In recent years so-called gastronomic and wine tourism has become increasingly popular.
«Explore Azerbaijan» offers you not only see the ancient buildings, forts and museums but also to try the amazing drinks, national dishes and sweets prepared according to old recipes.
It is well-known that the country's culinary traditions can say a lot about the culture, lifestyle and temperament of its people. While traveling on the gastronomic routes and tasting the masterpieces of the national cuisine of Azerbaijan, you can discover it for yourself with another "delicious" side.
The proposed program includes a visit to Baku and regions of Azerbaijan. In addition, each meal will be quite different: dishes from the tandoor, a variety of rice, freshest Caspian fish, kebabs, sorbets, wine, baklava, halva and many other yummies - all this is fully consistent with the historical ethnic group in the region, its culinary habits and traditions.
Day 1. Arrival/ transfer to the hotel /night excursion/ dinner
After landing at the Baku International Airport, passport control and other formalities for the exit of the terminal, visitors are welcomed by employee of the company.
Also, our staff can assist guests with loading luggage.
Transfer to the hotel.
The duration of the way from the airport to the hotel.is approx. 35 -40 minutes.
Arrival at the hotel.
Check-in arrival at the hotel.
After a short break the guest are launching the Night City Tour.
Night in Baku is like a bright, revived picture.
After the construction boom since the beginning of 20th century there are many new buildings, museums, office buildings, hotels, skyscrapers emerged in the city. Our tour begins at the Upland Park, which offers a magnificent view of the city, that has a completely new look by night, lit up with glaring lights. Houses and parks are wearing an evening gown to give an atmosphere of holiday for inhabitants and guests of the capital.
Upland Park is located on a hill in the western part of the city. This is the best place to see the city and the Baku Bay. The architecture of the capital is very eclectic; it is a combination of different styles and influences, both Eastern and Western.
Coming up next on the program the guests will be able to stroll at the Baku promenade (Boulevard), which is one of the attractions of Baku as well. It is a favorite vacation spot for Baku citizens and guests of the city. In 2009 the Boulevard celebrated its 100 anniversary. Each Baku citizen will prove that the main places for promenade in Baku are Nizami Street and Fountain square.
In the middle of the XIX century, since a favorable location and an abundance of shops, the street was called "Marketplace" or “Torgovaya”. And now, many decades people of Baku continue to call as “Torgovaya” a pedestrian part of Nizami street, closed for public traffic from Fountain Square to the Rashid Behbudov street.
Fountain Square also has a long history, and in the beginning of the XIX century was called the Square. After numerous changes in 2010, the area acquired its present appearance.
In particular, original fountains, pavilions and kiosks were reconstructed, the existing vegetation to preserve and the area of green space was increased.
21:00 Dinner in a fish restaurant
Main dish: Fish Lavanghi
Lavangi comes from the South of Azerbaijan - a picturesque area with beautiful toponyms: Masalli, Lankaran, Astara, Lerik. These towns are washed by the Caspian Sea, so the fish is one of the main ingredients of the local cuisine. Kutum - popular fish in Azerbaijan of the carp family. The main highlight of this dish is the filling, which is made from walnuts, pomegranate, special sauce, onions, raisins and spices.
After the dinner guests return to the hotel.
Night in Baku
Day 2. Baku and Old City Tour/ lunch/ Winery Tour/ dinner
Breakfast at the hotel
10:00 Start of the excursion
The history of the capital of Azerbaijan – Baku - goes back to ancient times, although the exact date of its establishment is still unknown. The territory of the Absheron Peninsula, where the city is located, has a favorable geographical position, a convenient bay, a warm, dry climate, fertile soil, natural resources, so the emergence of the ancient settlements here was quite natural.
Baku, its oil, its "burning earth" have been known far beyond its borders since ancient times.
The written sources of Middle Ages’ mentioning Baku invariably refer to "eternal flames" that were burning in Baku’s surroundings. City tour begins with a visit to the Upland Park.
Upland Park is located on a hill in the western part of the city. This is the best place to see the city and the Baku Bay. The architecture of the capital is very eclectic; it is a combination of different styles and influences such as barocco, classicism and modern architecture, both Eastern and Western.
