Available ‘Blue Pearl’: Public beaches proved popular with Lake Sevan holidaymakers

During the past summer season the availability of public beaches at Lake Sevan appear to have made a lot of difference for holidaymakers at this largest water resort in Armenia.

In recent years, paid beaches all along the lake shore have caused a lot of dissatisfaction among Armenian residents, who prefer to go to the lakeside during hot summer days. Fees at beaches normally varied between 2,000 and 10,000 drams (about $5-26), and that sum could be doubled in case of putting up tents there.

Many citizens could not afford to pay that much for being at the beach and in fact were deprived of the opportunity of this type of rest.

“The creation of public beaches is a very good idea. We could not afford to go to the lakeside for several years, as paid beaches would hit our family budget, and these free public beaches are both clean and convenient. The only disadvantage was that the places are small and the number of holidaymakers is large,” says one of the holidaymakers who would go to Lake Sevan in summer.

The lake’s two free public beaches became available in July. Still in April, the government made a decision on the establishment of public beaches in the Sevan national park’s recreational zone. For this purpose, areas of 1.39 and 1.82 hectares had been allocated and about 66 million drams (some $180,000) had been earmarked.

Already at the end of the summer vacation season, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Coordinator of Lake Sevan’s public beaches, Ashot Avalyan, summarizing the work of the two public beaches, said that during several months the beaches had quite a large number of visitors.

“About 100,000-110,000 people had a rest at the public beaches during the season, which is quite a large number. And I should say that there were no particular complaints, while opinions and impressions have mostly been positive,” said Avalyan, adding that a large number of tourists in Armenia have also visited the public beaches.

The beaches have free parking space, children’s and sports playgrounds, toilets, medical aid stations and rescue services. They are also equipped with beach couches.

Examination of another 65 territories is on and the most convenient of them will be designated for more public beaches.

“Our policy in the next few years will be such that we will expand the field in terms of quantity and geography and will try to have public beaches along the perimeter of the lake,” said Avalyan.