Azerbaijan – Eastern colors of Europe

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Price per person
455 AZN
Tour type
Family tours
Tour duration
4 days / 3 nights
what you wIll do

Plan of the tour

Day 1
Transfer
1st day
Arrival to Baku at Haydar Aliyev International airport. Meet & Greet. Transfer to hotel & check in to hotel. Free time for leisure.
Day 2
City tour
2nd day
Breakfast. Baku City Tour. Baku Panoramic Tour. The tour starts from Highland Park by viewing the beautiful panorama of Caspian Bay. Walking tour in Old City. – these are the names for this unique historical ensemble located right in the center of Baku. “Icheri Shekher” is the heart of the city. It was the place, on the hill by the very sea, where ancient Baku was originated. Icheri Shekher is the oldest living quarter in Baku. It was declared a historical and cultural reserve in 1977, and was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2000. Sometimes, Icheri Shekher is referred as a fortress, because its area of 221 km2 is fully surrounded with a well-preserved vallum. The territory of Icheri Shekher was inhabited with people as early as in the Bronze Age and by the VIII-XI centuries it had been completely populated. Buildings of XIX c in Baku: First Park in Baku (Governor’s garden) Palace of Happiness, Ismailia Building, Baku Executive Power Building, Rothschild Mansion. Shirvanshahs Palace XVI c Maiden Tower XII c Caravanserai XVII c Home museum of painter/artist Ali Shamsi Lunch. After breakfast meeting with local guide and transfer to Heydar Aliyev Center. An internationally recognized architectural marvel, Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center displays a curved modern style. Designed by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the elegant building stands 74 m in the middle of a square and houses a museum, a gallery hall and a grand auditorium. Explore the signature landmark, which symbolizes the modernization of Azerbaijan and enters to observe many interesting and artistic features. The Next place to visit is Baku Boulevard. You will have a walk along Baku Boulevard, the second longest one in the Europe. We will visit the Carpet Museum. It demonstrated carpet in close connection with other kinds of traditional handicrafts of Azerbaijan. Its collections include about 14 000 traditional carpets, embroideries, costumes, copper artworks, jewelry art, as well as contemporary works of glass, wood and felt. Walking in Baku little Venice. Transfer to hotel, Free time.
Day 3
Transfer
3rd day
In the morning depart from your hotel in Baku for Lahic via Shamakhi, once a capital and trade center for western Azerbaijan, and now a small town. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence. In Shamakhi's history, eleven major earthquakes have rocked Shamakhi, but through multiple reconstructions, it maintained its role as the economic and administrative capital of Shirvan and one of the key towns on the Silk Road. On the way, visit Diri Baba Mausoleum in Maraza village. The building of the mausoleum which was completed in 1402 is a masterpiece of the architectural school of Shirvan and a beautiful creation of arts of ancient masters. Next, we will visit Yeddi Gumbez Mausoleum (Seven Tombs) - the Shirvan Khan's family graveyard, built for a family of Mustafa Khan – the last khan of Shamakhi. Only three of these desecrated octagonal royal tombs remain reasonably complete. Other mausoleums of the group are partly destroyed and are without cupola or walls. The monument belongs to Shirvan-Absheron architectural school and the oldest of them is dated to 1810, which is testified by an inscription carved on the mausoleum. Continue to Shamakhi and have a sightseeing of historical Juma Mosque of Shamakhi. The only building to have survived eight of the eleven earthquakes is the landmark Juma Mosque of Shamakhi, built in the 10th century. Drive through Girdimanchay River’s canyon to visit Lahic, the 5th-century place rich in its historic and architectural values. Lahic starts where the road from Ismayilly ford the Kishlarcay stream in front of the Cannat Bagy Guest House. The road then snakes along a cliff top past the Ismayilly bus stop (150 m) and over a small stone bridge to the triangular central square marked by a war memorial (300 m). From here the cobbled main street (Huseynov Str.) passes a series of coppersmith workshops before crossing the Lulochay stream on another bridge after around 700 m. The road then continues a similar distance on the far side through a less commercial part of town known as Aracit. Lahic is an ancient village with charming eye-catching sidewalks inlaid with stones. It is famous for medieval water supply and sewage systems as well as traditional workshops making jewelry, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools. Lahic is particularly famous for its coppersmiths, whose workshops overflow into narrow, stone-paved Huseynov str. On the upper floors of the workshops, you can sometimes still find carpet makers at work. As years go by the workshops are increasingly transforming themselves into tourist boutiques but they remain rustic, welcoming places, where craftsmen are happy to be watched and photographed engraving intricate patterns. People in Lahic speak their own language, although Azerbaijani Turkish and Russian can still be heard (with the occasional foreign language). The one thing you're unlikely to hear is the wind and grind of city life. Instead, it's the gentle tapping sound that spills from workshops along its roughly cobbled streets that fills the ears. Here in Lahic, centuries of isolation have honed the skills of the copper smiths which line the narrow streets. The soaring peaks that surround this village make farming nearly impossible, so local people turned very long ago to crafts. Copper smithing is only the most famous. Almost everyone who lives here can turn shapeless things into objects of quiet and even mystic beauty. Lunch in Lahic. Transfer to Sheki, Dinner in Sheki, Overnight.
