Gegharkunik Province

Gegharkunik Province is located at the eastern part of Armenia. Its capital and largest city is the town of Gavar. With an area of 5,348 km², Gegharkunik is the largest province in Armenia. However, approximately 1,278 km² of its territory is covered by Lake Sevan, the largest lake in the Caucasus and a major tourist attraction of the region. The name of Gegharkunik is derived from Gegham, a 5th-generation Haykazuni King and one of the descendants of the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation Hayk.
Tourism services in Gegharkunik are seasonal. The towns of Sevan, Chambarak and Martuni along with their surrounding beaches are a major summer destination for locals and foreigners with many hotels and resorts. The cultural heritage and the natural monuments of the region attract the tourists too. Among them are Sevanavank monastic complex of the 9th century, Hayravank Monastery of the 9th century, Saint Thaddeus Church of Ddmashen oh the 7th century, Berdkunk Fortress of the 1st millennium BC, Odzaberd fortress, 8th century BC, Noratus cemetery of the 10th century etc.
During the last decade, many new hotels and spa resorts were opened along the coast of Lake Sevan.
Many forests of the province are listed among the protected areas of Armenia, including the Sevan National Park, the Getik Sanctuary, the Juniper Woodlands Sanctuary of the mountains of Sevan.

Noratus

Noratus is a major and historical village in the Gegharkunik province of Armenia, near the town of Gavar. It is famous for the Noratus cemetery with ancient khachkars. Khachkar, also known as Armenian cross-stone is a carved, memorial stela bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, and botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of Medieval Christian Armenian art. Since 2010, khachkars, their symbolism and craftsmanship are inscribed in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. After the destruction of the khachkars in Jugha cemetery by Azerbaijan government, khachkar cemetery in Noratus is one of the largest in the world. The village also has a monastery and church dated to the 9th century, and a ruined basilica built by Prince Sahak. Noratus is first mentioned as a settlement in the Middle Ages, when it was a much larger settlement. The bronze-age megalithic fort near the village points to the notion that Noratus is one of the most ancient continuously-inhabited settlements in Armenia.

Sevanavank

Sevanavank is a monastic complex located on a peninsula at the northwestern shore of Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia, not far from the town of Sevan. Initially the monastery was built at the southern shore of a small island. After the artificial draining of Lake Sevan the water level fell about 20 metres, and the island transformed into a peninsula. According to an inscription in one of the churches, the monastery of Sevanavank was founded in 874 by Princess Mariam, the daughter of Ashot I (who became a king a decade later). At the time, Armenia was still struggling to free itself from Arab rule.
Due to easier accessibility (once it became a peninsula), good highway and railway connections with the Armenian capital Yerevan, a well-developed tourist industry in the nearby town of Sevan, and its picturesque location Sevanavank is one of the most visited tourism sights in Armenia.

Lake Sevan

The lake Sevan is the largest lake in the Caucasus. It is located at an altitude of 1900 meters above sea level. Its area is 1240 square kilometers. The water of Sevan is sweet. Duing the summer it warms up to 24 degrees. On the lake Sevan there are plenty of entertainments: boats, catamarans, surfing, water skiing. Recently, near the lake, a new railway was opened for winter sport lovers. The skiers will appreciate the beauty of this slope, when literally under the feet of a majestic panorama is the blue lake. For the fishermen organized a comfortable place for fishing. Here you can taste the well known local trout. Today Sevan is one of the most popular resorts in Armenia. The lake is divided into two parts - Small Sevan, where the water depth reaches 58.7 meters, and the Big Sevan, where the depth reaches 98.7 meters. The landscape around the lake unusually picturesque, as it is a volcanic lake surrounded by high mountains. The shores of the lake are equipped with well-maintained clean beaches where you can relax with the whole family. There are both pebble and sandy beaches with different levels of comfort.

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