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Discover the fabulous highlights of Baku on our Full Private Day Baku City Tour. Starting in Baku, you will explore the awe-inspiring architectural and cultural legacy of this capital. Explore Baku Old City, the Shirvanshahs Palace and the Maiden Tower. See the beauty of H. Aliyev Cultural Center. During the Full Day Baku Tour, you will visit different parts of the city belonging various periods of the history of Baku starting from middle ages to the modern era. Old Town, Boulevard, Historical Buildings, Parks, Upside hill, Alleys will attract your attention. At the same time, your guide will explain main points of our culture, history and the things that are interesting for you. Firstly, we will take you to the Baku Old City. You will visit the legendary Zoroastrian Maiden Tower of the 5th c. Then we walk to the old bazaar. The entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and during our city tour we visit the oldest Multani Caravanserai, the Haji Banu Hamam from the 15th c., the Juma Mosque (Friday Mosque), which housed the carpet museum in the Soviet times, as well as the Shirvanshahs Palace (the most striking example of the medieval palace structures in Azerbaijan, dating to the middle of 15th century) antique carpet shops and museum. Once we finish old city tour, you will have lunch (Azerbaijan National Cuisine) in one of the beautifully designed restaurants in old town. After the lunch, we will continue the remaining program of sightseeing excursion. So we will visit the Upland Park of Baku where you can see the Panoramic View of the city and Bay of Baku. Our guide will give information about a flooded city, Sabayil under water of Baku Bay. Then we head to Martyrs Line or Alley of Martyrs formerly The Kirov Park, where is a cemetery and memorial in Baku dedicated to those killed by the Soviet Army during Black January. You will be also impressed by the modern district with the three Flame Towers near the Upland Park, overlooking the city. They look as if they have been thrown from heavens into the city by some fabulous giants. The Next place to visit is Baku Boulevard. 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. During Baku Bay Cruise you will enjoy splendid panoramic views of Baku from the sea while learning about Baku and its history. You will be introduced to the interesting facts and legends of the largest lake in the world better known as the Caspian Sea. After the boat trip, we will visit the Carpet Museum. It demonstrates carpets in close connection with other kinds of traditional handicrafts of Azerbaijan. Its collection includes about 14 000 traditional carpets, embroideries, costumes, copper artworks, jewelry art, as well as contemporary works of glass, wood, and felt. Now we are going to the Flag Square. We will take a turn around National Flag Square, a spacious seafront plaza dominated by a massive flagpole. Designed by David Chambers and completed in 2010, the 162 m (531 ft) standard ranks among the tallest in the world, and boasts an enormous flag of Azerbaijan visible from almost anywhere in the city. You will also have a chance of seeing the Baku Crystal Hall, which was constructed on the territory of Bakus National Flag Square specifically to host Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Once we finish Baku Boulevard tour we will head to Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center. An internationally recognized architectural marvel, Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center displays a curved modern style. Designed by the late Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the elegant building stands 74 m (243 ft) in the middle of a square and houses a museum, a gallery hall, and a grand auditorium. Explore the signature landmark, which symbolizes the modernization of Azerbaijan, and enters to observe many interesting exhibits and artistic features.
You will visit the area of the Absheron Peninsula and amazing historical and natural sights in its surroundings during this Absheron tour. You will discover Yanardag Mount often called as "eternal flame mountain" and get acquainted with famous fire temple of Ateshgah. You will also visit Gala Archeological-Ethnographical Museum complex in Gala village and Mardakan Castles. There are two castles in Mardakan and both have played an important role in Azerbaijan history dating the 13th and 14th centuries. They are known as Mardakan Towers and they have different tower shapes, one is round and the other one is rectangular. We will pick you up from your hotel and start heading to the ancient Zoroastrian Temple Ateshgah which is considered as an authentic Azerbaijani exotic site to visit. It is located approximately 30 km from the center of Baku in the suburb of Surakhany. During that period, you will learn a lot about the temple from your guide, particularly, more about a unique natural phenomenon as burning natural gas outlets. The history of Atashgah goes back to the time of the Sassanids when Zoroastrianism was the main religion in this region. During The Arab caliphate invasion, some of the fire-worshipers did not accept Islam and were eventually forced to return to India, where the history of the fire religion continued. In the second part of the visit, after visiting the temple you will directly go to the Yanar Dag which is not far from Surakhani temple. It is the most famous and popular tourist site of the “eternal flame” in Azerbaijan. Actually, it is rather a hill than a mountain, with natural gas burning on its slope from ancient times. According to local people, Yanar Dag flame was only noted when accidentally lit by a shepherd. There is no seepage of mud or liquid, which distinguishes it from the nearby mud volcanoes. Only a handful of fire mountains exist today in the world, and most are located in Azerbaijan. Today you also visit a few of Absheron Castles. Mardakan Castle: It is an ancient fortress within the Mardakan settlement of the Baku area. The tower was built and made in the four-cornered shape, in the middle of the XIV century by Shirvanshah Akhsitan son of Shirvanshah Manuchohr. Mardakan Tower was created for honoring the bright victory of Akhsitan against the enemies. Tower was useful for purposes of a shelter of feudal and of course as a watching point. The Towers peak is 22 meters, the thickness is below 2.10 meters and also 1.60 meters towards the top. Its inner yard is 28×25. The tower had been divided into 5 ranges from inside. After the lunch, we will visit Qala Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex. You can see the petroglyphs demonstrated in the open-air museum. They are the ones found in the territory of Absheron. The oldest examples of them were described by the ways of engraving, scratching and chipping. The most of these petroglyphs are dating back to 3rd- 2nd millennium, B.C. The content and structure of images have great importance. Themes and topic of Absheron petroglyphs are different. General ideological views were presented by though these images. The stages of hunting, sacrificing humans, holy marriage, etc. were demonstrated on these images.
