Explore Gegharkunik Region and Lake Sevan
*Take a hiking trip across the beautiful Shimpyrtdara river. Hiking maps are available at frontdesk.
Studded with mountains and the sun-kissed shores of Lake Sevan, Gegharkunik is enticing with a rich palette of history, culture and natural beauty. It is situated in the eastern part of Armenia, rising from the Marsik valley Mount Azhdahak at 3598 meters. The administrative centre of the region, Gavar, is an important industrial centre of Sevan basin, situated in the eastern slopes of Geghama mountain range. Many of the ancestors of the inhabitants of Gavar arrived in 1830 from the town of Bayazet of Western Armenia. Despite its relatively modern rebirth, the centre has an ancient past. Fabled monuments dating back to the Bronze Age adorn the region, a testimony to the presence of Armenians in the region for thousands of years. Martuni is the second largest urban center of the region and is famous for its highly developed fishing industry.
For bird-watchers, Gegharkunik is a veritable treasure given the plethora of different kinds of birds in the region, including several loons, grebes, and the great cormorant, pelicans, herons and the famous Armenian Artsatapajl Voror.
The Gegharkunik landscape is dotted with impressive churches. Off the main road leading to the town of Kamo is the church of Hairavank (9-10 century). This edifice is a perfect example of the harmony of architecture and nature. Northeast of Gavar, on the shores of Lake Sevan is Noraduz, famous for the largest collection of stone-crosses (khachkars) in Armenia, some of which date as far back as the 10th century.
Sevan Monastery - On the Peninsula of Lake Sevan (once it was an island), two cross-shaped churches dating from 874 typify the Armenian architectural (St. Karapet and St. Arakelots monasteries) Renaissance following almost two centuries of Arab oppression. The remains of a 10th-11th century domed hall are of interest, as is the gavit (canopy) of the church of the Apostles renowned for its unique wooden capitals, now displayed at the State Museum of Armenian History. The Museum also houses the beautifully carved doors of the Sevan monastery, dating back to the 12th and 16th centuries, along with a stone relief.
Artanish Peninsula - It is among the most striking areas within the park's reserve. Isolated and largely undisturbed, the peninsula boasts three separate bioregions and provides shelter from many of the parks 267 species of birds, including coots mallards, Greylag geese, the Armenian gull, the glossy ibis, storks, pelicans and flamingos. It is also home to some 34 mammals, including leopards, wild goats, otters and wolves.
Noraduz - Noraduz is famous for its cemetery of nearly 1,000 stone-crosses (khach-kars) in Armenia, which date 10-19 century, and an evocative modern funerary statuary. These ornate tombstones and monuments depict intricate craftsmanship and a testimony to Armenia's enduring faith. In the center of Noraduz village there is ruined S. Astvatsatsin church, a basilica built by Prince Sahak at the end of the 9th c.
Hairanavank - South along the road to Kamo, which has been renamed to Gavar, the beautiful monastery of Hairanavank is perched atop a cliff at the water's edge. This church is from a ninth century and the hall (gavit) dates from the 12th century. There are several magnificent kachkars in the churchyard and there is a Bronze Age fortress nearby.
Sevan National Park - It is the only National Park in Armenia, which was established in 1978 to protect Lake Sevan and the surrounding areas. Overall, including buffer zones, 150,100 ha are protected, including 24,800 ha of dry land. Sevan National Park falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Nature Protection, and is managed as a research centre.
The pearl of Armenia, Lake Sevan is a fresh water lake of pure natural beauty. Lake Sevan is situated 60 kilometers northeast of Yerevan in the center of the Gegharkunik region. The name Sevan is of Urartian origin, and is derived from Siuna, meaning country of lakes. Presently, the lake covers 1256 square km and reaches a maximum depth of 82 meters. Twenty-eight rivers and springs flow into Sevan but only the river Hrazdan origins from it. Perched high in the elevated Armenian terrain, the lake fills a gigantic depression situated at height of 1897 meters above sea level. As a result, the winter cold is quite harsh, while the summer sun is deceptively strong. The basin of the lake is scattered with rock paintings, sculptures and works of architecture including remains of fortification from the Bronze and Iron Ages.
Wine Tasting Dinner at Kharpert Restaurant
An exclusive wine tasting dinner on April 27th at 19:00. Live piano music, unlimited fine wine from Maran Winery and a Special "Vino Novello" Menu.
Dear Mr. Tufenkian
What a pleasure it is to drive at this lovely restaurant in Dilijan! We couldn't have enough of all types of food which is close to our heart - that is Western Armenian flavors and dishes.
