Sheki - Ancient City of Caucasus
Though Sheki since ancient times was known as the city of artists, craftsmen, and merchants and traders from the countries of the Great Silk Road flocked to this town, but the most important wealth of Sheki were and still are its inhabitants.
In the world hospitality traditions are quite similar, but Sheki has its own slight difference, because any citizen of Sheki is an optimistic and positive person.
You can be absolutely confident in the fact that staying in Sheki and communicating with Sheki habitants will charge you with positive energy and emotions.
So if you are friendly and cheerful person, then this tour is for you!
Day 1. Baku
Check-in at the airport
After a short rest we start our tour.
Excursion to the Old City tour begins with a visit to the Upland Park.
Upland Park is located on a hill in the western part of the city. This is the best place to see the city and the Baku Bay.
The tour proceeds with the visit to the Old City - with its fortress walls, historical buildings and narrow paved streets. The tourists will see and appreciate the main attractions of the Old City, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the famous Maiden Tower. Just imagine that the bricks under your shoes for centuries keep memory of city’s history, its fame and glory, its grieves and sufferings. During the walk you will definitely feel that the air smells like a magic – salty and oily odor of the Caspian Sea mixes up with the flavors of Oriental spices and kabab from the numerous restaurants. Baku is a young girl – it is full of energy, beautiful, bright and vivid. It is ready to change but nevertheless follows the traditions of ancestors. Behind the walls the city life sparkles like a melting pot, while in the Old City everything is calm and dutiful as it was for centuries. Baku people do not like to live in hurry. Tours and Excursions in Baku
We continue our city tour showing you the most interesting historical and architectural monuments.
We continue with Cultural Centre named after Heydar Aliyev. Heydar Aliyev Center is a cultural center, projected as a complex structure that includes the Auditorium (convention center), a museum, exhibition halls, administrative offices. The project center has been designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre is considered to be one of the symbols of modern Baku.
!!! !!! In case of late arrival we provide night excursion without museums entry.
Day 2. Baku-Gabala
Breakfast in the hotel.Check-out. Check out and drive to the regions of Azerbaijan.
We go to the north-west of Azerbaijan through the Caucasus Mountains. The dry landscape around Baku replaced by dense forest mountains.
Later we will drive to Lahij - famous Lahij village in Ismayilly district. Most part of 2,000 people living in Lahij are involved in ancient crafts such as engraved copper work and carpet weaving. In the mid-19th century, there were more than 200 workshops in Lahij. Traders discovered Lahij crafts many centuries ago, and sold them for high prices at bazaars in Baghdad [now Iraq], Shiraz [now Iran] and other Middle Eastern cities. Stop by a copper workshop for a impromptu lesson in ancient craftsmanship you'll get to see coppersmiths use small mallets to decorate plates, trays, jugs, goblets and pitchers, just as their ancestors have done for centuries.
Arrival to Gabala. Check-in
After checking into the hotel, you can walk to the famous waterfall Seven Beauties, named in honor of the great poem of Nizami. The waterfall consists of 7 stages and is famous throughout the country.
After the tour will continue to the lake Nohur - another pearl of these places. The lake is known for its cleanliness, abundance of fish and amazing turquoise water. The lake is surrounded by forest, where you can walk, and, weather permitting, a ride on a catamaran in the town Duyma.
A trip to Gabalanad. It is believed that the beauty of this park is the fourth largest in Europe. The locals are very proud of this fact.
Overnight in Gabala.
Day 3. Chukhur Gabala – Nij - Sheki
Breakfast in the hotel. Check out. Drive to Chukhur Gabala
Chukhur Gabala - in ancient times there was the capital of the ancient state of Caucasian Albania - Kabala (approx. III V cent BC.). The city was a major trade and craft center in Albania. It was the residence of the kings, and after the adoption of Christianity in the IV. BC it was the main religious center of the country. Due to the constant attacks of the Khazars from the north, the Albanian kings decided to move the center in a remote and secure location, and from V. BC the capital was moved to Barda.
After the conquest of Albania by Arab Caliphate Islamization process started here very rapidly. In the second half of the 2nd millennium the city was already a Muslim, the districts still remained mainly Christian.
The town of Nij, located forty kilometers south west of Gabala in the Republic of Azerbaijan, is the only place in the world that has had a settlement of Udi people. It has a population of 6,196. The forefathers of this ethnic minority, known as the Utis, were members of one of the twenty six Albanian tribes who played an important role in the creation of the State of Caucasian Albania in the IV-III Centuries B.C. The Udins, as they are the most ancient ethnic minority in the Republic of Azerbaijan, enjoy many measures undertaken to preserve and develop their culture. As a result of the efforts made by the Government of Azerbaijan, the cultural and educational society of the Udins, the Orayin (Spring), has resumed its activities. This society promotes the history and culture of the Udins.
Dinner in the village consisting of traditional food of the place.
Drive to Sheki. Check-in. Free time.
Sheki city tour.
Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places in Azerbaijan. Situated in 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level the city, like an amphitheater, is surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk Centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route.
We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan's summer palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. We will visit “Shebeke” workshop where the tourists will meet with local craftsman who will tell about “Shebeke” make process. After we will also visit workshop of Sheki baklava that is popular all over Azerbaijan.
Our acquaintance with Sheki continues with a visit to the Albanian church, which is located in Kish village. As the legend says, this church is the first Christian church built not only on the territory of the Caucasian Albania, and in general - in whole Transcaucasia. This place is also remarkable because the burials of people whose constitution is different from the present inhabitants of the region were found at the temple. Scientists and researchers who have studied the found skeletons have come to the conclusion that they belong to tall people, with blond hair and blue eyes. The famous Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who visited these lands, came to the conclusion that the Albanians were the ancestors of the Vikings who immigrated to these places to the north. In 2003, the church was restored with money donated by Norwegian government thanks to personal efforts of Thor Heyerdahl. Here, near the territory of the church you can see a memorial bust in honor of the famous researcher posed as a token of appreciation from the local people and the state.
Drive to the hotel.Overnight in Sheki
Day 4. Drive to Baku. Shemakha
After breakfast we will visit Sheki Bazaar where you will be able to buy fruits and souvenirs and see how local people trade and deal. On the way to Baku we will stop in the town of Shamakhi. Being the capital of the Shirvanshah state from the IX century, the city was one of the most important on the Silk Road. In Shamakhi tourists will visit famous historical and architectural monuments of the country, such as Juma Mosque (the XIX century) and the mausoleum of the Seven Domes.
Return to Baku. Overnight at the hotel
Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out. End of the tour
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