A true gem of the Azerbaijan Tourism, Sheki, is a small city that has a whole lot to offer by way of historic attractions; in particular, the Palace of Sheki Khans which is a magnificent work of Islamic architecture. The mountain town of Sheki is one of the must-see sights of Azerbaijan. Sheki is situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheater surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk center and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. There is an assumption that the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Saks, who reached the territory of Azerbaijan in the 7th century BC. After breakfast at your hotel in Gabala, You will departure for Sheki Cty. Firstly, you will check in your hotel in Sheki, then you will start the Sheki Sightseeing Tour. Visit the Upper Town, the magnificent Palace of Sheki Khans and the Craft Museum. Built in 1797 as a summer residence for Muhammad Hasan Khan, the Palace of Sheki Khans is a masterpiece of lavish decoration. Both the exterior and interior decorations of the palace embody the architectural glamor of the ancient Sheki Khanate. In 1998, the Palace of Sheki Khans was nominated for the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites. See the majestic wooden Khans Palace, built without a single nail and filled with some of the most impressive stained glass and Islamic miniaturist fresco work in the world today. Making this fact even more incredible are the windows colored yellow, red and blue demand a closer inspection and makes. The light coming in is mesmerizing and perfect. Individual windows with each square meter consisting of 14,000 little pieces of handcrafted wood and over 5000 pieces of colored glass. Inside there are six rooms, each with their different original purpose and intricate design. Not one inch is missed with fine detail. The ground floor has a grand reception room, a rainbow of colors hits you immediately. Thousands upon thousands of images, floral to symbols of culture. Even when you look up the mind goes into awe with the shapes and detail. Mirrors perfectly placed to capture the colored light coming in. Looking at the palace from the front you cannot miss the great big sycamore trees just in front to the left and right. Dating back as old as approx 1530 they have enabled the palace to stay standing through wind, storm, and earthquakes. Also on the grounds of the summer palace, you will find a few small museums and an arts and crafts souvenir shop. The museum housed inside the old Albanian Church displays a nice collection of textiles, carpets, and embroidery from Sheki and surrounding villages. Continuing on your expedition around Sheki, we will visit the Upper Caravanserai, an architectural monument. Its a renovated caravanserai that housed traders, their goods and camels during the 18th and 19th centuries. For centuries, Sheki has been famous for its Caravanserais, hotels offering lodging and food for traders, travelers and merchants passing through. While modern times have seen the Caravanserais fall out of use, one in Sheki is still in operation, serving travelers from across the world as it has done for centuries. The Caravanserai was built to allow the animals to be sheltered, fed and watered on the lower floor of the courtyard, while the travelers and traders stayed on the upper balconies. Today the lower floors have all been turned into lodgings too. Following the tour, visit a small village of Kish to enjoy a wonderful panorama of the ruins of an ancient Albanian church and the surrounding nature. The Albanian church at Kish, home to one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, thought by many to be the very first Christian church, as mentioned by St Paul in the New Testament. The Albanians (no relation to the European country of Albania) were one of the first Christian civilizations and ruled this part of the Caucasus until around the 5th century AD. Now it is time for lunch. Piti is a traditional Azerbaijani dish - which is something of a local specialty, that you are able to try it. Piti is a chunky, aromatic stew of meat (chicken or veal), chickpeas, vegetables, and a bunch of other unidentifiable ingredients. The stew is quite fatty (sometimes with chunks of lard on top) and some pitis has a single apricot added to the mix. It is traditionally served in a small earthenware pot with lots of bread on the side. Eating piti is a bit of an art. First, tear your bread into small pieces into an empty bowl. Using the back of your spoon to keep the chunky bits in the pot, pour the piti liquid over the bread. Sprinkle with sumac and eat the sodden bread/soup as your first course. Next, you smash the remaining piti stew into a chunky paste using a special wooden pestle. (The waiter might step in at this point to help you.) Once youve finished the soup and smashed the stew, transfer it to your bowl to eat as a second course. After the lunch, you will visit Museum of carpets (there are various big rooms with pottery, silk embroidery, and national costumes, jewelry) Shebeke craft workshop, Sheki