A fascinating tour of the city, both old and new is a great introduction to Baku and the history of the country.
Meeting at the airport and transfer to hotel. Short rest and beginning of excursion in 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. Have lunch. Proceed with sightseeing tour across the city. Pay a visit to Martyr's Cemetery, 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. After that you will have a walk along Baku Boulevard, the second longest one in the Europe. You can get a boat and make 30 minutes 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. Return to the hotel.
The second day will be spent primarily within the Greater Baku, where you will be taken to main sites on the Absheron Peninsula. You will visit 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'. After a lunch you will visit an ancient castle dated XIV AD at Mardakyany settelement. The castle was apparently built for defense by the Shirvan shahs. On this day you will also visit Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain). The word 'Yanar' in Azeri language means "burning", and "Dagh" - "mountain". And this is real a burning mountain - not metaphorically, but literally. There used to be a lot of similar places in Absheron where natural gas was coming out from the earth to the surface, but with the start of mass extraction of oil and gas in Absheron these places started to disappear. At present, this is the only place of this unique natural phenomenon left in Azerbaijan. After that we will head to Mir Movsum Aga Mosque in Shuvelan village. Mir Movsum Aga (“The Boneless One”) was a holy man who was believed to have no bones. Many miracles are attributed to him. As you can see from the photographs the exterior is a rich, patterned blue. Every internal surface is mirrored, though unfortunately photography is forbidden in the interior, so you will just have to take visitors word for how overwhelmingly beautiful it is.
Our today's tour ends with a visit to Heydar Aliyev Center - a cultural center that includes the Auditorium (convention center), a museum, exhibition halls, administrative offices. The project center has been designed by renowned British architect Zaha Hadid. Entry ticket is around 8$ per person.
Then return to your hotel and have free time.
On the third day you will visit the Gobustan reserve. This 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. The museum at Gobustan is especially good with interactive displays showing how the surrounding area would have looked over the millennia.
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.
Unfortunately, the mud volcanoes area has been recently declared a National Park with restricted access, though sporadic visits seems feasible as there is no security. Besides, hardly anyone would have a patience to literally guard tons of mud. But visit there definitely worth a visit as it's one of the rarest things one can find on Earth.
On the way back to Baku a short stop over at Bibi Heybat Mosque. 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.
Transfer to airport.
- 3 nights in Baku 3* Azcot Hotel or similar hotel (double/twin occupancy for groups)
- Breakfasts in the hotel
- Private vehicle accompanied by an experienced English speaking local guide who will look after you exclusively
- Local driver for your vehicle, exclusively for your tour
- Sightseeing program including all entrance fees
- Private guided transfers to and from airport
- Guide's and driver's expenses
Not included into the package:
- Fees for taking photos in historical sites
- Any meals
- Other personal expenses
|N of pax||
Tour cost for group (USD, $)
|Cost per pax (USD, $)||Special notes|
|2||700||350||4 seater sedan or 4WD vehicle to be provided|
|4||1000||250||7 seater van to be provided|
|6||1250||210||15 seater van to be provided to allow luggage|
|8||1500||185||15/20 seater van to be provided to allow luggage|
|10||1800||180||15/20 seater van to be provided to allow luggage|