Explore Azerbaijan – Georgia
Arrival in Baku
Arrival in Baku early in the morning or on the previous day. You will be met by our driver and transferred to the hotel for overnight. At noon, start sightseeing tour in Baku. Visit Shehidler Khiyabany Memory Alley, from where you can have a great panoramic view of Baku city. Continue touring new Baku and exploring architecture of the 19-20th centuries: Nizami Street, Fountain Square, Nizami Ganjavi monument, Rasul-Zade Street. Pay a visit to Azerbaijan History National Museum and move to the old part of the city – Icheri Sheher. Visit Maiden Tower, Shirvan Shahs’ Palace, Caravanserai, and market square with numerous art studios and souvenir stalls. An excellent round-up to the city tour will be visit to the richest bank of Azeri carpets – National Carpets Museum. Overnight at the hotel.
Baku city tour (4 hours) , Absheron peninsula (4 hours)
Breakfast at the hotel. Panoramic view of the city and Baku bay from Mountain Park
Full sightseeing tour in Baku: – Visit to the medieval part of the Old City (11-19 cc) (Fortifications, Shirvanshakhs Palace (14-15 cc., entrance), Karvansaray complex (14-15 cc.), old mosques (11-19cc.), old bath, narrow small streets, art shops and bench of Handicraf, “Gyz Galasi” (Maiden Tower) – the oldest construction of Baku under UNESCO protection (entrance).
Sightseeing excursion on Absheron Peninsula: Absheron Peninsula, extension of the Caucasus Mountains, juts 35 miles into the Caspian Sea, the largest inland sea in the world, covering 386,400 sq. km. (149,200 sq. miles). Wide plain contains ravines and salt lakes, and its some parts are frequently flooded with tides. Vineyard plantations are located here, but the region is particularly marked for its oil deposits.
On this excursion you will be informed about the story of oil development in Azerbaijan. Already at ancient times oil was known to exist on Absheron Peninsula, and there were various religious cults connected with oil and gas fields. Your guide will tell you about different methods of oil extraction, both ancient and modern. You will be introduced to non-traditional use of oil, present situation of the oil industry in Azerbaijan, and oil development prospects in the country.
Atashgah Fire -Worshippers’ Temple (XVII c.) is located within Baku in Surakhany village (9 miles from Baku). The historical roots of the monument go back to the days when Azerbaijan state was only taking shape and establishing itself, and Zoroastrism, in which the main role in rituals belonged to fire, was a dominant religion in the country.-entrance).
“Qala” State Historical-Ethnographic Preserve. Azerbaijan’s territory is rich with examples proving it to be the home to ancient inhabitants. Absheron Peninsula has special importance in terms of historical monuments. Absheron Peninsula, the ancient settlement, has the history dating before century. Barrows, fire traces and tombs found here during archeological excavations prove this fact once again. One of the oldest settlements in Absheron is Qala village that is located in the northeast of the Peninsula. There are 215 architectural and archeological monuments in Qala village and the surrounding regions. The environment which is dated back to 3rd millennium BC is preserved here. There are several architectural monuments – 5 mosques, 3 bathhouses, 4 water houses (ovdan), houses, agricultural buildings, sepulchers, tombs, barrows, remnants of castle, etc. – of historical importance in Qala which belong to the period between 3rd millennium BC and 20th century. Qala village with its history of five thousands years old had several districts. Of those, Tarakama, Balaverdi, Haji Ramazan, Chambarakand are preserved till today.
“Yanardaq” State Natural Preserve Flames shoot into the air 10 feet (3.0 m) from a thin porous sandstone layer at the base of a 30-foot-wide scarp (9.1 m) below a hillside known as Yanar Dag near Baku, the capital of oil-rich Azerbaijan. Only a handful of fire mountains exist today in the world, and most are located in Azerbaijan. Due to the large concentration of natural gas under the Absheron Peninsula, natural flames burned there throughout antiquity and were reported by historical writers such as Marco Polo.The naturally occurring fire burns most impressively at dusk, when both tourists and locals sit at a nearby teashop deriving inspiration from the spectacular sight. The numerous links to fire in the folklore and icons of Azerbaijan are attributed to a connection to the ancient Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism, which first appeared in this region over 2,000 years ago. Dinner at the local restaurant. Returning to hotel. Overnight in Baku
Baku – Lahij – Kish – Sheki
In the morning, depart Baku and drive to Sheki town. On the way, visit Diri Baba mausoleum in Maraza village. Continue to Shamakha and have a sightseeing of historical Juma Mosque, Yeddi Gumbez Mausoleum, and the Shirvan Shah’s family grave yard.Drive through Girdimanchay River’s canyon to visit Lahij, the 5th century place rich in its historic and architectural values. Lahij is an ancient village with charming eye-catching sidewalks inlaid by stones. It is famous for medieval water supply and sewage systems as well as traditional workshops making jewelry, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools.
