Azerbaijan is a country with ancient history and culture. There are more than 6000 historical and architectural monuments. Many centuries ago and till our days this land served as a crossroads of trade routes from Asia to Europe being a key part of caravan routes. Already then numerous merchants, travelers, ambassadors, historians, ethnographers marked interesting historical-architectural monuments in the land of Azerbaijan.
Day 1. Gobustan / Baku city tour
Arrival at the airport, transfer to the hotel. Check-in.
The tourists will have spare time for rest before we will start the first excursion to Gobustan reserve. The reserve is well known with its perfectly preserved rock paintings - petroglyphs - a kind of artistic "archive" of human evolution on the Earth.
"Documents" of such archives is the first human’s presentation of his/her "I" to the outside world.
Before the start of the tour around Gobustan guests will visit the interactive museum with the same name, where with the help of special programs and multimedia touch screens you will get information about the nature, the flora of Gobustan.
Drive back to Baku. The program is to be continued with our visits to the most popular sightseeings of the city. Ad we will start from the highest point of the city, situated on the upland park, where opens the magnificent view to all city. After we will go down by funicular to the Seashore Park and the Old City – “Icheri Sheher”. “Icheri Sheher” means an Inner city. It began to be called inner after oil boom of the middle of X1Xth century, when the city had stopped hold in fortifications and left for its limits. On territory of “Icheri Sheher , the area which makes 22 hectares, concentrated some tens of historical – architectural monuments including “The Shirvanshah Palace” , the symbol of Baku city - The “Maiden Tower” and vacation spot of “Caravanserai”-merchants. ” Icheri Sheher” is the live organism having the infrastructure and inhabited files where 1300 families live. It is an ancient city in a modern city.
After the guests are driven back to their hotel.
Day 2. Baku - Absheron
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the excursion. We will launch the trip to Absheron peninsula where the most important Zoroastrian monuments had been preserved.
Azerbaijan is one of the few places on earth, where even today one can observe elements of preserved fire cult and the ancient Zoroastrianism religion. These places where oil oozes from the earth, and natural gas breaks out like flaming torches have always attracted fire worshipers from around the world. Baku, its oil, its "burning earth" have been known far beyond its borders since ancient times. The official religion of the ancient states that emerged in the VII century BC, such as Mann and Midia was Zoroastrianism. The spread of Zoroastrianism in the territory of the modern Azerbaijan was due to spontaneously flammable sources of oil and gas. Therefore, in this area such a monument as the temple Ateshgah has survived.
Fire Temple Ateshgah (literally Fire House) is located in 30 kilometers from the center of Baku, in the south-eastern outskirts of the Absheron Peninsula.
Coming up next on the program guests will visit the village Mehemmedli.
Next to this small village in the Absheron peninsula Mount Yanardagh is situated. The word "Yanar" in Azeri language means "burning", and "Dagh" - "mountain". And this is real a burning mountain - not metaphorically, but literally. Once in Absheron it had been a lot of places where natural gas coming out from the earth to the surface ignited spontaneously, but with the start of mass extraction of oil and gas in Absheron these places started to disappear. At present, it is the only place of this unique natural phenomenon - the output of natural gas to the surface.
Return to Baku.
Overnight in Baku.
Day 3. Baku – Shamakhi - Gabala
Breakfast in the hotel. Extract. Check out the regions of Azerbaijan.
We go to the north-west of Azerbaijan through the Caucasus Mountains. The dry landscape around Baku replaced by dense forest mountains.
On the way to visit the city of Shamakhi, which is the largest mosque of the Caucasus "Juma", and the tomb of the rulers of the Shirvan Shahs - "Yeddie Gyumbyaz." Next trip to the city of Gabala and accommodation.
After checking into the hotel, you can walk to the famous waterfall Seven Beauties, named in honor of the great poem of Nizami. The waterfall consists of 7 stages and is famous throughout the country.