Then the tour will continue visiting the "old city" that had preserved and walls and narrow cobbled streets till our days... A number of the Soviet-time movies were shot here. Tourists will see the main attractions of the Old City, including the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs (XV cent), the symbol of the city - Maiden Tower (IX cent), Karvansarays, mosques etc.
13:00 Lunch at the Old City restaurant
Main dish is Dolma from grape leaves.
Dolma is a dish with grape leaves filled with boiled mutton meat and rise. In some regions it is prepared from fish. It is served with sour cream and crushed garlic. Dolma is a unique dish. In Azerbaijan cuisine there are more than 20 versions of dolma.
In the last part of the tour the tourists will visit the winery in Novkhany village.
A trip to the winery in the outskirts of Baku offers a unique opportunity for everyone to get acquainted to winery craft, learn the culture, technology and the ancient traditions of the production of the famous Azerbaijani wines and observe the production process. During the break, guests will be able to taste the different varieties of Azerbaijani wines and cheeses.
Return to the hotel
19:30 Drive to the dinner
Main dish: Azerbaijani pilaf with chestnuts and meat.
This pilaf is a little different from those which are usually served to all the tourists who visited Central Asia or Turkey. Pilaf with chestnuts is cooked differently.
First, rice is prepared in a special way, then go all the accompanying dishes, which are a kind of additives to the king-dish. On cream melted butter, simmered onion sliced in half rings is being fried with the addition of turmeric.
Meat, meanwhile, is cooked separately in salted water, which in the end sprinkled with fried onion oil, dried plum, and then roasted chestnuts.
Return to the hotel
Night at the hotel
Day 3. Free day/ Lunch/ Excursion to the Fire worshipers’ temple/ Master class/ Dinner
Breakfast at the hotel
10:00 Drive to Fire worshipers’ Temple Atashgah
Azerbaijan is one of the few places on earth, where even today one can observe elements of preserved fire cult and the ancient Zoroastrianism religion. These places where oil oozes from the earth, and natural gas breaks out like flaming torches have always attracted fire worshipers from around the world. Baku, its oil, its "burning earth" have been known far beyond its borders since ancient times. The official religion of the ancient states that emerged in the VII century BC, such as Mann and Midia was Zoroastrianism. The spread of Zoroastrianism in the territory of the modern Azerbaijan was due to spontaneously flammable sources of oil and gas. Therefore, in this area such a monument as the temple Ateshgah has survived.
Fire Temple Ateshgah (literally Fire House) is located in 30 kilometers from the center of Baku, in the south-eastern outskirts of the Absheron Peninsula.
After the tour, the male part of the group is given the opportunity to acquire unique skills of cooking kebab under the guidance of a professional chef who will learn you to cook this dish in the best traditions of the Azerbaijani cuisine.
For the female half in the second part of the program a master class in cooking gutabs - cakes made of thin dough with meat or vegetable fillings will be arranged.
Main dish: Lula-Kebab is one of shish kebab kinds, prepared from forcemeat of mutton filled with spices and put for 20—30 minutes in the refrigerator. Ready Lula-kebab is rolled in an unleavened wheat cake (lavash) with onions, greens.
16:00 Return to the hotel
19:00 drive to the restaurant
Main dish: vegetable dolma: eggplants, tomatoes and sweet pepper
In Azerbaijan dolma is prepared from a combination of three vegetables — eggplants, tomatoes and sweet pepper. The forcemeat of a lamb with plentiful addition of fragrant food grasses and spices are used for stuffing. This kind of eggplant dolma is called — «badimjan dolmasi». For all listed kinds of dolma, except from fish, necessarily submit sour cream or other sour-milk product with addition of garlic or without it.
Return to the hotel
Overnight at the hotel
Day 4. Breakfast in Baku / drive to mountainous regions of Azerbaijan / stop in the town of Shamakhi / visit to the village of Lahij / lunch / arrival in the town of Sheki / dinner
08:00 Baku-style breakfast
Since childhood we were taught that breakfast is a must. Though not everyone follows this rule. In the morning the stomach categorically refuses any food, and some do not eat breakfast because get up later and just do not have time to eat. But not in Baku!
Breakfast is the most important meal, because it provides us with energy for the day ahead.
