We have been blessed with a natural wonder up in the mountainous region of Gekarkunik. Here travelers come to view the "Jewel of Armenia." Also known as the Geghama Sea, it is one of the largest known "high mountain freshwater lakes" throughout the world. Its crystal clear waters and breathtaking scenery have made it not only Gekarkunik's most popular tourist attract, but also Armenia's most treasured natural splendor, Sevan Lake!
It rests in a "mountain bowl" towered on each side with peaks reaching up to 1,900 meters which draw one's eyes up to the spectacular blue skies above. There are twenty-eight surrounding rivers whose pristine waters flow into the lake. The Razdan River, is, however, the only one whose waters exit the lake and flow outwards. The largest river which flows into the lake is that of Mayerik River, contributing significantly to the total volume of water in Sevan Lake.
Tourists gather at the water's edge of Sevan Lake after making the long trip up the mountain, often camping close by to enjoy the serenity that its crystal clear waters exude. Its surface stretches across an area of nine hundred and forty square kilometers, and its waters reach a depth of 95 meters. The seventy-kilometer lake is almost as wide as it is long, its width spanning up to fifty meters, a breathtaking sight for travelers after making the long trek up to the mountain basin.
Sevan Lake is divided into two and connected by an eight-kilometer strait of water between Artanish peninsula in north-east and Cape Noraduz in the southwest. The beautiful lake sits in the mountain valley which was birthed by volcanic eruptions along the Geghama Ridge hundreds of years ago
Being so high up, the climatic conditions surrounding the lake and its waters are great during summer. Even when the sun is scorching hot, the valley offers a welcoming cool atmosphere, and Sevan Lake's waters reach no higher than eighteen to twenty degrees Celsius during these hot summer days. On these hot days, its waters are a transparent turquoise color, changing to a light gray as the season's turn, and reflecting a gorgeous silver sheen in the evenings.
Living in the waters, Sevan Lake is home to the endangered "ishkan" or trout. It is a healthy and tasty dish and has become somewhat of a delicacy. Due to its endangered status, fish are farmed in the trout farm where they can be used for special Armenian gourmet dinners.
The edge of the lake is simply mesmerizing, as its pebble beaches are met with thick woods and Alpine meadows, gorgeous vibrant sea-buckthorn, and acres of pine trees, which lead to the bare, white rocks that cover the mountain steppes. The landscape stretches to the skies, as the white clouds seem to rest on the snow-capped mountain peaks.
The lake is set within the National Park and is a protected area where is clear waters and the pure, fresh air can remain untouched.