Azerbaijan Extension Trip Notes

Destinations:
Azerbaijan
Programmes:
Trip Extensions
Trip Code:
XXC
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

4 Days Land only
Ages: 16+

Trip Overview

Extend your stay in the Caucasus region with a short trip to the Land of Fire - Azerbaijan. After an overnight train journey from Tbilisi, we arrive in the capital Baku, famous for its blend of historic UNESCO buildings and modern skyscrapers. From here we visit the Ateshgah Fire Temple, Yanar Dag (burning mountain) and the ancient rock carvings in Gobustan National Park. There is also some free time to explore fascinating Baku on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

Azerbaijan provides a wonderful contrast to Armenia and Georgia, where we experience an entirely different culture. 

At a Glance

  • 4 days and 3 nights
  • 2 nights hotel and 1 night sleeper train
  • 2 breakfasts included
  • Price from £429 per person
  • Single supplement from £60 for your own room. A sole traveller supplement from £280 will apply if you are the only passenger on the extension.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore one of the world's least visited countries
  • UNESCO-listed Baku Old Town
  • The ancient rock drawings in Gobustan National Park
  • Visit Ateshgah Fire Temple 

Is This Trip for You?

The trip does not involve any long journeys, other than the overnight sleeper train. The roads we travel on are very good.

The itinerary does not cover a large area but gives a great introduction to Azerbaijan.

Visa required for Azerbaijan - please note that all UK citizens require a visa for Azerbaijan. The easiest way to do this is with Exodus at a cost of £40. See visa section on the trip notes for more information

PLEASE NOTE: No items purchased in Armenia can be taken into Azerbaijan, this includes food, wine and souvenirs. Your bags will be searched at the border and any products confiscated.

Adult min age:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Tbilisi
End City:
Baku

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    (Day 14 of AXC itinerary) Overnight train to Baku

    Say goodbye to the group, before enjoying free time in Tbilisi. In the afternoon we transfer to the railway station for the overnight journey to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Travelling in four berth, second class cabins.
    Sleeper train

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Arrival; sightseeing in Baku

    Morning arrival into Baku, Azerbaijan's fine capital on the shores of the Caspian Sea. This is a city of huge contrast, undergoing monumental change, as money from oil and natural gas pours into the economy.

    Here we have a guided sightseeing tour, highlights include the Carpet Museum and the UNESCO listed old town dating back as far as the 10th century. We also visit the Palace of Shirvan-Shahs, Maiden Tower and the ancient Lezgi Mosque. The evening is free to enjoy the city’s nightlife; we recommend a stroll along the beautifully restored Baku Boulevard running along the shoreline, where there are dozens of cafes and restaurants to enjoy.
    Central Baku Hotel or similar

  • Day 3

    Absheron Peninsula & Gobustan

    Full day excursion. Firstly we visit Gobustan, 30 miles southwest of Baku, famous for its 2000-year-old rock drawings, followed by a visit to the mud volcanoes. In times of heavy rain, the visit to the volcanoes is not always possible.

    In the afternoon we visit the Ateshgyakh Fire Worshippers Temple (18th century) located within Greater Baku in the village of Surakhany. Here people worshipped fire, seeking protection against adversity and oppression and begging it for happiness and well-being. These fires are believed to be where Azerbaijan got its name - meaning ‘Land of Fire'. We then transfer to Absheron Peninsula to observe the unique burning mountain of Yanar Dag. Here we learn about the history of oil in Azerbaijan and its use in ancient times, right up to the present.

    Again the evening is free to enjoy the delights of Baku, we recommend one of the rooftop bars with views across the Old Town to the Flame Towers shinning bright over the whole city.
    Central Baku Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 4

    End Baku

    Transfer to the airport. There may be time to enjoying some additional sightseeing in Baku, depending on your flight time. However, most flights from this region to the UK depart very early.

Accommodation

Hotels & sleeper train

The sleeper train between Tbilisi and Baku leave at approximately 19:30, arriving in the Azeri capital at approximately 09:15.  The train now has modernised air-conditioned 4 berth sleeping-cars, all non-smoking. There is also a dining car. 

Our hotel in Baku is a 3 star property and centrally located, with large modern room. A simple breakfast can be enjoyed on the top floor of the hotel, overlooking the city and the Caspian Sea beyond. 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

2 breakfasts included.

Unlike Georgia and Armenia, the cuisine of Azerbaijan is more heavily influenced by the nation’s Muslim neighbours in Turkey and Iran.

Azerbaijan is famous for vegetables and greens used seasonally in their dishes. Fresh herbs, including mint, coriander, dill, basil, parsley, tarragon, and watercress are very popular and often accompany main dishes. The Caspian Sea is home to many species of fish, including the sturgeon. Black caviar from the Caspian Sea is one of Azerbaijan’s best-known delicacies well sought after in other parts of the world, including former Soviet countries. Kebabs and shashlik, including lamb, beef, chicken, duck and fish (baliq) are very popular and often served with a tart pomegranate sauce called narsharab. Dried fruits and walnuts are used in many dishes.

Coffee is not always available, tea (always black) is very much the national drink.

Alcohol is available throughout Baku but can be quite pricey.

Transportation

We use a private bus or mini bus, depending on the group size. 

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The climate of Azerbaijan can be described as continental, with warm summer and very cold, dry winters. The country can be divided into three different climate zones; north of the mountainous regions, south of them, and along the coast of the Caspian Sea.

Temperatures during the summer months range between 20°C and 30°C. Summers in Azerbaijan are often warm and sunny with dry periods, but sometimes heavy rain and severe thunderstorms can occur.

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

After free time in Tbilisi, all clients will be transfers to Tbilisi Railway Station, where they will be seen onto the train. The Azeri guild will meet them at Baku Station with a sign.

Location start:
Tbilisi
Location end:
Baku

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Sunglasses; sunhat
  • Sunscreen
  • Strong soled shoes for walking
  • Fleece
  • Umbrella 
  • Water bottle
  • Daypack
  • Trousers for men (shorts can't be worn in some mosques)
  • Shawl/headscarf for women - although not compulsory anywhere, does show respect in mosques

Reading List

Time Out: Baku and the best of Azerbaijan 2012

Practical Information

Passport

Azerbaijan

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Azerbaijan

All British citizens require a visa for Azerbaijan. The easiest way to do this is via an e-visa, which is significantly cheaper than through the embassy or visa agency. Information relating to the visa application process can be found here. Please contact our Operations Team to obtain one of these visas; details of who to contact will be on your sales confirmation.

To apply for the Azerbaijan e-visa through Exodus, we will require the following:

1. Scan of your passport photo page (this should be a scan, in colour, rather than a photo, and all details should be legible)
2. Your occupation
3. Home and/or work phone number
4. Mobile phone number
5. Full postal address

Approximately 2 months prior to departure, we will be in touch to collect any missing information. A payment of £40 per person is also required.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Azerbaijan

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip.

Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

Vaccination against Meningitis is also recommended.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Azerbaijan's Timezone:
Asia/Baku +04 (GMT +04:00)

Electricity

Azerbaijan's Electricity:

European style two-pin Type C (Europlug) electrical plug is used. Voltage is 220-240 volts.

Money

Azerbaijan's Currency

The national currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZM), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 8151 to the UK£ and 5280 to the US$.

ATM Availability

In Azerbaijan we recommend you bring spending money in either US dollars or Euros and exchange them on arrival.

ATM's can be found throughout Baku.

Credit and debit cards are accepted in the hotel, and most restaurants and shops.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Lunch or dinner in both countries should cost on average between £10-15 without drinks.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.