discover Khinaliga stunning mountain village
At 57 km away from the city of Guba, Khinalig village is a renowned ethno-tourism centre in Azerbaijan, located 2,000 metres above sea level and surrounded by the peaks of Bazarduzu, Tufandag, Shahdag and Gizilgaya. With a magnificent history spanning 5,000 years, Khinalig is a legendary settlement of living heritage that exhibits some amazing ethnographic sites. Khinalig State Historical, Architectural and Ethnographic Reserve secured the village’s inclusion in the Tentative List of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, further highlighting the degree of esteem for Khinalig on an international level. Its particular character can be seen most vividly in the architectural style of the houses. Due to the steep mountainsides, the houses are built closely together, with each one said to be at least 200-300 years old. Interestingly, the roof of one house serves as the courtyard for the one situated above it.
The Khinalig community, considered a part of the ancient Caucasian Albania tribes, speaks a rare language that the inhabitants refer to as Ketsh. In an intriguing feature of local folklore, Khinalig residents also consider themselves descendants of Noah. Villagers and local guides work tirelessly to promote Khinalig and frequently invite guests into their homes, offering them welcoming tea and warm hospitality. After enjoying delicious samovar tea, you can visit the mosques and other historical sites in the picturesque area of the village - as they say, work hard, play hard. The highest point of the village is occupied by Juma Mosque, while other highlights include the shrine-mosques of Sheikh Shalbuz and Pir Jomard, Abu Muslim Mosque and the remarkable Ateshgah (Fire Temple).
The maze of paths that lead around Khinalig will keep you fascinated until the very end of your trip. It is recommended to travel to Khinalig in off-road vehicles due to the somewhat hazardous road from Guba. But do not let that put you off - the effort is more than worth it!