14 days 13 nights
Itinerary: Baku (old city)- Shamakha-Lahic-Qabala-Nij-Shaki-Kish-Ganja-Goygol- Gobustan-Absheron -Baku-Tbilisi-Kakheti-Tbilisi
Arrival in Baku. Airport pick-up; Transfer to the hotel; Hotel check-in.
Overnight in Baku
08:00-09:00 – Breakfast at the hotel;
09:30-11:00- Start your Baku sightseeing tour. During the tour, you are going to see the rich architecture of the city from different periods, drive along the main avenues, visit oil fields as well as modern mega-constructions such as Flame Towers and Heydar Aliev Center. You are also going to observe the city from the highest point of Baku.
11:00-12:00- Visit Heydar Aliev Center. Constructed in 2007 by architect Zaha Hadid, the building is named after the third president of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliev. In 2014, the Center won Design of the Year Award.
12:00-14:00- A walking tour of the old town or “Icherisheher”. Baku old town is an ancient part of the city surrounded by fortress walls including the famous Maiden Tower. The Maiden tower is one of the symbols of the capital and is a UNESCO monument. There are numerous historical monuments and landmarks on the territory of the old town like Bazar square, Juma mosque, the caravanserai, baths houses, residential houses and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs which is a pearl of Azerbaijani architecture. The palace was constructed between the 13th and the 16th centuries.
Overnight in Baku
09:00 – Check-out from the hotel and drive to Shemakha.
On the way to Shemakha, you are going to drive through Mazara city and learn about the history of Dibi Daba Mausoleum which is a 14th century mausoleum of Shirvanshahs.
After 2 hours driving, you are going to reach Shemakha.
Shemakha is an ancient capital of Azerbaijan. It was founded in V century B.C. In IX—XVI centuries it was the capital of Shirvan khanate, residence of Shirvanshah’s and one of the most beautiful cities of the East. From the middle of XVIII century Shemakha was the center of Shemakha khanate.
Nowadays, Shemakha is also considered as a winemaking & carpet weaving center. In addition to all the above, Shemakha is a literary city, which is the hometown of many Azerbaijani poets.
High-altitude village Lahij, situated in Ismayilli Region, is an original monument of the ancient architecture. In this medieval town, well known not only in Caucasus, but all over the world, cobbled streets & ancient squares are preserved in their origin. Here you can find not only articles made of copper, leather and wood, used in household, but also peculiar samples of cold steel. Here you can find a lot of workshops, where hereditary blacksmiths are still creating household items. In addition to observing of the process, you can acquire just made good.
The village was found in III-IV B.C. Interesting fact, water and sewage system was constructed more than 1500 years ago, and no one of local citizens knows where it starts, where it ends & how it works. Nowadays town Lahij is an historical-architectural heritage, preserved by the government in its original form.
Qabala is a unique and beautiful region, located on the bank of Demiraparanchay River and overlooking the highest peak of Azerbaijan – Bazardyuzyu mountain (altitude 4466 m).
Modern infrastructure of hotels & resorts provides high level of services that will satisfy needs of worldly-wise tourists. Every summer Gabala hosts international festivals, which attract famous musicians, artists & art collectives from all over the world.
Visit lake Nokhur.
Trip to the winery with degustation of local wines
Overnight in Qabala
08:00-09:00 – Breakfast at the hotel
09:00 – Drive towards Sheki
On the way, you are going to see Nij. Nij is a homeland to a specific ethnic group – Azerbaijani-Udi, who are considered as descendants of the Caucasian Albanians. Later, visit Khal-Khal waterfall in Oguz.
Sheki is an ancient historical city, located in the southern foothills of the Greater Caucasus, in 300 kilometers north-west from Baku.
Archaeological evidences suggest that Sheki could be considered as one of the oldest settlements in the Caucasus, many findings on its territory are dating back more than 2500 years old.
There are a lot of historical monuments, preserved in its original form. The main sightseeing of the city is majestic Sheki Khan’s Palace, with its magnificent wall paintings, constructed in XVIII century without using nails. Another popular places of interest you are going to visit is ancient Albanian temple situated in Kish settlement, not far from Sheki.
Overnight in Shekhi
09:00 – Check-out and drive to Ganja.
Ganja is the second biggest city of Azerbaijan. It is a picturesque city with cozy red brick houses, traditional teahouses, mosques and temples. There are many interesting sights. The Juma mosque, Nizami Mausoleum, lake Goygol, etc.
You will visit the most significant of them:
Mausoleum of Nizami Ganjavi
It is located at the entrance to Ganja and is a cult place of visiting poets. It is a monumental cylindrical structure made of red granite. Nizami’s name was carved in gold just above the entrance.
