10 Things to do in Yerevan Once the Journey Ends

You have finished the amazing Caucasian Challenge and, after living so many adventures, you are not eager to return home so fast. No problem! The finish line, Yerevan, offers enough activities to make your stay there fun and interesting. Here are some of the most exciting things to do in Yerevan:



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Yerevan. Photo by ogannes.



Visit the Vernissage Market

Vernissage Market is a landmark of the Yerevan spirit, so you shouldn’t miss it for anything in the world. It is located in the Republic Square and it operates during the weekends. Here you can find all kind of unique things: old soviet items, art pieces, souvenirs and clothes, beautiful carpets made in the ancient Armenian style…however, practice your bargain skills in advance, as you will need them when you talk to the sellers!



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Armenian carpets in Vernissage Market. Photo by Kinolamp.



Visit the Home 45 art commune

Home 45 is an art commune that acts as platform for young artists. They organize all kind of events that include concerts, movie screenings, exhibitions, art performances, workshops…The idea is to create an open space for creativity, so you can also share your own ideas or event create your own events. The artists believe in the concepts of equality, respect, mutual help and solidarity, so they also provide spaces to spend the night for cases of necessity. It is definitely an interesting visit to make.



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Watching the Dancing Fountains of Republic Square

When the night falls in Yerevan, a great plan during the summer is to enjoy the beautiful spectacle of the dancing and singing fountains of Republic Square. The show includes a beautiful dance of the water in different lights that gives the fountain a magical hue, while music is playing in different styles: classical, pop, rock and jazz are some of the usual. This awesome show operates between spring and autumn, so it’s a fantastic idea for beginning a summer night.



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Dancing and singing fountains of Yerevan. Photo by Arthur Chapman



Play the piano in the street

The Public Piano is located in the Mashtots Park, in the center of the city. Just like with the chess set, it is open for everyone who wants to play it and delight himself or by passers with some nice piano music.



Visit the Cafesjian Center of Arts

The Cafesjian Center of Arts has an impressive collection of contemporary art that presents the best of the Armenian culture to the visitors of Yerevan. The center is formed by inside galleries inside the museum, as well as a collection of sculptures in front of it in the street for everyone to enjoy, while strolling through Yerevan, or just lying down in the park on a sunny day. If you decide to visit inner galleries too, the first two floors are completely free.



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Statue of the garden in Cafesjian Center of Arts. Photo by Ara Chahvekilian



Go to a Free Concert in Calumet

Calumet is an ethnic lounge and a very popular bar in Yerevan. Every Monday, you can go there and enjoy a free concert of local music while you have one or two drinks. A great way of getting to know people and music at the same time!



Learn Armenian folk dances

The KARIN folk dance group organizes every year between May and September a series of events known as “We and Our dances”. If it happens during your stay in Yerevan, be sure to attend, as it is a unique experience. A massive group of people come together in the garden between the Dancing Fountain and the Cafesjian Garden to learn and dance together traditional Armenian dances. The dances happen every last Friday and Saturday of the month, and the most important thing is to shake your body and have fun!



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Children dancing Armenian folk dances. Photo by nick dewolf photo archive



Drink Chinese tea with strangers

The Awesome Foundation’s Yerevan Chapter created a very interesting project named as “Tea with Strangers”. If you decide to join one, they grab their “tea equipment” and seat in public places such as squares and parks to drink tea in the traditional Chinese way. They invite everyone who wants to join them and share a cup of tea and interesting stories about their lives. If you want to meet some new people and drink Chinese tea in the beautiful background of Yerevan, you can check their Facebook page for the dates of the next session.



Play outdoor chess

As chess is hugely popular among Armenians (it is even a mandatory subject in schools), you can form part of the tradition by playing chess in the outdoor sets that are there in the street for everyone to play. Just grab a playing partner and enjoy!



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Men playing chess in the street. Photo by ReflectedSerendipity



Sounds like Yerevan is a pretty interesting place to visit, doesn’t it? And there is no better way to get there than joining the Caucasian Challenge, an adventure road trip that will take you there from Istanbul, crossing in the way awesome places of Turkey, Georgia, Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia!



Liked this story? Getting itchy feet to travel and find adventures? Then join us on the next Caucasian Challenge. Get a team together and let’s see you at the starting line! If you want to join us in spirit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up with our latest antics.

The Best Beaches of the Turkish Black Sea Coast

Now that the summer is around the corner, many of us can’t stop thinking about lying in a sunny beach, feeling the sun in your face before jumping into the wavy, chilly and salty sea water. Enjoying a nice beach day is not in conflict with a rally adventure, and during the Caucasian Challenge you will drive across the northern seaside of Turkey. These are some of the best beaches of the Turkish Black Sea coast that you can enjoy on the way!

