Arrival to Baku. Meeting at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Free time
After breakfast leave the hotel and start exploring Absheron Peninsula and its historical landmarks. You will have a chance to visit following places:
Martyr's Cemetery, located on the higher slopes of the city's west-end, this is the best place for viewing the Baku city and the Bay of Baku.
Ateshgah - the Fire Worshippers' Temple located in the village of Surakhany. It was built on land where natural gas burned eternally by Zoroastrian believers who travelled from the province of Multan in India to worship. These ancient fires are believed to have given Azerbaijan its name, which is thought by some researchers to mean the 'Land of Fires'.
Qala Archeological ethnographic museum complex located in Qala village;
and also Yanar Dagh near Mammedli settlement, where a small hillside is constantly and naturally aflame. Amazing views in the dusk.
Getting back to city centre at around 14:00 and having lunch in one of local restaurants in the center of Baku.
After lunch explore the historical centre of Baku city, its Old Town - 'Icheri Sheher'. You will see the highlights of Icheri Sheher including the Palace of the Shirvans (the most striking example of the medieval palace structures in Azerbaijan, dating to the middle of 15th century); Maiden's Tower (the ancient, eight storey fortress originally built as a fire beacon); visit Dzhuma Mosque, antiques and carpet shops.
You will have a walk in Naberezhny park and along Baku Boulevard, one of the largest in the Europe. Whilst there you can get a boat to make trip along Baku Bay. You will be introduced with the interesting facts and legends of the largest lake in the world better known as Caspian Sea. Returning to the hotel.
Start the way to Masally and pay a visit on your way out of Baku to famous Bibi Heybat Mosque. The existing structure, built in the 1990s, is a recreation of the mosque with the same name built in the 13th century by Shirvanshah Farrukhzad II Ibn Ahsitan II, which was completely destroyed by the Bolsheviks in 1936.
The Bibi-Heybat Mosque includes the tomb of Ukeyma Khanum (a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad), and today is the spiritual center for the Muslims of the region and one of the major monuments of Islamic architecture in Azerbaijan. It's locally known as "the mosque of Fatima" which Alexandre Dumas using the same name, described the mosque during his visit in the 1840s.
Further down the way to southern border you will visit Gobustan reserve and famous mud volcanoes. Gobustan reserve is an open-air museum littered with Neolithic rock drawings. Just 65km south of Baku, Gobustan has some 4000 inscriptions that go back 12,000 years (with some 2000 year old Latin graffiti to boot). The well-preserved sketches display ancient populations travelling on reed boats; men hunt antelope and wild bulls, women dance. The famed Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl returned many times to Azerbaijan between 1961 and his death in 2002 to study the site, which he argued to be evidence that modern-day Scandinavians migrated north through the Caucasus in prehistoric times. He found similarities in the drawings to those found in Scandinavia, particularly some in Alta, Norway. According to Icelandic Sagas, written in the 13 th century, the Norse God Odin (Wotan) migrated from the Caucasus in the first century AD.
After that you will also have a chance to visit quite a unique site where 300 of the planet's estimated 700 mud volcanoes sit Gobustan, Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea. Many geologists as well as locals and international mud tourists trek to such places as the Firuz Crater Gobustan Salyan mud tourists trek to such places as the Firuz Crater, Gobustan, Salyan and end up happily covered in mud which is thought to have medicinal qualities. In 2001 one mud volcano 15 kilometers from Baku made world headlines when it suddenly started spewing flames 15 meters high.
Unfortunately, the mud volcanoes area has been recently declared a National Park with restricted access, though sporadic visits seems feasible as there is no security. Besides, hardly anyone would have a patience to literally guard tons of mud. But visit there definitely worth a visit as it's one of the rarest things one can find on Earth.
After finishing the tour in both places proceed to Masalli where you are scheduled to arrive at around 14:00-15:00.
Pay a visit there to typically southern-style Mosque and ruined Old hamam (bath house). Then explore some landmark places between Masalli and Yardimli. En route there are several woodland cafe-resorts overlooking attractive Vilas Lake (10 km) and at nearby Istisu, a recently renovated hot springs mini-sanatorium. Further towards Yardimli there’s an unusual inflammable river at Yanardag (15 km) and a seasonal two-level waterfall (shalala, 27 km), which is one of Azerbaijan’s most impressive.
Accommodation in one of the hotels between Masalli and Yardimli.
After breakfast drive further south to Lenkoran and Lerik again through the center of Masalli. Arrival to Lenkoran at 11:00. Visit local bazaar in Lenkoran, main Mosque near the bazaar, Mayak - a round-towered operational lighthouse converted from former prison, local beach, History museum located in the elegant former home of Mir Ahmad: one of the khan's descendats, the central square dominated by war memorial and real tank sitting on plinth by the beach.
After finishing tour in Lenkoran leave for Lerik village which is 1,5-2 hours drive away. Visit History museum in Lerik center and then check-into one of the private houses. Have a lunch with tasty national food, tea with jams and local sweets. After short rest have 3-4 hours horseback riding tour. Come back home for dinner/tea and overnight.
After breakfasts start the way to Astara border with Iran again through Lenkoran. Arrival at around 12:00 to the border check point. Finishing the Azeri part of your tour.
- 2 nights accommodation in Baku in 3* Altstadt hotel (double/twin occupancy for groups including breakfasts), 1 night in Yardimly or Massally (including breakfast), 1 night in private house in Lerik (all meals)
- Private vehicle accompanied by an experienced English speaking local guide
- Local driver for your vehicle, exclusively for your tour
- Sightseeing program including all entrance fees
- Private guided transfers to and from airport
- Guide's and driver's expenses
- Visa support
Not included into the package:
- Fees for taking photos in historical sites
- Any meals
- Other personal expenses
|N of pax||
Tour cost for group (USD, $)
|Cost per pax (USD, $)||Special notes|
|2||1800||900||4 seater sedan or 4WD vehicle to be provided|
|4||2520||630||7 seater van to be provided|
|6||3240||540||15 seater van to be provided to allow luggage|
|8||3760||470||15/20 seater van to be provided to allow luggage|
|10||4300||430||15/20 seater van to be provided to allow luggage|