It has a population of about 2,000 people. Since its inclusion in Mark Elliott’s guidebook, it is considered one of main attractions of Azerbaijan. The village inhabitants speak their own language, not spoken anywhere else.
In 2006, the road was paved due to a visit from Azerbaijan’s President. Now, a car can make the trip to Khinalig. Before paving an SUV was essential (but still recommended).
By Quba go straight on the main road from Baku, not crossing the river, after passing the roundabout look for signposts on Qəçrəş. The first 20 km is not that interesting, but it changes dramatically after entering the ravine. At km 41 from Quba there is a bridge, behind which you have to turn right, towards the village of Cek.
Prices will be negotiable, but expect to pay around 40 manat from Quba. You may be quoted more, but haggling is acceptable.
No buses are available to this location.
Walk. There won’t be many other options. It should not be a problem for a reasonably fit person though you might find yourself winded from the steep hills and high altitude. Khinalug is a very small settlement.
Surrounded by mountains and green valleys at summer, Khinalug offers fabulous natural scenery.
- The houses in Khinalug are a visual example of the distinctive village. The houses are built like a staircase – each roof is another’s house front door terrace. Pay attention to the cubes of dried fertilizer, serving as fuel in the winter. A half-hour walk among households should give a good impression of it.
- Historical-Ethnographic Museum. A modest exhibition of vessels, weapons, medals and a “library”. Usually you have to ask locals in order to find key-keeper – azeri: Açar var? (updated Aug 2008)
- Good views over the village can be seen from the old upper road.