Day 1. Meet Baku
Meeting at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. City tour begins with a visit to the Upland Park.
Upland Park is located on a hill in the western part of the city. This is the best place to see the city and the Baku Bay. The architecture of the capital is very eclectic; it is a combination of different styles and influences such as barocco, classicism and modern architecture, both Eastern and Western.
The rout covers the downtown an shows the most interesting historical and architectural sights.
The tourists will visit and see the Flag Square, a new Carpet Museum – design of the building is distinguished by its originality as the museum is built in the form of a folded carpet; stroll through the Baku promenade, enjoy the look of the House of Government, the Philharmonic Theatre named after M. Magomayev, the Baku Mayor’s office and will visit the “Governor’s garden.”
Then the tour will continue visiting the “old city” that had preserved and walls and narrow cobbled streets till our days…
A number of the Soviet-time movies were shot here. Tourists will see the main attractions of the Old City, including the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs (XV cent), the symbol of the city – Maiden Tower (IX cent), Karvansarays, mosques etc.
We will continue our excursion visiting Cultural Center named after Heydar Aliyev.
Heydar Aliyev Center is a cultural center, projected as a complex structure that includes the auditorium (convention center), a museum, exhibition halls, administrative offices.
The design of the building is also notable for the fact that neither in the interior or exterior of the building has any angles.
The project of the center was designed by the winner of Pritzker prize and internationally recognized architect Zaha Hadid.
Absheron Peninsula and Gobustan Tour
Day 2. Absheron Peninsula
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of the excursion.
Azerbaijan is one of the few places on earth, where even today one can observe elements of preserved fire cult and the ancient Zoroastrianism religion. These places where oil oozes from the earth, and natural gas breaks out like flaming torches have always attracted fire worshipers from around the world. Baku, its oil, its “burning earth” have been known far beyond its borders since ancient times. The official religion of the ancient states that emerged in the VII century BC, such as Mann and Midia was Zoroastrianism. The spread of Zoroastrianism in the territory of the modern Azerbaijan was due to spontaneously flammable sources of oil and gas. Therefore, in this area such a monument as the temple Ateshgah has survived.
Fire Temple Ateshgah (literally Fire House) is located in 30 kilometers from the center of Baku, in the south-eastern outskirts of the Absheron Peninsula.
Coming up next on the program guests will visit the village Mehemmedli.
Next to this small village in the Absheron peninsula Mount Yanardagh is situated. The word “Yanar” in Azeri language means “burning”, and “Dagh” – “mountain”. And this is real a burning mountain – not metaphorically, but literally. Once in Absheron it had been a lot of places where natural gas coming out from the earth to the surface ignited spontaneously, but with the start of mass extraction of oil and gas in Absheron these places started to disappear. At present, it is the only place of this unique natural phenomenon – the output of natural gas to the surface.
Return to the hotel.
Day 3. Gobustan
Breakfast. Tour to Gobustan historical-art reserve
The reserve is well known with its perfectly preserved rock paintings – petroglyphs – a kind of artistic “archive” of human evolution on the Earth.
“Documents” of such archives is the first human’s presentation of his/her “I” to the outside world.
Gobustan Rocks are not just the brightest witnesses of the prehistoric period of human existence. They reflect the history of this region for nearly 15,000 years – since the end of the era of the Upper Paleolithic till the Middle Ages. Of particular interest are the images multi-oar boats, with a light source at the stern. They were drown above the level at which people had been portrayed, and this phenomenon set up a lot different interpretations. Today Azerbaijani scientists found, described and studied more than 4,000 petroglyphs (rock painting in the stone carving art) and this important work continues.
Before the start of the tour around Gobustan guests will visit the interactive museum with the same name, where with the help of special programs and multimedia touch screens you will get information about the nature, the flora of Gobustan.
Only few people know that Azerbaijan ranks the first place in the number of active mud volcanoes. Traces of their work can be found in Gobustan as well. These volcanoes are formations of a cone-shaped hill with a crater in the ground.
And of course, that the tourists also have the opportunity to explore them during this tour.
Return to the hotel
Day 4 Baku – Shemakha – Sheki
Breakfast in the hotel.
We go to the north-west of Azerbaijan through the Caucasus Mountains. The dry landscape around Baku replaced by dense forest mountains.
On the way to visit the city of Shamakhi, which is the largest mosque of the Caucasus “Juma”, and the tomb of the rulers of the Shirvan Shahs – “Yeddi Gyumbyaz.”
Next trip to the city of Sheki and accommodation.
Day 5 Exploring Sheki
Breakfast at the hotel.
Start exploring Sheki. Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheatre surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan’s summer Palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. Then visiting of “Shebeke”( handmade frescos) workshop, “Pakhlava”(special and famous in Azerbaijan sweet) workshop and “Tekulduz” (a kind of weaving popular in this area) workshop. Walking in the old street and visiting of different craftsman workshops.
We will continue to discover Sheki and will visit Kish village and the legendary church.
Legend says that the church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later.
Night at the hotel
Day 6 Sheki – Lahij – Baku
Tours to Azerbaijan
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out.
Accommodation in Hotel. Overnight at the Hotel in.
Later we will drive to Lahij – famous Lahij village in Ismayilly district. Most part of 2,000 people living in Lahij are involved in ancient crafts such as engraved copper work and carpet weaving. In the mid-19th century, there were more than 200 workshops in Lahij. Traders discovered Lahij crafts many centuries ago, and sold them for high prices at bazaars in Baghdad [now Iraq], Shiraz [now Iran] and other Middle Eastern cities. Stop by a copper workshop for a impromptu lesson in ancient craftsmanship you’ll get to see coppersmiths use small mallets to decorate plates, trays, jugs, goblets and pitchers, just as their ancestors have done for centuries.
After we will set up the way to Baku.
Overnight in Baku
Breakfast. 12:00 check out from the hotel. Free time. Depend on departure time transfer to the airport.