Shamakhi-Lahic-Gabala-Sheki
Tour type: General, MountainsPrice: $650.00Duration: 3from January to December

Day 1 BAKU-SHAMAKHI-LAHIC

Meeting with the guide in the afternoon and departure by the route Baku-Shemakha. Excursions within trip. The ancient town of Shemakha is located at the foothills of the Big Caucasus Mountains Chain. The general elevation of Shemakha is 800 meters over the sea level. One of the most ancient oriental trading cities, it claims to be the city of Kmakhia mentioned by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolomy in his book 'Geography'.

On the way from Baku to Shamakhi there is Maraza village known for its unique monument - two-storied mausoleum mosque of the 15th century called Diri-Baba, located across from the old cemetery. For a long time the local resident have kept the legend that there imperishable Saint Diri-Baba had been buried. However, many other legends and mystical details are connected with this landmark. Therefore, since the 17th century it attracts pilgrims and simply urious visitors.

The oldest and largest mosque in Azerbaijan, Shamakhi Djuma, according to the legend was built in the 8th century when Shamakhi was chosen as residence by an Arabian caliph. The initial Arabian inscription on the portal of the mosque said that the mosque had constructed in 744 AD. Therefore Shamakhi Djuma is considered as one of the arliest mosques in the whole of Transcaucasia.

Then leaving Shemakha for Lahic. Check in the 3* Evim hotel. Free time. Overnight in Lahic.

Day 2  LAHIC-GABALA-SHEKI

After breakfast continue tour in Lahic village and visiting craftsmen shops, local museum, 18th centuries Mosque. Lahij is a village and municipality on the southern slopes of Greater Caucasus within the Ismailli Rayon of Azerbaijan. Population is approximately 860 people who speak the variation of Tati - Lahiji language of Persian language origin.

After drive to Gabala. Excursion in Gabala that was the ancient capital of Caucasian Albania. Archeological evidence indicates that the city functioned as the capital of Caucasian Albania as early as 4th century BC.The Ruins of the ancient town are situated 15 km from the regional center, allocated on the territory between Garachay and Jourluchay rivers. Gabala was located in the middle of the 2,500-year-old Silk Road, and was mentioned by Pliny the Younger as "Kabalaka", Greek geographer Ptolemy as "Khabala", Arabic historian Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri as "Khazar". In the 19th century, the Azerbaijani historian Abbasgulu Bakikhanov mentioned in his book Gulistani Irem that Kbala or Khabala were in fact Gabala.

After excursion in Gabala we will drive to Sheki. Arrival in Sheki. Check into hotel. Free time.

Day 3 SHEKI –BAKU

After breakfast we will explore Sheki in detail. We will visit the ancient fortress of Sheki and the ancient Albanian Church (10th century BC) located there, that was turned into a museum of applied arts.

Sheki Khans' palace .The most outstanding and valuable monument of the 18th century Azerbaijan is Sheki Khans' palace. It was constructed in 1761-1762 as a summer residence of Hussein-khan Mushtad (grandson of Gadzhi Chelebi). The unique beauty two-storied building of the palace amazes with its magnificent interior and exterior. (This monument is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List).

We will Visit Shebeke workshop. These beautiful and intricate panels are made of small wooden pieces (usually walnut) assembled in a giant jig-saw puzzle that can have tens of thousands of elements. Each latticework frame is custom cut and pieced together, then the glass is cut to fit. No nails or glue are used to assemble the lattice framework pieces, all handmade. 

Sheki History Museum, where all the collection of ancient artifacts that tell the history of the town and the Sheki region is. Guests will have the opportunity to buy handmade silk products (scarves, shawls, embroidery).

After excursion we will drive back to Baku.  On approaches to Baku we can stay for visiting Gobustan reserve (if time allows). 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.

On the entrance to Baku pay a visit to a famous 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. 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.

After that you will be taken 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.

 

Package includes:

- Accommodation in twin room in 3* Caravan Saray Hotel in Sheki and in Evim Hotel in Lagich 
- Private vehicle accompanied by an experienced English speaking local guide
- Local driver for your vehicle, exclusively for your tour
- Sightseeing program including all entrance fees
- 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 1300 650 4 seater sedan or 4WD vehicle to be provided
4 1800 450 7 seater van to be provided
6 2220 370 15 seater van to be provided to allow luggage
8 2600 325 15/20 seater van to be provided to allow luggage
10 2800 280 15/20 seater van to be provided to allow luggage
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