Eight Days in Georgia and Azerbaijan: Need Advice
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Nov 4, 2012 10:37 PM Last Post By: aessea381173
Jun 25, 2012 9:44 AM
Also, if anyone will be in the area on those dates, please let me know. We'll also be in Kiev from July 5-7 and Odessa from July 7-9.
Jun 25, 2012 10:57 AM
1I think you're better off going by public transport for a couple reasons. First, even if you can rent a car in Batumi and return it in Baku (which I doubt you can do) you will pay a huge fee for the priviledge. Second, if you get one in Georgia and another in Azerbaijan, where will you return the Georgian and pick up the Azeri? Third, Georgia has some of the worst drivers I've ever seen so unless you have driving experience in chaotic conditions it might not be a very comfortable journey.
Batumi-Tbilisi-Baku are all easily done by train. Tbilisi-Baku is ridiculously long but it's overnight. I would try to throw in Kazbegi (3hrs north of Tbilisi near the Russian border). It would be a shame to visit Georgia and not see the mountains. I haven't been to Azerbaijan but Sheki seems to be a huge favorite.
Jun 25, 2012 12:04 PM
2Celticboy is right, hiring a car for such a trip is totally impractical. Really you are much better off on public transport. It would probably be roughly the same price to hire a car and driver to do such a trip if you wanted, but you will save yourself hassle and money just taking public transport. Personally i would stick to buses/marshrutkas for the whole way as they go much quicker and more frequently than trains, better for you on a short trip.
A suggested itinerary, moving quickly but seeing some of the best sights on the way, would be:
Day 1: Batumi, beach, castle, nightlife.
Day 2: Train/marshrutka to Tbilisi, look around old city here, national museum, nightlife.
Day 3/4: Go to Kazbegi, perhaps stopping at Mtskheta and Anauari churches on the way if you hire a taxi for the trip. Walk/take taxi to Tsaminda church. Or spend an extra day walking to the glacier, or doing other walks in the area of the weather is good.
Day 4/5: Go back to Tbilisi on the 8am marshrutka, from there go straight to beautiful Sighnaghi in Kakheti. One or two days could be spent here relaxing, trying the local wine and seeing Bodbe convent. This is a muh better choice than Telavi
Day 6: Go to Lagodheki and the Azeri border (be sure to have Azeri visa beforehand!). Go to Sheki for the night. See the Persian palace and Kis village in the afternoon or morning.
Day 7: Head to Baku, or stop at Lahij on the way to see a traditional Azeri village and great scenery. If you go be sure to walk up into the hills for great views.
Day 8: Baku, see the old city, bazaar, perhaps a trip to Qobustan mud volcanoes. Fire temple can be seen too but is pretty lame.
Day 9: Fly out.
This is what i would do anyway, covers the best sights in the short amount of time you have. Good luck!
Edited by: almondy23
Jun 25, 2012 9:55 PM
3I guess i'll 3rd the idea of renting a car is impossible. International car rentals aren't exactly the "in" thing in the region. Heck, Azerbaijan even taxes the heck out of any car that it's registered in Azerbaijan. So even if there was a company that could get the paperwork in order, it would be crazy expensive.
Jun 26, 2012 6:55 AM
4Thanks, guys. How about:
July 9: Arrive in Batumi at 4pm. Spend the night in Batumi.
July 10: Spend the day in Batumi. At 10pm, fly to Tbilisi
July 11: In the morning, take a taxi to Kazbegi and spend the day there
July 12: In the morning, take a taxi to Tbilisi and spend the day there
July 13: Spend the day in Tbilisi.
July 14: At 4pm, fly from Tbilisi to Baku and spend the day there
July 15: In the morning, take a taxi to Qobustan and see the mud volcanoes. Spend the night in Baku.
July 16: In the morning, taxi a taxi to Xinaliq and spend the day hiking and seeing the village. Spend the night in Baku.
July 17: Spend the day in Baku and fly out at 10pm
Jun 29, 2012 11:18 AM
5Yeah this is ok, including Kazbegi is a good idea to give you an idea of the mountains. Id still say you should take ground transport late afternoon Batumi to Tbilisi, so you can see some scenery on the way. Id say it would be a shame to miss out on at least one of the villages between Tbilisi and Baku, perhaps try to go to Sighnaghi for the night and back to Tbilisi if you must fly. Defintley scrap Xinaliq, you want at least 3 days there to do it justice, impossible on a day trip! Consider Lahij on the way as an alternative if you want to do a little walking.
Remember if you can figure out transport schedules in advance, you shouldn't need to fly its quite expensive, and on the ground you can enjoy impressive scenery the whole way across the Caucasus. Consider the Tbilisi-Baku night train as an alternative. I'd personally spend more time in Georgia or at least Azerbaijans countryside than Baku, mud volcanoes and the fire temple were pretty underwhelming for me.
Nov 4, 2012 10:37 PM
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Coffee table looking bare?
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