Continue driving to Sheki. On the way, visit the first Albanian church in Caucasus in the village Kish dating back to the 1st century AD. Arrival in Sheki for overnight.
Sheki – Georgian border – Kvareli – Gremi – Telavi
Check out from hotel and start sightseeing tour in Sheki. Visit Sheki medieval fortress, Sheki Khans Palace, local History Museum, handicrafts workshop, mosque-madrassah, and local bazaar. Depart Sheki and head towards border with Georgia (115 km, ~2 h.). Cross the border, meet your Georgian guide and start exploring the Eastern part of Georgia famous for its viticulture and winemaking traditions. We will drive to Telavi – center of Kakheti Province. Visit to Tsinandali estate and first winery founded by one of the famous poets and public figures Alexander Chavachavadze in XIX Century. Explore the site – garden, home museum, wine cellar, where oldest bottle of wine dates back to 1814. Then drive to telavi. Visit to Alaverdi Cathedral of XI Century and visit to the winery run by monks. Here you have a chance to have a brief introduction and lecture about the way of Georgian wine making and taste one of the best wines right from Qveveri – clay Jar. Drive to Telavi and overnight.
Telavi -Bodbe – Sighnaghi– Tbilisi
After breakfast, drive to Sighnagi – royal town surrounded by the defiance wall with 23 towers built by the king Erekle II in XVIII Century. The town had many gates through which Georgia was connected to Europe and Asia by various trade routes. Stroll through tiny and cozy streets of Signagi and enjoy amazing view of Alazani Valley. Drive to Bodbe – Bodbe monastery of St. Nino. According to Georgian tradition, St. Nino, having witnessed the conversion of Georgians to the Christian faith. drivee to Tbilisi. Transfer to hotel for short rest.Overnight in Tbilisi
Tbilisi city tour
After breakfast we will start the Tbilisi city tour. We will visit the Old Tbilisi Sulfur Baths, Georgian Orthodox and Armenian Gregorian churches, Jewish synagogue, also, Turkish mosque side by side, reflecting city’s acceptance and tolerance of different religions. We can also see a recent monument – Tbilisi Sameba Cathedral, the largest cathedral in the Caucasus; Metekhi Church, which is erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River; Narikala fortress, established in the fourth century.Walk downtown and discover Shardeni Street with its fashionable cozy cafes and art galleries. Walking we will come across the Anchiskhati church, the oldest church in Tbilisi keeping the miraculous icon of Jesus Christ. Finally, the tour takes you to Rustaveli Avenue, where attractions, such as the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Parliament, Rustaveli Theatre, different art galleries and cafes, will draw your attention and provide a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Overnight in Tbilisi
After breakfast we drive to Mtskheta (UNESCO Heritage), an ancient capital of the Georgian Kingdom.Tour includes following sights: Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, a life-giving pillar – Cathedral of 11thcentury – magnificent, both inside and outside, the Cathedral is an important piece of Christian history,as it is a place, where Christ’s robe was buried. Drive to Gori – a city established by King David theBuilder (XII century).
Visit Joseph Stalin Museum – Soviet Union Leader, who was born in Georgia.Following sight is “Uplistsikhe” cave town (2nd millennium BC). The title means “Lord’s Fortress” andthe main sense of it derives from long time history of King’s and Lord’s Residence in this place. Thecave town contains of diverse structures and distinctive rock-cut combinations united in one greatcomplex. Drive back to Tbilisi. Overnight in Tbilisi
After breakfastwe will drive to Gudauri along the Tergi River will bring us to Gudauri – the main town in the region. On the way, we visit Ananuri Castle and Jinvali water reservoir of amazing beauty. In route stop and see different local hand made things (thick felt, embroidery, iconographic painting). Arrival in Gudauri. Overnight at the hotel.
