Arriving at Baku International Airport. After clearing immigration and customs, collect your baggage. Company representative will waiting for you at the arrivals hall. Transfer to the hotel (duration: 30-35 minutes). Arrival at the hotel, assistance with check-in process (registration time: 14:00-15:00). Spare time for freshen up. Overnight in Baku.
Baku / Old Town
Breakfast at the hotel. Start of excursion. Excursion covers the entire central part of the city with a display of the major historical and architectural sites. Our first stop is Old Town that is a heart of Baku. Here, on the hill and in front of Caspian Sea, the ancient city was born. Several dozens of historically architectural monuments are located in the territory of Old Town (UNESCO’s World Heritage): Palace of Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower, Museum of Miniature Books, caravansaries, mosques, baths, etc.
Cultural Center named after Haydar Aliyev – one more epic showplace, modern complex construction. The center project and design belongs to the famous architect Zaha Hadid. The construction of the building was covered on the channels of Discovery and Science Channel, dedicated to the most courageous engineering projects of modernity and architectural masterpieces of the world.
Photo shooting on the background of Cultural Center and in the field of “I love Baku” sign. The excursion involves also the symbols of modern Baku – truly iconic Flame Towers with interactive panels, Congress Hall, Socar Tower, Azersu Building in the form of water droplet, Olympic Gymnastics Arena, Olympic Stadium. Today's excursion ends at the upland park – the spectacular place where you can enjoy an unsurpassed view of the city, that has a completely new look by night, lit up with glaring lights. Head back to the hotel, overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we explore all the outskirts and sights of Absheron peninsula. Explore the temple of fire worshipers – Atashgah (30 km far from Baku). Azerbaijan is one of the few places on the earth where even today one can observe elements of preserved fire cult and the ancient Zoroastrianism religion. For example, Atashgah that is known for such unique 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 by the Baku-based Hindu community related to Sikhs. Pentagonal complex has an open courtyard with temple-altar in the center which was the place of pilgrimage for worshippers. Our next point is Gala Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex. This open-air museum was created on the site of archaeological excavations where there are still survived ruins of five thousand years old history. During the excursions you will be acquainted with ancient dwellings, burial mounds, tombs, water storages, the ruins of an ancient castle etc. The road leads to the 22m square-plan Mardakan quadrangular tower that was built in the 14th century. It was mainly used for defending Mardakan on a temporary basis. The final destination of today’s excursion is Azerbaijani exotic Yanardag (“burning hill”). And this is a real burning hill – not metaphorically, but literally. Meter-long tongues of fire cover the stratified earth approximately for 10 metres in width. Road back to the hotel, overnight
Gobustan National Historical-Artistic Preserve Mud Volcanoes Bibi Heybat Mosque
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we head to explore Gobustan (60 km far from Baku) which is widely known not only in Azerbaijan, but also worldwide with an outstanding collection of rock engravings. Gobustan (UNESCO’s World Heritage) is a unique archaeological area (open-air museum) that has preserved more than 6000 petroglyphs (rock carvings), tens of ancient human sites, dwelling places, gravestones, plenty of caves and other sites dated back to different historical periods. All these monuments are the evidence of 15 thousand years long successive usage of Gobustan by people. The petroglyphs of Gobustan, that are artistic chronicles of the past, bear great importance for the study of the pre-history of humanity.
You will also have a chance to visit quite a unique place - mud volcanoes. According to the number of active mud volcanoes, Azerbaijan ranks first in the world. Many geologists as well as locals and international mud tourists trek to this place and end up happily covered in mud which is thought to have medicinal qualities. In 2001 one mud volcano situated 15 kilometers from Baku made world headlines when it suddenly started spewing flames 15 meters high.
On the way back, you will visit Bibi-Heybat mosque (1267), the best place to see the oil fields of those times and modern oil platforms. The Architectural Digest, American monthly magazine featuring the work of top architects and designers, has listed Azerbaijan's Bibi-Heybat mosque among the most beautiful mosques in the world. Road back to the hotel, overnight
BBreakfast at the hotel. Time to enjoy the hotel facilities. Check-out formalities (standard time: 12:00) Transfer to Baku International Airport (in case of late departure, suitcases can be left in the hotel) Depart with everlasting memories of magnificent Azerbaijan.
Note: Accommodations are also available for 04Star & 05Star Hotel.