General

Azerbaijan is one of the MUST VISIT destinations due to its natural, cultural as well as the historical sites along with the very hospitable people who always love to help their ghosts whenever they can. We combined the most touristic sites and destinations of Azerbaijan in one week tour which we call “Classic Azerbaijan tour”. During this journey, you will explore ultramodern capital of Azerbaijan- Baku which also has kept its historical authenticity dates back to even before the X century, Absheron Peninsula, and Qabala and Shaki regions- two natural and cultural wonders of Azerbaijan. 

Day 1: Arrival

Welcome to the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku. Your exciting holiday kicks off as you arrive at the airport. Our guide and driver is waiting in airport to transfer you to the hotel . 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 of 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. In 1930s when the master plan of Baku was started, Highland park was considered as an important element of the general architectural composition of the city. The park was founded in the place of the old graveyard based on the design of architect Ilyin using the varieties of limestone found in Absheron Peninsula. Another old name of the park – the English park – is originated from the fact that in 1920s, English soldiers who sent to Baku after the fall of the Russian Emperor were buried here along with the victims of March 1918 massacre of Azerbaijan people. 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 out tour to the old city of Baku- Icherisheher. It covers twenty-two hectares of territory and includes hundreds of monuments; this urban complex is an outstanding testament to architecture. 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, which is composed from twenty-six architectural and three archaeological monuments of national value and more than six hundred at regional level. Besides, there are also many magnificent samples of inhabited architecture of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the territory. The history of Icherisheher goes back to the beginning of AD. There are hundreds of mosques from the late Middle Ages as well as caravansaries, baths and “ovdans”, mausoleums and many others. Justifiably, Old city- Icherishekher is regarded as the acropolis of Baku.

Continue to Nizami Street, which was the main trade street of Baku for decades, 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. Time for a delicious lunch served in one of the local restaurants of amazing Baku. 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 then 3,5 kilometers. The boulevard is established on 1909 and now one of the favorite places of people. It traditionally started at Freedom Square continuing west to the Old City and beyond. Since 2012, the Yeni Bulvar (new boulevard) has virtually doubled its length.

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 and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles. In 2014, the Center won the Design Museum’s Design of the Year Award. This made Zaha Hadid the first woman to win the top prize in that competition.

Day 3: Absheron Peninsula Tour

The day is dedicated for our breath-taking Absheron tour… Begin with a visit to Yanar Dag; One of the most famous and popular tourist places of the “eternal flame” in Azerbaijan is the mountain of Yanar Dag. It is located 25 km to the north from Baku, in Mehemmedi village. A 10m long wall of fire, that never extinguishes, is burning continuously alongside the edge of the hill, which naturally is at its most spectacular at night when tourists and locals alike view the fire from a nearby teahouse. 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. Even today, the flames never fail to amaze tourists and locals alike. These natural fires have always inspired humans , and played a crucial role in the creation of mystical faiths like Zoroastrianism, centered on ceremonial fire cults. According to one local, “A lot of sick people see the mountain in their dreams. And when they come here, they receive treatment. On the other hand, the health conditions of those who came here drunk, deteriorates.” Historical records are proof of this – Venetian traveler Marco Polo is said to have observed numerous flames all over the Absheron Peninsula on his visit to Baku in the 13th century. Yanar Dag is now a protected site, with extensive archeological studies being conducted in the area.
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. A wall surrounds the pentagon shaped building with a guest room over the gate (‘balakhane’). There are still some wall inscriptions in Sanskrit and Gurumukhi, including poems. Cells for pilgrims line the wall inside and surround the the main altar in the center of the temple – a quadrangular pavilion with the fire on the altar inside. Historians, archaeologists, and theologians have argued over the construction date of the temple. Some defend that there was a Zoroastrian temple in Surakhany since the 6th century, others delay that event for another seven centuries. After Azerbaijan was Islamized some Zoroastrians escaped to India. But trade links with India in later centuries, led to renewed contacts with the fire-worshippers, who had migrated from to Northern India. During 17th and 18th Century, the site was rebuilt by Indian merchants and masons, who had established in Baku their settlement. This fire temple, with a mixture of Indian and Azerbaijani architectural styles, is a surviving proof of age old relationship between the two countries. The pentagon shaped building is surrounded by a wall with a guest room over the gate (‘balakhane’). There are still some wall inscriptions in Sanskrit and Gurumukhi, including poems. Cells for pilgrims line the wall inside and surround the the main altar in the center of the temple – a quadrangular pavilion with the fire on the altar inside.
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. Many monuments and exhibits were brought to the Gala Museum from different corners of the Absheron Peninsula; they were renovated or fully reconstructed. All together, they help to get an idea of the life of the medieval people in Azerbaijan.

