Armenia is the first country in the world to adopt Christianity as state religion that’s why it is believed that the ancient Christian culture was born exactly on the territories of modern Armenia. Mainly, the tourists who choose Armenia Travel want to make pilgrimage to important religious sites, get acquainted with rich history and culture of Armenian nation. However, despite educational and cultural tourism the country can also offer good opportunities for relaxing holidays on the beach or in the lap of nature.
Beach holidays with kids in Armenia
There are many good recreational resorts in the country. And although Armenia has no access to the sea, the locals are not upset about that as there is a huge and amazing Lake Sevan which is called sometimes «Armenian sea». Holiday at Sevan is a good choice for those who want to spend time with family and kids, relax on the beach, enjoy the beautiful nature, do active sports and visit the ancient sights. In this article we’d like to tell you about beach holidays in Armenia and share useful information and tips:
Sevan is a highland lake in Armenia and one of the largest lakes in the Caucasus. It is located at an altitude of about 2000 m above sea level. Sometimes it seems that the azure waters of the lake are about to touch the sky. Today Sevan itself and its beautiful surroundings are considered as a popular holiday destination among locals and foreigners.
The area of the lake is a part of the National Sevan Reserve, and the lake itself is surrounded by numerous mineral springs, picturesque landscapes and cultural monuments. On the shore of Lake Sevan you’ll find hotels and cottages, equipped beaches, volleyball courts, equipment for active leisure.
How to get to Sevan
Generally, the tourists reach the lake through the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. You can get a taxi, rent a car or go to the bus station. It is located at the Northern Station. To get to it you can take a taxi or a bus №46. At the station take the mini bus №317. It will take you to the nearest village not far from the lake. The distance from Yerevan to Sevan is about 50 km. And the road will take about 1-1,5 h. If you are travelling with kids the most comfortable variant is, of course, to take a taxi. It will cost about 7000 AMD ($15).
Please, take into consideration that the beach holiday at lake Sevan completely differs from the one at the seaside. As the lake is located high in the mountains it is often cool near the lake and windy in the evenings. The average temperature in summer is +25 C. In summer water warms up to +18/ 20 C which is tolerable for swimming. The beach season starts in July and ends at the end of August/beginning of September. During that time the sore of the lake is full of holidaymakers who run away from the summer heat. The ultra-violet rays are very strong at the lake, so don’t forget your sunscreen (SPF 30), hats or caps.
Where to stay
There are lots of hotels, cottages and recreation areas at the shore of the lake, starting from budget options to luxury ones. In summer especially on weekends they are full, so if you plan to visit Sevan book your accommodation beforehand. Just three kilometers away from Sevanavank Monastery there is located the cottage complex Sevan Lake Cottages which have all the necessary conditions for recreation, barbecue and even fishing. If you prefer luxurious holidays than choose the resort hotel «Best Western Bohemian» with its beautiful views, a sun terrace, pool and entertainment.
What to try
Anyone who has ever been at Sevan has certainly tried the famous Sevan trout. This fish is bred in the lake and it’s a real symbol of Sevan. In Armenian it is called «ishkhan» which is translated as «the royal fish». Armenians have many delicious recipes of ishkhan preparation, which you should necessarily taste during your visit. The other dish which you will unlikely be able to try somewhere else is kebab of Sevan crayfish. The perfect recipe for its preparation is known by any self-respecting Armenian cook, and the best accompaniment to satisfying kebab will be local herbs, cold white wine and a view of Lake Sevan.
What to see
You can combine your holiday with the visit to the ancient sights. The most famous and significant is Sevanavank monastery founded in the IX century and located at the peninsula. Despite its modest architecture it majestically stands at the background of the nature. From the hill opens an amazing view to the lake.
The other no less magnificent place to visit is a small hill with Ayravank monastery. That’s an excellent place for memorable photos. You can get the monastery early in the morning while there is nobody else around and enjoy the soothing silence.
Not far from the lake in Noratus village with its well-known cemetery of Armenian cross-stones, khachkars. These stone masterpieces are unique of a kind. The cemetery is the largest in Armenia and the examples here have preserved from the XIII-th century.