The Republic of Armenia is distinguished by the genetic diversity of its lakes, which is conditioned by the geological development of the area. There are about 100 lakes and ponds in the Territory of Armenia all of which are freshwater. The lakes vary by their genesis. The area is rich in lakes of glacial (Qar, Lesing), volcanic (Lake Akna) and landslide (Lake Parz) origin. In the Armenian highland there is a type of lakes that you will not find anywhere else in the Middle East – a crater lake. Our mountains have volcanic peaks which craters are filled with water. These lakes are preserved year round. In the list of “Lakes of Armenia” we included only natural lakes, or lakes of natural origin, which later turned into reservoirs.
Lakes of Armenia attract with their beauty and purity of water, but the bottom of some lakes is covered with silt and it is unsafe to swim in these lakes. For example, it is better not to swim in lake Gosh or in crater lake Armaghan. Their bottom is covered with a thick layer of silt, which is invisible at first sight.
Remember that you can swim only in natural lakes. It is forbidden to swim in lakes that have turned into reservoirs.
Also remember that in a crater lake of Azhdahak it is forbidden NOT to swim.
Crater Lake of Azhdahak
Lake of Azhdahak arose in the crater of extinct volcano Azhdahak. It is located at an altitude of 3515 m above sea level. This lake is the highest mountain lake in Armenia.
Tari Lake is located in the crater of the mountain with the same name, 1,3 km km south-west of the mountain peak of Azhdahak, at an altitude of 3442 m above sea level. Tari is unofficial name of the mountain; the top of the mountain has no name. Some people call it Karmirsar.
This lake is located in Gegharkunik province, in Areguni mountain system, 1,7 km north-east of the Tsovagyugh village. Height above sea level is 2300 m, area – 1 hectare.
This lake is located in Lori province, 3 km south-east of Dsegh village, in an arcuate structural basin of the northern slope of Sevordyats mountains, at an altitude of 1390 m above sea level.
The largest lake in Armenia is Sevan. Lake Sevan has a tectonic origin. There are many lakes in the world that are larger than Sevan and are located higher, but they do not have the same popularity. Throughout its history, Sevan had various names: Gegharkuni, the sea of Geghama, etc. The lake is located in Gegharkunik province, at an altitude of about 1900 m above sea level.
Lake Sevan stretches for 75 km from the north-west to the south-east. The structural basin of Sevan has a tectonic origin, it is surrounded on all sides my mountains: Areguni, Sevan, East Sevan, Geghama and Vardenis. The lake is divided into two parts with the conditional line passing through the peninsulas of Artanish and Noratus – the Big and Small Sevan. Total area is 1416 km², average depth – 41 m, maximum depth – 82 m.
Small Sevan is young, lake sediments are rare, it is a deep graben (tectonic basin). Maximum depth reaches 99 meters. The lake arose as a result of the eruption of the upper Quaternary lavas in the eastern side of Small Sevan. Before the eruption, Hrazdan river, forming meanders on the smooth bottom of Big Sevan, fell into the valley formed inside the Shorzha dam, emerged into the basin of Small Sevan and headed south from here. However, due to eruptions, the flow of the river from Lchashen village was blocked, and the lake started to form – first Small Sevan, then Big Sevan.
The structural basin of Lake Sevan is a miracle of nature also due to its fresh air, crystal water, coolness, rare historical and natural monuments, mineral waters.
Big and Small Al Lakes are situated on the southern slopes of Vardenis Mountain Range, in the north-west of Syunik plateau. Catchment area is 140 km². Big Al Lake is on the height of 2729 m, the length is 3,5 km, the width is 1,5-2 km, the surface is 5,3 km², the maximum depth is 10 m.
Small Al Lake is situated on the height of 2743 m, the length is 1,5 km, the width is 0,5 km, the surface is 1,6 km², the maximum depth is 7 m. The lakes have volcanic origin. There is a small area, something like a small gorge near the junction of old and new magmatic flows, which joins the two lakes. Al Lakes are fed by groundwater, melted snow and rainfall.
In some maps these lakes are met with the names Big Poraknalich and Small Poraknalich. Now the lakes are used for fish breeding.
Lake Artavan is located in Vayots Dzor province, 2,5 km north-east of Artavan village, at an altitude of 2240 m above sea level. Area is 6 hectares. The official name of the lake is Allich, but is it better known as Artavan. If you look at the lake from above, you will see that it looks like a map of the world.