Bazaar, and the local sweet bakery. You can also try the famous Sheki baklava. This sweet is much known in Azerbaijan, even not only in Azerbaijan but also in other bordering regions. Shaki baklava is the pride of Shaki population, this is a sweet, which every stranger coming to Azerbaijan, has to taste. Many people say that you have to see a master cooking it, to feel this sweet. The very thin pastries on the bottom and on the top of it make it crispy, a thick layer of blended nuts inside makes it soft. Its very difficult to cook it, and even in Azerbaijan, not every confectionery is good at it. The best option to buy the Shaki baklava is to buy it from its motherland: Shaki. After a long day delving into the many treasures of Sheki, come back at your accommodation to wind down for a while. Then get ready for dinner in one of the best local restaurants. Before you make the return trip to your accommodation for the night, enjoy the local food, as you like.
Gabala, or also and more locally known as Qabala, is one of the most ancient cities in Azerbaijan. Rich in culture, rich in activities and most definitely rich in sights . In the mountain region to the North of the country, you can see more of the local culture, sights, and activities: Sport, Hiking, Fishing, Hunting, Skiing and the list goes on. Unique, interesting, fascinating and delightful. Roman scholar Pliny the Elder who lived in the 1st century AD, in his work Naturalis Historia, called the 2400-year-old town of Gabala located on the ancient Silk Road as Kabalaka. Greek geographer Ptolemy called Gabala as Khabala, while Arab historian Belazuri as Khazar. Gabala truly is one of the most beautiful places in Azerbaijan, a mountainous town that hosts an International Classic Music Festival and International Piano Competition every year. The Gabala Music Festival has seen worlds famous classic performers including London Royal Philarmonic Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the Tartini Quartet and others. The people of Azerbaijan are well-known for their love of music, especially classic music. It is very common for many families in Azerbaijan to have piano and national music instruments such as tar or saz Today we will explore Gabala. Take a deep breath as you leave your hotel after having a delicious breakfast and breathe in the fresh Gabala air for the first time. You are in the ancient capital of Azerbaijan and this veritable melting pot of culture and tradition is a joy to explore. Whilst traveling through Gabala in the north of Azerbaijan you will take the time to experience a small part but significant part of the religious tolerance within the country. Religion is 100 percent removed from the state here and freedom of religion is something you feel brings pride and togetherness. For a country that is 95% Muslims the signs and support for all religions are evident. If a new church is built for whatever denomination, the heads of all other religions are invited. First, we will visit the Church of the Udi, near Gabala, in the village of Nij. This small church is special. It belongs to the native people of this part of the world – The Udi people. One of the most ancient of the Caucuses with mentions dating back to 5BC. There are only a few thousand Udi people in the world today and the majority, approx. 4.000 live in this area and village in Azerbaijan. Today they practice Orthodox Christianity and you will be welcomed with their kindness to see their church, renovated and used. In their homes, a flame always burns and the moon plays a great part in their beliefs. All signs that they followed much more before Christianity. They have kept their own language but of course, most are bilingual. Farming plays an important role with the Udi language naming calendar months after things like grapes and seeds. You will then head to Chukhur Gabala, home to interesting ruins from its time as the former capital of Caucasian Albania, along with the famed Silk Road, beginning in the 4th century BC. During the tour, the guide will explain interesting facts about the history, cultural heritage of Gabala. Now that you have seen Chukhur Gabala, it is time to get yourself acquainted with the Gabala Archeology Center. The three-storey building of the Gabala Archeology Center has a showroom, an archeological collection, a restoration lab, a conference hall and study rooms for archeologists. The office of the Gabala state historical-artistic reserve is here too. So here, you can see the exhibition features about 1,500 items discovered during excavation. The items found are put on display at the Archeology Center after restoration in the labs equipped with the most sophisticated technologies. From here, you will come back to Hotel for lunch. Following the lunch, it is time to visit the must-see natural beauties of Gabala. First, you will head to the Gabala Lake, where you can ride a non-powered boat. The Gabala Lake is a gem, half natural, half man-made. It is brimming with activities galore and especially in summer. Then continue on to the Seven Beauties Waterfall.
