Sevan city is a very popular resort town in Armenia. If you visit Armenia during your holiday, you should definitely see the town of Sevan and admire the beauty of the biggest lake in Armenia, as well as monasteries and monuments.
Sevan city is near the biggest lake in Armenia, Lake Sevan, but it is not a lakeside beach town. However, Sevan is quite close to the most popular beach areas. Accommodation options are much more by the shore.
Sevan city is also a nice place to go shopping or visit a doctor if you have health problems. Nowadays, the city of Sevan is one of the most important industrial centers of Armenia.
In a word, Sevan is a source of necessary products and services typical to spa towns and resorts!
Basic Information: Sevan City
Sevan City Location and Total Area
Sevan city is located in the Gegharkunik Marz of Armenia, on the northwestern side of Lake Sevan. It is at the height of more than 1 925 meters above sea level. The city is about 65 km northeast of the capital Yerevan.
The total area of Sevan city is 17.75 sq. km (or 6.85 sq. mi).
The Age of Sevan City
The town of Sevan was founded as Yelenovka in 1842. The city’s history dates back when Russian settlers,molokans (a special group of the orthodox Russians), set up a small colony at the riverhead of the Hrazdan. It was meant to become a Russian-populated village and, so, was named after Yelena Pavlovna. Yelena was the daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia.
The town was known as Yelenovka until 1935, when it was finally renamed Sevan after the biggest lake of Armenia, Lake Sevan. Only in the second half of the 20th century, Sevan obtained a status of a city and began to develop fast. It was mainly done due to the construction of main traffic arteries, industrial undertakings and many other reforms.
Population of Sevan City
The population of the city is over 23 000 people. Sevan is not only a resort city. It is also the administrative center of the Sevan district of the Gegharkunik Province in the Republic of Armenia.
Sevan City Climate
In Sevan city, the climate is mostly influenced by Lake Sevan. It can be characterized by short mild summers and long, cold, snowy winters. Although the city has southern location, its climate is similar to Eastern Finland. All this is due to city’s elevation and more continental features,
Lake Sevan itself completely freezes only if the temperature is below −20 °C. Strong winds, blowing from the lake, are frequent. Humidity is high in the city and its surroundings. There is snow from the end of November until April.
In brief, winters last from November to April, and summers from June to September. Spring is cool and autumn is quite long in Sevan city!
How to get to Sevan
In order to get to Sevan city, you can surely take a van (aka ”marshutka” in Armenian slang) which departs from Yerevan to Sevan a few times a day.
You can also get relatively close to the town by taking any transport heading for Vardenis, Dilijan, Ijevan or Noyemberian and getting off half-way. But in the second case, getting to Sevan might get a little complicated.
So, other options for you to get to the resort city are taxis that depart from Yerevan or anywhere else (150 AMD/km or 0.33 USD/km). The distance between Yerevan and Sevan is approximately 60 km. So, do your calculations.
It’s easier and more enjoyable to walk around the city but taxis are always plentiful if necessary!
What to do or see in Sevan city
As we already said, Sevan is not only about the lake, but also historical monuments and monasteries. So, here you can find a list of places we think are a must-see.
Thing to See in Sevan City #1: Lake Sevan
The first thing you should go and see in Sevan is the Lake Sevan itself. Sevan is the world’s second largest alpine lake with fresh water deposits. It is also the largest lake in the Caucasus. The lake is surrounded by several chains of mountains.
Lake Sevan provides almost 90% of the fish and 80% of the crayfish catch of Armenia. The lake also has significant economic, cultural and recreational value. Its only island (now, a peninsula) is also home to a medieval monastery.
When days are sunny, the lake reflects the blue sky and snowy mountains like a mirror. When more cloudy, Lake Sevan resembles a roaring and a violent picture. Don’t miss this incredible beauty.
Thing to See in Sevan City #2: Sevanavank Monastery
Another place of interest in Sevan city is the medieval Sevanavank Monastery, located on the lake’s peninsula, 3 km far from the city.
The Monastery is a complex of small buildings, constructed in the 9th century. The Sevanavank Monastery’s history goes back to the time, when several monks settled down on the isle and built several cells and a chapel.
Gradually, the number of the monks increased. And so, Princess Mariam, the daughter of the king Ashot I Bagratuni, ordered to build a monastery in 874.
As of today, only several small churches and fragments of cells from the whole monastery are still standing. Sevanavank Monastery, indeed, has a great historical and cultural value!
Thing to See in Sevan City #3: Sevan National Park
Sevan National Park was founded on the lakeside in 1978 to protect the Lake Sevan and the surrounding regions. It was set up under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Nature Protection. It was managed as a research center, monitoring the ecosystems and undertaking various conservation measures.
Licensed fishing around the lake is regulated to protect the lake flora and fauna. Sevan National Park reserve occupies major territories around the Lake Sevan. It extends from the northeastern parts of the town to the southwest.
The area of Sevan National Park comprises about 1 501 sq. km. Sevan National Park is surrounded with the slopes of Areguni, Geghama, Vardenis, Pambak and Sevan mountain chains. Sevan National Park, of course, should be on your must-see list due to its unbelievable and breathtaking beauty!
Thing to See in Sevan City #4: Sevan Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden of Sevan covers an area of 5 hectares. It is located at a height of 2 000 meters above sea level.
This Botanical Garden is home to more than 650 local, North American, Asian and European species.
Since 1944, the Sevan Botanical Garden has been operating as a branch of the Yerevan Botanical Garden. It operates under the supervision of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences.
So, by visiting these place, you will make your holiday unforgettable!
Why Should You Visit Sevan City?
To sum up, Sevan city is an interesting sight not only for its history and beautiful places. Sevan is also one of the most developed and most popular Armenian modern tourist centers. Numerous hotels and recreation centers are located here.
Sevan city is considered to be one of the significant centers for development of water and beach sports: volleyball, windsurfing and a few more!
Here you can find the Aqua-Park of Sevan city. There is an equestrian club for equestrian sport fans and modern tennis-courts for tennis-players. There is also wind surfing on the lake and some sail, paddle and row boats. Hiking and camping opportunities in Sevan city are endless as well.
You can buy fresh fish, crawdads, marinated fish patties from Sevan, take home and barbecue/fry them immediately or freeze. In Sevan city, there are some fast food places and cafes, too. But the best and most famous dining places are on the shores of Lake Sevan. One of the main products of this region is crayfish.
People of Sevan city are very kind-hearted and hospitable. Now, hurry to Sevan to see this incredible city and to find out what makes it so special not only in Armenia, but also in the region and the whole world!