Most of the travelers to Armenia have Lake Sevan as their bucket-list destination. Lake Sevan beaches provide many recreational activities, which we will discuss soon. But first, let me tell you a little bit about the lake itself.
Located in Gegharkunik Province, Lake Sevan is the largest highland lake in Armenia and in the entire South Caucasus. I assure you will hear from so many travelers that the lake is a must-visit place in Armenia, because of its picturesque views. In fact, it is considered to be the “national treasure” of the country.
There are few legends standing behind the origin of the name for the lake. Interestingly, when breaking down the word Sevan into two parts we get “Sev” (translating into black) + “Vank” (translating into monastery).
In this blogpost, you will see a list of the beaches on Lake Sevan that I recommend you visit, once you travel to Armenia. You will learn the following about each beach:
- the exact location,
- the type of crowd you will see there,
- available activities in the area,
- restaurants/cafes near the beach,
- other relevant info.
I included both private and public beaches, so you can choose between the beaches with either paid entrance or free access. If you decide to visit any of the beaches mentioned in this post, take pictures of the our Lake Sevan and share them with me on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your explorations of our treasure of a lake.
Private Beaches of Lake Sevan
Sevan Up Inn
The hotel is new and quite decent if you decide to stay for a few days, although I personally didn’t really like the food at their restaurant. Many people come to Sevan Up Inn in the morning and they spend the afternoon here at the pool. You don’t have to book a room overnight in order to use the facilities here, or to enjoy their beach. The entrance to the area (without a room booked) will cost you around 5000-7000 AMD depending on the season. A double-room overnight costs around 45 000 AMD in the summer. Note that the hotel provides a room, where you can change into your swimsuit, if you don’t have a room booked.
You will barely see anyone swimming here, due to the cold water and the rocks at the beach. But on the positive site – that also means that the water is really clean here. Also, many people come here to rent water scooters and take rides in the lake. It will cost you 10,000 AMD to ride a scooter for ten minutes.
I think the highlight of this place is the hotel’s outdoor pool, which is included in the entrance fee to the hotel. It’s heated! So, it’s pretty warm at any weather and any time of the day. So, it’s an awesome option for those who don’t feel comfortable in the rather cold waters of Sevan. Also, the restaurant view is worth noting! I don’t recommend eating here, but get yourself a nice glass of wine and enjoy the view – it’s worth it.
Similar to Sevan Up Inn, I met both local families and lots of young people here. I even felt like, if you visit the beach alone you can get new acquaintances and still have a good time here. I think the reason behind seeing lots of youngsters here is the fun activities offered on the beach. You can have a banana ride, parasail, or jump on a water trampoline.
The cost for entering the beach area, where you can also use the pavilions is 5000 AMD per person. In case you want to stay overnight, you can rent a cottage on the beach. These cottages most definitely are not the best and luxurious homes out there near Lake Sevan, but they do offer decent conditions for a one-day stay.
A cottage with one bedroom will cost you between 25,000 and 35,000 AMD, while the cost for a cottage with two bedrooms will range from 30,000 to 40,000 AMD. The exact prices depend on the season and availability of the cottages.
There is only one restaurant in the area, but I noticed many people bringing their own food and eating in the pavilions.
This beach is beautiful and well taken care of with really small rocks that sometimes even felt like sand. To get to Wishup shore, you need to travel to the North-Eastern part of the lake, which is near a village called Shorza. Undoubtedly, Wishup shore is the beach where you will meet a lot of young people in their 20s and 30s. So, it’s a cool place with good vibes.
Entering the area costs 1000 AMD per person, which covers the rentals of sunbeds only. But keep in mind that there is a scarce amount of sunbeds, so consider bringing your own or large beach towels. The beach has a good restaurant, so no need to worry about finding a place for a bite.
Wishup Shore offers miniature cabins with all the necessary accommodations. Renting a one-bedroom cabin will cost 30,000 AMD per night, while renting a two-bedroom cabin costs 35,000 AMD a night. Those who want to have a more adventurous sleepover can rent Wishup’s tents. These are honeycomb tents, usually designed for two people and cost 12,000 AMD for a night. Bear in mind that if you decide to stay in a tent, you will have to use a shared bathroom that’s for all visitors staying in tents.
