SHEKİ – GAKH - ZAGATALA
SHEKİ – GAKH - ZAGATALA
Description: Shaki (Azerbaijani: Şəki; until 1968 Nukha, Azerbaijani: Nuxa) is a city in northwestern Azerbaijan, in the rayon of the same name.
Shaki is in northern Azerbaijan on the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, 325 km (202 mi) from Baku. The population is 63,000.
Shaki was one of the biggest cities of the Albanian states in the 1st century. The main temple of the ancient Albanians was located there. The kingdom of Shaki was divided into 11 administrative provinces. Shaki was one of the important political and economic cities before the Arab invasion. But as a result of the invasion, Shaki was annexed to the third emirate. An independent Georgia principality, Hereti, was established in times when the Arab caliphate was weak. The city was also ruled by the Kingdom of Georgia, the Atabegs of Azerbaijan and the Khwarazmian Empire, before the Mongol invasion.
Zaqatala (Azerbaijani: Zaqatala; also, Sakataly, Zakatalsk, and Zakataly) is a city in northwest Azerbaijan. With a municipal population of 31,300 inhabitants, it is located northwest of Sheki, by the Tala River and is the main municipality of the Zaqatala rayon. The municipality consists of the city of Zaqatala and the nearby village of Qazangül. The city is populated by a variety of ethnic groups, each speaking their own (linguistically unrelated) languages, including Azerbaijani and Tsakhur.
The Qakh region of Azerbaijan has a long history dating back to ancient times. Archaeological excavations the area had been populated during Eneolithic, Bronze and early Iron Ages. What remains of these early inhabitants `activities indicates they engaged largely in sedentary cultivation, animal-breeding and art. Qax (Kakhi) region was part of Kakheti-Hereti Kingdom and than part of united Georgian kingdom. In 1921 Kakhi Region became part of Azerbaijan.
• Arrival in Baku
• Check in at the hotel (from 14:00)
• Free day
• Overnight in the hotel
· Breakfast in the hotel
· City tour in Baku. Visiting the monumental, historical and architectural landmarks of the city
· Trip to The Ancient Zoroastrian Temple Ateshgah - `Fire Temple `
The Temple of Eternal Fire - Ateshgah - is an authentic Azerbaijani exotic. It is well-known practically all over the world. It is located 30 km from the center of Baku in the suburb of Surakhany. This territory is known for such unique natural phenomenon as burning natural gas outlets (underground gas coming onto surface contacts oxygen and lights up). The temple in its present state was constructed in the 17th-18th centuries. It was built by the Baku-based Hindu community related to Sikhs.
· Dinner and free time
· Night in hotel
Breakfast in the hotel
· Road with bus from Baku to Shaki ( 5 hours)
City tour in Sheki
We will introduce you a city located in the picturesque mountains and considered one of the most ancient in the entire Caucasus. It is a hub of ancient crafts where you will visit local studios, watch the masters ` work and get souvenirs to remember the outstanding trip. There is also Sheki Khans Palace considered the most valuable monument of 18th century Azerbaijan.
· Night in the locals house in Sheki
· Breakfast in locals hause
`Khan Yaylagi ` (4+ hours)
Khan-Yaylag is a mountain and is located in Sheki, Azerbaijan. The estimate terrain elevation above seal level is 2075 metres.
· Lunch and free time
`Gelersen – Gorersen `fortress (1+
Construction of the fortress is dated back to the 8th or 9th century. Gelersen-Gorersen was thoroughly consolidated and was used for defense. In translation from Azerbaijani language the name of the fortress means `will come-will see `. An interesting episode from the history of Shaki Khanate is connected to it. When the ruler of Iran, Nadir shah, attacked Shaki Khanate in the 8th century, Haji Chalabi, khan of Shaki Khanate, secured in the fortress. When Nadir shah offered him to give in, Chalabi answered: `You will come and see `. Infuriate Nadir shah, who was not expected such an answer, decided to capture the fortress by force. In 1744, the shah approached the fortress with a great army, but couldn `t capture it and fell back. Since then the fortress was famed as Gelersen - Gorersen
· Walking back to Sheki city center (5+ hours)
· Night in locals house in Sheki city
Breakfast in Sheki
Road with bus to Gakh Ilisu
village (1+ hour)
The small, stone-built village of Ilisu is set in the beautiful Qaracay Valley, nicknamed Qax `s `mini-Switzerland `. It is located amid dense woods at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, under Mt. Ahvay, not far from the border with Dagestan (Russian Federation). The road itself is very scenic both for the landscape and for a 16th century bridge 2km out of the village itself. Ilisu is a small place, built around a single street who still remembers its glory days when it was the capital of an autonomous short-lived 18th century Khanate coveted by Russia.
Two modest castle tower ruins bear testament and there `s an unusual mosque. The village is a fascinating place to wander and makes a great base for hikes towards the nearby mountains and waterfalls of the Ilisu Nature Reserve. Don `t go too far, however, as the reserve is a closed zone and the peaks behind form the sensitive Russian border.
The old stone houses have stood the test of time and are nice to
wander among. However, being set off the `main ` street, one can found Ilisu
surprisingly noisy. Clearly, there is new construction going on here. It is a
favourite getaway for locals trying to escape the heat in Qax.
Lunch in the Ilisu village
Hiking to Ilisu village
waterfall (1+ hour)
Walking back to Ilisu village
Driving to Zagatala
· Dinner and night in 3* hotel in Zagatala
· Driving to Gabzdara village (1+ hour)
Hiking to Katekh waterfall (2+
Free time and Lunch
Hiking to Shamilovka mountain
Walking back to Gabzdara
village (4+ hours)
· Dinner and night in 3* hotel
· Breakfast in hotel
· Driving back to Baku (5+ hours)
Free time and shopping
· Night in the hotel