is a small place, built around a single street who still remembers its
glory days when it was the capital of an autonomous Khanate coveted by
Russia. Besides some charming old houses a few buildings denounce Ilisu's
past: the almost ruined 16th century Sumuggala tower, the 19th century
Galaja tower and a well cared 18th century mosque.
Buses go to Ilisu. Services are scarce, though food options are plentiful with most of the local restaurants advertising local Qax/Ilisu cooking.
These days accommodation options in Ilisu are good: Yasil Park hotel, Ilisu Pansionati, Ulu Dag and a few other smaller places.
Around the village there are several
sulfurated thermal springs. In general acess is not easy.
A very long walk along the Kumukchai river will take you to the tiny village of SariBash, acess by car is difficult a 4x4 is required. The road is not good and is greatly affected by the state of the river. You have to get past the border guards - not problem if you are local, but more problematic if you are a foreigner. The village had 150 families in soviet times, and is now down to 27 families. Change comes slowly to these parts: there is still a statue of Lenin in the village.
Another local UAZ 4x4 trip from Ilisu is up a different river valley to the 'Hamam istisu' which is a sulphury spring (istisu) in a spectacular deep river gorge.
In general the area around Ilisu is fantastic for hiking, but have in mind the proximity of the Russian border - encounters with soldiers, border guards and smugglers are common and usually unpleasant.
(410 km northwest of Baku)
|see also: Zaqatala, Sheki, Qax, maps, places, history, geography, summary, images|
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