During our last trip in Azerbaijan, we decided that it’s time to visit one of the oldest villages in the world – Khinalug (Xinalig). This village is more than 5000 years old and it has been inhabited all this time and continues to be inhabited today as well. It’s located close to the city of Quba, in the Greater Caucasus mountains. This is the highest and most isolated village in Azerbaijan and among the highest ones in the Caucasus region.
This was, actually, our second try to get there. The first one was two years ago, but we gave up then due to the bad road conditions. It was later in the afternoon, the road was steep, and there was lots of gravel that worried us that we might not be able to get back safely. We also didn’t feel like driving in the darkness of the night on such a narrow mountain road.
This time, however, we were equipped with much bigger (and definitely more powerful) vehicle, so we bravely headed towards Khinalug at 8 am (thank you, kids, for waking us up at the break of dawn!) This was actually a very good and smart thing to do (although we didn’t know it at the moment). Getting up early and driving to Khinalug in the early hours of the day, saved us lots of heat and traffic, and even ensured better photos. 😉 On our way back, the heat had started to get unbearable and there were many (muuuuuch more than we ever expected!) cars and minibuses, making their way to the top. Turns out this is quite a popular sight for tourists.
Driving towards Khinalug (early morning and without any other vehicles around) was an amazing experience! The nature there is magnificent and it surpassed all our expectations. To say that the view was picturesque would be a great understatement!
So, if you’re wondering whether you’d be able to get to Khinalug by car, the answer is Yes!
- Consider getting up early and driving in the first half of the day.
- Check the weather and leave it for another time in case there’s a chance of rain.
The weather changes very fast there, and some friends of ours, who visited Khinalug just a couple of hours after we did, had a very hard time getting back. Rainy weather creates risks of falling stones and challenging road conditions.
To give you a better idea of the road and the beauty of this part of the country, I created a short video of our trip between Quba and Khinalug.
Have you visited Khinalug? What are your impressions?
Got any questions regarding your trip? Share them in the comments below and I’ll answer as soon as I can.