The Mausoleum of Imamzadeh
The 19th-century mausoleum of Imamzadeh is located a few kilometers from the center of Ganja.
Imamzadeh is the traditional name of the mausoleums where the descendants of the prophet Ali rest peacefully. There is also a tomb of Sheikh Ibrahim and an ancient cemetery — the only place in Azerbaijan where the greatest number of monuments with portrait images is found.
The Bottle house
In one of the lanes of Ganja is a quaint bottle house, which has become a symbol of modern architecture of the city. The local resident Ibrahim Jafarov built the two-storey mansion in 1966-67 in memory of his missing brother during the Second World War. About 50,000 glass bottles of various shapes and sizes were used in the construction, as well as colorful stones brought from Sochi.
This building was the third in the ensemble of Sheikh Bahauddin. The caravanserai building is a two-storey complex, which includes 15 halls and 54 rooms. During its construction, a mixture of clay-lime solution with egg white and burnt red brick were used. Today, the medieval caravanserai plays the role of a temple of knowledge. At the end of the 20th century, the Ganja humanitarian College and the Museum of the poet Meskheti Ganjavi were located here.
The City Of Goygol
Goygol (formerly Hanlar and even earlier Elenendorf) is a part of Germany in the Caucasus. Back in the 19th century, a colony of Swabian Germans, who arrived here in the first half of the 19th century from the province of Swabia, was in full swing. The reason for the resettlement of Germans in Transcaucasia was the war, which was launched by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 19th century. The Evangelical society appealed to Alexander I for permission to establish German colonies of pious families in Transcaucasia. In 1817, the Russian Emperor signed a petition of 700 Swabian families for resettlement in Transcaucasia. There are still two blocks of German houses of the 19th century, and in the center is a picturesque German Church.
The Goygol Lake
One of the most famous lakes of Transcaucasia. It is located at the foot of mount Kyapaz, and was formed because of an earthquake in 1138. Goygol Lake is part of the Goygol reserve, which ensures the safety and inviolability of the nature and wildlife of Ganja.
Overnight in Ganja
09:00- Check-out from the hotel and drive back to Baku;
On the way, visit Gobustan – the Petroglyph Museum. Gobustan is a mountainous place located at the south-eastern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. It is 65km away from Baku. The place is famous for its ancient carvings and cave paintings. The place was discovered by chance in 1930s and today, there are over 6000 rock carvings discovered. The petroglyphs of Gobustan are from different periods, from 10th and 13th centuries AD to the Middle Ages.
Later, visit mud volcanoes.
Overnight in Baku
09:30-13:30 Start your trip of Absheron (Ateshgah, Gala Complex, Yanardag).
Ateshgah or the House of Eternal Fire is located 30km from Baku in Sourakhani town. This place is famous for its unique natural gas fire and is a well-known place in the world. The shrine was constructed by the Indian Sikh caste and was also a place of worship of Zoroastrianism. The place was considered sacred and attracted pilgrims.
The Gala State Historical Ethnographic Reserve
The complex covers 156 hectares where you can see burial mounds, crypts, houses, 4 water storage facilities, ruins of an ancient fortress, 5 mosques, 3 baths houses and so on. The monuments date back from the 3rd century BC to the modern times.
Yanar Dag – a natural gas fire on a hillside is one of the wonders of the Absheron Peninsula. Its fire is never extinguished and it is claimed to be burning for several thousand years.
Overnight in Baku.
Breakfast. Check-out from the hotel before 12:00 pm
Flight to Tbilisi.
Tbilisi city tour. You will visit the following sites during the tour of the capital: The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi, Metekhi Plateau with beautiful panorama of the old city, Narikala Fortress, Abanotubani or the district of sulphur baths, Meidan square, Sharden street, Sioni church, Baratashvili avenue, the famous clock tower, Liberty Square, Rustaveli avenue – the very center of the city. Later take a tram to visit Tbilisi Funicular where you are also going to have dinner. The tram takes the visitors up to the upper station of Mtatsminda park. It was originally constructed in 1905 by Belgian engineers and has always been a very popular attraction. Besides restaurants, there is also a theme park on the territory which is equally popular among locals and tourists. This is the highest point of Tbilisi and the complex has recently been completely reconstructed offering the most breathtaking view of the capital.
Dinner at the restaurant. Transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
10:00-Visit Georgian National Museum. Located on Rustaveli avenue, in the very heart of Tbilisi, it is one of the most important museums of the city and gives you a chance to better understand rich and ancient history of the country. The pearl of the museum is definitely the Archeological Treasury.