Sinop

The city of Sinop is located near Cape Sinope, in the ancient region of Paphlagonia, and it is the capital of Sinop Province. It used to be a refunded Greek colony in the ancient times, but today it is one of the nicest sea resorts of Turkey at the Black Sea. Some of its more important landmarks are the Sinop Fortress, Balatlar Church, or Temple of Serapis.



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Sinop Overview. Photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen.


Gerze

Gerze is a town and district that forms part of the Sinope Province of Turkey. Apart of its stunning beaches bathing in the chilly Black Sea, Gerze offers other leisure and cultural activities. 15 kilometer away from the town you can find the Çeçe Sultan Tomb, a place famous for pilgrims gathering around it. Other typical excursion places are Değirmenler and İdemli, and Gazhane Bay.



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Port of Gerze. Photo by Omer Unlu.



Samsun

Samsun is one of the biggest ports of the black sea, and a busy seaside city.  As a big city, the beach is not its only appeal. The Ataturk Culture Center holds concerts, cultural events, opera stages and every kind of musical performance. There are many museums around the city to get involved in the culture of the province, and an international folk music festival that takes place every year.



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Samsun overview. Photo by Tour Maker Turkey.



Kilyos

Kiyos is located in the northern mouth of the Bosphorus. Here the waters of the Black Sea are especially chilly and subject to dangerous undertow. However, if the weather allows it, it is a nice place to lie down on the beach and have a relaxing day of sun and sea. Dalia Beach is a pretty place to watch the sunset by the Black Sea. Inside the city, the 14th century Genoese castle is an historical landmark, but is sadly inaccessible for tourists as it is in the military zone. However, you can always visit the historical cistern, the eight cannons, and the 26-meter-high monumental plane trees are also spectacular within the castle area.



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Beach of Kilyos. Photo by rettungsschirm.




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Turkeli

Turkeli is a small town that forms part of the Sinope district. It’s so popular among beach lovers that its populations grows from 7000 to 10.000 people during the summer seasons. The town is small and cozy; the beach is itsmain attraction and tourism the most important income for its residents. However, Turkeli also has an active and important port for leisure and sea trade.



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Seaside in Turkeli. Photo by Asider.



Amasra

Amasra is a Black Sea port town in the Bartin Province of Turkey. It is highly appreciated for its natural sights and its beautiful beaches. Like most of the other beach cities listed here, the main employment of its inhabitants is in the sector of tourism, as thanks to its beach and beauty people from all over the world come here searching for a vacation in a different place. Besides the beach, you can enjoy the Amasra Castle, the Church Mosque or the Birds Rock Road Mountain.



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Panorama of Amasra. Photo by mr.urganci.



Zonguldak

Zonguldak is the capital of the province of the same name. It has been an important port town ever since 1849, because it is near the coal mines of Eregli, which made the trade of coal its main commercial activity. Although the port suffered heavy bomb attacks during World War I, it has been restored, and today you can enjoy a beautiful sight of the boats, or take a relaxing walk by the Black Sea. The city is full of tea gardens and restaurants to make your stay nicer, and the beaches are beautiful with dark sand and clear water. Some of the best ones are Kopuz and Uzunkum.



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Zonguldak beach. Photo by galpay.



Remember: summer is coming! Forget about operation bikini and better focus on searching for a good adventure to be remembered, like the epic Caucasian Challenge, a road rally which not only will take you across this amazing Turkish coast, but further, all through the Caucasus to the awesome countries of Georgia, Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh!

Liked this story? Getting itchy feet to travel and find adventures? Then join us on the next Caucasian Challenge. Get a team together and let’s see you at the starting line! If you want to join us in spirit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to keep up with our latest antics.

Jason and the Argonauts in Georgia: the Golden Fleece of Kutaisi.

The city of Kutaisi is the second largest city of Georgia, only after the capital Tbilisi. However, its history goes back to ancient times where legends and reality get mixed: Kutaisi, capital of Colchis, was the land where Jason and the Argonauts arrived in their search for the legendary Golden Fleece.



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Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi. Photo by Roberto Strauss.


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The Traditional Dresses from the Caucasus

The traditional dresses from the Caucasus keep many similarities between each other, yet every one of them is still unique and shows the heritage and culture of the country it represents. These cultures have survived through foreign occupations and therefore are proud to show their roots through these beautiful traditional dresses.



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Armenian parade in Pasadena. Photo by Prayitno / Thank you for.


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What Caucasians Ride On: Drinks from the Caucasus

When crossing the mighty countries of the Caucasus, it is important to stop from time to time and get to relax and drinking a cold beverage. Luckily, Caucasian countries have an amazing offer of traditional drinks that you should definitely try- but maybe not all at once.



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Chart of some Caucasian Drinks and its effects.


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