal “halves” – Big Sevan in the south and Small Sevan in the north.
Small Sevan is characterized by a rugged coastline. It’s a relatively large depth, the shores of Big Sevan are more even, and the depth is shallow.
By the way, Lake Sevan in the relatively recent past almost suffered the sad fate of the Aral Sea. In 1910, the scientist Manaseryan took the initiative to eliminate the excess (in his opinion) area of Sevan and put water to irrigate the Ararat valley located below the level of the lake supposed to be turned into the granary of Transcaucasia.
This idea was returned to under the Soviet regime – from 1923 to 1962, the Sevan-Hrazdan irrigation and energy hub was built on the Hrazdan River, which included a deep tunnel and a cascade of 6 hydroelectric power stations. With its commissioning, the water level in Sevan fell every year by 1 meter, and the area decreased by 13 percent, the oxygen regime and composition of the water changed, its transparency – it began to bloom with blue-green algae.
The activities of the “crown of creation”
The activities of the “crown of creation” led to the complete disappearance of many fish species. Some of which found only in Sevan, as well as to a sharp reduction in the population of the famous Sevan trout – ishkhan. Plus, the drained lands also turned out to be of little use for agriculture. From 1936 to 2000, the water level in the lake fell by 20%.
To prevent the final death of Sevan, in the late 1960s, construction began on a 48-kilometer underground tunnel. The aim was to a high-altitude reservoir on the Arpa River. In 1981, the construction of another tunnel from the Spandaryan reservoir, located even further south, on the mountain river Vorotan, began and completed in 2004, and after that time the water level in Sevan began to grow by 40 cm per year.
You can find the monastery on a rocky peninsula that borders Sevan to the north. The peninsula was formerly a tiny island before the lake dramatically shrunk. At the end of the eighth century, a group of monks started to construct a monastery there. A number of churches, afterward constructed inside the outer walls, had first been constructed around the island. It’s interesting to note that the people established a monastery expressly for the monks from Etchmiadzin, Armenia’s spiritual capital, who had committed any crimes and were therefore unworthy of staying there.
City of Sevan.
The settlement on the lake that is closest to Yerevan is Sevan. The town was once famous as Yelenovka and established in 1842 by exiled Russian Molokans. The tsarist government and the official Church saw them as sectarians because the Molokans did not recognize the clergy and churches. Sevan includes a pier, many hotels, and eateries in addition to a decent sand and pebble beach.
Such an incident occurred on a beach on the west coast, close to Sevan. We parked and chose to go swimming once or twice before continuing to Shorja. Two tricolors—Armenian and Russian—flitted on flagpoles close to the water on the very shore.
In the past, it was a center of all-Union skiing. In the present, it is the only ski resort in Armenia. Tsaghkadzor, which means “gorge of flowers” in Armenian, is a perfect place to visit in the summer because of its scenery, fresh mountain air, and proximity to Lake Sevan (25 km).
The cableway of Tsaghkadzor (coordinates 40.53485, 44.69752) operates all year round (10:3-17:30, 2000 dreams), a road leads to it from the Kecharis monastery (coordinates 40.53385, 44.71596).