Tarpi Lake is located in the Voghjaberd mountains, 5,5 km north-west of Geghard village, at an altitude of 2170 m above sea level.
The lake is located on the border of Gegharkunik and Kotayk provinces, in the central part of the Geghama Mountains, at an altitude of 3032 meters above sea level. Area is 0.8 km², depth – up to 15 m. The lake is fed with snowmelt and springs. It is surrounded by young volcanic cones and picturesque alpine meadows. Its water is clear and sweet. The lake mirrors the surrounding mountains and the blue sky.
This previous lake, is now a reservoir in Ashotsk plateau of Shirak province, has turned into a reservoir since 1950. Before becoming a reservoir the surface was 20,6 km², the depth was 1,6 meters and the volume was 3 million cubic meters. After the construction of the dam, lake Arpi became the second basin in Armenia, after Sevan. From Lake Arpi originates the Akhuryan River, which flows into the Akhuryan reservoir separating Armenia and Turkey. In the Paghakn village, located close to Lake Arpi, the lowest temperature in Armenia was recorded – -46 degrees Celsius.
In 2009 the National park “Lake Arpi” was created. There are 225 species of vertebrate animals in the territory of National park.
Lake Vishapalich (Lake Vank)
The lake is located in Ararat region, in the upper district of the Goght river, on the western side of the Tarnist upland, 9 km east of the village of Geghard. The lake is situated at an altitude of 2620 above sea level with a surface area of 30 hectares.
Lake Kapuytk or Gomk
This lake originated on the river of the same name, as a result of blocking of the river bed. It is located 3,2 km south-east of Kapuyt village, at an altitude of 2055 m above sea level. The lake is also called Gomk, as it is located near Gomk village. The lake doesn’t have an official name.
The lake is located in Tavush province, on the northern slopes of the Areguni Mountains, on the left bank of the Khachardzan river, 1 km north-east of Chermakavan. Is situated at an altitude of 1398 meters above sea level. The surface area is 1.2 hectares.
Lake of Lessing
The lake is situated on the north-eastern slope of Aragats massif, at an altitude of 3200 meters above sea level, 8 km north-west of the village of Tsaghkashen. The area is 1,6 hectares and the maximum depth is 2,5 meters. The lake was named after Feodor Yulievich Levinson-Lessing, who headed (1927-1929) the groups of Transcaucasian researchers that led observations in the areas of Mount Aragats and Lake Sevan.
Tsaghkari Lake is located in Syunik province, in the summit of the Zangezur Mountains, 8 km south-west of Kajaran, at an altitude of 3270 m above sea level. The area is 3 hectares.
The lake is situated on the mountain range of Zangezur, 8,3 km south-west of the village of Kajaran, at an altitude of 3202 meters above sea level. The surface area is 10 hectares, the volume is 1,5 million cubic meters, and the maximum depth is 22 meters.
Lake Kaptach or Srtner
The lake is located in Syunik region, on the southern slope of Meghri Mountains, 8 km west of Lichq. The surface is 2,5 hectares and the average depth is 6 m. Locals call this lake “Srtner” (Hearts), as from the above it has a heart shape.
This lake is located north of the mountain peak Kaputjugh, 11 km noth-west of Kajaran village. Height above sea level is 3112 m, area – 1,8 hectares, depth – up to 10 m.
Lake Aknalich (Ayghr)
Lake Aknalich is located in the Aknalich village, at an altitude of 850 m above sea level.
The pond is located in Vayots Dzor province, on the northern slopes of the Vayk Mountains, 0,5 km east of Martiros village. The altitude is 1996 meters, the surface area is 1 hectare.
Vardavari Lake is located in Yerevan. It was created in 8th century BC by Argishti I, and it was called the Argishti sea. It was built to provide Erebuni with water, which was flowing in Hrazdan River and accumulating here. Through tuff pipes, water was delivered to the foot of the Erebuni fortress. The lake, which exists for about 3 millennia, has almost not change in size and has remained almost unchanged to this day.
Tsaghkunyats Lake is located on the slopes of the Tsaghkunyats Mountains, 3,6 km north-east of Aghveran, at an altitude of 2427 m above sea level.