Day 4: Baku- Shamakhy- Qabala

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 Qabala. it is approximately 3.5 hours drive to Qabala 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. On the building itself the construction date is mentioned as 1402 and architect’s name as “…the son of ustad Haji”. 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. The monument is under protection and open to tourists.

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 as a capital city of Shirvanshakh state of Azerbaijan from 8th to 15th century. After Shamakhy, we will continue to Qabala and will arrive there within one hour. Out hotel is located in the center of Qabala. After check in and one hour rest, we will have a city tour to end the day. We will return back to the hotel to have a dinner to get prepared for tomorrow’s trip.

Day 5: Qabala Tour

You will start a day with wonderful breakfast. At 10. am our driver and guide will be waiting you in hotel lobby. The first thing we will do is to climb 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. Our second stop is Nohurgol, a beautiful lake located 3 km away from Qabala. The lake is surrounded by a forest, you can walk around the lake. Here you can relax, even sail boat on the lake. After spending about an hour and half around this beautiful lake, now it is time to visit Chukhur Qabala- ruins of ancient Qabala city. In fact, Chukhur Qabala is a name of the village located on the banks of Alazan river. The village has about 913 permanent residents. The village itself was part of the ancient Qabala city – which was the capital of Caucasian Albania. In the territory of the village, there are remains of castle and buildings. The site is under protection, but open to visitors. After studying Qabala and enjoying its incredible sights, you can continue your tour to Nij village. Nij – is the home of a special ethnic group among the Azerbaijani nationalities Udin, who are considered to be 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 Nijh is also open, which is open to parishioners and tourists. This is one of the most ancient monuments of Christianity in Azerbaijan. 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 (Christian ecclesiast in Caucasian Albania). We will return back to the hotel to get prepared for tomorrow’s trip.

Day 6: Qabala- Shaki- Baku

You will start a day with wonderful open buffet breakfast. After check out from our hotel and packing all our luggage to the car, we start tour to Shaki city- one of the loveliest towns of Azerbaijan, dappled with tiled-roof old houses and topped off with a glittering little khan’s palace. Historic Sheki was originally higher up the valley around the site now occupied by Kish. That town was ruined by floods in 1716 but rebuilt by rebellious Khan Haci Çhalabi, who set up a defiantly independent khanate there in the 1740s. by a second, even more catastrophic flood in 1772, Nukha became the new royal capital. After 1805, when the khanate was ceded to Russia, Nukha continued to flourish as a silk-weaving town and was a trading junc­tion between caravan routes to Baku, Tbilisi and Derbent (Dagestan), with five working caravanserais at its peak. Nukha was re­named Şhaki in the 1960s. He built a second fortress at Nukha (today’s Shaki). When the original Shaki was obliterated.In Shaki we will visit Shaki Khans Palace, Shaki Old town and Karvansarai before lunch time. After having lunch we will leave the city for Baku.

Day 7: 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.

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Inclusions

  • Return Airport Transfers
  • Accommodation in hotel (twin/ shared room with the same gender)
  • Daily breakfast in hotels
  • English speaking tour guide
  • Entrance fees per programme
  • Daily bottled water