Traditional breakfast for Baku is eggs fried with tomatoes. It is the favorite dish of locals - coupled with hot domestic bread - "tandoor", fragrant mountain honey, butter, black tea with thyme and lemon – all this turns into a delicacy.
The group leaves in the mountain region of Azerbaijan. The first stop will be in the town of Shamakhi. Being the capital of the Shirvanshah state from the IX century, the city was one of the most important stops on the Silk Road. In Shamakhi tourists will visit famous historical and architectural monuments of the country, such as "Juma Mosque" and the Mausoleum "Diri Baba".
The route crosses the village of Lahij, which is the center of crafts.
The village is situated at the foot of the Great Caucasus mountains. Here, where simultaneously presented just three climatic zones, you can see the snow-capped mountains and wild rivers and waterfalls.
The main dish for lunch: lamb kabab
One of the oldest dishes of the East is kebab. It is considered a traditional dish of eastern and Caucasian cuisine. During frying the meat absorbs the amazing smell of wood, grilled in the smoke, so it gets amazing aroma and taste. Marinated meat cooked on a wood or charcoal, can rightly be called a real barbecue.
While serving the dish is decorated with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and herbs.
Upon arrival to the city of Sheki guests will be checked-in at the hotel, where they will welcomed with dinner.
Day 5. Sheki tour/ lunch/ drive to Baku/farewell dinner
Breakfast at the hotel.
Departure for a tour of Sheki.
Sheki is one of the oldest and most beautiful towns of Azerbaijan, located on the picturesque southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. For a long time it was considered the center of silkworm breeding and has been an important hub on the Silk Road. Sightseeing tour begins with a visit to the Palace of Sheki Khans famous for its amazing frescoes.
Also tourists will visit the Albanian church, Shebeke workshop (shebeke is wood carving) as well as get a master class on making the famous Sheki baklava made from rice flour.
The main dish: Piti is a soup from mutton with peas, vegetables, cherry plum and spices. Each portion is prepared in separate ware — pitishnicha (a clay pot). 15 minutes prior to readiness a small cut tail fat is added to the soup. Before giving on a table piti is filled with spices and saffron infusion, strewed with small pounded dried mint.
After the lunch the group returns to Baku.
A short stop to have a tea.
Tea in Azerbaijan is a symbol of hospitality. Tea is served with quince, figs, watermelon crusts, apricots, cherries, cherry, peach, plum, dogwood, walnut, strawberry, blackberry, grape and so on. For flavor people usually add spices in tea: dried leaves of thyme, cloves, cardamom and others. cinnamon and ginger are also preparing a special tea.
Arrival to Baku, check-in
Guests can stroll through the main streets of the city, to purchase gifts and souvenirs.
19:00 Drive to farewell dinner
Main dish: Saj with lamb - very tasty and juicy dish that is cooked in a special way. The classic recipe involves the use of a special stand of the same name. Due to vegetables in saj a delicious juice permeates the meat and potatoes.
Saj is served with Azerbaijani semi-sweet wine “Madrasa”, manufactured in the mountainous regions of Shemakha and Ismayilli by classical technology “madrasa”.
Return to hotel
Day 6. Transfer to the airport
After breakfast the tourists go to the airport, where the accompanying employee of the company will help the guests with check-in and baggage drop.
(In case of a late departure luggage can be left at the hotel)
End of the tour.
Visa upon arrival in International Airports of Azerbaijan can be obtained only by Turkish, Israel, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore citizens. Citizens of other countries have to obtain visa before arrival through consulates of Azerbaijan around the world. To obtain tourist visa to Azerbaijan you will need an official Letter of Invitation (LOI) or Tourist Voucher from our travel agency. Procedures and prices are different and depend of citizenship and consulate location. Please contact with our managers at list 6 weeks before to arrange our visa to Azerbaijan.Hotel Practical Information
Foreign exchange market information is the exchange rates can be obtained by clicking the following link: http://www.cbar.az/
Mrs. Anna Kamayeva
Incoming Department Leading Specialist
Tel: (+99412) 4379090, ext.218
Keywords: culinary tours in Azerbaijan, cuisine and gourmet tours, Baku city tour, tour to Azerbaijan, travel to Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani cuisine, plov, ash, dolma, piti, kebab, lule kebab, badimcan dolma