Some 375 km away from Baku, tourists will find the ancient city of Ganja, the second largest city of the country. Ganja, located at the north-eastern foot of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, in one of the most beautiful corners of Azerbaijan, has been significant to the political-economic and cultural life of the country since the earliest of times. Medieval Ganja was known as an important centre of craft and trade throughout the Near and Middle East. The city was the home of the great writer Nizami Ganjavi (1141-1209) and reached a peak in its development during the supremacy of the Atabey State (1136-1225). Ibn-al-Asr called it the Mother of Arran and Rashidaddin referred to it as the biggest city in Arran.
Ganja boasts its own specialty dishes, including Ganja baklava, dovga, keta with greens or with meat (analogous to gutabs) and Shah pilaf.
According to Irada Kaziyeva, the owners of the pastry store Şərg Şirniyyətları ("Oriental sweets") in the preparation of Ganja baklava, there are subtleties and secrets that distinguish it, for example, from the Baku or Turkish baklava. So walnuts, used for its filling, are completely cleansed of the husks, which makes the baklava light color. In the dough is necessarily added infusion of rose petals (gulab), and in the filling cardamom. Ganja baklava is smeared with tincture of saffron flowers and sprinkled with poppy seeds, which are also scalded with boiling water and cleaned, so they become white. As a result, baklava turns tender, has shades of tastes of roses and saffron and just melts in your mouth.
Dovga - Azerbaijani soup based on gatyk and greens. But in Ganja dovga is preparing in a special way. For example, peas are not added to it, as in other regions, but they put mint, spinach, celery and eggs.
In Ganja, gutabs are also prepared in their own way. True, they are called, here, “keta”, not “gutab”, as in other cities. Ganja keta is with meat or with greens with the addition of white cheese. Portions of the keta, as a rule, are large and nourishing, abundantly sprinkled with sumac or dried barberry.
Finally, the main dish of any ganja feast is the Shah pilaf. The name of this festive dish comes from its appearance, which resembles the crown of medieval eastern rulers. Unlike a conventional pilaf, a Shah pilaf is served on the table "sealed". That is, rice and garnish are baked together in a saucepan, the bottom and walls of which are covered with lavash. It turns out something like a big pie, stuffed with aromatic steaming pilaf. Be sure to try it!
Program of the tour
Day-1 Ganja excursion
06:00 - Departure from Baku
09:00 - Breakfast time
11:00 - Arrival at Ganja and excursion to Goygol National Park
14:00 - Lunch time
15:00 - Excursion to historical places
The Juma Mosque (Shah Abbas Mosque)
Shah Abbas Caravanserai
Turkish Bath House Chokek
19:00 - Departure from Ganja
24:00 - Arrival at Baku
For a confirmed booking, a deposit of (10%) is required. Deposit is paid by credit card (secure payment via Stripe, no credit card fees). The remaining balance can be paid in cash upon start of the trip - unless Host & Traveler agree on different payment methods.
Cancellations can be made free of charge up to 30 days prior to the beginning of the booked service. The deposit (10%) is only refundable if the booking is canceled at least 30 days in advance.