Ilisu Village – Qakh


Visit Guide to Ilisu Village – Qakh

One of the most ancient villages in Azerbaijan, located in Gakh. It comprises a lot of historical monuments including fortresses, thermal waters and waterfalls generating an amazing landscape.

Main image: Azerman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (cropped image)

Getting There

You can get there by bus and taxi from the Central Bus Station in Qakh. It is also possible to get there by car from Flag Square at the entrance of Qakh along  in the direction of the Police Station at the roundabout. There you must continue driving along the same avenue. Further you will see a turn to the left in the direction of Aghchay village, after going past which you are going to  continue in the direction of the Great Bridge (Ulu Bridge) and after the bridge you will reach the village.

What to Expect

A small, stone-built village of Ilisu, located in Gakh, along the banks of the Kurmuk and Hamamchay rivers 12 km from the administrative center of the region and 1.400 m above the sea level, is one of the most ancient settlements in Azerbaijan.

The area has numerous historical monuments and is known for thermal waters and wonderful waterfalls. One of the  well-known  waterfalls in Azerbaijan is Ram-Rama waterfall (25 meters) starting in Latlar spring in the mountains. Locals call it the diamond in the crown of the village. During severe winter seasons the waterfall freezes.

Ilisu is a state nature reserve with hundreds of plants, animals and birds, some of which are included in the Red Book, and covers 54,000 hectares. Professional climbers can risk and mount Jinligala’s top on the edge of an abyss, which has access only from one side.

The emblem of the village, Sumug fortress, is a four-storey defense tower commanding a great view of the surrounding. The 17th century Great Bridge over the Kurmuk River was built when Ilisu was the capital of the sultanate. Egg-yolk was used to solidify the bridge and for this reason the bridge is still believed to be in usable condition.

The place is perfect for mountain climbing, hiking, trekking and tours to the neighborhoods on horseback. The route starts from Ilisu village, passes through forests and pastures and ends at the bank of the Gashgachay river. Distance between two spots is  16 Km Elevation Gain is 1450 m Elevation Loss is 1600 m Max  Altitude is  2280 m Min Altitude is 1020 m the duration of the is  9 H 10 min    Moreover, there are several restaurants offering delicious Ilisu cuisine.


lisu village was the cent of the Ilisu Sultanate for 300 years. The most famous monuments of the village are the Great Bridge and the Great Mosque, which date back to the 17th-18th centuries. Arriving in Ilisu, the Sumug Gala Fortress built in the 17th century is simply impossible not to notice, because it is located on a small hill with a stunning view of the kilometers around. Today, inside the fortress there is a branch of the Gakh History Museum and Local Lore under the name “History of the Ilisu Sultanate.” There are considerations related to the name of the tower. According to legend, the tower was built by the Ilisu ruler Sumu Khan.

The Sumug Gala is also known throughout the former USSR for the film “Don’t Be Afraid, I am with You”. In this musical adventure film, which was directed by Julius Guzman, stars of Soviet pop and film such as Polad Bul-Bul Ogly (the actual ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Russia) and Lev Durov starred.

Facilities Available

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels (Berg, El Resort etc.)
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Supermarkets