"Nahchivan - here I come!" Naxcivan by Minashka

Naxcivan Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 18 photos

How it all started

Ramadan holidays were coming up. It was gonna be a 4-day weekend – a perfect chance to get away! Thought I’d go to the other side of the Caspian… I had never been there. But when I found out the price of airfare from Baku to Almaty, I decided going to Prague will be a wiser decision (and much cheaper to fly to). But of course being from the former USSR republic, how would I even think getting visa was gonna be easy? So apparently I didn’t give them enough time for processing visa, so the momentum dictated that I go to a country that requires no visa or gives one at the airport upon arrival. But I also wanted to go somewhere new – where I had never been before. Cyprus (the Turkish side) seemed like an only option. Well, not enough planning there either – all the planes from Istanbul to Ercan were fully booked :( Wanted to try Almaty again (no visa required for Azerbaijani citizens) and guess what? There were no return tickets to Baku :( Then it occurred to me… there were still two places left that I hadn’t visited in Azerbaijan! One was Garabagh and its surrounding regions (except Barda – been there!) due to occupation by neighboring enemy Armenia and the other Nakchivan – an Azerbaijani enclave divided also by Armenia. When I told my family and friends about my last-minute decision to visit Nakchivan, everyone thought I was crazy (well I can’t deny that fact – I know I am!) to go there alone. The only way to get to Nakchivan was by plane or through Iran and of course I chose to fly. (Wouldn’t mind going to Iran, but visa issue again!) I also chose to ignore all the people who told me not to go. After all, I had traveled to so many places by myself – was going to Nakchivan gonna be an obstacle for me? I had set my mind to go somewhere new and it was going to be Nakchivan this time :) And I never regretted my decision.

What was I thinking?

I almost changed my mind about going to Nakchivan when I went to buy the ticket and saw all the faces at “Aerokassa” (and it wasn’t only about the people who were going to fly, the women behind the desk couldn’t have been any friendlier). I mentally prepared myself for the plane. Waiting area at the airport was, again, full of those faces and this time besides the “luggage” on their face, they all had loads of stuff with them (big and smelly…hmmm). The plane was definitely gonna have more cargo than people onboard! You know how they say “smile will you get you anywhere”? Well this time my smile got me a seat in the business class ;-) I was lucky again! Must’ve been my birthday look… Anyway, the plane was delayed and instead of leaving at midnight, we left Baku at 2am and landed in Nakchivan an hour later. It was a cold night of Oct 21 to Oct 22 and I was still celebrating myself. Apparently the local cab drivers didn’t care at all about my birthday and there were only a few of them anyway. Ours was the 3rd plane in a row to land, so all the cabs had had a handful (was it still my birthday luck?). After freezing my butt off for half an hour I found a driver who had a client but still agreed to drop me off at Grand Nakchivan hotel.

All in all...

The rest of my stay (only 2 days) was perfect! I was lucky with the weather, I was lucky to have found a driver that took me everywhere and of course I made friends along the way with some locals and foreign guests staying at my hotel. Guess with all the traveling I do all over the world, I am starting to forget the local customs... I missed the breakfast at the hotel due to my late arrival and the fact that I like to sleep in ;-) When I asked the driver to take me to a cafe or a restaurant for some bite late that morning, he refused politely and reminded me of my manners! Women didn't go out to eat alone and so we drove to the bazaar and got some "doner" or "shaurma" as some call it. I was munching my food in the car in anticipation of Asabi-Kehf mountain - the holy site and if I only knew that in just an hour I am going to be offered a great meal with (sacrificed) lamb, I wouldn't have filled my stomach :( Oh well, I'll have more on Asabi-Kehf in my tips but lemme just tell you that it was an amazing sight! Later that afternoon we drove to Batabat - opposite direction and the nature there once again reminded me what a mighty creator our god is! (see my tips) The next day I explored the city, had lunch with my newly made friends and drove to Ordubad.

Naxchivan imressed me with its infrastructure... the roads were very smooth, the buildings had all been renovated, the parks were clean and neat, even the most remote village had a computerized school! It all looked very nice but maybe a bit too artificial. After all, I was in the countryside - or I thought I was (being from Baku) ;-) And of course the people were very friendly! Did I mention that they have the most delicious fruits and vegetables? I wanted to buy an apple from one of the shops and the man didn't even take money from me! I am definitely going back when the weather gets warm :) Well I was told that the best time to visit would be in May... hmmm I guess you all know where I'll be in May :)))

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Wonderful people, the most delicious vegetables in the world, beautiful mountains
  • Cons:Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter
  • In a nutshell:Another country within Azerbaijan
  • Last visit to Naxcivan: May 2007
  • Intro Updated Jul 24, 2007
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Reviews (9)

Comments (13)

  • Oct 29, 2010 at 2:44 AM

    I've been there. Beautiful place.

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2009 at 3:48 AM

    Wow, what an interesting place. Doubt I have clean enough of a soul to see the faces...I may be 300 years looking! Thanks for sharing.

  • SEALIFE's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2008 at 11:41 AM

    Azarbaycan benim ikinci adresim. Tesekkürler gerçek güzel paylasiminiz için.

  • lotharlerch's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2007 at 7:59 AM

    A charming and very personal page. I saw the enclave N. often on the map and was curious what it might look like. A nice surprise indeed!

  • DSwede's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2007 at 6:18 PM

    Again I stumbled on your pages of AZ... want to go there! I see you put my homestate of Nevada on your map, what did you think of it?

  • maykal's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2007 at 11:06 AM

    Selam Meinai, nejasan? uzun zamandan beri konusmadik, degil mi? Umarim her sey cok yaxsi senle ;) Naxcivan is one of those corners of the world that intrigue me, and it looks beautiful. Maybe one day.... ;@P maykal

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    great tips!

  • Mar 24, 2007 at 5:39 PM

    Hmmm, more of your country that is worth visiting..... Strange to have a part of your country as an island but still no sea dividing it from the rest of the country. HugSss

  • RhineRoll's Profile Photo
    Nov 22, 2006 at 3:36 AM

    wow -- another fairytale place and very interesting read! Those visa problems should not exist and neither should this dangerous situation of hostile territories cutting each other off... but then, it's the real world :((

  • FruitLover's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2006 at 12:11 PM

    Hi Minai! Only 'most delicious VEGETABLES in the world' ? What about FRUITS??!! Greetings from Jerusalem!

Minashka

“there is never a bad time for traveling”

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