Across Azerbaijan tour: photoreport

Below is the program itinerary for one of our most popular tour across Azerbaijan. It is a bit extended and takes around 10-12 days to complete but covers the most interesting places of Azerbaijan and gives a good outlook of the country. Obviously, the program can be customised in line with your preferences with some places added or dropped out from the itinerary.

Day 1

Arrival to Baku. Meeting at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Free time

Day 2

The first half of the day will be spent primarily exploring the historical centre of Baku city, its Old Town - 'Icheri Sheher'. You will see the highlights of Icheri Sheher including the Palace of the Shirvans (the most striking example of the medieval palace structures in Azerbaijan, dating to the middle of 15th century); Maiden's Tower (the ancient, eight storey fortress originally built as a fire beacon); visit Dzhuma Mosque, antiques and carpet shops.

The views of Old Town in BakuThe views of Old City, BakuThe views of Old City, Baku Souveineer shop in Old City Souvenir shop in Old city in Baku Monument to Azeri poet VahibzadehMaiden Tower in Baku

Have a lunch in a national restaurant and have a taste of traditional Azeri cuisine.

After the lunch proceed with sightseeing tour in the modern Baku: Martyr's Cemetery, located on the higher slopes of the city's west-end, this is the best place for viewing the Baku city and the Bay of Baku. 

Martyr's Cemetery, formerly The Kirov Park, is a cemetery and memorial in Baku, Azerbaijan dedicated to those killed by the Soviet Army during Black January and later to those killed in Nagorno-Karabakh War. Located on the higher slopes of the city's west-end, this is the best place for panorama viewing of the city and the Bay of Baku. Thousands visit the shrine to pay their respects to those who had given their lives for Azerbaijan's independence. You can take a little tram ride up the side of the hill to reach this spot for 20cents, and it’s well worth the trip. The Eternal Flame memorial at Martyrs' lane often covered by wreaths is usually attended by many presidents and dignitaries of Baku.

You will have a walk in Naberezhny park and along Baku Boulevard, one of the largest in the Europe. Whilst there you can get a boat to make trip along Baku Bay. You will be introduced with the interesting facts and legends of the largest lake in the world better known as Caspian Sea.

Baku Bay at dusk as seen from Martyr alley

Small trams run to Martyr AlleyMartyr Alley in BakuMartyr Alley in BakuMartyr AlleyTurkish mosque in Martyr CemetryPanorama of Baku

After having short break for lunch continue tour visiting several landmarks in  Absheron Peninsula.

You will be taken to Ateshgah - the Fire Worshippers' Temple located in the village of Surakhany. It was built on land where natural gas burned eternally by Zoroastrian believers who travelled from the province of Multan in India to worship. These ancient fires are believed to have given Azerbaijan its name, which is thought by some researchers to mean the 'Land of Fires'.

Ateshgah TempleTemple Ateshgah Yanar Dag

You will also visit one of the several well preserved ancient castles scattered across Absheron Peninsula and dated XII-XIII AD. The one you will visit is at Mardakyany - apparently built for defense by the Shirvan shahs in the 13-14th century.

You will pay a visit to quite an interesting mosque in Shuvelan village called Mir Movsum Aga Mosque, and also Yanar Dagh is near Mammedli, where a small hillside is constantly and naturally aflame. After finishing this tour at about 5-6 pm drive back to your hotel.

Defence tower / castle in MardakanCastle in MardakanyMir Movsum Aga (“The Boneless One”) Mosque

Day 3

After breakfast you will continue exploring the landmarks of Absheron peninsula. This time you will visit open-air Gobustan reserve, mud volcanoes, Bibi Heybat Mosque and on a way back to Baku will have a stop-over at Martyr Cemetery.

Gobustan reserve is an open-air museum littered with Neolithic rock drawings. Just 65km south of Baku, Gobustan has some 4000 inscriptions that go back 12,000 years (with some 2000 year old Latin graffiti to boot). The well-preserved sketches display ancient populations travelling on reed boats; men hunt antelope and wild bulls, women dance. The famed Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl returned many times to Azerbaijan between 1961 and his death in 2002 to study the site, which he argued to be evidence that modern-day Scandinavians migrated north through the Caucasus in prehistoric times. He found similarities in the drawings to those found in Scandinavia, particularly some in Alta, Norway. According to Icelandic Sagas, written in the 13 th century, the Norse God Odin (Wotan) migrated from the Caucasus in the first century AD.

Petroglyphs in Gobustan, AzerbaijanPetroglyphs in QobustanTambourine Stone in Gobustan

After that you will also have a chance to visit quite a unique site where 300 of the planet's estimated 700 mud volcanoes sit Gobustan, Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. Many geologists as well as locals and international mud tourists trek to such places as the Firuz Crater Gobustan Salyan mud tourists trek to such places as the Firuz Crater, Gobustan, Salyan and end up happily covered in mud which is thought to have medicinal qualities. In 2001 one mud volcano 15 kilometers from Baku made world headlines when it suddenly started spewing flames 15 meters high.

Mud Volcanoes in Absheron, Baku

The Bibi-Heybat Mosque is a historical mosque in Baku, Azerbaijan. The existing structure, built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II, which was completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936.

The Bibi-Heybat Mosque includes the tomb of Ukeyma Khanum (a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad), and today is the spiritual center for the Muslims of the region and one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture in Azerbaijan. It's locally known as "the mosque of Fatima" which Alexandre Dumas using the same name, described the mosque during his visit in the 1840s.

Bibi-heybat mosqueBibi-heybat mosqueJames Bond oilfields as seen from Bibi-heibat mosque

After finishing tour at about 13:00-14:00 drive back to your hotel and have a free time strolling in Baku and exploring it on your own.

Day 4

Leaving the hotel at 09:00 am and headig for Xinalig village with the stopover in Guba. Arrival to Guba at around 11:00-12:00 and short tour across this town. We will show you Jewish village called Red Sloboda and 18th century Friday Mosque. You will have a lunch in one of local restaurants here and then proceed to Xinalig. Arraival to Xynalig at 15:00 and accommodation in one of private houses there. Tea break. Then exploring the village itself, life of local people and surrounding mountains. After that dinner at your house.


Day 5

After breakfasts at 08:30 drive back to Baku with a stopover at the local bazaar in Guba. Arraval to Baku and check-in to your hotel at around 13:00-14:00. Free time

Day 6

At 06:30 in the morning going to airport for 09:00 flight to Nakhichevan. The flight time is 1 hour. You will be met at the airport and taken to Tebriz hotel. After short break start exploring the town of Nakhichevan. Within your program you will visit Momina Khatun Monument, Yusif Ibn Kuseyir Tomb, Prophet Noah's grave complex, Khan's House. Then you will have a lunch and after a short rest proceed checking local highlights. Pay a visit to Carpet Museum, have a look at famous Duzdagh Salt mine caves and hospital. After that you will be taken to Asabu Kahf Mountain caves that are mentioned in Holy Koran & other religious books. 

Nakhichevan panoramaMomina Xatun MausoleumNoah's graveTabriz hotel in Nakhichevan

Day 7

Return to airport at 9.00 am and take 11.00 flight back to Baku. Free day

Day 8

Leaving hotel early in the morning for Lagich village. On your way you will pass through the ancient town Shemakha, one of the major stop overs for Silk Road caravan routes in this part of the world. You will visit three historical sites in Shemakha: two-storied Deri Baba mausoleum, 15th century Seven Domes mausoleum and Friday Mosque.

