Azerbaijan-Where East meet West
Tour Duration 7 nights / 8 days
Meeting at the airport.
Accommodation at the hotel 4 * in the city
19:00. Excursion. "Lights of the Evening Baku".
Tour "Lights of Evening Baku" begins with a visit to Mountain Park. It is here that the "City of Winds", as Baku is often called, opens to you in all its glory. The observation platform located on the highest part of the city, near the "Burning Flame Tower" shows the city with all its bright lights bordering Baku Bay reflecting the measured pace of life in the evening Baku. Further we continue our excursion to one of the favorite places of the walk of the Baku guests of the city of all ages and social groups, a place where no one is in a hurry in the evening - "Baku Boulevard". The national park, sometimes called the "diamond necklace of Baku", stretches along Baku Bay for 16 km. At each time of the day the boulevard has its charm - in the morning you can walk in silence, feel unity with nature, go in for sports, during the day, especially on weekends, the boulevard is fully revived thanks to the small inhabitants of the capital, riding on attractions, rollerblades and bicycles, in the evening it turns in the magical world of dreams for all lovers. And the original illumination and illumination of the park, fountains and other innovations give our boulevard a special charm. At the end of our excursion "Lights of Evening Baku" we will go to the most lively and central street of the city of Nizami "Torgovaya street" as it is also called from the old times. Trading is the longest of Baku's streets (its length reaches 3.5 km). It is also called the most beautiful street in Baku - it has a large number of architectural monuments, beautiful houses, cinemas, parks, many modern boutiques and shops.
Transfer to the hotel and free time
Overnight at the hotel.
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion. "Baku City Tour".
The tour begins with a visit to one of the modern and most recognizable places of the "Heydar Aliyev Center". The center of Heydar Aliyev is a cultural center, which is a complex building, which includes an auditorium (congress center), a museum, exhibition halls, administrative offices. The project of the center was designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid. Baku is a city that combines modern and ancient, traditional and unusual. This applies to the religions represented here and our next attraction is the church of the "Holy Wives of the Myrrhbearers". In the Soviet period, the temple was closed one of the first in 1920. First there was a warehouse in it, and then a gym. In the days of the January events of 1990, two shells hit the bell tower of the temple, due to which it was partially destroyed, the floor sagged, the walls cracked, and the roof collapsed. In 1991, the dilapidated building of the church was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church. On May 27, 2001, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia made a great consecration of the Holy Mother of God Church and conferred on him the status of a cathedral of the diocese. After inspecting the temple, we are on our way to the Nagorny Park. It is here that the "City of Winds", as Baku is often called, opens to you in all its glory. The observation platform located on the highest part of the city, near the sleeping "The Languages of Flame" shows the city with all its beauties and greenery bordering Baku Bay. After viewing the observation deck, we go down the stairs and head towards the "Bibi Abyat Mosque". Bibi-Heybat Mosque (Azerbaijan's Bibiheybət məscidi) is a mosque located on the shore of Baku Bay, in Azerbaijan. The existing structure, built in the 1990s, is a reconstruction of the mosque of the same name, built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Abu-l-Fath Farrukhzad and completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936, when a fierce struggle with religion was going on throughout the territory of the USSR. The Bibi-Eybat complex, in addition to the mosque, includes tombs and tombs of revered people (including the grave of Ukeima Khanum, the descendant of the Prophet Muhammad), as before destruction, and today is a spiritual center for Muslims of the East and one of the significant monuments of Islamic architecture of Azerbaijan. The mosque was once visited by Abaskuli-aga Bakikhanov, Alexander Dumas, Khurshudbanu Natavan. The local population in the past called it "the mosque of Fatima". Using the same name, described the mosque and visited it in the 40 years of the XIX century, Alexander Dumas. At the end of the modern Baku tour we visit the world's first oil well drilled in the Bibi-eibat oil-bearing region.
