|15 May - 25 May|
This 11 day tour of Azerbaijan goes beyond the increasingly cosmopolitan capital of Baku and strives to highlight the real Azerbaijan, a world away from the relative glamour & glitz that can be found in the capital.
While we will of course spend time in & around Baku, which has some spectacular sights both ancient and modern, the tour will take us inland, leading us to the 2nd city of Ganja, historical town of Sheki and the lesser visited Qabala & Lahij. What will prove to be a highlight for many on this tour will be a trip to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, where we will spend 3 nights exploring this remote exclave.
This tour is a complete package starting and finishing in the UK, and will run for a minimum of 5 and maximum of 16 persons. Regent Holidays has been operating tours to Azerbaijan since the days of the USSR and carefully tweaks and tailors our tour with each passing year in an attempt to offer our clients the best possible experience.
Today depart London LHR on the direct overnight Azerbaijan Airlines flight to Baku, flight J2 008, scheduled to depart at 2150. (Please note that flight times are still TBC and may change slightly).
This morning the group is scheduled to arrive into Baku at 0720. Upon arrival in the capital of Azerbaijan you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After checking in enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure to relax or freshen up from your journey. At 1230 meet your guide in the reception of your hotel and enjoy a traditional welcome lunch in a nearby restaurant before commencing an introductory tour of Baku and its captivating Old Town, where stops will include the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Hillside Park, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, the Baku Museum of Miniature Books and the Juma Mosque. In the late afternoon return to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure after a busy first full day of travelling and touring. (B/L)
Start the day with a morning of further sightseeing in Baku, scheduled to include the iconic Heydar Aliyev Center, the City Bazaar and a tour of the Nobel Brothers Home Museum. After lunch enjoy a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, a visit to Yanar Dag (Burning Mountain), the Atashgah Fire Worshippers’ Temple and the Gala State Historical-Ethnographical Preserve. Returning to Baku enjoy a traditional dinner before retiring to your hotel for the evening. (B/L/D)
This morning, rise early and check out of your hotel in time to get to Baku’s impressive railway station to catch the ‘fast’ train to Ganja, scheduled to depart at 0845. On arrival in Ganja, Azerbaijan’s second city at approximately 1300, enjoy lunch before we take in a whistle-stop tour of just some of the sights in a city which is largely overlooked by tourists. Our stops will include the Bottle House of Ganja, the Nizami Monument and a walking tour of the city centre. Departing Ganja we will make the 150km drive to Sheki and check into our hotel for a one-night stay. Dinner will be at / near the hotel. (B/L/D)
This morning check out of your hotel and spend the bulk of the day sightseeing in Sheki, taking in a number of historical and cultural sights, for the city has a history which dates back 2,700 years. Stops will include the Sheki Khan’s Palace, the Old Caravanserai and one of the city’s famous Halva shops (Halva being an extremely popular Azeri dessert). Departing Sheki, drive to Qabala and here check into the Qafqaz Karvansaray Hotel (or similar) for an overnight stay. (B,L,D)
Departing our hotel we spend the bulk of the day slowly travelling towards Baku, with sightseeing in the ancient settlement of Lahij and the town of Shamakhi, before we arrive back in Baku. From Baku we take an evening flight to Nakhchivan (time TBC). On arrival in the exclave transfer to the Tabriz Hotel (or similar) and here check in for a three night stay. (B/L)
Enjoy the morning sightseeing in Nakhchivan City, with visits to include the Heydar Aliyev Museum, Noah’s Tomb, the 12th century Momina Khatun Monument, the house of Rahim Khan, the Tomb of Yusif Ibn Kuseyir and the Nakhchivan History Museum. This afternoon head out of the city to visit the village of Garabaghlar to see the 12th-14th century Garabaghlar Mausoleum. Your last visit of the day will be to the Dusdagh Salt Mines’ Hospital. (B/L)
After breakfast depart for a day of sightseeing in Nakhchivan, starting with a train journey to the small city of Julfa, located beside the Iranian border. From here head to the nearby Gulustan Mausoleum, which dates to the 13th century. The next stop will be Ordubad, the second largest settlement in Nakhchivan with a population of approximately 10,000. Here visit the Geysariyya Museum & Old Mosque. After lunch in Ordubad visit the Alinja Fortress, which is over 2,000 years old and is occasionally referred to by locals as ‘the Machu Picchu of Azerbaijan’; the fortress is rightly considered as one of the highlights of a visit to Nakhchivan (please note—to explore the fortress fully requires ascending some ladders & walking on steep terrain, those who may find this too much can remain in the museum at the foot of the fortress). Return to your hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy the evening at leisure. (B/L)
Checking out of your hotel enjoy final sightseeing in Nakhchivan, with a visit to Batabat in the Shahbuz Plateau, an almost uninhabited region of forests, mountains and lakes. Return to Nakhchivan City for lunch. Flight times pending (times TBC closer to travel) there may be some time for any final sightseeing, shopping or leisure time before flying back to Baku. On returning to the Azerbaijani capital check into our hotel for a two night stay and enjoy the evening at leisure. (B/L)
Today enjoy an excursion south, driving along the Caspian coast to the Gobustan State Reserve, where we will see rock carvings and petroglyphs which date back as far as 20,000 years. Visit the reserve’s famous Mud Volcanoes. Finishing your tour in the mid-afternoon and enjoy the rest of the afternoon and your final evening in Baku at leisure. (B/L)
Enjoy the bulk of the morning at leisure to relax in your hotel or to take in any final independent shopping or sightseeing. After checking out and being collected by your guide one last time enjoy a farewell lunch and final/flexible sightseeing in the city before transferring to the airport to depart at 1730 on the Azerbaijan Airlines flight to London Heathrow, flight J2 007. Arrive in London at 2030 and end. (Please note that flight times are still TBC and may change slightly). (B/L)
|Itinerary Dates||From Price||Single Room Supp.|
15 May 2021
25 May 2021