Yeddi GumbezFriday Mosque in ShamahiOn a way to Lahij 

Diri Baba mausoleum near Shamahi

Arrival to Lagich around 13.00 and have a lunch there. After lunch start checking this settlement well known for its metalwork artisans. You will visit craftsmen shops, small carpet factory, local museum, two 18th century Mosques and 18th century village hamam (bathhouse).

Lahic, AzerbaijanLahicLahicLahic

After you will be taken to another village called Galagig that is surrounded by mountains and has a picturesque nature views around. Arrival to Galagig at 16:00 and staying in a traditional Azeri family house. Have a short tea break and have a walk in surrounding mountains. Dinner in your house cooked by your hosts, some traditional Azeri meal with a home baked bread. 

Galagyg village, Ismayilly region, AzerbaijanGalagyg village, Ismayilly region, AzerbaijanGalagyg village, Ismayilly region, Azerbaijan

 Galagyg village, Ismayilly region, Azerbaijan

Day 9

After breakfast going to Sheki with the stopover on the way at Nij village where you will visit two 18th century Albanian churches. Visit local bazaar in Sheki.

Arrival to Sheki at around 12:00 noon and checking into Caravan Saray Hotel. Independent lunch and after it starting your tour in Sheki. Visiting 18th century "Yuhari Karavansaray", the hotel which was used by Great Silk Route travelers on their way to Europe.

Panorama of ShekiStreet in Sheki Street in Sheki

Then a short ride to Kish village where you will visit Albanian church. According to local legend that church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later. Visit 18th century Khan's summer palace with magnificent frescos (one 24m long) and exquisite stained glass work (northern part of the city). You can also visit Sheki History museum with artifacts from several periods, but notorious for pieces relating to silk manufacturing and trade and 18th century Friday Mosque. On this day you will also visit local sweet shops, a lot of souvenir shops and workshops where make exquisite stained glass work named Shabaka and workshop of national musical instruments. After finishing tour driving back to your hotel. 

Albanian church in KishPalace of Sheki KhanPaintings in Sheki Khan's Palace

Day 10

After breakfast move from Sheki to Qax, Qum and Ilisu villages. Firstly you will arrive to Qum village (around 10.00 am) where we will show you the ruins of 5th century Albanian church. Then a short ride to to Qax center. There you will see the ruins of 18th century Russian and Georgian Orthodox churches. Then further 30 min drive to  Ilisu. There you will visit 18th century Sumug Tower, ruins of 17th century tower, ancient mosque and remains of a bridge dating from the 18th century. After finishing tour in Ilisu have a lunch there and after that drive back to Sheki to your hotel.

Sumug Tower in Ilisu17th century mosque in Qum village18th century Georgian Church of St.George in Qax

Albanian Church on the way from Sheki to Qax

Day 11

After breakfast start the way to the second largest city in Azerbaijan – Ganja. You will pass through one of the beaches in Mingachevir city.

Arrival to Ganja at around 13:00 and check-in to Ganja Hotel. Short rest and lunch. After the lunch you will visit the town Xanlar (15 km from Ganja) that was called in tsarist time Helenendorf. The town was founded by German settlers brought in by Tsar Alexander in the 19th century. Later on the Germans were deported to Central Asia by Stalin, but the place still reflects some of their presence in the tree lined streets, the wooden houses and the church.

Xanlar (Helendorf)Xanlar (Helendorf)Beach in Mingechavir

After finishing tour there driving back to Ganja. Visiting Mosque built in 1606 by the known scientist and architect Sheykh Baga-ud-din, Ganja Gates (X-XI c.), ruins of 17th centuries bath-house and  Caravansaray, the Alexander Nevski church (now the puppet theatre!)  and a 19th century orthodox church near the university, bottle house (a two-storey building decorated with 50.000 glass bottles), and  historic museum of Ganja. After finishing tour in Ganja have dinner in one of the local restaurants. 

Day 12

After breakfast start the way back to Baku. Trip is around 6 hours and you'll arrive there around 15:00.

Day 13

Transfer to airport and flight back home