Qari Lake

The Mount Aragats is the highest peak in Armenia with an altitude 4095 m above sea level. The Mount Aragats is crowned by four peaks that surround its crater like a wreath. A glorious view opens up from the summit of Aragats: on one side green mountain rugs, on the other eternal snow and a silver lake, and if you look straight ahead, the biblical Ararat will be unveiled. The best spot for a comfortable rest is the shores of Stone Lake (Qari Lich), which is located at an altitude of 3250 m above sea level. The surface is 0.12 km2 and the depth is 9 m. This is a freshwater lake that was formed as a result of the iron formations. The most part of the year the lake is covered with snow and ice, and the water is generally cold. The river Arkashen flows from the western shore of Qari Lake. On the southern shore of the lake, one may explore the observatory of Yerevan Physics Institute, which received the status of the National Scientific Laboratory. To ensure the water supply of the institute, the south source of the lake was closed with a concrete wall. The main inhabitant of the lake is the fish trout, the number of which is increased by artificial breeding. The mountain meadows burst with colorful flowers and pure air while the snow-covered peaks gracefully overlook it, giving the overall picture a unique and captivating charm.

Aragats is located 40 kilometers northwest of the Armenian capital Yerevan. There are a lot of legends about this mountain. According to an ancient Armenian legend, Aragats and Mount Ararat were loving sisters who parted after a quarrel. Currently, the two mountains are in different countries, Ararat is located in today's territory of Turkey and Aragats is on the Aremenian side. Another legend holds that Gregory the Illuminator, who converted Armenia to Christianity in the early 4th century, prayed on top of Aragats. At night, an ever-burning lantern hanging from the heavens lightened his way. Some say that this lamp is still there, but only the worthy ones can see it. The mountain has played a significant role in Armenian history and culture. Numerous Armenian poets praised this mountain. The artists often painted the mountain, which can be uncovered in the National Gallery of Armenia. Many historical and modern monuments are located on the slopes of the Mount Aragats. The early medieval fortress of Amberd and the nearby 11th-century Vahramashen Church are located on the slopes of the Aragats at an altitude of 2300 meters. One of the sources calls Amberd the "largest and best-preserved fortress" in Armenia today. Not far away, the observatory of Byurakan may be explored, which was founded in 1946 by the scientist Viktor Hambardzumyan. It is located on the southern slopes of Mount Aragats near the village Byurakan at an altitude of 1405 meters. The observatory had a great impact in the development of physics in Armenia in the 20th century. Today, Aragats is a popular tourist destination. Many local and foreign tourists climb this mountain. A magnificent view opens up from the summit of Aragats, most of the Greater and Lesser Caucasus can be covered. Even the highest mountain in Europe, Elbrus (5642m above sea level) can be seen from here. This place is mostly a relaxing destination for locals rather than a hiking center for them.