Day 4
City tour
4th day
4th day After breakfast at your hotel in Sheki, we will start the Sheki Sightseeing Tour. Visit the Upper Town, the magnificent Palace of Sheki Khans and the Craft Museum. Built in 1797 as a summer residence for Muhammad Hasan Khan, the Palace of Sheki Khans is a masterpiece of lavish decoration. Both the exterior and interior decorations of the palace embody the architectural glamor of the ancient Sheki Khanate. In 1998, the Palace of Sheki Khans was nominated for the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. See the majestic wooden Khan’s Palace, built without a single nail and filled with some of the most impressive stained glass and Islamic miniaturist fresco work in the world today. Making this fact even more incredible are the windows colored yellow, red and blue demand a closer inspection and makes. The light coming in is mesmerizing and perfect. Individual windows with each square meter consisting of 14,000 little pieces of handcrafted wood and over 5000 pieces of colored glass. Inside there are six rooms, each with their different original purpose and intricate design. Not one inch is missed with fine detail. The ground floor has a grand reception room; a rainbow of colors hits you immediately. Thousands upon thousands of images, floral to symbols of culture. Even when you look up the mind goes into awe with the shapes and detail. Mirrors perfectly placed to capture the colored light coming in. Looking at the palace from the front you cannot miss the great big sycamore trees just in front to the left and right. Dating back as old as approx 1530 they have enabled the palace to stay standing through wind, storm, and earthquakes. Also on the grounds of the summer palace, you will find a few small museums and an arts and crafts souvenir shop. The museum housed inside the old Albanian Church displays a nice collection of textiles, carpets, and embroidery from Sheki and surrounding villages. Continuing on your expedition around Sheki, we will visit the Upper Caravanserai, an architectural monument. It's a renovated caravanserai that housed traders, their goods and camels during the 18th and 19th centuries. For centuries, Sheki has been famous for its Caravanserais, hotels offering lodging and food for traders, travelers and merchants passing through. While modern times have seen the Caravanserais fall out of use, one in Sheki is still in operation, serving travelers from across the world as it has done for centuries. The Caravanserai was built to allow the animals to be sheltered, fed and watered on the lower floor of the courtyard, while the travelers and traders stayed on the upper balconies. Today the lower floors have all been turned into lodgings too. Following the tour, visit a small village of Kish to enjoy a wonderful panorama of the ruins of an ancient Albanian church and the surrounding nature. The Albanian church at Kish, home to one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, thought by many to be the very first Christian church, as mentioned by St Paul in the New Testament. The Albanians (no relation to the European country of Albania) were one of the first Christian civilizations and ruled this part of the Caucasus until around the 5th century AD. Now it is time for lunch. Piti is a traditional Azerbaijani dish - which is something of a local specialty, that you are able to try it. Piti is a chunky, aromatic stew of meat (chicken or veal), chickpeas, vegetables, and a bunch of other unidentifiable ingredients. The stew is quite fatty (sometimes with chunks of lard on top) and some pitis has a single apricot added to the mix. It is traditionally served in a small earthenware pot with lots of bread on the side. Eating piti is a bit of an art. First, tear your bread into small pieces into an empty bowl. Using the back of your spoon to keep the chunky bits in the pot, pour the piti liquid over the bread. Sprinkle with sumac and eat the sodden bread/soup as your first course. Next, you smash the remaining piti stew into a chunky paste using a special wooden pestle. (The waiter might step in at this point to help you.) Once you've finished the soup and smashed the stew, transfer it to your bowl to eat as a second course. After the lunch, you will visit Shebeke craft workshop, Sheki Bazaar, and the local sweet bakery. You can also try the famous Sheki baklava. This sweet is much known in Azerbaijan, even not only in Azerbaijan but also in other bordering regions. Shaki baklava is the pride of Shaki population, this is a sweet, which every guest coming to Azerbaijan, has to taste. Many people say that you have to see a master cooking it, to feel this sweet. The very thin pastries on the bottom and on the top of it make it crispy, a thick layer of blended nuts inside makes it soft. It’s very difficult to cook it, and even in Azerbaijan, not every confectionery is good at it. The best option to buy the Shaki baklava is to buy it from its motherland: Shaki. After a long day delving into the many treasures of Sheki, come back at your accommodation to wind down for a while. Then get ready for dinner in one of the best local restaurants. Before you make the return trip to your accommodation for the night, enjoy the local food, as you like. Transfer to Georgia border.
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Contacts

Address

Izmir Ave. 5,

Baku AZ1065, Azerbaijan

Phone

Gamidov Studio