Gudauri - Kazbegi – Tbilisi
After breakfastwe will drive to Kazbegi. we drive to Gergeti Trinity Church located at 2170m. Weather permitting you may catch a glimpse of one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus – Mt Kazbegi (5047m). then visit Dariali Gorge, Gweleti waterfall. Drive back to Tbilisi. overnight at the hotel.
Tbilisi – Reb Bridge border (Azerbaijan)- Ganja
After breakfast drive to Georgian – Azerbaijan borer (red Bridge) farewell. Cross the border, meet your Azerbaijanian guide
- Moving to Ganja
- Excursion program in Ganja city: Historic-architectural complex in city centre Ganja (“Shakh Abbas maschidi” the mosque, with two minarets ( XVI-XVIII centuries). Madrasah / Muslim educational institution / and old caravansary / XIX century./, the mausoleum of the last Ganja’s khan «Dzhavad khan» / XIX-XX centuries. /, medieval bath «Chokek Hamam» and others);
- Walking on the central square with fountains and in park «Sardar Baghi
- Visiting of «Alexander Nevski» Christian Orthodox Church / XIX century.
- Visiting of «Agvan Kilsasi» Christian Temple / XVIII century
- The mausoleum of the known medieval poet and philosopher Nizami Gandjavi
- Survey of Lutheran Kirhi / XIX century. / (now a local historical museum )
- Dinner at the local restaurant
- Returning to the hotel. Overnight in Ganja
Ganja – Baku
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast moving to Goy-gol city (vicinities of Ganja in 12 km. from the city centre). Survey of a copy medieval / XI century / serf gate of a city. Visiting Goygol National Park.Lunch at the local restaurant. After lunch contunie to Baku. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Baku
Breakfast at the hotel. Visiting to Gobustan National Historical – Artist Preserve (65 km. away from Baku). Gobustan (the territory of Gobu) is famous for its archaeological monuments. Travel 30 miles southwest of Baku along the Caspian shore to the volcanic desert where rocks are covered with carvings, standing amidst the scattered stones and mountains. There are more than 6,000 rock carvings left by the artists of the Paleolithic period. Acquaintance with archaeological exposition of the museum, lifestyle of ancient people of “Stone Age” epoch (XVIII-VIII mln.B.C). Survey of Gobustan petroglyphs. Under UNESCO Protection. Return to Baku city. Visiting Historiacal Museum. Dinner at the local restaurant. Returning to hotel. Overnight in Baku
Guba – Laza – Baku
Breakfast and transfer back to Quba where you should arrive around 10:00 am. Transfer to Laza village. The program in Quba includes visiting places of interest such as Juma Mosque (19th century), Sakina Khanum Mosque (19thcentury), local bazzar and of course a carpet-weaving workshop. You will have the opportunity to see how carpets, the copies of which are kept in the best world museums, are weaven.
You will also check Krasnaya Sloboda settlement there. Krasnaya Sloboda is Azerbaijan’s mountain Jews settlement. Over the years, they’ve clung to the broad outlines of their religion. Perhaps 40,000 of them remain. Over the years, they borrowed customs from their amiable Muslim neighbors, but never assimilated. Even as their knowledge of the rituals seeped away, they adhered to the broad outlines of Judaism, faithfully attending Sabbath prayers, scrubbing their homes on Fridays, baking their own matzo on Passover and eschewing pork. Have lunch in one of the local restaurants and taste a traditional Azeri cuisine. Return to Baku at around 18:00 – 19:00. Dinner at the local restaurant. Overnight in Baku
Breakfast at hotel. Visiting Modern Art Museum .Transfer to the airport Departure.
- Transportation as per program
- Round way Airporttransfers
- All excursions
- English – speaking professional guide
- 01 overnight in Telavi in 3* KkahuriEzo / 4* Chateau Mere or similar
- 04 overnights in Tbilisi in 3* Tiflisi, Astoria / 4* Astoria Palace, City Avenue or similar
- 01 overnight in Gudauri in 3* Alpina / 4 * Gudauri Inn or similar
- Entrance fees
- 1 bottle of water per person per day
- Travel insurance
- Alc. beverages
- Entrance in Sulfur baths