I think this is the most remote and isolated village I’ve visited in my trip so far!
Despite the paved road, It’s more isolated than Ushguli in Georgia. The latter is linked only by a dirt track, but is very touristy. So there are two ‘bars’ and shops, and there is a helicopter link for deliveries and post…
In Xinaliq (or Khinaliq), there is a road, but it’s long and trechurous, and it’s not touristy at all. The village is perched on a mountain top with a 360 degree view on the valleys and bold and steep caucassus mountains all around. The altitude is 2200 metres, there are no trees, just grass, rock and water. The houses are made of thick stone walls and flat roofs were the manure is laid to dry to make fire during the winter. Again: no trees = no wood! At this altitude, winters can be rough, and long!
Here it feels like time stood still a few hundred years ago. The muddy stone paths, the houses and the stone walls… if you ignore the power lines and the satelitte dishes, it’s very authentique. People wear traditional clothes that the women wash together in the cold spring water in the streets.
I stayed overnight in the company of two fellow tourists from Isreal, whom I met while looking for a ride from Quba, the closest city, a 160km north of Baku. We shared the ride and wanted to do the hike to the Ateşgah fire-vent on the next day, but sadly it was raining.
On the very scenic road, and in the village, I took a few pictures, here they are.