Above all, the staff and the chef are of the highest caliber - courteous, pleasant and ready to go that extra mile for the patrons.
It was great pleasure to be served here, where we found an excellent hospitality and warmest reception in Dilijan. The most important issue that my children get from here is sense of fatherland. Many thanks to all Tufenkian!
Special gratitude to the amazing staff!
Thank you for the great service and hospitality of Avan Dzoraget Hotel, everything was just great.
What a delight to be a guest a yet another Tufenkian restaurant. As always the food was super, the atmosphere pleasant and the staff welcoming and service with a smile.
A wonderful delight to find this guest house in Dilijan. Good foresight. The food is fantastic and the collection and staff next door were most professional.
We enjoyed very much our stay in Avan Marak Tsapatagh Hotel; we found the facility and the staff to be very professional and helpful.
First of all, I was kind of enchanted seeing the name Kharpert, as it means a lot to me. I consider myself a "Kharpertsi" as my roots are from there, and that the fact we should always consider ourselves as such has a major impact on "Armenianity" and on the continuation of Armenian culture and heritage overall. Kudos to M. Tufenkian!
Second, I did not waste any time, even hasted, to get inside the restaurant. One word: I liked the interior. Major reason, probably, because most restaurants in Armenia are not as I call them family-friendly, but Kharpert is a nice place where you can relax, eat and talk quietly and peacefully. Places such this should be in abundance all over Armenia. In fact, the situation is really changing. Nowadays I see some newly opened restaurants in Yerevan, established by Syrian-Armenian immigrants, which seem to work properly and prosper.
That is due, in my opinion, to being family-restaurants. So, one more time praise to Tufenkian for acquiring and accomplishing such a task.
Third and a very important point; the staff of the restaurant have smile on their face and they create a very friendly mood (please, don't take it as a joke, but it's a sad thing you encounter grumpy faces all over Armenia). So my question, where on earth did M. Tufenkian fetch those people?
Ah, now we come to the most exciting part: the menu. Frankly I did not consider trying various Italian dishes, that was not my target, instead I aimed for our National dishes... Delighted. Can't deny that I was taken back to the time when my mom cooked them, and probably my appreciation and evaluation would be quite subjective, but my son was also delighted and enchanted. And as I understood, M. Tufenkian is a Kharpertsi too, so I thank him for the wonderful and tasty food I had.
Of course, as I remember from my mom's menu, some names are a bit changed, but that is not important, on the contrary now I know I have a place where I can have a nice lunch with my family.
Dilijan is a great place, we've really enjoyed the beautiful nature, the nice little shop and the friendly people.
The Hotel and restaurant on lake Sevan are very beautiful, but the best thing was the service of the staff.
Everything about Avan Dzoraget Hotel is very pleasant. We will definitely recommend this hotel.
Dear Mr. Tufenkian;
Recently I and Boston Composer Hayg Boyadjian visited historic churches near the Lori region. On that occasion we spent on night in Avan Dzoraget Hotel. we are both thankful for the very enjoyable atmosphere of the hotel and the very good service that we have received.
I am now working on an opera on the life of Mashtots, and therefore i was very impressed by the fact that the lobby of the hotel displayed the Armenian alphabet.
All Armenians know that Dilijan is a beautiful place, but very few know that it becomes even more beautiful when you stay at Tufenkian hotel. Me and my friend are among those few. Thank you for the wonderful dishes, good music and absolutely friendly staff.
Dear Mr. Tufenkian
I have visited all of your hotels and I don't want to repeat what everybody knows, excellent food and service. But I do want to commend you as an individual who has made a great contribution in our small and young republic. I wish that we had other individuals like you as I'm sure our country would truly blossom.
Thank you very much for Old Dilijan Complex. I'm really impressed. I met my history in this house. I became closer to my homeland. Thanks for making that happened!
Avan Marak Tsapatagh Hotel is a perfect hotel. Lovely rooms and suites, very comfortable beds, charming and polite staff.
We especially liked the decoration in Avan Marak Tsapatagh Hotel. Very stylish rooms, very friendly and helpful staff.
The best thing about Tufenkian Hotels besides excellent décor and cpmfort of rooms, is the courtesy of staff. Staff seems to be happy and proud working for a hotel, very helpful to guests and create a very warm and nice atmosphere. Thanks for that.
It's been so great to find this cute little restaurant in Dilijan with such a nice personnel and decent food.