Visit to the old town of Icheri Sheher
Very often Icheri Sheher is called a fortress, as it is surrounded by a well-preserved fortress wall. People in the territory of Icheri Sheher lived in the Bronze Age, and by the 8th-11th centuries it was completely populated. Behind the walls there are many unique monuments: the palace complex of the Shirvanshahs with a burial vault, a sofa, a mosque; "Gyz Galasy" ("The Maiden's Tower"); mosques and minarets, the remains of caravanserais, baths. Buildings of the old fortress are of a special nature. Because of the lack of the territory of the building, the wall to the wall was erected here from ancient times. There are no gardens, the yards are extremely small and separated by "threads" of narrow streets, lanes and dead ends. When the Shirvanshahs moved their capital from Shemakha to Baku in the 15th century, massive buildings began in Icheri Sheher. During this period the pearl of the fortress was built - the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. It should be noted that Baku XVII-XIX centuries did not go beyond the boundaries of Icheri Sheher. Here were located the palaces of the rulers, and residential quarters. From 1747 to 1806 there was the capital of the Baku Khanate. Only after the beginning of the oil boom, the city began to expand and goes beyond the boundaries of Icheri Sheher.
The fortress wall itself is of interest. Once Baku had two of them, and they were separated by moats, but at the beginning of the XIX century, the city grew so fast that it was necessary to demolish and build the outer wall. Remained only the inner wall. It has 25 towers and 5 gates. They say that back in the 30s. Twentieth century in the fortress there were more than 900 buildings, and by the beginning of the XXI century only half remained.
Overnight at the hotel.
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion. "Fire worships Temple Ateshgyah + Burning Mountain Yanardagh".
The Temple of Eternal Fire - Ateshgyah - is an authentic Azerbaijani exotic. It is well-known practically all over the world. It is located 30 km from the center of Baku in the suburb of Surakhany. This territory is known for such unique natural phenomenon as burning natural gas outlets (underground gas coming onto surface contacts oxygen and lights up). The temple in its present state was constructed in the 17th-18th centuries. It was built by the Baku-based Hindu community related to Sikhs.
However, the history of the Temple is even longer. From times immemorial this was the holy place of Zoroastrians- fire worshippers (approximately beginning of our era). They attributed mystical significance to the inextinguishable fire and came there to worship the relic.
After the introduction of Islam Zoroastrian temple was destroyed. Many Zoroastrians left to India and there continued their worship. But in the 15th -17th centuries the Hindus-fire worshippers who came to Absheron with trading caravans began to make pilgrimages to Surakhany. The Indian merchants started erection of the temple. The earliest temple part is dated 1713. The latest - the central temple-altar was built with the support of merchant Kanchangar in 1810. During the 18th century chapels, cells, a caravanserai were added to the central part of the temple. On у can find carved inscriptions in Indian lettering there.
In the early 19th century the Temple acquired its present-day appearance. Ateshgah is a pentagonal structure with a castellation and entrance portal. In the center of a yard the altar-sanctuary executed in the form of a stone bower on which angles some more centers are located towers. In the center of an altar - a well from which beat "eternally" burning gas.
Burning Mountain Yanardagh
One of the most famous and popular tourist places of the "eternal flame” in Azerbaijan is the mountain of Yanar Dag. Actually, it is rather a hill than a mountain, with natural gas burning on its slope from ancient times. Meter-long tongues of fire are licking the stratified earth approximately for 10 m in width, searing those who approached too close. People occupy the benches to watch the blazing hill in the evening, when the its sight is most effective.
Yanar Dag is located 25 km to the north from Baku, in Mehemmedi village. There are buses running to it from the city, so you can get there fairly cheap and easy. From the year 2007 Yanar Dag is declared a state-protected conservation area.
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion. "Shemakha + Sheki".
Shamakhi is an ancient Azerbaijani city. Originated in the 5th century. BC. e. In the IX-XVI centuries. - the capital of the Shirvan kingdom, the residence of the Shirvanshahs is one of the most beautiful cities of the East. From the middle of the XVIII century - the center of Shemakhan khanate.For a long time, Shemakha was one of the most important points throughout the Great Silk Road. This is due to the fact that the city for a long time was one of the centers of the Shirvan-Apheron architectural school and the school of decorative and applied art (carpet making) and miniatures.Located at the intersection of caravan routes, Shemakha was one of the major trade and craft centers in the Middle East, occupying an important place in the trade in silk, as early as the 16th century trade ties between Shemakha and Venetian merchants were mentioned. In Shemakha, Azerbaijani, Iranian, Arab, Central Asian, Russian, Indian and West European merchants were trading, who owned factories there, had numerous silk-weaving, paper-spinning and carpet workshops. The city became famous as the home of many prominent Azerbaijani philosophers, architects and scientists, and poets such as Khagani, Nasimi, Sabir. Famous sights of Shemakha
Diri-Baba. Diri Baba is a unique monument, a two-story mosque-mausoleum of the 15th century, located on the road from Baku to Shemakha in the village of Maraza opposite the old cemetery. For a long time, local residents believed that this place was buried and remained an imperishable saint named Diri-Baba. However, this monument is associated with many legends and mystical details. Therefore, since the 17th century, it began to attract many pilgrims and ordinary travelers. The peculiarity of the structure is that the architect, as it were, "built" the tomb in the rock, and it seems as if it is kept "on weight", torn from the ground. The tomb admires the strictness of architecture, the purity of the lines, and against the background of irregularities of the dark rock the light and smooth surface of its walls, standing out, seems solemn.
