In order to make the most of this country at the crossroads of East and West, two weeks will be perfect. Strolling through the streets of Baku, the capital, as well as discovering more outlying regions will give you a global vision of Azerbaijan, a land of fire
Arrival in Baku, where the day can be devoted to exploring the old town: the mosques, the palace of the Shah, the tower of the Virgin.
Also in Baku, discover the city of the oil boom, the promenade along the Caspian Sea, some of the many museums in the city (history museum, Nizami museum and museum museum, especially).
Departure to Shaki. Several stops are possible along the road, in Shamakhi (where one can visit a beautiful mosque as well as a very old Muslim cemetery) and in Lahij, a small mountain village with cobbled streets, where crafts have remained very lively.
Shaki, its fortress, its splendid palace, its churches converted into museums, its magnificent caravanserai transformed into a charming hotel. We can finish the day in Kish, a small mountain village with an astonishing Albanian church dating from the first century of our era.
From Kish, a beautiful hike in a valley allows you to reach an old fortress with a view of the snowy summits in the Caucasus. Return to Baku.
Located around Baku, it treasures treasures of architecture and natural phenomena. Spontaneous flames, fire temple, th-century watch towers... and, for a well-deserved break, the beaches of Pirshagi or Shuvalan.
Discovery of Qobustan region: its rock paintings in the desert and its impressive mud volcanoes. The site is usually the subject of a day excursion from Baku.
Climb to the north of the country, along the coast of the Caspian Sea. Stop at Besh Same, a hand-shaped rock formation, place of pilgrimage for Azéris. Visit of ruins of the fortress of Chirag. Night near Tengialti, a small village at the entrance of narrow gorges in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains.
One or more days can be spent on hiking around Tengialti. The surrounding mountains make it possible to go from village to village, while discovering, at walking distance, beautiful natural sites, gorges and waterfalls.
Expedition to Khinalig, a perched village that offers a breathtaking panorama of the Caucasus and where one can discover a unique mountain lifestyle in the country. Roads are difficult, and sometimes blocked: an all-terrain vehicle is necessary for this adventure, and you need to learn about the state of the tracks before starting from Guba.
The town of Guba deserves a prolonged stop despite its reduced size. Beautiful old houses adorn the streets of the village, mosques offer a sampling of different architectural styles, the parks are very lively. On the other side of the river is an astonishing Jewish city, with its synagogues and a cemetery adorned with the David cross.
Arrival in Nabran, the country's most famous seaside resort, not far from the border of Dagestan. A day of relaxation in this atmosphere with the strong Soviet accents. Beautiful walks in the surrounding countryside are also possible from Nabran.
Return to Baku to take your return flight. This stay can easily be extended for walking or beach lovers. Sheki and Tengialti regions lend themselves particularly well to hiking.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette