7. From Baku: Gobustan Day Tour
Get picked up from your hotel in Baku and head out for a day of exploration at Gobustan, an open-air museum featuring more than 6,000 rock paintings and petroglyphs. Visit an archaeological site first discovered in the 1930s that is still being excavated today.
When you arrive at Gobustan National Park you will understand why the place is named for the Azerbaijani word for narrows and ravines. Admire the craggy rock faces that recede into dramatic fissures. Learn how a prehistoric civilization thrived here, producing the thousands of rock paintings the area is known for as well as a number of ancient dwellings and more than 100,000 artifacts. See the difference between the oldest drawings dating back 20,000 years and the newest ones from the first century AD. Earlier imagines depict the hunt for mountain goats and ritual dancing with spears while images from the later period show battle scenes, collective labor, harvesting, and women by the hearth. Check out other significant images showing boats with oarsmen, which prove that the early occupants of the area were sailors. Locate the Latin inscription discovered at the foot of Mount Boyuk-dash, which testifies to the presence of Roman legions near Baku.
Visit the park's 3D Bio Museum to immerse yourself in the history of this incredible site. Learn about other similar archaeological sites around the world and visit the 3D cinema for an immersive educational experience. Take your time wandering through the museum’s permanent exhibition, which includes 12 rooms displaying and highlighting the significance of the Gobustan petroglyphs.
After you've steeped yourself in culture and traditions of prehistoric Gobustan, check out the numerous mud volcanoes in the park. With approximately 350 of the 800 existing mud volcanoes in the world, Azerbaijan takes first place as the site to see these unique geological formations. See the high concentration of active mud volcanoes in the Dashgil Group situated to the east of the Gobustan museum. Head back to Baku after a day of mind-blowing discovery.