The trip to Lake Sevan was one of the two most vivid (literally and figuratively) impressions during our trip to Armenia. Why literally? Because the week of our stay there, in Yerevan, the sun never once seemed. The sky was obscured by dense fog, despite the “clear” weather forecast. But in the mountains, including on Lake Sevan it was sunny – the fog remained somewhere down there.
A trip to Lake Sevan (Armenia) was planned for one of three days when we rented a car to travel around the outskirts of Yerevan (for our experience and the nuances of renting a car in Armenia read here ) You can combine a trip to Sevan with a visit to the Tsaghkadzor ski resort, but if provided that you are going there not to ski, but just to see or take a walk.
Sevanavank Monastery is the most popular attraction on Lake Sevan. Its history dates back to the end of the 8th century, when the first monks arrived on the peninsula (then the island) of Sevan and settled there. To date, two churches of Surb-Astvatsatsin and Surb-Arakelots and the foundation of another church of Surb-Harutyun have survived.
The monastery is located on a hill where a rather steep staircase leads. In winter, just a piercing wind blows there! But the views that will open to you from the observation deck are worth it to freeze a little!
By the way, the monastery operates in our time.
Useful information . Sevanavank Monastery has parking for cars. Nobody took money from us. Perhaps in summer, in season, parking is paid. Souvenirs are also sold on the site. There are toilets (but we were not lucky with the weather, it was very cold, the water froze, so the toilets did not work, the employees said that there is a toilet in the restaurant). There is also an Ashot Yerkat restaurant, we were not there, and the Google rating is a little over 3 points. Better go to the Colette restaurant, which is recommended by most tourists and bloggers. Read about the restaurant below
This monastery is not as popular among tourists as Sevanavank, but it’s still worth coming there. A place of amazing beauty, not a tourist (there are no tents with souvenirs and endless tourists) – only a lake with gorgeous views and a monastery. Together with us there was literally 6-7 people. But there is one BUT! When we were leaving and a huge bus with tourists arrived here! Therefore, I must say that the place ceases to be non-tourist.
To get to the Ayravank Monastery, you need to turn off the M-4 highway onto the M-10 highway and along the lake, admiring the most beautiful views, drive about 23 km (about 20 minutes).
The history and description of the monastery can be easily found on the Internet, so I won’t go deeper, but just show what kind of view opens onto the lake
Read also the article “How to Travel to Armenia on Your Own: A Mini-Guide”
How to get to Lake Sevan: from Yerevan and the airport
The easiest way to get to Lake Sevan is by car (your own or rented), or by taxi from Yerevan. We went to Sevan by car. The distance from Yerevan to the Sevan Peninsula (where the Sevanavank Monastery is a popular tourist attraction) is about 70 km, to the Ayravank Monastery – about 85 km. It is necessary to move along the M-4 highway. The road, in principle, is good, even in winter there were no problems. Perhaps in winter, you will have to travel some distance through the fog to overcome this level and go out to the sun. We were lucky, this cloudy fog was not strong, and the visibility was decent (not compare with the road to Garni and Geghard, where visibility was almost zero).
The cost of a taxi ride from Yerevan will be approximately 8000-10000 drams (1000-1300 rubles). An official taxi from Zvarnots airport costs about 19,000 drams (2500 rubles), you can also order a transfer in advance using a special service. It will also cost from 2500 rubles. See the exact price here . Travel time is approximately 1 hour 50 minutes. An unofficial taxi, I think, can cost 2 times cheaper, but you need to make an agreement immediately and concretely – say the price for the entire car and to a specific address (I know several cases when people took an unofficial taxi at the airport and the price increased several times upon arrival).
You can also get to Sevan by public transport from Yerevan, it will be cheaper, but also much longer. Yes, and this option is most likely suitable, more for the summer, in winter it will not be very comfortable. In order to get to Sevan, you must use the minibus number 317, which goes from the Northern bus station (you can get there by bus number 46 from the center of Yerevan). A minibus arrives in the city of Sevan, from where you can get to the lake and Sevanavank Monastery by taxi, or after 20 minutes walking to the city beach. According to information on the Internet, the total cost will be about 1000 drams (about 130 rubles). Unfortunately, I can’t tell in more detail, since we moved on a rented car.
It is also possible to buy an excursion to Lake Sevan from Yerevan .
Excursions to Lake Sevan
An excursion to Lake Sevan can be bought already in Armenia – booked through the reception of your hotel, tourist office, or in the main square of the city – Republic Square (there are several cars there and there is always someone to ask about excursions).
Holidays on Lake Sevan in Armenia
On our way home, we stopped at the lake to take some pictures of the lake. It turned out that we stayed next to the hotel, which is located right on the shore of Lake Sevan! Immediately imagined summer, as you leave your room, and in front of you – a gorgeous lake! I think that in the summer you can spend a chic vacation on Lake Sevan, or at least spend a few days in one of the hotels located right on the shore.
The hotel, next to which we stayed for a photo, and the terraces in the rooms of which look directly onto the lake are called Lavash 🙂 By the way, its rating on Booking.com is 9 points!
Here are a couple of winter photos of the hotel:
More hotels on Lake Sevan:
Restaurant on Lake Sevan
I have already mentioned the Colette restaurant above. Now a little more detail. How to find this restaurant? It is located right on the shore of Lake Sevan, from its windows just incredible views open! I am glad that he works in the winter.
It is not marked on the map. From Sevanavank Monastery you need to go to the highway leading to the city of Dilijan and drive literally about 5 kilometers. The restaurant will be on your right.
We saw such a restaurant for the first time – we were allocated a separate room (for two!), We, frankly, thought that they would forget about us, but we accepted and brought the order very quickly. They say that there are delicious crayfish. Again, due to the weather, we were not able to try them. We ordered a kebab of Sevan fish called whitefish, potatoes and salad. Together with bread and lemonade, the whole lunch cost a symbolic 5000 drams! Honestly, it was the most delicious dinner in Armenia! And one of the most delicious dinners in the history of my travels!
Photo of Lake Sevan
And finally, a few more photos of Lake Sevan, which I have not yet shown.
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