Gobustan National Park is one of Azerbaijans most popular sights that attracts thousands of tourists annually. You will spend overall 6 hours in order to enjoy this trip. Visit the Mud Volcanos near Gobustan State Reserve where has more than 600,000 rock paintings, which depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars, on the average dating back to 5,000-20,000 years. Azerbaijan keeps the first place in the world for the number of mud volcanoes. About 300 mud volcanoes are to be found in Azerbaijan – at the shore, in the sea, and on islands. During this trip, you will get a great chance to see these amazing active volcanoes from very close distance. Gobustan National Park is one of Azerbaijans most popular sights attracting thousands of tourists annually. Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape covers three areas of a plateau of rocky boulders rising out of the semi-desert of central Azerbaijan, with an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 rock engravings bearing testimony to 40,000 years of rock art. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements, and burials, all reflecting an intensive human use by the inhabitants of the area during the wet period that followed the last Ice Age, from the Upper Paleolithic to the Middle Ages. The site, which covers an area of 537 ha, is part of the larger protected Gobustan Reservation. Start your day with a breakfast at your hotel and enjoy a beautiful drive out of Baku to visit the Gobustan National Park. You will travel 64 km southwest of Baku along with the Caspian shore. On the way to Gobustan, you will see the geography of the region covered with volcanic desert, craggy stones, and withered mountains. The tour will start off from Gobustan Museum where you will see ancient human bones, work tools used in back to thousand years ago during the Mesolithic Period.Then, you will advance to the mountain in order to see real Rock Paintings in the open air museum. You will also get a chance to marvel at the Mud Volcanoes in the Gobustan Reserve which is home to almost half of the worlds mud volcanoes.Nowhere else in the world are there so many mud volcanoes as in Azerbaijan – which has literally hundreds of these strange things, more than in the rest of the world put together. While most of Azerbaijans many mud volcanoes are way off any tourist routes, the ones near Gobustan are the exception to the rule. The mud volcanoes of Gobustan are not the biggest specimens of their kind, but they are fascinating all the same. In fact, their comparatively small size has the advantage that you can get right up close – you can even touch the mud if you like (its indeed just cold mud, as we can testify). The best bit, however, is just watching the bubbly action. And listening to it. Many of these flatulent little vents make rather suggestive noises. How much action there will be at any given time will vary a bit, but at the very least you should be able to see some bursting gas bubbles and spluttering ejections of mud from the more virile volcano vents. Most of them are on the top of cones some 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) high, but there is also one flat, almost perfectly circular mud lake a bit off the mud volcano cones proper. At the end of the Gobustan tour, you will return to Baku. On the way back to Baku, we will have lunch at a local restaurant on the Caspian Sea Coast. After the lunch we will see the Bibi-Heybat Mosque. It is a historical mosque in Baku. 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, and today is the spiritual center for the Muslims of the region and one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture in Azerbaijan. It is locally known as "the mosque of Fatima", which is what Alexandre Dumas called it when he described the mosque during his visit in the 1840s.
