Pioneering Azerbaïdjan Horse Expedition

14 days
Duration
0/5
Difficulty
Location
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Age
0+
Persons

Azerbaidjan shares its border with Georgia, Dagestan, Iran and Armenia. It stretches from the North with the Great Caucasus Mountains to the hilly picturesque Hirkan National Park and the Talysh mountains in the South. It is the only country of the whole Caucasus chain where you can cross the southern slopes to the northern slopes. In the Caucasus area, Azerbaidjan is nowadays the wildest country for nature activities. Focused on the oil business the decision makers were not thinking about developing sport / outdoors tourism. The core of our itinerary is the self sufficient horseback trek in the very wilderness of the Great Caucasus Mountains. During our route we ride over passes, on crest or high plateau, between mountains lakes, through untouched forest and wild rivers. We will be accompanied by the local Lezgian people who know by heart the incredible Ismaili National park. Your target is to reach the village of Lahic settled by the Tat people coming originally from Iran. Mountains horses are the only way of transportation in the mountains, not only for people but also for different kind of material, wood, stones … . We will choose our route day by day in accordance with the weather, pathway and snow conditions. Each day will be an adventure and each trip will offer a new itinerary…be different and the choice is simply huge.
Around our Caucasian cavalcades this trip offers a rich mix of nature and culture, different kind of ecosystems and landscapes from the green mountains to the volcanic desert, old and new contrasting the country’s ancient heritage with its modern buildings in Baku, the pure unspoiled nature facing the former oil industrial lands. We finish the trip by riding on an old soviet night train which brings us to Tbilisi. We discover the beautiful capital of Georgia and enjoy its charms. Tbilisi is a very alive and warm capital and offers a multitude of things to see and do. Coming from Azerbaidjan your first feeling reminds you Europa with its cobbled streets, small and beautiful houses but quickly you feel the middle east influences. You plunge in its history, architecture and the Georgians life style for 24 hours. You discover the discrepancies and similarities between the 2 former soviet countries (out of 3) of the Caucasus areas. It is a unique horseback ride and the very first horseback trip organized in Azerbaidjan. Let’s enjoy the real adventure!

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION
INCLUDED
  • 1. Full board except the free meals described in the program
  • 2. Permission to enter the national and strict nature reserve.
  • 3. Transportation described in the itinerary.
  • 4. All equestrian material
  • 5. During the horseback riding, 1 local guide, 1 assistant, 1 cook.
  • 6. Accommodation: 4 nights in 4 stars hotels in the very center of Baku and Tbilisi. Single room extra charge of 60 euros / night only possible in Baku and Tbilisi. 1 night in family guesthouses in Lahic, during the horseback expedition either in tent or in camp.
  • 7. Lunch and diner everyday except on day 1 and departure day 14. (Usually flight from Europe arrives in the evening).
  • 8. Entrance fees described in the program. (The visits during the free time are on your own expenses).
  • 9. Night train Baku-Tbilisi
  • 10. French, English and German speaking guide.
NOT INCLUDED
  • 1. Airline ticket
  • 2. Full Insurances
  • 3. Scan of your passport one month before departure (NP & SNR permission)
  • 4. Visa (20 dollars, online : https://www.azerbaijanonlinevisa.com/visainformation
  • 5. Lunch Day 1, Day 13 and 14 (depending on your time schedule)
  • 6. Diner Day 1, Day 14 (depending on your time schedule)
  • 7. Personal expenses
  • 8. Alcoholic beverage in restaurant.
  • 9. Small backpack (except during the horseback trip: no backpack on horse).
  • 10. Front bags (horses)
  • 11. Personal medicine, purification pills
  • 12. Raining clothes (pants and jacket), warm clothes.
  • 13. Sleeping bag, floor mattress.
  • 14. Small flash light or torch.
  • 15. Small knife.
  • 16. Water bottle.
  • 17. GOOD TREKKING SHOES. NO RIDING BOOTS
TOUR PRICE
1

Day 1: Arrival-Baku

Departure Europe-Arrival in Baku. Meals are on your own if you arrive during the day. Arrival from the beginning of the afternoon till midnight. I will prepare (like for Tbilisi) a document with some information about Baku ‘a place of interest. Depending on their arrival time they will have time to visit some places. They could visit the carpet museum (which is very interesting if you like carpet:)), stroll around at the coastline boulevard and in the old city.

Free meals

Overnight in a comfortable hotel 4* in the very center of Baku.

2

Day 2: Baku

We meet 8:00 at the breakfast room. Beginning in Baku you will take a tour of its medieval heart, exploring its alleys, mosques and palaces before moving on to the imposing mansions of the city’s 19th century oil barons, plunge in the market, negotiate a carpet… A glimpse of our visit : we will walk through the double arches of the Fortress Wall constructed by King Manoucher II (1120-1159). The wall encircles the most ancient part of Baku called "Ichari Shahar" (Inner City) and preserves the image of a medieval Oriental citadel. Since then, it has been reconstructed. Inside we will see the extraordinary architecture of the 15th century, known as the Royal Palace of Shirvan-Shahs-Kings of Shirvan constructed in 1435-1442 by King Khalil; the Gasim bey bath house, the public bath house dating back to the 17th century; the Ismayiliye Palace which is a beautiful edifice in Venetian Gothic style built by oil baron Agha Musa Naghiyev (1849-1919). He was known as both the richest oil baron in Baku.… we also have a look at the modern building of Socar from where we enjoy a panorama over the city, the market place.

We have a diner in a restaurant.