Juma mosque. This Azerbaijani mosque is the oldest and largest in the Caucasus. According to legend, it was founded in the 8th century, when Shemakha was chosen as a residence by the Arab caliph. The exact date of its construction is 744, which was established as a result of research conducted by the geological commission arrived from Tiflis, headed by Prince Shakuli Kajar. This date was determined by the Arabic inscription on the facade of the Juma mosque, which indicates the 126th year of the Muslim calendar as the date of foundation. It was at this time that construction of new religious buildings (mosques) began in the territory of modern Azerbaijan. The Juma mosque in Shemakha is the earliest mosque in the Caucasus after the Derbent Cathedral Friday Mosque, built in 734.
Yeddi Gumbes. The mausoleum of Yeddi Gumbes or the "Seven domes", the appearance of which dates back to the 15th century, is located at the foot of the fortress of Gyulistan. This is the name of the Shirvan rulers' tomb in Shamakhi. Here noble representatives from the Shirvanshah dynasty are buried. Seven domes - that's how many tombstones are in the crypt. At present, they represent dilapidated stone domes, as if grown directly from under the earth in the middle of a deserted cemetery district. That's why the very atmosphere of this place seems fabulously mysterious.
Lagich. Lahic is a village named after the name of the lagic tribe that came here in the 4th - 5th centuries from the territory of Iran. This historical and architectural monument was built in the 5th century on the territory of the canyon of the river Girdimanchai. Old mosques and baths, medieval water supply and sewerage system are preserved here.Despite the fact that the village is declared a historical and cultural reserve, the local population is still living here, mainly engaged in handicrafts: the manufacture of elegant household items made of copper (kazan, trays, jugs), leather, carpet weaving and agriculture. From time immemorial, the Lahic tribe traded with its products, which became known throughout the Middle East. And today in special workshops and souvenir shops visiting tourists can buy a variety of handmade products: carpets, dishes, daggers and much more.
Departure to Sheki
Overnight in Sheki
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion. " Sheki+ Gakh".
Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient settlements of Azerbaijan. It is located 700 m above sea level and as an amphitheater is surrounded by mountains. This ancient city has long been known as the center of silk and an important transit point on the Great Silk Road. We will begin our tour to Sheki with a visit to the Summer Palace of Khan with magnificent frescoes and exquisite handmade window decorations. Then we'll visit the workshop, where we can get acquainted with the process of manufacturing "Shebeke" by local artisans. Next, we will visit the workshop for cooking the delicious "Sheki Pahlavas", famous throughout Azerbaijan.
Excursion to Kish.
Our acquaintance with Sheki continues with a visit to the Albanian church, which is located in the village of Kish. According to the legend, this church is the first Christian church built not only in the territory of Caucasian Albania, but in the whole of Transcaucasia. This place is also remarkable, as burial places of people were found on the territory of the temple, which in their structure are very different from the current inhabitants of this region. In 2003, the church was restored to the money of the Norwegian government thanks to the personal efforts of Tour Heyerdahl. Here, next to the territory of the Church, you can find a memorial bust, in honor of a famous researcher set as a token of gratitude from local residents and the state.
