Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan map outilne

Why visit Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan is the land of the Fire – the home of fire worshippers since millennia. Historically, being a part of the Great Silk Road, Azerbaijan revels in the diversity of its heritage.

Azerbaijan is a country of exquisite natural beauty alongside monuments – both historical and modern. A country with modern values; it is considered to a place where Eastern cultures and traditions blend in with western progress. The most important of all is the easy hospitality of the Azeris, who are proud of their heritage; but have embraced modern culture and values.

An Oil rich country with a dominant Shia population, Azerbaijan shows the way for tolerance and openness in its culture – an attitude which a few ‘western’ countries could emulate. A deep love for literature and the arts since the early times of Nizami Ganjavi, is shown in the numerous theatres, museums and galleries. Notable amongst them are the Nizami musuem of literature, museum of miniature books, a Puppet theatre (a 100-year-old building earlier a movie theatre!) and the very interesting Carpet Museum.

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Azerbaijan has an interesting history with its favourable location and climate attracting different cultures. The ancient era starts in the cave drawings of Gobustan. Then we have the Persians and the followers of Ahura Mazda – the fire worshippers – who were attracted by the ‘burning grounds and mountain’s’. After the Sassanid (Iranian) dynasty, Azerbaijan was ruled by Safavids dynasty, Nadir Shah (who had also defeated the Mughals in Delhi), the Qajars and the Sheki Khans dynasty to name a few.

Having an important position on the lucrative Silk Route, Azerbaijan has also interesting influences from other regions still visible today. The Indian priests (devotees of Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha) at Ateshgah – the Fire Temple; the Albanians at Qabala – including a small Udin community existing till date and the Jewish section at Quba – where Jews and Muslim have co-existed peacefully for ages!

The ancient cave drawings at Gobustan, the fire temple at Ateshgah, the Palace of Sheki Khans, the iconic Maidan Tower, the quaint fortress of Icheri Sheher and the Flaming towers at Baku, Mud ‘volcanoes’, the burning mountain (yes, it burns all the time), intricate artistic carpets, the scenic cities of Quba and Qabala, works of literature, arts and sculpture – all of this is just a small part of the country’s rich and priceless heritage.

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Azerbaijan Experiences

august, 2019

Discover Azerbaijan 7D/6NMajestic Mountains, temples, churches & mosques, charming citiesAzerbaijan

Jewels of the Greater Caucasus- Georgia & Azerbaijan 8D/7NBanner Text: Majestic Mountains, temples, churches & mosques, charming citiesAzerbaijan

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Top Places to Visit in Azerbaijan

Baku – The capital city by the Caspian is full of public parks, museums, boulevards and restaurants. The Flame Towers, the modern symbol of Azerbaijan competes with the historical icon – the Maiden Tower.

Sheki – famous for the beautiful palaces of the Shaki Khans with its colourful stained glasses and wall paintings (ensure you visit the less known Winter palace as well!). Other beautiful landmarks include the Caravanserai and the Udin Church (find out why there is a bust of a Norwegian there!).  

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Quba – A city of pristine landscapes, mountain villages and the Caucasus range, it is known as the cultural capital. Ensure you take a drive through Qechresh forest – which is simply beautiful in Autumn. Nearby is the Ski resorts of Shahdag.

Qabala – the holiday destination especially in winter as a skiing destination. The nearby Nohur lake settled amongst mountains is captivating at sunset. However, don’t forget the original ancient fortress city of Qabala nearby – Chukur Qabala – the capital of Caucasian Albania (now an archaeological zone). Nearby also is the small Udin Christian Community – visit their charming church and the amazing museum!

Ateshgah: The Fire Temple – the ancient symbol of the Land of Fire. Carefully restored and nicely made informative sections – you will be surprised by the ‘Indian’ connection.

Gobustan: Examine stone- and bronze-age petroglyphs and a nearby ‘family’ of wonderfully weird mud volcanoes nearby.  

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Top things to do in Azerbaijan

  • Walk and explore the ancient fortress city of Icheri Shehar (Inner city) in Baku; visit the beautiful mosques, admire the architecture of the old buildings (especially the hanging balcony), Shirvanshah’s palace, settle down in a traditional restaurant, sample the Azeri cuisine watching the world go by….
  • Climb the Maiden tower and learn about the mysteries of this tower, the legend, which gives its name and the stories surrounding this iconic structure – especially the story of the fiery haired girl.
  • Spend time in the Fountains Square – in the centre of Baku, lively and exuberant, full of restaurants, shops, museums and theatres..
  • Stroll the Baku Boulevard drinking in the pure Caspian area and watching the various entertainment options in the park. Do visit the ‘Puppet theatre’ and the impressive carpet museum.
  • Get amazed by the Burning mountain in Yanardag – the natural gas seeping in through the porous sandstone ground keeps the hillside burning continuously!
  • Pray in the beautiful mosque of Samakhi; the 2nd oldest mosque in the Caucasus.
  • Learn about our ancestors at the Gobustan museum of Petroglyphs – check out the ancient drawings nearby!
  • Visit the historic Red Village (Krasnaya Sloboda) – the only all-Jewish town in the world outside Israel and the United States.
  • Watch the copper craftsmen at work in Lahiq – an ancient human settlement in the Caucasus. The residents  – who are famous as craftsmen in different domains, speak Tati – an Iranian language.
  • Drive in a Lada – the Soviet era rugged car popular in rural Azerbaijan. Experience terror with the calm driver smiling on!
  • Eat the rich traditional ‘piti’ soup containing odious amounts of mutton fat; ensure you eat it the traditional way!
  • Visit the small but amazing Udin Community in Qabala; learn their way of life in the Udin museum, learn about the inspiring and poignant story of Ms Esmira Gangalyan, and pray at the atmospheric Udin church.

Things to note

There is no right time – throughout the year is great depending on your preferences. The coastal regions can be mild throughout the year; but the lowlands may have oppressive summers. Winters make fabulous skiing opportunities in the highlands – while Autumn has a different look and charm throughout the country! Parts of the highlands can turn golden in Autumn. Of course, the best all round season would be Spring – between April and June where blue skies, fresh verdure and colorful flowers drape the fields.
We have created these itineraries after traveling to these countries ourselves and these can customized basis your interest. Your holiday would be tailored just for you

Contact us to create a customized itinerary for Azerbaijan for your self

Our Travellers Say

Dinesh KumarBeyonder Traveller - Belgium & Netherlands

The travel plan was crafted just for me – I loved the biking experience at Damme in Belgium, photography of the windmills and old world charm at Zhaans in Netherlands and the hundreds of varieties of beer in Brussels. I had the safety of tour plan and tickets and hotels and all other bookings done by Beyonder, but I had opted to not have a guide with me.

Kittu ArumugamBeyonder Traveller - Belgium & Netherlands

Can’t forget the walking tour in Bruges by the Canals with all the amazing stories and legends narrated by our local guide, especially the night walking tour… and, of course, the refreshing beer at a 500 year old pub! With Beyonder the trip was indeed not the usual… Thanks guys…

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