General

Travel through Azerbaijan, from east to west through our budget friendly “East to West” group tour. Our group tours are the most efficient way to travel in Azerbaijan and to get the most out of your time and money. Here is our brief tour programme below for your kind consideration.

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome to the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku. Your exciting holiday kicks off as you arrive at the airport. You will meet with our professional guide and driver who will transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Overnight in Baku.

Day 2: Baku Sightseeing tour

Our tour starts from the highest pick of the city named Highland Park for amazing city panorama and photo stop. The park is located in the center of Baku. It is one of the most popular places among the local residents and tourists.

In Soviet period (1920-1991), this park was named after Sergei Kirov. The most unique side of the park and the reason why it is actually, called the “Highland Park” is its impressive panorama looking over Baku city, Baku bay and Baku Boulevard stretching along the Caspian sea. Azerbaijan Independence Museum, Martyrs’ Lane where lie the victims of Black January of 1990 and those who were killed in Nagorno Karabakh war are also buried in the Highland Park.

Continue our tour to the old city of Baku- Icherisheher.

Covering twenty-two hectares of territory, this urban complex includes hundreds of monuments. Justifiably, Old city- Icherishekher is the acropolis of Baku. In Icherisheher, there are four monuments of world-class value: Icherisheher, the complex of Shirvanshah’s Palace, Maiden Tower, and Muhammed Mosque. Due to the cultural significance and uniqueness, the entire Icherisheher including Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower are all inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Continue to Nizami Street, which was the main trade street of Baku for decades. It is now one of the favourite places of tourists and local people for shopping and entertainment activities. The sound of the water is taking you away- now you are at the Fountains’ Square of Baku. Tens of fountains all around are creating breathtaking ambiance.

Next pass by the Carpet Museum, a structure built in the shape of a carpet. Displayed here are exquisite carpet and rug collection of Azerbaijan demonstrating several weaving skills of the nation. And now, you are walking along one of the longest boulevards in the world, which runs parallel to Baku’s seafront more than 3,5 kilometers. The boulevard is established on 1909 and now one of the favourite places of people.

Our last stop is “Heydar Aliyev Center”- a building complex designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. The building is very distinctive for its unique architectural design. In 2014, the Center won the Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award.

Day 3: Absheron Peninsula tour& Gobustan and Mud Volcanoes

Today, we will have our  Absheron tour… 

Yanar dag (burning mountain)- a 10m long wall of fire, that never extinguishes

We will start the tour with a visit to Yanar Dag– one of the most famous and popular tourist places in Azerbaijan. It is located 25 km to the north from Baku. The site is burning continuously alongside the edge of the hill. Local lore states that it was a shepherd that accidentally ignited the fire in the 1950s by tossing a cigarette, and that it has burnt ever since. The famous French writer Alexandre Dumas also witnessed these flames. He expressed his feelings: “This is absolutely the most interesting and fascinating thing, which can be seen nowhere else,” he wrote.

Ateshgakh- a mixture of Indian and Azerbaijani architectural styles
Now, we continue to other Zoroastrian site of Absheron called Ateshgakh. This fire temple, with a mixture of Indian and Azerbaijani architectural styles, is a surviving proof of age-old relationship between the two countries.  There are still some wall inscriptions in Sanskrit and Gurumukhi, including poems. 
After the Ateshgakh, we will continue our tour to forty kilometers from Baku, to Gala– a well-known open-air historical and ethnographic museum. The museum, founded in 2008 at an archaeological site located in the same-name village, is dedicated to the history of the Absheron Peninsula. There, you can see how the Azerbaijani lived, what they ate and drank and how they managed a household over the period from the XVI to XIX centuries.
Next, we will start pur excursion to Gobustan Petroglyphs and Mud Volcanoes.

Gobustan is located on  the south-east of the Great Caucasian Mountains about 60 km far south of Baku. It is a semi-desert region with numerous gullies and ravines. In fact, the meaning of Gobustan in local language means “ravine land”.  Caves and rock outcroppings surround the region. Settled since the Stone Age, the area is one of the main and most ancient museums of rock engravings (petroglyphs) in the world.

The local museum is very new and  has all features that tourists may ask. The museum staff is doing amazing job in preservation  of the site while keeping it open to visitors. Furthermore, the whole site is UNESCO World Heritage List.