Overnight in 4* hotel

3

Day 3: 1. Baku-Istisu// 2. Baku-Lahic

Departure at 10:30 1. We drive to Istisu, the Lesguins village from where we take a big soviet trucks to reach the first camp. Overnight in the camp. Lunch is a picnic. 2. We drive to Lahic, a Tat village which worth a visit. Coming originally from Iran or Afghanistan the Tat speak a Persian dialect. You have free time to spend some time in the very beautiful cobbled streets village of Lahic famous for its medieval water supply and sewage systems as well as traditional work shops making jewelry, copperware, carpets, pottery, daggers, and iron tools. Lunch is a picnic. We overnight by some Tat people. We prepare all the staff for tomorrow.

Overnight in a guesthouse.

4

Day 4: 1. Lahic-CAMP1/ 2. CAMP1-Crest

We start quite early from Lahic, we have a very long and beautiful day. We start from Lahic and ride up in the valley. We go further up till the crest where we ride some hours. On our way , the panorama open on the Babadag summit, one of the highest mount in Azerbaidjan. After the pass, we ride down till the camp 1. The camps are located deep in the valley, lost in the nature and offers amazing settings.

We have a diner and overnight at the camp.

5

Day 5: CAMP1-CAMP2

Today, departure around 10:00 for the next camp. We ride through forest, large and long valley. This camp 2 islocated in the middle a strict nature reserve and national park hidden in the mountains. We ride upward in the river bed and through some beautiful forests.

We have a diner at the camp and overnight there.

6

Day 6: CAMP2-Xinaliq

The next 3 days, from this camp, according to the weather condition, we will decide which way we will take. The target is to reach Xinalig, the Qetish village where people are speaking between them an endemic language, so it means that it is only spoken by people living in this village. Some linguists are studying this amazing language which may belong to the North Caucasus languages.
We ride over passes lying at more than 3000m, crests, high plateau by some beautiful lakes (depending on the way chosen). We set up the camp every night. We overnight a tent (double tent, 2 per tent). No tent mess. We reach Xinalig on the third day.

7

Day 7:

The next 2 days, from this camp, according to the weather condition, we will decide which way we will take. The target is to reach Xinalig, the Qetish village where people are speaking between them an endemic language, so it means that it is only spoken by people living in this village. Some linguists are studying this amazing language which may belong to the North Caucasus languages.
We ride over passes lying at more than 3000m, crests, high plateau by some beautiful lakes (depending on the way chosen). We set up the camp every night. We overnight a tent (double tent, 2 per tent). No tent mess. We reach Xinalig on the third day.

8

Day 8:

The next 1 days, from this camp, according to the weather condition, we will decide which way we will take. The target is to reach Xinalig, the Qetish village where people are speaking between them an endemic language, so it means that it is only spoken by people living in this village. Some linguists are studying this amazing language which may belong to the North Caucasus languages.
We ride over passes lying at more than 3000m, crests, high plateau by some beautiful lakes (depending on the way chosen). We set up the camp every night. We overnight a tent (double tent, 2 per tent). No tent mess. We reach Xinalig on the third day.

9

Day 9: Xinaliq-Chakhdag-Xinalig

We ride further on in the direction of the Shakhdag, an impressive summit with offer outstanding panorama. We reach the southern slopes. Azerbaijan is the only country of the Caucasian chain where it is possible to cross from the northern to the southern slopes. We may ride on the same way depending on the permission (administration). We overnight in tent.

10

Day 10: Xinaliq-Chakhdag-Xxinalig

We ride further on in the direction of the Shakhdag, an impressive summit with offer outstanding panorama. We reach the southern slopes. Azerbaijan is the only country of the Caucasian chain where it is possible to cross from the northern to the southern slopes. We may ride on the same way depending on the permission (administration). We overnight in tent.

11

Day 11: Xinaliq-Baku

  • We drive back to Baku.
  • We arrive in Baku by the middle of the afternoon.
  • You have free time to visit for exemple the Alyiev foundation or to stroll around.
  • We go to Restaurant Overnight in a 4* hotel
12

Day 12: Baku-Qobustan-Apsheron Peninsula-Baku

Gobustan is very rich in archaeological monuments with more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back between 5,000 - 40,000 years. The site was also a cave dweller city. Built in the middles of ravines in a desertic area, it gave the name of Gobustan, as « Gobu » is ravine in Azerbaidjan language. Most of the rock engravings depict primitive men, animals, battle-pieces, ritual dances, bullfights, boats with armed oarsmen, warriors with lances in their hands, camel caravans, pictures of sun and stars. Lunch is a picnic
We have a look also to the mud volcanoes. We drive back to Baku and visit of the suburb the Absheron Peninsula: We drive to the old petroleum industry plants c o n t ra s t i n g t h e p u re nature of mountains, the Ateshgah temple of fire worshippers located in Surakhany village where the Zoroastrians travelled thousands of kilometers to worship fire coming out of the earth, the Yanardag Mountain with natural gas burning for several thousands of years. We have a diner quite early to take the night train soviet style to Tbilisi. Night in the old soviet style train.

Departure 21:00 from Baku.

13

Day 13: Tbilisi

We arrive in Tbilisi in the morning around 10H45. We leave our staff at the hotel and you have free time till 3pm. Then we visit the old center of Tbilisi, architecture, historical place of interest…. Then you have free time to enjoy Tbilisi. You have a lot to see. The city is completely different from Baku and you can appreciate the differences and the similarities I will help you :). We have a last diner together in restaurant Overnight in hotel 3/4* in the very center of Tbilisi.

End of the trip

14

Day 14: Departure Day

Flight back . Transfer to airport.

5-18 Sep 2019 BOOK NOW