13:00- Visit David Sarajishvili Brandy factory and taste wonderful Georgian brandy. Georgia has always been closely associated with grapes and wine culture. It has recently been scientifically proven that Georgian is the cradle of wine making. This fact is supported by the discovery of the oldest grape for wine making in the village of Shulaveri near Tbilisi, dating back 8000 years.
David Sarajishvili, Georgian entrepreneur, scientist and philanthropist was the first who came up with the idea of making brandy from Georgian grapes. Thanks to his efforts, the first brandy company was established by the end of the 19th century. Sarajishvili Brandy quickly became popular and was highly praised internationally.
20:00- Dinner at a traditional restaurant. It is impossible not to try delicious Georgian cuisine while in Tbilisi.
Transfer to the hotel
Overnight in Tbilisi
08:00- 09:00 Breakfast. After Breakfast, visit Tbilisi sulfur baths in the old town. These are bathhouses with pools of hot sulfur water. Tbilisi bathhouses have always been very popular among visitors and were highly praised by such world-known writers and poets as Alexandre Dumas and Alexander Pushkin. A visit to a sulfur bathhouse is an unforgettable experience that one is surely going to enjoy.
Afterwards, you are going to have lunch and try famous Georgian Khinkali and Chacha, Later, have a walk among the streets of old Tbilisi. You may visit Tbilisi flee market.
Drive to Kakheti (around 2 hours)
Overnight in Kakkheti
Georgian wine is a brand and it is a well-known fact. Not only it is a brand, but also a way of life. If you happen to be in Georgia, you have to try Georgian wine. Otherwise, time is spent in vain. However, when you drink wine, it is important to understand what you drink. During the wine tasting, you will be offered to try a range of different sorts fine wine. Visit famous Shumi wine factory. Some people believe that wine culture was born in Greece. Others think Rome was the first place to produce wine. However, according to scientific and archeological proofs, the cradle of winemaking was Georgia. Cultivated grape seeds found in Georgia date back to 6th century BC. Already in ancient times, Georgians used to store wine in clay pots called ‘kvevri.
12:00-14:00-Grape harvest or ‘Rtveli’ (It is seasonal and can only take place in September and October).
Harvest, or Rtveli is the most laborious time of the year in winemaking. It usually takes place by the end of September and beginning of October. First, we cut ripe brunches of grapes and carefully put them in wooden boxes. Afterwards, we move grapes to a special place called ‘Satsnakheli’ where visitors have a chance to press them with their feet.
Dinner in true Kakhenian style.
Overnight in Kakheti.
12:00-Visit Alexander Chavchavadze museum in Tsinandali. The house museum of Chavchavadze is connected to the famous princely house of Chavchavadze one of the most important families in Georgia. The family produced many famous poets, military men and winemakers. The estate leaves the impression of lightness and subtlety like a refined jewelry box built in the tradition of Georgian architecture. You are also going to taste Tzinandali wine.
You are going to drive through Telavi, the capital of Kakheti where you can see beautiful carved balconies, the castle of king Erekle and 900-year-old Plane tree.
Afterwards, drive to the village of Napareuli. Visit a wine company “Twins Wine Cellar” founded by brothers Gia and Gela Gamtkitsulashvili. The wine company is located in the village of Napareuli, Telavi region. “Twins Wine Cellar” follows kakhetian method of winemaking in Kvevri (underground clay amphora used for storing wine) according to the traditions of Gamtkitsulashvili family. Guests of the museum have a chance of learning about 8000-year-old tradition of winemaking in Georgia.
Enjoy dinner in a traditional house of Tushetian grandmother who is famous for her traditional knitting. Her house is of historical importance and it is over 100 years old. The hostess is going to prepare your food on her own.
Overnight in Kakheti.
09:00 – Breakfast. Visit Bodbe monastery where the Enlightener of Georgia St Nino is buried. Later, move to the city of Sighnaghi and its museum where Original paintings of famous Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani are exhibited and were old archeological findings from the whole region of Kakheti can be found. Take a walk around this wonderful, newly restored city of love – Sighnaghi.
Overnight in Kakheti
The tour includes:
Guided tours per program;
4 nights in Baku;
1 night in Qabala;
1 night in Sheki;
1 night in Ganja;
2 nights in Tbilisi;
4 nights in Kakheti;
Excursions in Azerbaijan;
Excursions in Georgia;
Meals according to the programme;
Master classes according to the programme;
Wine degustation in Georgia and Azerbaijan;
Brandy degustation at Sarajishvili Brandy factory in Tbilisi;
A visit to Tbilisi sulfur baths;
All the entrance tickets in Azerbaijan and Georgia;
Airline tickets from Baku to Tbilisi;
Water and napkins in the transport;
The price of the tour excludes: