Taking a trip out of Baku to Qobustan to see the rock inscriptions is a top tip while touring Azerbaijan. Qobustan is a world heritage site, as listed by UNESCO. That fact alone makes it worth seeing, but the truth is that Azerbaijan is such an off the beaten path backpacking beast that you’ll be in awe of everything this country has to offer. Your Azerbaijan Visa cost you a bucketload so you’ll want to make the most of it. So you get the idea – and you head out to Qobustan. No time wasting here!
How to Get to Qobustan in Azerbaijan
If you have read my previous posts on the James Bond Oil Fields and the Mud Volcanoes, you’ll be aware that reaching these types of places in Azerbaijan isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever do. So we went for the cool option of a car share from our hostel, the Caspian Hostel teaming up with the Polish pair sharing our dorm, Milada and Ewa.
We paid 15 Manat each for a day tour which incorporated Qobustan and the Oil Fields and Mud Volcanoes. Tour companies in Baku, charge a lot more. You can do it on local buses that head to Qobustan town. But it’s still a taxi ride or a 5 kilometre hike, so take the hint and organise a car share from your hostel.
How long does it take to get to Qobustan from Baku?
It’s not long at all – about an hour if you go direct. It’s about 45 kilometres from Baku City. We did Qobustan as our second stop of the day, after the Mud Volcanoes so it’s hard to tell the exact time.
Where is Qobustan?
Middle of nowhere basically. It’s pretty remote. Geographically it’s 60 kilometres south of Baku.
What is Qobustan?
It’s an area with a load of ancient rock inscriptions that have survived to this very day. It is a protected area, with walkways built to take you around the rocks to admire and see the inscriptions. Apparently these cave men etched these petroglyphs around 12,000 years ago. Crazy eh?
Apparently also this area used to be a raised section above the water – the water is no longer there but the rocks with inscriptions show proof of boats from back in the day. The inscriptions show people, cattle and boats.
While you’re there you’ll be out in completely sparse countryside too, so it’s worth looking around you.
How much does it cost to visit Qobustan?
Entry is 2 Manats, and this includes entry to the Museum part, so you might as well go in. You also have to pay for your driver’s entry. There were four of us, so we paid just half a Manat (50 Q) each for the driver.
What is there to do at Qobustan?
1. Walk around the museum. Normally I give museums a miss these days, but this one is included in the price so you might as well see it. We spent a while looking round as it’s really interesting. It gives a lot of detail about the history of the area and the rock inscriptions.
2. Walk around the rock inscriptions. This is the main reason you’re here. The rocks with inscriptions are numbered these days to make it easy to walk around. I think it went from 1 – 50. You have time to check out all the rocks.
3. Enjoy the views. There is a custom built viewing platform and Qobustan offers some spectacular landscape views of Azerbaijani countryside.
Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to go! It’s worth checking out, but it won’t quite blow your mind! Azerbaijan is so random and rare though and this place adds to the journey in this fascinating country.
My Videos from Qobustan:
On the Way to Qobustan:
Walking around Qobustan: