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Silk Road Tours offer tailor made holidays through Central Asia, The Caucasus, Middle East and North Africa
On this fascinating one-week tour, explore the delights of Azerbaijan, a little-known country on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Your journey takes you from the cosmopolitan and ancient capital of Baku to the charming medieval town of Sheki in the Caucasus Mountains, via fire temples, fortresses and historic trading towns. You will also be able to spend a day in the little visited and fascinating Nakchivcan Autonmous Republic.
Discover the contrasts between the three Transcaucasian states on this two-week journey through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. From ancient fire temples and monasteries perched high in the mountains to prehistoric rock carvings and volcanic landscapes, this fascinating region offers a wealth of ever-changing sights.
The Central Park hotel is a modern hotel excellently located in the heart of Baku and close to the Boulevard with its stunning views of the Caspian Sea. All 70 rooms are en suite and feature a balcony with views out over the Old Town. There is a roof top restaurant that serves authentic Italian dishes.View Images
The largest but least well-known of the three Transcaucasian countries, the secular Muslim state of Azerbaijan stands in contrast to its Christian neighbours Georgia and Armenia. Located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, the country’s culture, architecture and cuisine display influences from both continents.
Azerbaijan has a wealth of cultural landmarks, including the Zoroastrian Fire Temple at Ateshgah and the Stone Age petroglyphs and 3rd century Roman graffiti at Gobustan. The historic centre of the capital city, Baku, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a walk through the narrow streets of the walled town reveals medieval bath houses, mosques, fortresses and Islamic madrassas. It is also home to the Maiden’s Tower, an enigmatic monument which blends Arabic, Persian and Ottoman styles. The northern town of Sheki was the capital of the Sheki Khans, and their magnificent summer palace was constructed without using a single nail. Sheki’s caravanserais demonstrate Azerbaijan’s importance as a trading centre along the Silk Road.
Alongside traditional Russian dishes, there is a distinct eastern tinge to much of the food of Azerbaijan, and the principal dish, Plov, is an Azeri adaptation of the rice dish which forms a central part of the diet of Uzbekistan. Shashlik and kebabs are also common, highlighting the influence of Persia, while stuffed vine and cabbage leaves call to mind Greek cuisine and desserts such as pakhlava and halva are reminiscent of the Middle East. With such a range of food on offer, a visit to Azerbaijan is a gastronomic as well as a cultural journey.
Time Zone – GMT + 4
Best Times to Visit – April through to early October
Visas – UK passport holders, obtain before travel, e-visa now available
Currency – Azerbiajan Manat (AZN) obtainable on arrival