Tour «Secrets of Ancient Crafts»

At any corner of Azerbaijan you will find the workshops of Azeri craftsmen who passed their secrets of art through the generations. 
This trip will open up a wonderful world of Caucasus crafts – glimpses of silk’s colors, tinkling of brass dishes and gold jewelry, majestic beauty of Azerbaijani carpets. 
The chance to take part in the process of making will give you a unique souvenir that you will bring home and which will keep a tiny part of Azerbaijani soul. 

 Day 1. Baku
Arrival in Baku – check-in. 
Check-in at the hotel (from14:00). 
Free day. 
Overnight in the hotel.  

Day 2. Baku 

Breakfast at the hotel. 
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 tour proceeds with the visit to the Old City - with its fortress walls, historical buildings and narrow paved streets. The tourists will see and appreciate the main attractions of the Old City, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the famous Maiden Tower. Just imagine that the bricks under your shoes for centuries keep memory of city’s history, its fame and glory, its grieves and sufferings. During the walk you will definitely feel that the air smells like a magic – salty and oily odor of the Caspian Sea mixes up with the flavors of Oriental spices and kabab from the numerous restaurants. Baku is a young girl – it is full of energy, beautiful, bright and vivid. It is ready to change but nevertheless follows the traditions of ancestors. Behind the walls the city life sparkles like a melting pot, while in the Old City everything is calm and dutiful as it was for centuries. Baku people do not like to live in hurry. 
Lunch (for additional price) 
Drive to Azer-Ilme carpet factory 
Excursion to Azer-Ilme Carpet Factory. 
Next, guests will visit the factory "Azer-Ilme", where national modern carpets are made. High quality and reputation of Azerbaijani carpets allow them to be spread widely around the world, and today they are in great demand. Factory contributes to the further development of the traditional art of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan at the modern level of technology, which has made an invaluable cultural and material contribution to world civilization. 
Here you can see the entire process of carpet creation - from the beginning to the end. In the paint shop you will be shown how to dye yarn with natural dyes, then how the carpets are weaven from these threads. Then the carpets are being washed, dried and ironed. Here you can get acquainted with the work of restorers, carefully restoring old models of national carpet art. 
In "Azer-Ilme" gallery the best examples of unique Azerbaijani carpets and rugs are exhibited. 
Thre is a shop at the factory where everyone can purchase their favorite carpets and silk scarves for women. 
Drive to the national restaurant where you will taste traditional meals and will have a chance to see the process of tendir (national type of bread) cooking in the authentic ceramic oven. (for additional price) 
Free time. 
Overnight in Baku. 

Day 3. Trip to Ismailly region (North-West region of Azerbaiijan – 290 km) 
Check out from the hotel. 
Drive to Baskal village. We start our trip to Ismailly region where you will see the unique process of kelagai-making. Kelagai is traditional women’s silk headgear. There were age and social differences in its wearing: older women wore kalaghais of darker colours, mostly black and dark blue, whereas younger women opted for brighter ones, such as white, beige, bright blue, etc. A kalaghai was tied in various ways, depending on the region. The process of hot silk coloring, called “batik”, is very complicated and consists of several steps. You will enjoy the work of masters and also will be able to try yourself as a kelagai-maker. 
Drive to Lahij. Lahij represents an original monument of the Persian town-planning and architectural art of an antiquity. It is a medieval city with paved streets and squares, developed system of water drain and water supply. This village is inhabited by hereditary tanners, engravers, potters, blacksmiths, and metal and wood carvers. During the excursion, you will see an ancient bridge connecting two villages, a stone water-pipe from the 16th century, and specimens of dwellings from the 19th century with murals; we will also visit the Museum of regional studies, where ancient carpets and brass articles are kept. 
Right after arrival at Lahij you will enjoy meal at the local restaurant and taste the peculiarities of the Lahij cuisine. (for additional price) In the second half of the day you will have a walk around the village and enter various craft workshops where you will see the work of blacksmiths, chasers, potters and other masters of craftsmanship. Also you can buy any item you like or order to produce right here and now. 
Dinner and overnight in a village house where you will touch the soul of the Caucasian family, being in the heart of villagers’ everyday life. 

Day 4. Trip to Sheki (155km) 
Breakfast in village house. 
Drive to Sheki. Start exploring 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. We’ll start our Sheki tour from visiting the 18th century Khan's summer Palace with magnificent frescos and exquisite stained glass work. 
Lunch (for additional price). 
Then visiting of “Shebeke” (handmade frescos) workshop, “Pakhlava” (special and famous in Azerbaijan sweet) workshop and Tekulduz (a kind of weaving popular in this area) workshop. Walking in the old street and visiting of different craftsman workshops. 
Dinner (for additional price). 
Overnight in Sheki. 

Day 5. Departure to Baku (300 km)
Breakfast in Sheki. 
Drive to Baku. 
Free time. 
Overnight in Baku. 

Day 6. Exploring outskirts of Baku (30 km)
Breakfast at the hotel. 
Excursion to Gala village. 
Ethnographic Open-Air Museum "Gala" is about a 40-minute drive from Baku. The museum is created on an archaeological site. 
The village is five thousand years, nevertheless there are still some neighborhoods that have survived to the present day. 
During the tour you will get acquainted with the ancient dwellings, with the life of that time, traditions, with methods of farming. 
Participants will be told about the way of living of people who lived here many centuries ago, you will see the real objects of that time. But the most important thing is that visitors have the opportunity to plunge into the ancient life. In this museum visitors bake real bread cakes, sit at a loom or smear in clay, trying themselves at the potter's wheel. 
Gala dinner in traditional restaurant with national music. 
Drive to hotel. 

Day 7. Baku 
Breakfast. Free time. Check out from the hotel. 
Transfer to the airport. Departure.