In the current context of increasing attention to domestic tourism, our local travel enthusiasts are also showing serious interest in various tourist and recreational areas of the autonomous republic. This year’s tourist season offers new opportunities for Nakhchivanis to travel from the beach to treatment centers, from high mountain plateaus to modern parks, from world-famous historical sites to remote mountain villages, to places of recreation and entertainment that promise a rich impression almost everywhere. During this period, the interest of tour operators and amateur tourists operating in our autonomous republic in alternative directions shows the popularity of a number of new tourist routes. The Nakhchivan-Kuku-Gurbulag tourist route is one of such tourist routes due to a number of attractive features.
Every year during the tourist season, especially on hot summer days, the number of visitors to the Shahbuz Mountains increases. The creation of hostel-type houses for tourists in the villages of the region, the very favorable rural infrastructure and, of course, the unique beauty of the landscape and natural-climatic resources are the main factors influencing this. These are the main motives of the visitors to Kuku village, one of the largest settlements of Shahbuz.
Kuku village, about 50 km from Nakhchivan city and 12 km from Shahbuz city center, is located at an altitude of 1900-2100 meters above sea level, in the bed of Kuku river, one of the largest tributaries of Nakhchivanchay. Talking about this village, many people think of cool springs, hard rocks, green meadows and orchards where sweet, delicious varieties of apple trees grow here tasting like honey . At the same time, the climatic resources of Kuku, where winters are mild and summers are cool, are among the main factors that attract people to this beautiful village..
Freshwater resources as crystal and fertile black soil allow not only apples, but also any fruits and vegetables, and even wild edible greens, to be rich in minerals and have a unique taste in this village. Especially on these hot summer days, visitors to Kuku, who taste honey and cream and make kebabs from goat meat, once again believe that nature has spared nothing from this land.
Among the factors of tourist attraction in Kuku village, Kuku Mountain, Ganligol and Kecheldagh, as well as Gurbulag directions of Daralayaz range attract more attention. Thus, tourists who come to Kukuy can go on tours in the directions of Qabaqli, Gurbulag and Ganligol within three days after settling in one of the village houses here. In these tours, it is possible to prepare a rich program, mainly on ecotourism and extreme hiking.
In the forward direction, there are favorable opportunities for rocky terrain, unique biodiversity and herbarium collection, landscape and wildlife photography. Due to its geographical location, tours in this direction are more appropriate in the second half of the day in the summer months. Thus, tourists can gain extreme and hiking experience and watch the panoramic view of the village of Kuku stretching to the Zangazur mountains.
It is more recommended for tourists traveling in the direction of Gurbulag, which is the main attraction of the tourist route, to leave in the early morning. For tourists who can also use part of the road about 4 km from the village by car, the magnificent views of Gurbulag and its surroundings, its rich biodiversity, natural snow remaining until mid-August, cold springs, the boiling source of Gurbulag with a flow rate of almost 1500 liters per minute just below the magnificent waterfall, the view of Kirkhbulag flowing from the red rocks is very attractive.
Gurbulag and its environs are unique places that give tourists the pleasure of living three seasons together in the summer months, especially in July and August. So, in August, in the mouth of the snow left in the north of the valleys, you can taste the newly growing mint, rhubarb and heomlock. Tourists, who have lunch and mobile tents ready, can spend the whole day here, spend the night in Galadibi, get acquainted with the ancient human settlement here, and gain a unique extreme experience to collect honey from wild bees.
It is about 7 kilometers from Kuku to Ganligol. Almost all of this road is accessible to tourists by car. Due to the position of the sun, it is more expedient to travel to Ganligol in the late morning. Tourists visiting Ganligol can see the full panoramic view of the Qabaqli massif on the opposite side and Kükü Mountain at an altitude of 3120 meters. Along the way, tourists can enjoy the ancient village of Zirnel, once home to 2,500 meters above sea level, and drink water from mineral-rich springs.
Tourists who have reached Ganligol should be informed that since the lake is completely fed by snow and spring water, it has not been filled with silt over time, and the water of the lake is completely transparent. The main dam of the lake, which has a capacity of one million cubic meters and is used for irrigation in times of water shortage in the last days of summer, was built about 150 years ago and still remains. Probably, the name of the lake is because of drownings in the past.
Ganligol and its surroundings are one of the ancient lands of Nakhchivan. In addition to a rich spring in a large area called “Yurd”, there are traces of cultural materials , Muslim tombs, warrior graves and settlements typical of ancient human settlements. According to historical sources, these areas, at an altitude of about 3,000 meters above sea level, were once inhabited place and may have witnessed battles.
During the time spent here, tourists can get acquainted with the life and work of the shepherds who moved to the plateau, taste their cuisine, especially kebab and thyme tea boiled in the clay oven, and relax in tents. Afterwards, tourists moving in the direction of Kecheldagh, 3,115 meters high in the north-east, can drink the wather of Punhanbulag and Südlubulag and walk to Hörgülü to see the bird’s-eye view of the Batabat forests, the pearl of Nakhchivan’s tourism.
The Nakhchivan-Kuku-Gurbulag tourist route is one of the prospective tourist routes of our autonomous republic. Testing this route and gaining popularity will allow further development of tourism in this area.
Translator: Emin Gulmammadov