From June to October
Azerbaijan’s capital Baku is called the “Dubai” of the Caucasus for its outlandish architecture. It is also where the beautiful 19th Century mansions of oil barons, the Shirvanshah’s Palace, public baths and carpet shops are found alongside ultramodern buildings and the glitz of a booming oil town. The contrasts between Baku and the rest of Azerbaijan are no less striking than those within Baku itself: The former oil brownfields located a few kilometers away from unspoiled wilderness; the watered slopes of the mounts Shadag and Babagad at the gates of the steppe, the desertification and mud volcanoes along the Caspian sea.. . Azerbaijan is also the only country in the Greater Caucasus to offer a crossing from South to North, while Georgia and Abkhazia share the Caucasus range with Russia located on the northern slope. It is also there that ends the chain of the great Caucasus in the Apcheron peninsula, the petroleum fief of Azerbaijan and where the Arabic-persan, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets were used within one century…
Itinerary : Horseback trekking with the Lezgins
Duration : Around 16 days.
Place : Azerbaijan, Great Caucasus Range
Glimpse on the horse expedition: We ride 7 days with the Lezguins, a mountain ethnic group coming originally from Dagestan, through the Caucasus Mountain chain, up on the high plateau, lost valleys and summits of the Azerbaijan Caucasus range. This wild ride leads us to Lahic inhabited by the Tat, an ancient Persian ethnic group or to Xinalig inhabited by the Qetish people speaking an endemic language or dialect belonging to the Northern Caucasian languages. You discover the ethnographic and linguistic richness of the Caucasus world. This itinerary is not a round trip but a crossing trip. After the expedition we go to Baku called the Dubai of the Caucasus area discovering its palaces and modern districts. Finally, in strong contrast to the untouched and green Caucasian natural landscapes, we discover the former oilfields of the Apsheron peninsula, the rock paintings of the Gobustan desert and the mud volcanoes facing the Caspian sea, which are at the heart of Azerbaijan’s identity as the “Land of Fire,” and its association with the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian religion. We go back by an old Soviet style night train to Tbilisi and enjoy the next day the dynamic and charming city. The Caucasian countries: similarities and differences, Europa, Asia….? Something else maybe?
Average Due to the remoteness of the region and the lack of phone connection, good physical conditions are required.
Min: 6 riders
Max: 8 riders
Self sufficient horse expedition which takes place 1 to 2 times a year. Customized trip from 6 riders. Logistic : pack horses. Overnight during the expedition: camp. Tent provided. (There is no big tent in this expedition) Before/after : guesthouse in the mountain village, 4 * hotel located in the very center of Baku and Tbilisi.
In the Great Caucasus chain, the highlanders are horsemen. The horses are used for farm work as well as packhorses. They are also the most commun way of transportation for people living in the mountains. They are middle size horses, rustic, very well balanced, brave, calm with a soft character. They are easy to ride. The Lezguins take care of their horses. They are living free in the mountains from May to October and in the low valleys during the winter time.
Formalities : Visa required. 20 dollars but be careful to choose the option « not rush » otherwise you will pay 80 dollars!. Easy to get online. Print it.
Main City: Baku
Language : Azeri belongs to the Altaic languages. Russian is also widely spoken.
Money : Manat (1 Manat = 2,06 euros, 2018). Please check in internet to update.
More info : https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaïdjan (French, Russian, Arabic…but no English!). As we are finishing the trip in Tbilisi, find here the info about
Entry Formalities: No visa requested for European country citizens. Passport with a validity over 6 months when leaving the country is normally enough. For more and accurate information, check at the Georgian embassy in your country of residence.
Main City : Tbilisi
Language : Georgian, caucasian language, kartvelian group.
Money : Lari GEL. 1 euro=2,9 GEL
More info :
ATTENTION : all products derived from Codeine molecules are strictly forbidden in Georgia. Please consult http://www.rs.ge/en/5982 as well as http://www.incb.org/ documents/Psychotropics/guidelines/travel-regulations/ 2013-travellers-update/ GEO_26_August_2014_Original_travellers_II_-_LTR_- _table.pdf MY TIPS : Do not even try to bring such drugs into Georgia. (codein/ tremadol)