If you want to explore most of the hidden gems of Azerbaijan, this 10 days group tour in Azerbaijan is just a perfect option for you. Our exciting ten-day tour will throw your mind from the ultramodern Azerbaijan capital Baku to the natural beauties of Gabala and Guba, to the stone age settlements, urban complex and sites of the middle ages and the ethnic minorities with thousand years old preserved cultural heritages . You will visit the most touristy sights in Baku, Absheron, Shamakhy, Gabala, Lahic, Shaki, and Guba, covering this magnificent country from East to West and South to North.
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome to the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku. Your exciting holiday kicks off as you arrive at the airport. You will meet with our professional guide and driver who will transfer you to the hotel for check-in. 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. 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 our tour to the old city of Baku- Icherisheher.
Covering twenty-two hectares of territory, this urban complex includes hundreds of monuments. Justifiably, Old city- Icherishekher is the acropolis of Baku. 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.
Continue to Nizami Street, which was the main trade street of Baku for decades. It is 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 than 3,5 kilometers. The boulevard is established on 1909 and now one of the favourite places of people. Our last stop is “Heydar Center”- a building complex designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. The building is very distinctive for its unique architectural design. 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
Today, we will have our Absheron tour… We will start the tour with a visit to Yanar Dag– one of the most famous and popular tourist places of the “eternal flame” in Azerbaijan. 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. Yanar Dag is 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.
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: Shamakhi- Lahij- Gabala
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 Gabala. It is approximately 3.5 hours drive to Gabala 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 mentioed by Ptolemaues in the 1st century AD. Shamakhy was the most important city of the region during the Middle ages. After leaving the Shamakhy, we continue to Gabala. However, there is one more place on the way you must see- this is Lahij.
After leaving the Shamakhi, we continue to Gabala. However, there is one more place on the way you must see- this is Lahij. Lahij is a remote mountain village, comprising some 2,000 residents. Located in Ismayilly disctict of Azerbaijan, on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range at a h of 1211 meters above sea level, it is one of the oldest continuously habited places in the world. We will take the opportunity here to have a lunch in Lahij village.
After Lahij we will continue to Gabala and will arrive there within one hour. The first site we will visit will be Nohurgol, a beautiful lake located 3 km away from Gabala. Dense forests surrounds the lake where you can walk and have time in green nature.
After spending about 30 minutes in Nohur Lake, we will continue to our hotel which is located in the center of Gabala. After check in and having a few hours rest, we will visit Gabala Amusement Center for some entertainment activities
Day 5: Gabala- Shaki tour
You will start a day with wonderful breakfast. At 09. 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. We will spend here around 2 hours
Them. we will continue your tour to Nij village. Nij – is the home of a special ethnic group among the Azerbaijani nationalities Udin, who are 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 Nij is open to parishioners and tourists. In fact, 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).
After exploring the Gabala we will start our tour to Shaki city. It is one of the loveliest towns of Azerbaijan. Historic Sheki was originally higher up the valley around the site now occupied by Kish. During the XIX century, 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. The name Nukha changed to Şhaki in 1960s. In Shaki, we will visit Shaki Khans Palace, Shaki Old town and Karvansarai before returning back to Gabala.
Day 6: Wine Degustation & Gabala- Baku
You will start a day with wonderful open buffet breakfast. After check out we will visit Savalan winery for tasting the locally produced wines along with the tasty snacks. Also, we will visit the grape fields and production sites to get more understating about the Azerbaijan wine making traditions.
Note: Wine degustation tour might be replaced with shooting tour if requested by all customers.
After our winery visit, we will leave for Baku.
Day 7: Gobustan and Mud Volcanoes
Our excursion to Gobustan Petroglyphs and Mud Volcanoes will cover Sangachal Caravanserai, Bibiheybat Mosque, Gobustan museum, Stone Age Petroglyphs, caves and Mud Volcanoes. Our professional guide and driver will assist you during the whole excursion. The tour will last about 5 hours with a flexible start time.
Gobustan is located on the south-east of the Great Caucasian Mountains about 60 km far south of Baku. It is a semi-desert region with numerous gullies and ravines. In fact, the meaning of Gobustan in local language means “ravine land”. Caves and rock outcroppings surround the region. Settled since the Stone Age, the area is one of the main and most ancient museums of rock engravings (petroglyphs) in the world. The most ancient petroglyphs identified here belongs to the 10-8th century BC.
The local museum is very new and has all features that tourists may ask. The museum staff is doing amazing job in preservation of the site while keeping it open to visitors. Furthermore, the whole site is UNESCO World Heritage List.
After Gobustan, we will visit Mud volcanoes-very unique site where almost 300 mud volcanoes are located. This number means, about 45% of the planet’s mud volcanoes are located in this small area. In 2001, one of the mud volcanoes erupted flames 15 meters high from the ground. Fortunately, for now there are no much activity going on there and it is safe to visit Mud volcanoes.
Day 8: Guba tour
New beautiful day starts in Baku. After breakfast and check out we are ready to start our journey to Guba and surrounding areas. During the day, we will visit:
Afurdzhin Waterfall-the highest waterfall of Azerbaijan. In translation from Russian, Afurdja means “a place where water splashes fall”. Indeed, the waterfall is very splashing.
Tenghi Canyon- amazing natural attraction and hiking trail naturally created by Caucasian Mountains Qachresh forest- very old oak tree forest and amazing tourist attraction.
Juma Mosque- 19th century mosque constructed in typical Guba province style mosques. Inside of the mosque there is a big hall with a huge 16 m diameter dome. Old Hamam- not far from the Juma Mosque, the hamam is unique construction with its beehive dome. It is no longer operational as hamam but proves to be an interesting stop on any walking tour.
Sakina-Khanum Mosque- another old mosque built in 1854 by the widow of Abbasgulu Bakikhanov. The mosque was built from red bricks and is similar to faceted cylinder.
Day 9: Guba- Baku
Unfortunately, we have to leave our lovely Guba for Baku as end of our tour here. We have 2,5 hour drive ahead. But before that, we will visit to Guba 1918 Genocide Memorial Complex to pay our respects to victims of this tragedy and to learn more about the history of Azerbaijan. We arrived in Baku and checked in. Now, we have time to rest, or alternatively to have some quick Baku shopping tour.
Day 10: Transfer/ 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.
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.