Silk Road in Azerbaijan Tour

7
Days
Baku, Shamakhi, Lahic, Sheki, Kish, Ganja, Nakhchivan
  • Church of Kish
  • Sheki
  • Sheki Khans’ Palace
  • Juma Mosque

Journey on the Silk Road in Azerbaijan Tour along the famous caravan route of old to discover caravanserais in Baku and Sheki, palaces in Nakhchivan, bathhouses in Ganja and mosques and temples in Shamakhi and Absheron. Prepare to be welcomed by hospitable residents in Lahic, one of the oldest villages in the country, and to enjoy the sights, aromas and delicious tastes of enduring Silk Road traditions all along the way.
Ancient Azerbaijan, once a Silk Road gateway between China and Europe, can still be experienced by 21st century travelers through historic relics, amazing architecture and traditions passed down through the centuries. Cities, small towns, villages and remote locales all guard treasures of the past that shed light on history and on the culture of Azerbaijan today.

Arrive in Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital. Transfer to the hotel, where check-in begins at noon, and have a rest after your flight. Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Meals provided: none

Your guide and driver will pick you up from your Baku hotel to begin your tour:

  • Drive to Absheron (25km, 45min) to visit 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.
  • Drive (20km, 30min) to Ateshgah Fire Temple (dates vary), a historic center of Zoroastrian worship and philosophical teaching.
  • Return to Baku (18km, 25min) and visit Heydar Aliyev Center (2012), a futuristic cultural complex renowned for its symbolic and unusual architecture.
  • Continue your private tour in 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.
Transfer to the hotel. 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, the village dates back to the 5th century BC and is famous for its ancient 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 the hotel and have a free evening. Overnight at the hotel in Sheki.
Meals provided: breakfast
In the morning, meet 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, 5th 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 Ganja (160 km, 2hrs 30min). Overnight at the hotel in Ganja.
Tour duration: approximately 4 hours
Meals provided: breakfast

Your private tour of Ganja, led by an experienced local guide, will include the following:

  • Chokak Hamam (17th century) – This domed, medieval brick-and-clay bath house is still in operation today.
  • Alexander Nevsky Church (19th century) – This Byzantine-style Russian Orthodox Church is filled with colorful icons and paintings.
  • Shah Abbas Juma Mosque (17th century) – Named after the great Safavid ruler who built the mosque, this spectacular red-brick structure is distinguished by twin minarets and a white dome.
  • Javad Khan Mausoleum (2005) – A simple tomb built according to medieval design for the last khan of Ganja, regarded as a national hero.
  • Bottle House of Ganja (1967) – A flamboyant home with 48,000 bottles embedded into the walls to create various pictures and designs.
  • Khan’s Garden - A popular shaded haven filled with fountains and tree-lined walkways which tell the story of Ganja’s history, it is also known as Khan Bagy Park or Sardar Baghi Park.
  • Nizami Ganjavi Mausoleum (dates vary) – Azerbaijan’s greatest poet was born, lived and died in Ganja, and the city proudly honors him with this massive burial vault and memorial complex.
Drive to Baku (350km, 4hrs 40min). Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Tour duration: approximately 4 hours
Meals provided: breakfast

Early in the morning, transfer from your Baku hotel to the airport. Take a morning flight to Nakhchivan (405km, 1hr 30min). 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 to Ashabi-Kahf Cave (20km, 20min), a sacred natural cave tied to the Quranic story of the “Seven Sleepers” which draws thousands of pilgrims each year.
  • Drive a short distance to Duzdag Salt Mine Cave, 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.
Drive back to Nakhchivan International Airport to catch an evening flight to Baku. Upon arrival, a driver will transfer you to your hotel.
Overnight at the hotel in Baku.
Tour duration: approximately 14 hours, including flights
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 Silk Road in Azerbaijan Tour.
Meals provided: breakfast
  • Round-trip airport transfers;
  • Private guide on days 2 - 6;
  • Entrance fees to the sights as per itinerary;
  • Transportation throughout the tour;
  • Accommodation based on double/twin room at hotel (6 nights, with breakfast);
  • Bottled mineral water (1 liter per person per day);
  • Round-trip, economy class flight ticket from Baku to Nakhchivan.
  • International flight tickets before and after the tour;
  • Hotel charges for additional services;
  • 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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