After the tour will continue to the lake Nohur - another pearl of these places. The lake is known for its cleanliness, abundance of fish and amazing turquoise water. The lake is surrounded by forest, where you can walk, and, weather permitting, a ride on a catamaran in the town Duyma.
A trip to Gabalanad. It is believed that the beauty of this park is the fourth largest in Europe. The locals are very proud of this fact. Overnight in Gabala.
Day 4. Gabala - Sheki - Kish
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out. Visit of Nij village (this village is famous with its ancient religious buildings and their citizens. It is the only place in the world where Udins ethnicity lives –very ancient Caucasian ethnos that has its own authentic culture and traditions) and visit of Chuhur Gabala ( the ruins of the ancient Caucasian Albania’s capital Kabala. That times it was a very significant place in the Middle East as it was a huge educational centre for mags – the priests of Zoroastrian temples.
Arrival to Sheki.
Start exploring Sheki. Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheatre surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan's summer Palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. Then visiting of “Shebeke”( handmade frescos) workshop, “Pakhlava”(special and famous in Azerbaijan sweet) workshop and “Tekulduz” ( a kind of weaving popular in this area) workshop. Walking in the old street and visiting of different craftsman workshops.
Trip to Ilisu.
Ilisu is a small town, where all houses are built along one single street but it still remembers the days of former glory when Ilisu was the capital of an independent sultanate, which was later joined by the Russian Empire. In addition to charming village houses in Ilisu there are a few buildings, reminiscent of last Ilisu: Sumuggala fortress of the 16th century, which was almost completely destroyed, the tower Galadzha( the 19th century) and well-preserved 18th-century mosque. Here you can buy natural honey harvested by local beekeepers, walk to the waterfall and enjoy tea from a samovar outdoors.
Then we will go to Zagatala - a small, quiet town on the north-west of Azerbaijan. The sights of this place are the Albanian church of the 19th century (non-functioning), and the plane-tree alley - some trees are more than 700 years. After a short stay in the city, we continue the way to the village of Yukhari Chardahlar to see a monument of medieval architecture - Peri-Gala (temple complex carved into the rock). Conventionally, the monument belongs to the IV - V centuries and it is considered a Zoroastrian temple. Indeed, the typical Zoroastrian temples are also found in Iran, carved in the rocks.
Drive back to Sheki.
Overnight in Sheki.
Day 5. Sheki – Kish – Lahij
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out.
We will continue to discover Sheki and will visit Kish village and the legendary church.
Legend says that the church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later. Upon our checking-in at the hotel, we’ll enjoy the farewell dinner, tasting traditional Azeri cuisine dishes.
Later we will drive to Lahij - famous Lahij village in Ismayilly district. Most part of 2,000 people living in Lahij are involved in ancient crafts such as engraved copper work and carpet weaving. In the mid-19th century, there were more than 200 workshops in Lahij. Traders discovered Lahij crafts many centuries ago, and sold them for high prices at bazaars in Baghdad [now Iraq], Shiraz [now Iran] and other Middle Eastern cities. Stop by a copper workshop for a impromptu lesson in ancient craftsmanship you'll get to see coppersmiths use small mallets to decorate plates, trays, jugs, goblets and pitchers, just as their ancestors have done for centuries. After we will set up the way to Baku.
Overnight in Baku.
Day 6. Baku- Guba – Khinaliq –Baku
Breakfast in the hotel.
Today we will have a trip to the north of Azerbaijan, to Guba city. Guba is located in the north-eastern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Shahdag, at an altitude of 600 m above sea level, on the banks of the river Gudial tea, 168 km from Baku. The hotel location and rich infrastructure make Guba district one of the favorite tourist destinations.
The district has a unique Alpine village of Khinalig, situated at an altitude of 2500m above sea level. The population of the village is a separate ethnographic group with its own language, which no one else in the world does not speak. Not far from Khinalig there is another distinctive mountain village - Griz.
Return to the hotel.
Overnight in Baku.
Day 7. Baku
Breakfast. Check out from the hotel. Departure to Airport.
End of Tour