Martuni is a town located in Gegharkunik marz, on the southwestern shore of Lake Sevan.
The famous Armaghan Mount with its large crater lake at its peak is located in the vicinity of Martuni. Here one can also see the Katavank monastery, built between the 9th and 10th centuries, the Shoghaga Vank monastery, the Vanevan monastery complex, the Otsaberd fortress, the Tsovasar archeological museum, the Mtnadzor archaeological site, as well as unique early bronze age stellar map rock carvings.
Martuni is located at the northern foot of the Vardenis mountains, at an elevation of about 1930 meters above sea level.
The administrative territory of the town is divided from Lake Sevan by thick forests of poplars, firs, sea-buckthorns and platans.
The town covers 12.5 km2 with a population of about 15 thousand people. Martuni is known for having the greatest number of sunny days in Armenia. The climate here is moderately cold and restorative. The average annual temperature is 40C. The lowest temperature recorded, in January, was -300 C, and the highest, +320 C - in July - August. The average precipitation is 500 mm.
A legend recounts that long ago there was a water source where Martuni is now located. The residents used the water economically. However, one day a beautiful girl named Tsovinar left the water source open and the resulting outflow of water formed a lake. The next morning a woman came to the source and saw what had happened. She cursed the one who had left open the water source and thus the beautiful girl was turned into a stone statue.
Historically, Martuni was known in ancient times as a settlement and cyclopean fortresses, preserved here, provide evidence of this. Not far from Martuni, between the villages of Tsovinar and Vanevan, there is a city devoted to the Urartian Weather God, Tasheba, built in the 8th century BC by King Rusa II, of the Kingdom of Van (Urartu), known today as Ozdaberd. An inscription of Rusa has been preserved near Tsovinar village, on the shore of Lake Sevan.
In the Middle Ages the area where Martuni is located now was part of Syunyats World. In the new era, in the late 1820's, Armenians migrated from Diadin, Mush, Igdir provinces of Western Armenia, and settled in Martuni. They brought with them their unique traditions, customs and dialect. In the middle of the 20th century Martuni developed into an urban settlement. It received town status in 1983.
Today the major occupations of Martuni's residents are construction, agriculture, and livestock trade. The highway to Vardenis as well as a road connecting Gegharkunik and Vayots Dzor marzes pass through Martuni. Educational and cultural life is rather lively here. The town features a Geological Museum, Art Gallery, university, and vocational school.
Excellent natural conditions, climate, picturesque waterscapes, nature, forest groves, monuments of art and architecture, modern comfortable hotels, and the warm hospitality of local people provide great potential for developing tourism here.