Quba - one of the largest cities in Azerbaijan.The city is located 170 km to the north of Baku right on the picturesque hillsides. In the past, it was the capital of Quba Khanate which was founded in the mid 18th century. The unsurpassed beauty of the local mountains was praised by such famous people as Alexander Duma-father, the Russian writer Bestuzhev-Mariinsky, the Norwegian traveler Thor Heyerdahl and others. Indeed, the sceneries of Quba are hard to describe with words. It seems nature has collected there the brightest colors: juicy greens of the alpine meadows, white snow caps, rapid transparent-blue mountain rivers. The notorious architectural landmarks are Juma Mosque (19th century), Sakina-Khanum Mosque, Zoroastrian Temple in Khinalug village, and etc. The symbols of Quba are apple orchards and beautiful Quba carpets which are popular far outside Azerbaijan. Today we leave the peninsula and head for Quba, the main town in northeastern Azerbaijan. Traditionally, Quba is most famous for carpet making and apple growing. We take a walk through the city center; see the beautiful mosques, a fort and an old bathing house (the old Hammam). Quba Juma Mosque was built in the 19th century. This mosque was constructed in typical Quba province style mosques. Inside of the mosque, there is a big hall crowned with a huge 16 m diameter dome. Sakina-Khanum Mosque was built in 1854 by the widow of Abbasgulu Bakikhanov. The mosque was built from red bricks and is similar to a faceted cylinder. Each facet has a window in the form of a semicircular arch. The top of the facade is surrounded by an original eaves made from small bricks. From the top, this stately building is crowned with a big white metal dome in the shape of a multi-faceted helmet. The top of the dome is decorated by a graceful thin spike. You can also have a chance of seeing Chuchur hammam which dates back 18-19 centuries.The hammam is unique in its beehive shaped dome made of brick. The Chukhur hammam is now under reconstruction and will be operated as a museum. Then we visit a carpet factory. Quba was an important carpet-weaving center in Azerbaijan for a long time. The names of various villages nearby – like Shahnazarli, Chichi, Perpedil – identify some of the most typical and arresting patterns in the Azerbaijan carpet heritage.There is a large hall full of frames for carpets of different sizes in Quba Carpet Factory. we will be shown the process of creating the hand-made carpets. Weavers work around 8 hours per day and it takes them around 4-6 months to complete a medium size rug (depending on density and difficulty of the pattern). For creating a carpet they use only three hand tools: a knife, a beater, and scissors. This work requires a lot of concentration and patience. After lunch, we explore the suburb of Quba – the Red Town – known as the worlds only settlement with a compact settlement of the Mountain Jews, whose community comprises only about 100,000 people worldwide. Now lets cross the bridge over the river and visit the Jewish settlement. We meet a representative of this Jewish community, who will make us acquainted with the history, origin and current state of affairs of these people. We also visit the local synagogue. The most widely spoken language in the Red Town is Juhuri. While the Mountain Jews had been in the area around Quba since at least the 13th century, the formal creation of the Red Town is traced back to the 18th century, when in 1742 the Khan of Quba, Feteli Khan, gave the Jews permission to set up a community free of persecution across the river from the city of Quba. Originally referred to as Yevreiskaya Sloboda (Jewish Settlement), the name was changed to the Red Settlement under Soviet rule. The town has had an influx of financial support from relatives living in Israel and features the new Bet Knesset Synagogue. Khinalug: The Lost World on the Top of Mountains The second day of our Quba trip is supposed to visit Khinalug village. We will leave the hotel for Khinalug village after we have breakfast. You will see the beautiful view of natural scenery along the road to Khinalug. Khinalug is located on the peak of a 2,300-metre mountain and resembles Machu Pichu. Stone houses tightly plaster steep slopes. Some of them are hundreds of years old, others were built quite recently, but they all look similar, for the building methods have not changed for centuries. The houses are connected to one another, creating vertical quarters. The flat roofs are used as yards by the neighbors living higher up. The slopes of Shahdag, Tufandag, and Qizilqaya – the mountain ranges – rising over Khinalug are one enormous graveyard. Bones washed out by water and polished by the wind, cover dozens of hectares.This is a true chronicle of the aul. They testify to the fact that people have been inhabiting the territory of the upper Kudyal since the dawn of history. Contemporary Khinalug has two thousand inhabitants. They are a separate tribe, or perhaps even a separate nation. They speak Khinalug, which is not understood even in the nearest villages. They have their own alphabet, formed in times of Khrushchev, based on the Cyrillic alphabet, and containing as many as seventy-seven letters. The majority of the fifty-nine consonants are unpronounceable for a Pole. You will explore the unique culture, meet local people, get useful information about the village
The historical monuments are protected in the region. The remains of the fortress walls of the village of Anig of XIII century, the mausoleum of Sheikh Juneyd near Hazra village, ancient mosques in villages of Hil, Anig, Balagusar, Yasab, Old Khudat, Gunduzqala are such kind of monumentsd. There are also cultural and recreational park in the center of the region. From ancient folk art carpet-weaving, embroidery, wood carving arts are well developed in Gusar. There are recreation centers within the region. Shahdag Tour is located in the picturesque and calm place in the mountains, 230 km north of Baku. It features a spa area with an indoor swimming pool, a gym, a sauna and a Turkish steam bath. The on-site restaurant offers various Azerbaijan and European dishes. A buffet breakfast is served every morning, and guests can have a drink at the elegant bar. Guests can go cycling, horse riding and hiking. The hotel offers its own skiing school and provides convenient access to the slopes. Also it is possible to order massage services, and there is a childrens playground on site.