Excursion to Ilisu - SULTANS GARDEN WITH WATER AROMAT
This region of Azerbaijan is a treasure trove of historical and natural sights, it is necessary to write books about it, to dedicate epic poems, to compile encyclopedias; one article can not cope with a description of all that can and should be seen in the vicinity of Gakh. Therefore, we will not talk about the district, but we will talk about the village of Ilis with its rich history, which stones of fortresses, which have remained since the Middle Ages, still tell.In the village of Ilisu there are several historical architectural monuments - for example, the juma mosque, which differs from all previously seen mosques by its minimalism, the absence of a dome and a minaret, modesty in performing mihrab. In Ilis there are two more sights of this kind that you will meet along the road: the fortress of Syangar Gala and Sumug gala. The fortress of Syangar Gala (Shamilin Galasy) is named so in honor of the famous imam, the leader of the mountaineers of the Caucasus. According to the story, the inhabitants of Ilisu themselves appealed to him for help in the fight against the Russian Empire, and the fortress is a living witness of those years. In order to see it well, you will have to climb a small crest on which it is located. Departure to Gandzha
Return to the hotel.
Overnight in Gandzha
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Excursion. "Ganja is a city of Khans and Poets".
Ganja, as a fabulously beautiful city, could not appear just like that. According to legend, it was based on the place where the traveler Maazid found a huge treasure - these were pots filled with precious stones and gold. The city was named after this incredible find, and several centuries later became the second most important in Azerbaijan. By the way, the famous Great Silk Road passed through Ganja. Today the city is participating in a project to restore this ancient trade route. Many sights of Ganja are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The old fortress. The remains of the once high fortress can be seen at Khansky Garden in Ganja. Now from its former greatness there were only formless brick blocks. The fortress wall stretched along the entire bank of the Ganjachay River. But over time, the water, which served as the faithful guard of the fortress, crept closer and undermined the already dilapidated walls.
Once there were two powerful towers at a distance of about 600 meters from each other. The famous gates of ancient Ganja served as the gates of the fortress.
Ensemble of Sheikh Bahauddin. The 17th century historical and architectural complex created by Sheikh Bahauddin includes the Juma Mosque (Shah Abbas Mosque), Chekyak-Khamam (medieval bathhouse) and the caravanserai.
The Juma mosque was built during the reign of Shah Abbas, and that's why it is sometimes called that way. It is the undoubted pride of Ganja. The building was built according to the project of the architect, astronomer and vizier Shah Abbas - Sheikh Bahauddin, direct descendant of Nizami.
The mosque of red brick, is a squat, broad building. It consists of a prayer hall divided into two halves (for men and women) with a large screen and small adjoining rooms. The windows of the mosque are decorated with patterned lattices-shebeke. Before the massive gates of the mosque, once spread the market square, surrounded by benches and century-old plane trees. The roof of the mosque is a huge metal dome with a diameter of 17 meters.
At the mosque there are two high minarets, crowned with towers for inspection of the surroundings. The minarets were restored and slightly modified in the 19th century.
In the courtyard of the mosque there is a madrassa built at the same time, which, unfortunately, was destroyed during the Soviet era. However, at present both facilities are restored and function perfectly.
The Juma mosque has one interesting feature. Since Sheikh Bahauddin was an excellent astronomer, he applied his knowledge in construction. Thus, at precisely noon, the shadow that falls on the western wall of the building disappears. This indicated to the faithful that it was the time of midday salah. To this day Gyandzha people are checking the disappearing shadow of the time - accuracy is absolute.
Chokyak-Hamam is a bathhouse consisting of two communicating rooms. In the center of the large hall are a swimming pool and a fountain (it is intended for relaxation), a small one is designed for swimming. Built from red brick, the bath has two large and five small domes. At the top of the large domes there are half-domes that played the role of a fan: from them the ventilation pipes dispersed through the space inside the walls, in the winter it was hot there and in the summer it was cool. The sauna was heated with firewood. In the basement there were two steam boilers. Steam was fed into the halls along ceramic pipes, which also pass through the walls and the floor of a bath. Steam evenly circulated and heated the entire room. This unique system of the 400-year-old bathhouse worked perfectly until 1963. And all these centuries the bath was very popular among the townspeople.
Caravan-sarai is the third time building in the ensemble of Sheikh Bahauddin. Today, the building of the medieval caravanserai plays the role of the Temple of Knowledge. At the end of the 20th century, the Ganja Humanitarian College is conveniently located here. The caravanserai is a two-storey building, comprising 15 rooms and 54 rooms. The museum also houses the museum of the poetess Meskheti Ganjavi.
