Top things to do in Northwestern Azerbaijan

Top Choice Palace in Şəki

Xan Sarayı

This ornate 1762 palace building features vivid murals and dazzling coloured light streaming through şəbəkə (stained-glass) windows making it Şəki’s foremost ‘sight’ and one of the South Caucasus’ most iconic buildi…
Top Choice Archaeological Site in Şəki

Fazıl Labarynth

Over a dozen close-packed grave sites from the 2nd to 7th centuries BC have been excavated but left exactly as they were found with pots, talismen and the bones of sacrificed animals in situ. One can almost 'feel' t…
Archaeological Site in Qәbәlә

Old Gabala Site

Today's Qəbələ was renamed to honour an ancient city of Caucasian Albania mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History (AD 77). Old Gabala was so comprehensively trashed by the 18th-century invader Nader Shah that…
in Şamaxi

Cümə Mosque

Şamaxı’s only real sight is the big, sturdy Cümə Mosque. The original mosque on this site was supposedly the second oldest in the trans-Caucasus. Excavations of its 10th-century incarnation can be seen in the ground…
Village in Qax

İlisu Village

Two beautiful high-altitude valleys meet at charming little İlisu. Amazingly this diminutive village of photogenic old homes was once the capital of a short-lived 18th-century sultanate. Many houses retain box windo…
Church in Kiş

Kiş Albanian Church

The brilliantly renovated round-towered Albanian church in pretty Kiş village has been lovingly converted into a very well-presented trilingual museum. It’s the best place anywhere to learn about mysterious Caucasia…
Fortress in Zaqatala

Fortress

Built between 1830 and 1860, Zaqatala’s Russian fortress is a sprawling affair with sturdy grey stone walls. It originally guarded against attacks from the Dagestan-based guerrilla army of Shamil and later imprisone…
Area in Qax

İçəri Bazaar

Old Town Qax is centred on İçəri Bazaar, a streetscape where older houses have been given a faux-antique look on a lane guarded by castle-style gateways and warrior statues. The centrepiece is a small open-air theat…
Azerbaijani in Zaqatala

Calğalıq Restoranı

The most characterful restaurant for miles around, Calğalıq is packed with more antique handicrafts than the average museum and the enchanted garden is all acroak with frogs. There are some Georgian options and very…
Village in Qәbәlә

Durca

Once a seasonal village only occupied by shepherd families during the midsummer grazing season, Durca has a few new holiday homes under construction but the upper village remains essentially unspoilt with several ol…