8 Nights Programme
Personal tip for the mindful traveller: This offer is favorable for mindful travelers because it is sustainable, the traveler will have the opportunity to visit local families, try local dishes and participate in unique master classes.
Day 1: Baku – Arrival (30 km)
After your arrival in Baku, you will be met by ENCTOURS driver and guide and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2: Baku
Our journey begins with Baku. You start with the Memory Alley "Shehidler Khiyabani After breakfast, your guided walking tour of Baku includes the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with it is narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and Palace of the Shirvan Shahs, UNESCO Heritage site. Visit the Maiden' Tower, UNESCO Heritage site and Martyr's with its superb views over the Bay of Baku.Complex of Shirvanshahs Palace was the last residence of the rulers of Shirvan State with the history of thousand. At mediaeval times this state was the most powerful state in Azerbaijan. The Shirvanshahs Palace is a two-storey building in an irregular, rectangular shape. In order to provide better illumination of the palace, the south-eastern part of the building was constructed on different levels. In the afternoon we visit the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum (closed on Mondays). Carpet weaving art of Azerbaijan is included into Intangible Heritage List. In the museum we will learn about different schools of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan. The museum's collection includes over 10,000 pieces of ceramics, 14th-century metalwork, Bronze Age jewelry, 17th- to 20th-century carpets and rugs, national costumes and embroidery, and applied arts (decorative arts and design) of the modern era.
Lunch at the national cuisine restaurant. The main dish is Dolma (stuffed grape leaves) - a unique dish that consists of grape leaves stuffed with boiled minced lamb with rice. Dolma was recognized as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Overnight in Baku
Day 3: Baku – Absheron Peninsula (60 km)
This morning our tour will be dedicated to Absheron Peninsula tour, exploring Zoroastrian Fire Temple Ateshgah in Surakhani settlement. 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. The Temple of Eternal Fire - Ateshgah - is an authentic Azerbaijani exotic. It is well-known practically all over the world. This territory is known for such unique natural phenomenon as burning natural gas outlets (underground gas coming onto surface contacts oxygen and lights up).
Yanar Dag is located 25 km to the north from Baku, in Mehemmedli village. Azerbaijan is historically called the Land of Fire, a nd it is not for the sake of a witty remark. At a whim of nature, the land of this Caucasian country located on the picturesque coast of the Caspian Sea, is replete with underground sources of oil and gas that long for blowing out. Meter-long tongues of fire are licking the stratified earth approximately for 10 m in width, searing those who approached too close. From the year 2007 Yanar Dag is declared a state-protected conservation area. Overnight at the hotel in Baku
Day 4: Baku – Shamakhi - Lahij – Sheki (360 km)
After breakfast you will leave Baku and the journey will take you through beautiful landscapes. On the way from Baku to Shamakhi you will visit the Yeddi Gumbez Mausoleum or the "Seven Domes". Upon arrival in Shamakhi, visit the historical Juma Mosque (10th century, reconstructed in the 19th century). This oldest and largest mosque in Azerbaijan, Shamakhi Dzhuma, according to legend, was built in the 8th century when Shamakhi was elected "Sultan". Drive through Gabala . We will visit Lahij village (upon weather conditions). The coppercraft of Lahij is in UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. Lahij is an old village with charming stone pavements. It is famous for medieval water supply and sewage systems, as well as traditional workshops making jewellery, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers and iron tools. Arrival and overnight in Sheki.
Day 5: Sheki – Kish – Sheki (10 km)
This morning we will drive to Kish village located near Sheki (21 km). Kish, one of the oldest villages in the territory of the present Azerbaijan is well-known with its unique architectural monument, a temple from the period of the Caucasian Albania. The current building of the temple of Saint Elisei was erected in the 10-12 centuries. At that time, according to some scholars’ opinions, the temple in Kish is standing on the same place where the Apostle Elisei had founded his church. That is the reason why the temple in Kish is often called the Mother of temples in Caucasus.
Then you will enjoy traditional tea break here. The tradition of chay is included into UNESCO Heritage list. Tea tables have deep traditional roots in Azerbaijan. A traditional tea table has its own rules and practices that are designed to make the serving and drinking process enjoyable. Tea table in Azerbaijan means freshly brewed, strong, bright-color; hot tea served in cups or crystal glasses, in particular, "armudu glass" i.e. "pear-shaped glass".
Then we will go for a walk around Sheki. One of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan, Sheki is rightly called the architectural reserve of the country. We will visit the Summer Palace of Sheki Khans (1762) which is included into UNESCO Heritage list since 2019. It is remarkable that during the construction of the palace, not a single nail was used, and the colored glass for shebeke (national mosaic) was brought from Venice. We will visit caravansaray of 18th century which will take us back to the history of Great Silk Road.
Afterwards we will visit the workshop of kelagayi. Kelagayi - is large, square silk head scarf, which is ornamented in the art basmanahysh (analogue technique of "hot batik") and is painted in a strictly defined color corresponding to various life events. Traditional art and symbolism are included into Intangible UNESCO Heritage list.
Overnight at the hotel in Sheki.
Day 6: Sheki – Gabala - Baku (350 km)
In the morning we will leave Sheki and head towards Baku. On the way we will stop in Gabala and visit the ruins of Old Gabala (Chukhur Gabala).
Then we will stop in Nij village inhabited with Udi Christian minority. We will visit the church and museum in the open air. Then we will continue our way till Baku.
Arrival in Baku. Overnight in Baku.
Day 7: Baku – Lenkaran (400 km)
Tomorrow we leave Baku and continue south. We pass the city's landmark: the lighthouse and the prison where Stalin was imprisoned. Finally we stroll through the fruit and vegetable bazaar and taste, depending on the season, pomegranates, apples, peaches and lemons.
We will visit Hirkan National Park which is included into UNESCO Heritage list.
Overnight in Lenkaran .
Day 8: – Gobustan – Baku (250 km)
Drive towards Baku in the National Park of Gobustan, a Stone Age area with approx. 40,000 rock drawings and engravings, the oldest of which were created around 10,000 years ago and which have survived here in a wonderful way (UNESCO World Heritage Site). In good weather you can also visit the mud volcanoes. In an almost empty lunar landscape you can see the bizarre bubbling mud volcanoes (depending on the weather), which are caused by the geological folding processes of the gas and oil deposits in Azerbaijan. Continue to Baku.
In the evening we will have dinner and listen to traditional music Mugham (Intangible UNESCO Heritage). Overnight Baku.
Day 9: Departure (30 km)
In the morning you will be transferred to the Airport.