The lake is located in Tavush province, on the north-western wooded slopes of the Areguni mountains, at an altitude of 1334 meters above sea level. Area is about 0,03 km², the average depth is 7 meters.
The lake is located in Gegharkunik province, in Geghama Mountains. It’s located between mountain peaks Azhdahak and Spitakasar, 1,7 km east of the mountain peak Nazeli. The height above sea level is 3100 meters.
This lake is located in Lori region, 1 km east of Atan village, at an altitude of 1792 meters above sea level.
Lake Sev and Lake Sagi
Lake Sev is situated on the border of Syunik and Artsakh, on the Syunik plateau, on the north-east slope of the Mets Ishkhanasar mountain, at an altitude of 2660 meters above sea level. Surface area – 1.6 km².
The Lake Sagi is located 300 meters east of Lake Sev.
Lake Tsghuk or Ukhtasar
The lake (Ukhtalich, Lake Ukhtasar, Lake Tsghuk) is located 2,3 km north-west of mountain peak Tsghuk, at an altitude of 3300 m above sea level. On the shore of the lake there are many petroglyphs. Thousands of years ago, over the centuries, people were coming here for pilgrimages, performed rituals, maybe even made sacrifices.
Lake Aylak is located in the Syunik plateau, 6 km north-east of the mountain peak Trasar, at an altitude of 2985 m above sea level.
This lake is located in the Syunik plateau, at an altitude of 3190 m above sea level, 1,3 km north-east of the mountain peak Tsghuk.
Lake Vardenik or Vartanes
The Lake Vardenik is located in Vayots Dzor province, 3,5 km north-east of the Elpin village, in a slope of Shreshtasar mountain, at an altitude of 1753 m above sea level. The lake is fed by groundwater.
The lake is in Aragatsotn province, on the eastern slope of Mount Aragats, 8 km north-west of Tsaghkashen village, at an altitude of 3050 meters above sea level. The area is 20 hectares.
The lake is in Aragatsotn province, on the southern side of Mount Aragats. It is situated at 3200 meters above sea level and has a surface area of 0,3 km².
This lake is located in Aragatsotn province, in the Tsaghkunyats Mountains, 1,2 km north-east of Lusaghyugh village. The height above sea level is 2286 m. The area is 0,05 hectares.
The Lake Kuraghbyur is located on the north-eastern slope of the Mount Aragats, 7,4 km south-west of the Nigavan village, at an altitude of 2994 m above sea level.
Lake Yeghnalich is located in the north-eastern slope of the Mount Aragats, at a distance of 230 m from the Lake Kuraghbyur. The height above sea level – 3016 m.
On the southern slopes of Mount Astghonk there are several small ponds that have the common name Seven Lakes. They are located at an altitude of about 3000-3300 m above sea level.
This lake arose on the Vorotan River, as a result of a collapse. It is located 1,6 km south of the Arzhis village, in the Vorotan Gorge. The height above sea level is 1195 m. The lake can be seen passing through the hiking route leading from Arzhis to Tatev.
Lake Goshnavar is located in the Syunik plateau, in Kashatagh district of Artsakh, 3,5 km north-west of the Khoznavar village, at an altitude of 2029 m above sea level.
This lake is located 600 meters west of the Goshavar lake, at an altitude of 2069 m above sea level.
The pond is located in Ararat province, on the northern slope of Mount Genut, 1 km south-east of Zangakatun village. The height above sea level is 1740 m, area is 0,6 hectares.
Natural Jghin Lakes are located in the Khosrov Reserve, 16 km north-east of the Urtsadzor village, at an altitude of 1850 m above sea level.
Lake Amaranots is located on the northern slope of Mount Shara, 6,5 km south-east of the Lernapar village, at an altitude of 2324 m above sea level.
This lake is located in the crater of Mount Armaghan, 3,4 km south-east of the Madina village, at an altitude of 2793 m above sea level. The area is about 2 hectares, depth is 2,5 m.
Lake Achkasar is located in the Javakhk plateu, 930 meters east of mountain peak Achkasar, at an altitude of 2932 m above sea level.
The reservoir “Horsi Lake” is located in Vayots Dzor province, 2 km south-west of the Hors village, in Qarakatar Mountains, at an altitude of 2090 m above sea level.
In this article we have presented only the lakes in the territory of Armenia. You can find all the lakes of the Armenian Highland in this article.
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