Caucasus Azerbajan Jewish Heritage Tour,

Day 1: Arrival (22 km, 30 minutes)

Arrive to Baku. Meeting with Our representative in GYD international Airport and transfer to the hotel. Check-in. If there will be enough time we can have a city sight tour (Fountain Square, Nizami Street) and visit The State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art.

The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum is the treasury of Azerbaijan national Culture. Esrablished for researching, keeping and displeying carpets and carpet items, as well as applied art works, the Museum has the most large collection of Azerbaijan carpets in the world, of different weaving techniques and materials. The Museum was set up in 1967, and the first exhibition was opened in1972. Its collection numbers more than 10 000 objects, including ceramics, metal works, jewelry from Bronze Age, metal worksof 14th century. Carpets and carpet items of the 17th-20th cc.; gold and silver adornment, national garment and embroidery; applied art works of modern period.In 1983 and 1988 the Museum held the International Symposiums and Oriental carpet art

From the beginning of its creation the Museum carries out the reseach and public service work. Every year the Museum organizes the Republic and International Exhibitions, and publishers catalogues and booklets to many of them. Temporery exhibitions have been held in more than 30 countries, namely France, Germany, England, Japan, Holland etc. The Museum's experts make an examination of carpets and applied art works to define their art school, date and value as works of art, and give an permit to export of the art works from the Republic. The experts advise also on purchasing of carpets and applied art works. The Museum organizes lectures, courses of carpet art, as well as all types of applied art. The Museum has a bookshop where one purchase books on Azerbaijan crafts and carpet art. Opening hours: 10.00 - 18.00 every day, except Monday.  Overnight in Baku.

Day 2: Baku – Old City (2 hours) Start exploring Azerbaijan with a city tour of Baku, which is one of the oldest and biggest cities in the East for antiquity, territory and population. Baku is the capital, largest city, and largest port of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, that projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal parts: the downtown and the old Inner City . Baku's urban population at the beginning of 2009 was estimated at just over two million people. Among these are the townships on islands in the Baku Bay and the town of Oil Rocks built on stilts in the Caspian Sea, 60 km (37 mi) away from Baku. The Inner City of Baku along with the Shirvanshah Palace and Maiden Tower were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. The city is the scientific, cultural and industrial center of Azerbaijan.

The tour begins with a visit to the observation platform of the city, located on the Upland Park, with a magnificent view of the city. The Martyrs Alley of Azerbaijan is also located here, where National Hero of Azerbaijan Albert Agarunov's grave is located.

Albert Agarunovich Agarunov (25 April 1969 – 7 May 1992) was a Starshina of the Azerbaijani Army who died during the Nagorno-Karabakh War. He was among the last Azerbaijanis to defend Shusha, which was seized by Armenian forces on May 9, 1992. Albert Agarunov was born in a Baku suburb to Mountain Jewish parents Agarun (an oil-worker and Quba-native) and Leah Agarunov; he was one of the family's ten children. After obtaining a degree in technology, he started working at a machine-building factory as a metal turner. He served in the Soviet Army from 1987 to 1989. In 1991, he voluntarily enlisted in the Azerbaijani Army in the war against Armenia Azerbaijan's over Nagorno-Karabakh region. According to Azerbaijani sources, on December 8, 1991, Agarunov along with driver Agababa Huseynov managed to disable nine Armenian tanks and two armoured trucks. He served as a tank commander in the defense of Shusha in May 1992, when the Armenians launched the successful assault to take this strategically important town. He took part in a famous tank engagement against a T-72, commanded by Gagik Avsharian, knocking it out of commission on the road leading to the town. Agarunov was killed several days later on the road connecting Shusha to Lachin. He was posthumously awarded the title of the National Hero of Azerbaijan and was buried at Martyrs' Lane in Baku in May 1992.

Afterwards take the funicular to descend to the coastal park.

Visit the old city Icheri sheher-the. Icheri sheher means the inner city. It was called the inner after the oil boom of the middle of the XIX century when the city stopped to hold in defense walls and left its limit. Several tens of the historical- architectural monuments at the same time the Shirvanshakhs Palace, the symbol of Baku city The Maiden Tower, the place of merchants rest Karavansaray are concentrated in the Icheri sheher, with the square of 22 hectares. Icheri sheher is the live organism which has its own infrastructure and inhabited files. The place where 1300 families are living. In a word it is an ancient city in the modern city. Evening walk along the central streets of the city and updated fountain square, shopping.

Then have a trip on public boat in Baku Bay.

Lunch and dinner in a local restaurants.

Day 3: Synagogue of Baku / Gobustan (75 km, 1 hour) Azerbaijan - a country where Jews live in complete safety. Such tolerance in Azerbaijan, There is nowhere in the world. The Azerbaijani government is building new synagogues and reconstructs oldes. Jews of Azerbaijan has never met with anti-Semitism within the country, and they are full citizens of this land and given Azerbaijan's sons such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Eugene Feinberg, Arnold Katz, Lev Landau, Genrich Altshuller, Vitaly Wolf, Gregory Korenberg, Richard Sorge, Vladimir Schweitzer, Gary Kasparov, Yuli Gusman, Yakov Zevin, Reinhold Gliere.

Visit the three-story Jewish Synagogue opened in Baku on March 9, 2003 at 171 Dilara Aliyeva Street.  Meeting with the Baku Jewish Community. Excursion to art-historical reserve Gobustan, where the petroglyphic drawings, barrows and housing objects have been remained which are dated from X – VIII centuries B.C. up to average centuries. The certificates of the Stone Age citizens and another periods, petroglyphic drawings, the human parking and the gravestone monuments are concentrated in Gobustan. Not far from there is *gaval chalan dash* is original tambourine-stone, like a huge flat wise plate. Rhythmical accurate motives could be taken from it by the percussion. It is considered that ritual dancing’s and ceremonies were accompanied by these sounds. The visiting of Gobustan will transfer you to another world, the world of the past mankind and will let you to feel the atmosphere of the thousand-year history of this place. 

Overnight in Baku. Lunch and dinner in a local restaurants.

Day 4: Baku-Nakhchivan city Approximate timing. • 06:00 – 07:00: Breakfast at your Hotel • 07:10: Meet the Driver & Guide at the Hotel and transfer to Baku International Airport • 07:40: Arrive and registration to Nakhchivan flight • 09:00: Flight to Nakhchivan city • 10:00 Arrive in Nakhchivan city • 10:10: Welcome at the Airport and transfer to you hotel in Nakhchivan city • 11:00: Nakhchivan City tour:  • Visit Prophet Noah’s grave monument – Legend about World Flood  • Visit ruins of old Nakhchivan city walls (3 millennium b.c) • Visit Imamzadeh – 16th century • Visit to Momina Khatun Monument – 12th century • 13:00: Lunch in Nakhchivan city • 14:30: Visit to Khan’s House – 18th century • 15:15: Visit to Yusif Ibn Kuseyir Tomb – 14th century • 15:35: Drive to visit Garabaghlar monument – 13th century. In a clear day you will have chance to see AgriDag at the Eastern Turkey, where Prophet Noah’s Ark is believed to be. • 17:15: Visit “Duzdagh” Salt Mine caves (Physiotherapy Treatment Center), a unique asthma bronchitis treatment center in the world • 18:30: Drive back to Nakhchivan city and Dinner. • Overnight at your hotel. 

Day 5: Nakhchivan-Baku • 08:00 – 09:00: Breakfast at the hotel.  • 09:15: Meet the Driver and Guide and start tour:  • 09:40: Visit to Carpet Museum • 10: 30: Visit Heydar Aliyev Museum • 11:15: Drive to Julfa to see Daridagh Arsenic Mineral Healing Spring. • 13:15: Lunch in Gapijik restaurant at Ordubad region area. • 15:00: Drive to Asabu Kahf Caves as stated in Holy Koran and other Holy Books as 7 sleepers of Ephesus. • 17:00: Drive back to Nakhchivan city and watermelon and melon party at the gardens near the road if it is a water melon season.  • 18:00: Farewell Dinner in Nakhchivan city. • 19:30: Drive to Nakhchivan International Airport • 21:00: Flight to Baku • 22:00: Arrive in Baku and transfer to Hotel

Day 6: Baku / Absheron Peninsula (63 km, 6 hours) Breakfast in the hotel. Meeting with the Azerbaijan-Israel Friendship Organization.  Excursion to Yanar Dag Burning Hill. You can see here nature phenomenon, incessant burning nature gas on the rock which named to the Yanar Dag reserve the burning rock. As the historians say, maybe this place gave the name *the fire country* to Azerbaijan. 

Then visit the temple of the fire worshippers Atashgah. Ateshgah means the House of Fire, place of fire. The territory of this temple is known for unique nature phenomenon as the burning exits of the natural gas. The temple of fire is of the main places where the ancient supporters of Zoroaster religion worshipped there to the fire. In The museum complex Atashgah you will be told about the life way Zaraustra worshippers and also about the traditions and the customs which they adhered. The Baku Ateshgah (from Persian: آتشگاه Atashgāh, Azerbaijani: Atəşgah) or "Fire Temple" is a castle-like religious structure in Surakhani, a suburb of greater Baku, Azerbaijan. "Atash" (آتش) is the Persian word for fire. The pentagonal complex, which has a courtyard surrounded by cells for monks and a tetrapillar-altar in the middle, was built during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was abandoned after 1883 when oil and gas plants were established in the vicinity. The complex was turned into a museum in 1975 and now receives thousands visitors a year. It was nominated for World Heritage Site status in 1998 and was declared a state historical-architectural reserve by decree of the Azeri President on 19 December 2007.

Overnight in Baku. Lunch and dinner in a local restaurants.

Day 7: Baku / Sheki (298 km, 5 hours) Breakfast in the hotel. Then drive to Shamakhy district. Shemakha was the capital of Shirvan Kingdom for several centuries Visit Diri Baba Tomb. Two-floor Diri-Baba mausoleum is located in the outskirts of Maraza settlement in one of the rocky gorges, which is a wonderful creation of the art of ancient menders of the XV century. Shah Ibrahim transferred the lands, which are situated in Gobustan district at present, to the property of sheikh Diri-Baba, in honor of whom the funeral mosque was built in the late XIV century. This fact is proved in the notes of famous Turkish traveler Evliya Chelebi. According to the text of the inscription tablet, the structure was erected in the year H. 805 / 11402-3 during the reign of Sheikh Ibrahim Khan. The architect's name on the inscription medallion has been partly effaced, so that only the father's name is known: ".. .bin Ustad Haci."

Continue to Sheki. Sheki is one of the most famous and ancient places of Azerbaijan. Situated 700 m (2297 ft.) above sea level like an amphitheatre surrounded by the mountains and forests of oak trees, this ancient city was long famed as a silk centre and an important stop on the Great Silk Route. There is an assumption that the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Saks, who reached the territory of Azerbaijan in the 7th century BC. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan's summer palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. Sheki History museum is famous with artifacts from several periods. 

Upon our checking-in at the hotel, we’ll enjoy the farewell dinner, tasting traditional Azeri cuisine dishes. Overnight in Sheki. Lunch and dinner in a local restaurants.

Day 8: Sheki – Kish (5 km, 1,5 hour) – Baku (320 km, 6 hours) Breakfast in the hotel. Then visit the Albanian church located in Kish village. Legend says that the church was built in 78 AD, but the researchers place it a few centuries later. 

Back to Baku. Overnight in Baku. Lunch and dinner in a local restaurants.

Day 9: Baku-Guba-Krasnaya Sloboda Breakfast in the hotel. Drive to Krasnaya Sloboda Jewish Settlement in Guba district, The only entirely Jewish town outside of Israel. Serves as the principal town of the mountain Jews in the Cauacasus. It sounds as Girmizi Gesebe in Azeri (formerly in Russian: Krasnaya Sloboda, English: Red Town) is a village and municipality in the Quba Rayon of Azerbaijan. It has a population of 3,598. The village is located across the Qudiyalçay River (or Kudyal River) from the larger town of Quba, Azerbaijan. It is the primary settlement of Azerbaijan's population of Highland Jews, who make up the population of approximately 4,000. The most widely spoken language in Qırmızı Qəsəbə is Juhuri. While the Highland Jews had been in the area around Quba since at least the 13th century, the formal creation of Krasnaya Sloboda is traced back to the 18th century, when in 1742 the khan of Quba, Feteli Khan, gave the Jews permission to set up a community free of persecution across the river from the city of Quba. Originally referred to as Yevreiskaya Sloboda (Jewish Settlement), the name was changed to Krasnaya Sloboda (Red Settlement) under Soviet rule. The town has had an influx of financial support from relatives living in Israel and features the new Bet Knesset Synagogue. However, after Azerbaijan's independence in 1991, many residents emigrated to Israel, the United States, and Europe, and the population dropped from the roughly 18,000 that lived there during the era of Communism.

Back to Baku and overnight in the Hotel. Lunch and dinner in a local restaurants.

Day 10: Departure  Breakfast in hotel. Check-out and transfer to the Baku GYD International Airport for departure flight.

This is a sample itinerary customized for each client