Small group holiday in Azerbaijan
Description of Small group holiday in Azerbaijan
Situated where Europe meets Asia, Azerbaijan presides over an extremely unique vantage point with Russian, Persian and Ottoman influences conjuring the country that you’ll find today. This week-long Azerbaijan small group holiday takes you into the heart of a land that has long remained cloaked in mystery to provide cultural travellers with a legendary experience that they’ll never forget.
Starting in the capital, Baku, allows a glimpse at the wealth that oil can bring alongside ancient architecture that’s more representative of the country’s much more traditional cultural heritage.
Continuing this Azerbaijan small group holiday takes you out of Baku and into the Absheron Peninsula, a landscape covered in spluttering volcanic mud. Follow your guide into the surrounding mountains and you’ll be invited to meet the communities living within the shadow of ancient mosques and mausoleums where traditional Azeri hospitality and heritage is never far behind.
This Azerbaijan small group holiday maybe relatively short however, it packs a real cultural punch with visits to towns and villages, such as Guba, Shamakha and Shekhi, offering fascinating insight into a land that’s often misunderstood but very rarely forgotten.
Note: for those looking to take this Azerbaijan small group holiday even further into the unknown, ask us about flights to Nakhchivan, sandwiched between Iran and Turkey, for an even more adventurous experience, way off the typical tourist trail.
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4 Reviews of Small group holiday in Azerbaijan
Reviewed on 03 Oct 2019 by Edward McPhillipsThe most exciting part of the holiday was probably visiting the highest village in Europe, and the incredible scenery on the way. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Sep 2018 by Barbara HoffmannThe whole trip was memorable, but especially the visits to the three mountain villages...Kish, Lahic and Xinolic. It was very exciting to see seven Caucasian Golden Eagle soaring quite close to us. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Jun 2018 by Olive OAzerbaijan is a great country and this trip definitely picked the highlights! I loved Baku, it is a great city with all the benefits of modern development including some stunning modern architecture, but also some beautiful historic buildings in the medieval walled city, and in the centre of town which has some amazing early 20c mansions built by the first Russian oil barons. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 Sep 2017 by Abs AhmedThe entire trip was both memorable and exciting! Azerbaijan is a beautiful country and has a rich culture, I loved the capital city of Baku a cosmopolitan, vibrant place, where the old historic monuments sit alongside new modern landmarks. Read full review
PlanetMost of the time on this tour is spent in towns and cities, but we also visit the extraordinary landscapes of Gobustan, where mud volcanoes belch from the earth to create a very unusual phenomenon. We brief our travellers to stick to the trails so as not to disturb this unique landscape and leave it for others to enjoy. Elsewhere at Gobustan are a remarkable collection of petroglyphs and prehistoric rock art, which are particularly susceptible to damage, and again we ensure our travellers do not damage these. Azerbaijan was part of the Soviet Union and as such western European norms regarding the environment are not so well entrenched, therefore it is quite common for local people to dispose of rubbish simply by throwing it out of the window. We operate a strict no litter policy on our tours, and work to educate our drivers and other service providers so as to avoid contributing to this problem.
Similarly, in conjunction with our local team we work with hotels and guesthouses to implement best practices when it comes to environmental matters – in some places this is far behind what we might be used to in other parts of the world. This includes basic things like not replacing towels each day, as well as saving electricity and turning lights off – small things but Azerbaijan, especially outside of Baku is not as used to tourism as countries in western Europe.
PeopleOn all of tours we strive to include a strong focus on local communities and we are firm believers that tourism should have a positive impact on the places visited. On this tour we try to allow our travellers to gain a real insight into the traditional customs of the country; a good example of this is on our Nakhchivan Extension where we visit the pilgrimage site of Ashabu Kaf. We join local people at the mountain and travellers are explained the complex customs here which intertwine Islam with older beliefs. We ensure that our travellers are appropriately briefed in order so as not to offend local sensibilities. This also applies to the churches, mosques and that we visit on this trip; Azerbaijan is a religious country and it is important that we respect these traditions.
We also stop to visit communities of Armenia’s ethnic minorities including the Jewish community of Krasnaya Sloboda. We only visit villages that are pleased to receive us – it is important that we do not treat such communities just as ‘exhibits’, and we recognise that some traditional groups prefer to be left alone.
We visit a number of sites and monuments on this tour that do not necessarily receive much funding from other sources; the entrance fees that we include help to maintain the heritage of this country for future generations – not just western travellers but more importantly to local people to whom they have far more cultural and historical significance. We use locally owned suppliers and our partners here are deeply involved with the preservation of the culture and heritage of the country. Many of Azerbaijan’s sites have been poorly maintained in the past and entrance fees play an important part in their restoration and conservation.