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Feeling the need for a refreshing dip? Come along to Lake Sevan, the largest lake in Armenia and one of the world’s largest alpine, freshwater lakes located 1,900 meters above sea level. Being a landlocked country, Lake Sevan is the only access to vast waters in Armenia, thus its special place in the national identity. Driving on the Yerevan-Sevan highway for about an hour will bring you to a small mountain pass from where the turquoise waters of Sevan will be revealed glittering in the sun. Bear left to reach the Sevan Peninsula, which houses Sevanavank Monastery and a gorgeous outlook to the lake and the snow-topped Geghama mountains encircling the lake. Walk to the end of the hill by the monastery for beautiful views. In earlier times the peninsula was an island, and the water of Sevan was 20 meters higher covering 5% of Armenia’s territory. Alas, during the Soviet period, much of the lake was drained ruthlessly for hydropower purposes. Since then much has been done to raise the water back to its previous level, as well as preserve the precious trout population - taste the fish while there. The northwestern shore has the highest density of beaches, as it is most suited for swimming. This side is also heavily privatised so you will have to pay for using the beach. Follow the road north and drive clockwise around the lake. The road is well-paved up until you reach the President’s summerhouse, you will know where it ends. The eastern shore, compared to the crowded west, is so tranquil with stunning views all the way - as you drive down you will see steep mountains on your left side and the shoreline to your right. The shore here is mostly rocky and gets deep very fast - but keep your eyes open for a secluded spot to chill your body and escape the crowds. Midway you will find a Tufenkian hotel and restaurant with a mesmerizing view. The road from Tufenkian until Vardenis city is mostly a dirt and rocky trail and it took us 2-3 hours to complete. Make Noraduz, a small village by Gavar city, your last stop. It is famous for the cemetery of 1000 khachqars. Tip: If you are a hopeless romantic, the southernmost marshlands provide a perfect spot for watching the sun paint the lake golden while descending into the water.
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