Start point: Khinalig (2200 m)
End point: Galakhudat (2270 m)
Distance: 9 km
Ascend: 150 m
Descend: 100 m
Duration: 3 hours
Located in a gorge next to Shahdag peak (Şahdağ) of the Great Caucasus Mountain Range, Khinalig village (Xınalıq) is at 57 km south-west of Guba district centre (Quba). The village is 2200 meters above sea level. The 5,000-year-old settlement is the hometown of Khinalig people, who are remnants of ancient Caucasian Albanian tribes. Khinalig people, who call themselves “Ketish” (ketiş), belong to the Shahdag group of language families with their unique mother tongue. Currently, the main economic activity in the village is animal husbandry but terraced landscape on the banks of nearby Gudyal River is a testimony of once widespread dry farming practices.
Khinalig village has huge tourism potential, especially for mountain tourism due to its favourable location in a mountainous area. Routes leading to the highest peaks of Azerbaijan (Bazardüzü, Bazaryurd, Şahdağ, Tufandağ, etc.) goes through Khinalig. There are numerous waterfalls, caves, and natural springs around the village setting the stage for active tourism. Guest houses and other tourism facilities operated in the village has become a major source of income for local population.
Located at about 9 km east of Khinalig, another mountain settlement – Galakhudat village (Qalaxudat) is also an interesting destination to visit. Galakhudat is located on the left bank of the Gudyal River to the south-east of Gizilgaya massif. The village is just 2 kilometres away from main Guba-Khinalig road. The name of Galakhudat means “the ruler’s fortress” in Persian and it is thought that the area was one of main residences for the rulers of Guba khanate. The village is inhabited by ethnic Azerbaijanis who engage in animal husbandry. However, in recent years, local people show increased interest in tourism, and offer accommodation and catering services to tourists.
Khinalig – Galakhudat eco tour trail is an easy hiking trail and it is very convenient for beginners and amateur hikers. The hiking trail follows old Guba-Susay-Khinalig road. In the beginning of the trail, whole ancient section of Khinalig village is visible to hikers. Later during the hike, the rocky landscape and subalpine meadows of Gizilgaya massif are visible on the left, while the Gudyal River and the Great Caucasus Mountain Range with the magnificent peaks of Khinalig (3713 m) and Tufandag (Tufandağ, 4191 m) – on the left. There is another settlement nearby on the banks of the Gudyal River – Bostankesh village (Bostankeş). The inhabitants of this village are also Khinalig people who have migrated to this area in not so distant past.
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Kit para bolhas
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.