After Gobustan, we will visit Mud volcanoes-very unique site where almost 300 mud volcanoes are located. This number means, about 45% of the planet’s mud volcanoes are located in this small area. In 2001, one of the mud volcanoes erupted flames 15 meters high from the ground. Fortunately, for now there are no much activity going on there and it is safe to visit Mud volcanoes.

Day 4: Shamakhi- Lahij- Gabala

Rise and shine to a beautiful morning and enjoy a delicious breakfast buffet. At 10. am our driver and guide will be waiting you in hotel lobby. Check out and leave the hotel for Gabala. It is approximately 3.5 hours drive to Gabala from Baku, but our journey will take longer as we will stop in many sights on the way.

Our first stop is Diri Baba Mausoleum in Maraza city. The building of the mausoleum is a wonderful example of Shirvan architectural school. There are still many legends connected to this place. For a long time, local people believed that a sacred person- called Diribaba was buried here and remained imperishable across the centuries. Nowadays, it is still considered as one of the holy places for local residents.

Continue to Shamakhi– one of the oldest cities of Caucasus to have a sightseeing tour around city. The city was first mentioned by Ptolemaues in the 1st century AD. Shamakhy was the most important city of the region during the Middle ages.  After leaving the Shamakhy, we continue to Gabala. However, there is one more place on the way you must see- this is Lahij.

Lahij village

After leaving the Shamakhi, we continue to Gabala. However, there is one more place on the way you must see- this is Lahij. Lahij is a remote mountain village, comprising some 2,000 residents. Located in Ismayilly disctict of Azerbaijan, on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range at a height of 1211 meters above sea level, it is one of the oldest continuously habited places in the world. We will take the opportunity here to have a lunch in Lahij village.

After Lahij we will continue to Gabala and will arrive there within one hour. The first site we will visit will be Nohurgol, a beautiful lake located 3 km away from Gabala. Dense forests surrounds the lake where you can walk and have time in green nature.

After spending about 30 minutes in Nohur Lake, we will continue to our hotel which is located in the center of Gabala. Next, we will climb the Tufandag- the highest elevated mountain resort in Azerbaijan to take a freshness of Caucasian Mountains. Tufandag is located 4 km away from the city of Gabala – the ancient capital of Caucasian Albania. From here, you can watch the incredible panorama of Caucasian mountains take incredible view for city. We will spend here around 2 hours before heading to our hotel for check in.

 

Day 5: Gabala- Shaki tour- Baku

You will start a day with wonderful breakfast. At 09. am our driver and guide will be waiting you in hotel lobby.

We will start the tour to Nij village. Nij – is the home of a special ethnic group among the Azerbaijani nationalities Udin, who are the descendants of the Caucasian Albanians. At present, their number is no more than 10,000 people, but they have managed to preserve their traditions, language and spiritual culture. Currently, the Alban Temple in the village of Nij is still operational. The temple was rebuilt in the XVII-XVIII centuries on the site of an ancient Albanian church of the 4th century, founded by St. Elisey.

After exploring the  Gabala, we will start our tour to Shaki city. It is one of the  loveliest towns of Azerbaijan. In Shaki, we will visit Shaki Khans Palace, Shaki Old town and Karvansarai. After the lunch we will return back to Baku. We will be in Baku around 17:00 pm, will directly go to the hotel for check in and rest.

Day 6: Transfer and departure

Wake up and start the day with a hearty breakfast buffet. Check out from the hotel soon after. Unfortunately, it is time for airport transfer now. Treasure the lovely memories gathered here with your fellow travellers as you depart to the airport for your return flight.

 

You will spend more in Azerbaijan?  Then, consider our 10 days long Golden Ring of Azerbaijan tour

Available departures

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Inclusions

  • Return Airport Transfers
  • 3* and 4* accommodation in Baku and Shaki hotels (twin/ shared room with the same gender)
  • Daily breakfast in hotels
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Entrance fees to Shirvanshahs' Palace, Carpet Museum, Ateshgah Fire Temple, Gala Ethnographical Museum, Gobustan museum, Burning Mountain, Shaki Khans' Palace, Cable car ride in Tufandag Mountain Resort, taxi ride to Mud volcanoes
  • Daily bottled water