Lake Sevan lies at about 2,000 meters in elevation, twice that of Yerevan. The temperatures are significantly cooler than in Yerevan, and the winters much longer. This popular spot for a getaway in the summer is usually packed in July and August, when it’s warm enough to enjoy the beaches and swim in the waters. Although Armenia is landlocked, this lake, which covers 5% of the country is vast, and much of it quite pristine, with some decent beaches.

The most visited destination of the lake is the peninsula known as kghzi, meaning island, which it once was before Stalin had much of the water drained from the lake. The monastery is a must, for the great views it affords of the vast lake, most of which visitors never see except from this spot. The monastery is on top of the peninsula hill, and is built of crude black stone on the exterior. The interior has a beautiful old altar used for services by the new seminary down the hill.

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