Dzhavadhan Mausoleum. Not long ago, on the territory of the historical ensemble, in the courtyard of the mosque, on the site of the grave of the fearless ruler of Ganja - Javadkhan, who died on January 3, 1804, while protecting Ganja from foreign invaders, a tomb was built. In the 1990s, the remains of Javadhana were moved here from the ancient city cemetery. The construction started in 2004 lasted several months. When it was erected, the builders adhered to the requirements of the medieval architecture school. The monument was opened in 2005 and occupied a worthy place among other monuments of the 17th century.
Mausoleum of the Imamzadeh. The mausoleum of Sheikh Ibrahim, erected on the burial ground of the son of Imam Mohammed Bagir, who died in the 6th century, is one of the main sights of the city. The mausoleum is also known as "Gay-Imam", which originated from the blue color of its dome, and "Imam-Paste", which is the traditional name of the mausoleums, where the descendants of the Prophet Ali are buried (literally "Imam-Paste" can be translated as "Son of the Prophet" ).The mausoleum of the Imam-pahe is a Muslim shrine, where pilgrims annually commit hundreds of believers. The complex of the mausoleum includes a cemetery, small mosques, a caravanserai and other structures. All of them were subsequently surrounded by a brick wall. The most beautiful in the whole ensemble is the dome of the mausoleum, lined with bright blue tile tiles. On the blue lining clearly stands out a dark blue stamped pattern. The height of the dome is 2.7 meters, diameter is 4.4 meters. The height of the mausoleum is 12 meters. In the 19th century, the mausoleum was restored, but despite this, it looks rather old. The mosque at the mausoleum is still functioning.
Mausoleum of Nizami Ganjavi. Nizami Ganjavi, born in 1141, was one of the most educated people of his time. World renown he received as the author of "Hamsa" (Pyateritsy), in which five poems were combined, reflecting not only the high skill of the poet's pen, but also his ethical and philosophical views. Most of Nizami's lyrics are devoted to love. Other world-famous works by Nizami are the poems "Khosrov and Shirin", "Leyli and Majnun", "Iskender-nime".
To this day, the mausoleum remains a place of pilgrimage and the worship of poets. It is located at the entrance to the city from the south-west side. The tomb is a modern monumental structure of a cylindrical form made of red granite, carved in the manner of semicircular facets. Below is the entrance, which seems just tiny on the background of the grandeur of the whole building. The name Nizami is carved in gold right above the entrance.
Transfer to Baku
Overnight in Baku
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Forty kilometers from Baku there is Gala, the 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. The territory of 1.2 ha hosts old-time houses – portable tents made of animal skins, subsequently replaced by stone and beaten cobworks with cupolas, an ancient blacksmith shop, market, pottery, bakery, threshing mill and other interesting medieval buildings. You can see, touch, and take picture of all of them. You can even try to bake bread in a common oven, weave a carpet, muddy in pottery or feed camels, horses and donkeys, peacefully resting in their stalls.
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.
Overnight in hotel
09:00 Breakfast at the hotel.
Free time to visit the eastern market, shops with sweets and souvenir shops.
Transfer to the airport
Visa upon arrival at international airports of Azerbaijan can be obtained only by citizens of Turkey, Israel, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. For citizens of Russia and the CIS (except for Turkmenistan), a visa is not required to Azerbaijan. Citizens of other countries must obtain a visa prior to arrival, through the consulates of Azerbaijan in their country or to issue an electronic visa through our travel agency. To apply for a visa, contact our managers at least 4 weeks before arriving in Azerbaijan.
Local currency: Manat
The recommended currency for the exchange is: USD or EURO.
Where to exchange currency: Upon arrival at the airport, the guide will provide accurate information on where and how to exchange cash for local currency.
Availability of ATM: Only in large cities.
Accept credit cards: Only in large cities.
The cost of the tour from 640 USD per person for a stay in Double room includes:
Accommodation in hotel 4 * double room on the program based on breakfast.
Transfers and transportation according to the program.
Excursions on the program.
Services of a Russian-speaking or English-speaking guide.
Entrance tickets to museums.
Lunch - from 15 USD (local alcoholic beverages included)
Dinner - from 20 USD (alcoholic drinks of local manufacture are included)
Supplement for single accommodation: $ 150 per tour
The cost of a visa is 40 USD (if not citizens of the CIS),
Charges for photo - and video shooting in museums
The firm reserves the right to change the order of visiting excursion objects, keeping the program as a whole.
The company reserves the right to change the cost of the tour provided that it is notified in time.
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