I guarantee you will not get bored on this beach, as it offers activities such as sailing, canoeing, kitesurfing, windsurfing. Moreover, some fun events happen to take place here from time to time. Last time I was on this beach, all of the visitors gathered around a campfire and started to sing different songs. It was a really memorable experience and I got to know new people.
The only discomfort I felt on this beach was the presence of mosquitos in some areas. But looking at my overall experience, I recommend this beach to those who will visit Lake Sevan for the first time.
The beach is really clean and has a sandy shore with small rocks. The entrance fee ranges from 3000-5000 AMD, depending on the season. And once you pay the fee and enter the beach, you are free to use the sunbeds. There are many sunbeds on the beach, so I am sure you’ll get one. The problem here was that some of them had covers and some didn’t, so I suggest you take umbrellas or any other alternative to protect yourself from the sun.
This beach has cottages too. They are small wooden cottages in the forest, next to the beach. I stayed in the smallest cottage available and paid 18,000 AMD for a night. Though, it’s worth mentioning that I visited White Shorja in the beginning of September and there was a sale for renting the cottages.
With regards to the food – you can have a bite at the cafe on the beach, besides it has a bar with a large variety of drinks. This beach is also famous for organizing gorgeous parties. I didn’t witness any parties while I was there, since it was September already. However, the administration told me that during the summer season, they invite the best DJ-s from Armenia and the neighboring country Georgia. So I guess I need to visit this beach again, but in the summer season!
Public Beaches of Lake Sevan
In this section, you can find several public beaches with no entrance fee required. But for your information, not all of the public beaches are well taken care of in Lake Sevan and you will barely find any accommodations here.
This beach opened several years ago, in Martuni town, which is the Southern part of the lake. It is being taken care of by the municipality of Martuni, who periodically conducts beach cleanups. So the shore is sandy and is free of any seaweeds.
You are free to swim here, but you need to bring your own sunbed, towels and other necessary items. Well, it’s a public beach, so you know the drill – no service here.
When I visited the beach Drakhtik I immediately figured out why it’s called so. It means “little heaven” in English. And believe me this place was so beautiful that it seemed like heaven to me.
It’s located on the North-Eastern part of Lake Sevan. On Drakhtik beach you will find large rocks surrounding the area. When you go there you will see a beautiful forest, which ends at some point and the sandy beach starts.
I didn’t see anyone swimming in the lake at the time of my visit, mostly because of the cold. Though, I was told by some of the nearby residents that they do swim in the lake, when the weather is good.
The Golden Shore is another public beach of Lake Sevan, located on the North-Western side. The water in this part of the lake is so clear, you will hardly spot any particles of mud. However, the shore has many rocks, so unless you have special swimming shoes you might find it hard to swim here.
FAQ about Lake Sevan and Its Beaches
I think you might still have some questions about Lake Sevan. Here are the answers to the most common FAQ-s about the largest lake of South Caucasus.
Can you swim in Lake Sevan?
Yes, you can swim in Sevan, it is safe and suitable for swimming. However, since Sevan is a freshwater lake, those who are used to only swimming in salty ocean waters may find it difficult to swim here at first. Also, note that the water temperature stays above 20 degrees only in July and August, which are the top season for visiting Lake Sevan.
Where is Lake Sevan located?
Lake Sevan is located in the Gegharkunik province – the Eastern part of Armenia.
How long is the drive from Yerevan to Lake Sevan?
The distance from the center of Yerevan to Lake Sevan is about 60 km. If you travel at an average speed by car, you’ll get there in one hour.
How do you get from Lake Sevan to Yerevan or vice versa?
The fastest and safest way to travel between Yerevan and Lake Sevan is by car. Check out my post about driving in Armenia for more information about this. And if you don’t want to drive in my country (which I totally understand) you might want to use one of Armenian taxi apps, cause taxis here are very cheap and they easily drive you anywhere around the country.
In fact, there are more options to get there and it’s really up to you to decide. I have a separate post specifically dedicated to quick and cheap ways to get from Yerevan to Lake Sevan so check it out.
Lake Sevan beaches are different and each can offer various activities for individuals. Based on your interests, you are free to pick the one spot that attracted you the most or take a tour across all of them. Let me know on Twitter or Instagram with #ArmeniaTravelTips if you ever visit any of the mentioned beaches. Wishing you a great time! And don’t forget to check my other post on the most beautiful cities in Armenia to learn about other awesome spots in Armenia!
Featured image credit: @Delmee on Pixabay (CC)