Azerbaijan – Eastern colors of Europe

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Price per person
433 AZN
Tour type
Family tours
Tour duration
8 days / 7 nights
what you wIll do

Plan of the tour

Day 1
Flight
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. Shirvanshahs Palace XVI c Maiden Tower XII c Caravanserai XVII c Home museum of painter/artist Ali Shamsi Lunch. Buildings of XIX c in Baku: First Park in Baku (Governor’s garden) Palace of Happiness, Ismailia Building, Baku Executive Power Building, Rothschild Mansion. Transfer to hotel, Free time. Dinner at hotel
Day 3
City tour
3rd day
Breakfast at hotel. Absheron Peninsual tour. We will start heading to the ancient Zoroastrian Temple Ateshgah which is considered as an authentic Azerbaijani exotic site to visit. It is located approximately 30 km from the center of Baku in the suburb of Surakhany. During that period, you will learn a lot about the temple from your guide, particularly, more about a unique natural phenomenon as burning natural gas outlets. The history of Atashgah goes back to the time of the Sassanids when Zoroastrianism was the main religion in this region. During The Arab caliphate invasion, some of the fire-worshipers did not accept Islam and were eventually forced to return to India, where the history of the fire religion continued. In the second part of the visit, after visiting the temple you will directly go to the Yanar Dag which is not far from Surakhani temple. It is the most famous and popular tourist site of the “eternal flame” in Azerbaijan. Actually, it is rather a hill than a mountain, with natural gas burning on its slope from ancient times. According to local people, Yanar Dag flame was only noted when accidentally lit by a shepherd. There is no seepage of mud or liquid, which distinguishes it from the nearby mud volcanoes. Only a handful of fire mountains exist today in the world, and most are located in Azerbaijan. Today you also visit a few of Absheron Castles. Mardakan Castle: It is an ancient fortress within the Mardakan settlement of the Baku area. The tower was built and made in the four-cornered shape, in the middle of the XIV century by Shirvanshah Akhsitan son of Shirvanshah Manuchohr. Mardakan Tower was created for honoring the bright victory of Akhsitan against the enemies. Tower was useful for purposes of a shelter of feudal and of course as a watching point. The Tower’s peak is 22 meters, the thickness is below 2.10 meters and also 1.60 meters towards the top. Its inner yard is 28×25. The tower had been divided into 5 ranges from inside. Now we will have lunch in one of the local restaurants. After the lunch, we will visit Gala Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex. You can see the petroglyphs demonstrated in the open-air museum. They are the ones found in the territory of Absheron. The oldest examples of them were described by the ways of engraving, scratching and chipping. The most of these petroglyphs are dating back to 3rd- 2nd millennium, B.C. The content and structure of images have great importance. Themes and topic of Absheron petroglyphs are different. General ideological views were presented by though these images. The stages of hunting, sacrificing humans, holy marriage, etc. were demonstrated on these images. Our tour ends here for today. We will drop off you at the hotel and you will get free time until we come back and take you to the dinner around 19:00. You will enjoy the delicious food and after the dinner, transfer to hotel.
Day 4
City tour
4th day
10:00 After breakfast meeting with local guide and transfer to Gobustan. Gobustans Rock Art Cultural Landscape is a hill and mountain site occupying the southeast end of the Greater Caucasus mountain ridge in Azerbaijan, mainly in the basic Jeyrankechmaz River, between the rivers Pirsaat and Sumgait. It is located west of the settlement of Gobustan, about 64 km southwest of the center of Baku on the west bank of the Caspian Sea. Gobustan is very rich in archeological monuments. The reserve has more than 6,000 rock engraving dating back between 5,000-40,000 years. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation. Most of the rock engraving depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights and boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars. Also visiting Roman inscription and mod volcanoes. Visit Bibi Heybat mosque and meanwhile short visit of first OIL Well
Day 5
City tour
5th 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. we will visit the Church of the Udi, near Gabala, in the village of Nij. This small church is special. It belongs to the native people of this part of the world – The Udi people. One of the most ancient of the Caucuses with mentions dating back to 5BC. There are only a few thousand Udi people in the world today and the majority, approx. 4.000 live in this area and village in Azerbaijan. Today they practice Orthodox Christianity and you will be welcomed with their kindness to see their church, renovated and used. In their homes, a flame always burns and the moon plays a great part in their beliefs. All signs that they followed much more before Christianity. They have kept their own language but of course, most are bilingual. Farming plays an important role with the Udi language naming calendar months after things like grapes and seeds. Transfer to Sheki, Dinner in Sheki, Overnight.
Day 6
City tour
6th 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. Departure to Baku Dinner. Check in
Day 7
City tour
7th day
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, Dinner.
Day 8
Flight
8th day
After breakfast free time, transfer to Airport.
BE IN TOUCH

Contacts

Address

Izmir Ave. 5,

Baku AZ1065, Azerbaijan

Phone

Gamidov Studio