Colors of Azerbaijan Tour

Baku, Quba, Khinalig Village, Nakhchivan, Shamakhi, Lahic, Sheki, Kish

The Colors of Azerbaijan Tour with brighten your vacation with a canvas of Azerbaijani life and culture. Diverse activities include craft and carpet weaving workshops, lunch with a local family, exploring castles and caravanserais, deciphering petroglyphs, marveling at mud volcanoes, learning about local heroes at sacred mausoleums and touring an ancient mosque, synagogue, church and Zoroastrian temple.
Azerbaijan is a tapestry of manmade marvels such as Old Baku, Nakhchivan’s Alinja Castle and Shamakhi’s Juma Mosque, sites accentuated by natural wonders literally bursting through the landscape of Gobustan National Park and Absheron Peninsula. Yet the kaleidoscopic culture seen in Lahic and Khinalig villages and the artisanship of cities such as Quba and Sheki are the real finishing touches to this gorgeous land.

Arrive in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. You will be met by our driver for drop-off at the hotel, where check-in begins at noon. Have a rest, followed by a private, guided walking tour of Old Baku (Icheri Sheher) to see several historical monuments:

  • Maiden Tower (date unconfirmed), an ancient fortress believed to have once been a fire temple, it is now a city symbol which affords a great view of Baku from the top.
  • Palace of the Shirvanshahs (15th century), a UNESCO ensemble and Azerbaijan’s finest example of medieval architecture, it includes a mosque, bathhouse and entrance gates.
  • Multani Caravanserai (15th century), built as a haven for Indian merchants and fire worshipers hailing from the city of Multan in present-day Pakistan.
  • Juma Mosque (12th century, rebuilt 1899), defined by intricate stone carvings and an adjacent 14th-century minaret, it was constructed on the site of a Zoroastrian temple.
  • Market Square (17th century), a plaza filled with winding streets and shops selling carpets, souvenirs and antiques.
Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Tour duration: approximately 4 hours
Meals provided: none

Depart your hotel in Baku and drive to Gobustan National Park (60km, 1hr), located on the west bank of the Caspian Sea.

  • Start your excursion at Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and open-air gallery dating back to 10000 BC. Walk along the trail, enjoying the gorgeous view as you discover nearly 6000 petroglyph inscriptions.
  • Explore the small Petroglyph Museum, which provides a brief introduction to the park’s cultural and ecological history.
  • Drive to the Mud Volcanoes (10km, 15min), an unusual natural phenomena where underground gases bubble up from the earth in a mixture of mud and methane.

Return to Baku. On the way, visit:

  • Bibi Heybat Mosque (dates vary) to see a central piece of Azerbaijani Islamic architecture, the tomb of the prophet Muhammad’s descendent Ukeyma Khanum.
  • Yanar Dag (Burning Mountain), a natural gas fire which has been burning for thousands of years due to the large reservoir of gas under the Absheron Peninsula.
  • Ateshgah Fire Temple (dates vary), a historic center of Zoroastrian worship and philosophical teaching.
Return to the capital. Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Meals provided: breakfast

A driver and guide will meet you at your Baku hotel to drive to Quba (170km, 2hrs 30min).
On the way, stop at Besh Barmag Dag (Five-Finger Mountain), a local holy site whose jagged cliffs resemble five fingers.
In Quba District you’ll visit:

  • Alti Gumbaz (Six Dome Synagogue, 19th century), located in the town of Qirmizi Qasaba, also known as Red Village. The settlement is home to the Mountain Jews and is one of the world’s largest Jewish-only towns outside of Israel.
  • Arched Bridge (19th century), connecting Red Village with Quba city across the Kudyalchay River. Also called Kudyalchay Bridge or Red Bridge, its unique design is seen nowhere else in Azerbaijan.
  • Qadim Quba Carpet Workshop, where you’ll learn about the art of traditional Azerbaijani carpet making as you watch skillful local ladies weave gigantic carpets.
Drive from Quba to Khinalig Village (50km, 1hr,30min). Stop on the way at Afurdzhi Falls before continuing through the charming Qechresh Forest and Tanggalti Canyon, whose scenic cliffs drop to a depth of 400 meters.
Arrive to Khinalig (also called Xinaliq, Khinaliq or Khinalug), an authentic village which sits at 2200 meters above sea level and lays claim to 5000 years of history. Enjoy a traditional lunch in a family home and interact with village residents as you relax amid incredible mountain views.
Return to Baku. Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Meals provided: breakfast, lunch

Early in the morning, transfer to the airport. Take a morning flight to Nakhchivan (1hr, 30min, 405km). Upon arriving to Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, meet your local guide and driver to begin your sightseeing tour to the following:

  • Prophet Noah’s Tomb (dates vary), counted among Nakhchivan’s holiest sites. Built on the remains of a former temple, the mausoleum is dedicated to Noah, who purportedly settled in the region after his ark landed in the territory.
  • Momine Khatun Mausoleum (12th century), the proud symbol of Nakhchivan distinguished by its intricate exterior and Quranic inscriptions. The tower now stands at 25 meters and is also referred to as Atabay Dome.
  • Nakhchivan Khan’s Palace (18th century), former residence of the ruler Rahim Khan which now houses the Khan Palace State History-Architecture Museum.
  • Yusif Ibn Kuseyir Mausoleum (12th century), an octagonal brick structure chiseled with geometric shapes and Quranic quotes and topped with a rare pyramid-shaped roof.
Drive (30km, 30min) to Julfa Region to discover Alinja Castle (11th century). Visit the museum at the bottom to discover the site’s rich history before climbing 1500 stairs to reach the castle and enjoy a panoramic view.
Drive back to Nakhchivan. Overnight at the hotel in Nakhchivan.
Meals provided: breakfast
In the morning, drive (45km, 35min) to Karabaglar Mausoleum (14th century), known for its twelve-sided cylindrical form and an interior that reaches 30 meters in height. Nearby are two 12th-century minarets.
Continue driving to Duzdag Salt Mine Cave (40km, 35min), a network of underground tunnels converted into natural treatment facilities for respiratory illnesses. Explore the tunnels of this former salt mine and learn about the medicinal benefits imparted by its natural properties.
Afterward drive to Ashabi-Kahf Cave (35km, 30min), a sacred natural cave tied to the Quranic story of the “Seven Sleepers” which draws thousands of pilgrims each year.
Return to Nakhchivan (20km, 20min). Have free time before transferring to the airport to catch an evening flight to Baku.
Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Meals provided: breakfast

Your private guide and driver will meet you at your Baku hotel. Drive to Shamakhi (120km, 1hr 30min).
On the way, stop at Diri Baba Mausoleum (15th century), located in the village of Maraza. Explore this two-story monument, carved into a rocky cliff as a unique display of Shirvan-Absheron architecture.
Continue driving to ancient Shamakhi, former seat of the Shirvanshah Empire, to visit:

  • Juma Mosque (8th century), the oldest mosque in Azerbaijan whose ancient Islamic architecture and interior stone columns, unparalleled in the country, create an aura of antiquity.
  • Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum (19th century), burial site of the last khan of Shamakhi with unusually- shaped markers and a panoramic view of the city.
Drive through the breathtaking Girdimanchay River Valley to the small village of Lahic (60km, 1hr 15min), situated 2000 meters above sea level. Lahic is one of the oldest settlements in Azerbaijan, dating back to the 5th century BC, and is famous for its uniquely built homes. Shop for copperware, leather, jewelry, iron tools, carpets, pottery and daggers as local artisans demonstrate their techniques.
Tour the Lahic History Museum, where you can learn about the lifestyle of Azerbaijan’s people throughout the centuries while enjoying a picturesque view of the area.
Continue driving to Sheki (160km, 2hrs 30min). Check in to the hotel and have a rest. Overnight at the hotel in Sheki.
Meals provided: breakfast

In the morning, meet up with your private guide and driver in Sheki to begin your tour to its finest sites:

  • Sheki Khans’ Palace (18th century) - this UNESCO World Heritage Site, built without glue or nails and famous for its stained glass and miniature paintings, is the country’s most treasured relic from the 1700s.
  • Sheki Historical Museum – Small but diverse collection of relics, paintings and information on the city and region.
  • Shebeki Workshop – Learn the secret of creating shebeki stained-glass windows at this colorful workshop, situated within an ethnic crafts center.
  • Teze Bazaar - An authentic market catering to local residents, you’ll find few tourists here. Shop for snacks or local products as you roam the aisles and snap photos.
  • Sheki Caravanserai (18th century) – Explore the grounds of this historical complex which once housed merchants and their camels, stopping to enjoy some tea and local sweet halva, or pakhlava.
  • Gelersen-Gerersen Fortress (Come-and-See Fortress, 15th century) – Drive a few kilometers to climb the walls of this once impenetrable citadel whose history is closely linked with the city.
  • Kish Village – Wander the streets of this quaint and ancient settlement. Tour the Church of Kish (dates vary), the first Albanian church in the Caucasus whose mysterious history stretches back to the first century AD.
Finish your tour in Sheki and drive to Baku (300km, 4hrs). Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Meals provided: breakfast
Breakfast at the hotel, followed by a free morning. Check out from the hotel by noon. Transfer to Baku International Airport for your departure flight. End of Colors of Azerbaijan Tour.
  • Round-trip airport transfers;
  • Private guide on days 1 - 7;
  • Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
  • Transportation throughout the tour;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room at hotel (7 nights, with breakfast);
  • Bottled mineral water (1 liter per person per day);
  • Lunch on Day 3;
  • Round-trip, economy class flight ticket from Baku to Nakhchivan.
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • Meals (lunches and dinners);
  • Personal travel insurance;
  • All other charges and services not mentioned under Inclusions;
  • Tips are not included but are appreciated.

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