Goychay Travel Guide

Discover the beautiful city of Goychay in Azerbaijan, filled with cultural and natural attractions, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals.

Introduction to Goychay

Located in the Sheki Region of Azerbaijan, Goychay boasts a rich history, stunning natural scenery, and a warm local culture. Known as the “land of pomegranates”, Goychay is famous for its sweet and juicy pomegranates, which are celebrated in an annual festival. As you explore this charming city, you’ll discover numerous cultural and natural attractions, delicious local cuisine, and friendly locals eager to share their traditions.

List of Places to Visit in Goychay

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Goychay History Museum: Learn about the city’s past, including its role as a stop along the ancient Silk Road.
  • Khan’s Palace: Admire this beautiful historical monument, which features ornate carvings, frescoes, and a beautiful garden.
  • Sheki Caravanserai: Explore this restored inn, which once housed merchants traveling along the Silk Road.

Natural Attractions of Goychay: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Pomegranate Forest: Take in the beauty of the region’s famous fruit trees, which bloom in shades of red, orange, and yellow.
  • Goygol Lake: Hike to this picturesque lake, surrounded by lush forests and mountains.
  • Gadirli Gyzylgaya Forest: Discover this dense woodland, filled with towering trees and diverse wildlife.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Goychay

  • Goygol Lake Trail: Trek through rugged terrain and stunning landscapes to reach the crystal-clear waters of Goygol Lake.
  • Kish Trail: Follow this trail through the picturesque village of Kish, dotted with historic churches and charming homes.
  • Pomegranate Trail: Stroll through the orchards and fields that produce the region’s world-famous pomegranates.

Best Things to Do in Goychay: Activities and Tours

  • Pomegranate Festival: Join in the city’s annual celebration of its signature fruit, featuring music, dancing, and of course, plenty of delicious pomegranates.
  • Cooking Classes: Learn how to prepare traditional Azerbaijani dishes, like pilaf and dolma, using fresh local ingredients.
  • Wine Tasting: Sample the region’s high-quality wines, made from grapes grown in nearby vineyards.

Week-Long Itinerary for Goychay

Day Activity
1 Explore the Goychay History Museum and Khan’s Palace
2 Hike to Goygol Lake and have a picnic lunch
3 Visit the Sheki Caravanserai and take a cooking class
4 Bike the Pomegranate Trail and visit a local winery
5 Relax in the Gadirli Gyzylgaya Forest and have a traditional Azerbaijani lunch
6 Attend the Pomegranate Festival and enjoy traditional music and dancing
7 Explore the village of Kish and its historic churches before departing Goychay

Food and Drink Scene of Goychay

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pilaf: A traditional Azerbaijani dish made with rice, meat, and seasonings.
  • Dolma: Stuffed grape leaves filled with ground meat, rice, and herbs.
  • Pomegranate Juice: Enjoy the refreshing taste of Goychay’s famous fruit in liquid form.

Local Beverages

  • Tea: Sip on hot, fragrant tea, which is an important part of Azerbaijani culture.
  • Wine: Sample the region’s delicious locally-made wines, which range from dry to sweet.

Where to Stay in Goychay: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Goychay Palace Hotel: A luxury hotel located in the heart of the city, featuring spacious rooms and top-notch amenities.
  • Green Garden Hotel: A charming, family-friendly hotel with a beautiful garden and friendly staff.
  • Araz Jirtdan Guesthouse: Stay in this affordable guesthouse, which offers comfortable rooms and a convenient location.

What to Buy in Goychay: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Pomegranate Products: Take home bottles of juice, dried fruit, or jams made from the region’s iconic fruit.
  • Rugs and Textiles: Shop for beautiful handmade rugs, embroideries, and other textiles, which are an important part of Azerbaijani art and culture.
  • Local Wines: Purchase bottles of the region’s delicious wines to enjoy at home or give as gifts to friends and family.

Local Culture and Customs of Goychay

As you explore Goychay, you’ll encounter a friendly and welcoming local culture. Here are a few customs and traditions to keep in mind:

  • Hospitality: Azerbaijani culture places a strong emphasis on hospitality, and locals are likely to invite you into their homes or offer you tea or snacks.
  • Respect for Elders: It’s important to show respect to older people, greeting them first and speaking to them with formal titles and honorifics.
  • Religion: Most people in Goychay are Muslim, so it’s important to respect local religious customs and dress modestly when visiting mosques.

Best Time to Visit Goychay

The best time to visit Goychay is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and comfortable. Winter can be quite cold and snowy, while summers can be hot and humid. If you’re interested in attending the Pomegranate Festival, plan your trip for early November.

Do’s and Don’ts of Goychay


  • Learn a few phrases in Azerbaijani to show respect to local culture.
  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Try local cuisine and participate in cultural activities.


  • Drink alcohol in public places, as it’s not considered appropriate in Azerbaijani culture.
  • Touch someone’s head, as it’s considered disrespectful.
  • Ignore local customs and traditions.

Safety and Health

Safety in Goychay

Goychay is a safe destination for tourists, but it’s always wise to take standard safety precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and not wandering alone at night. It’s also important to be aware of the region’s occasional political demonstrations and protests.

Health in Goychay

Azerbaijan has a high standard of healthcare, but it’s still a good idea to have travel insurance and bring any necessary medications with you. It’s also important to stay hydrated, especially during the warm summer months.

Getting to Goychay: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Goychay

The nearest airport to Goychay is the Ganja International Airport, located about 80 kilometers away.

Bus Stations Near Goychay

There are several bus stations throughout Azerbaijan, including the Baku Bus Station and Sheki Bus Station, which have connecting buses to Goychay.

Other Options

Taxis are also readily available throughout Azerbaijan, and it’s often possible to negotiate a reasonable price.

How to Get Around in Goychay

Walking is the most convenient way to get around Goychay, as many of the city’s attractions are located close together. Taxis and buses are also available for longer trips or those with mobility issues.

Where to Go Next from Goychay: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Sheki: Explore this nearby city, famous for its intricate traditional architecture and beautiful natural scenery.
  • Ganja: Visit this bustling city, known for its history, culture, and delicious food.
  • Baku: Discover Azerbaijan’s vibrant capital city, filled with stunning architecture, fascinating museums, and exciting nightlife.


Goychay is a charming city that’s well worth a visit, with its rich history, stunning natural scenery, and delicious local cuisine. Whether you’re interested in hiking, cultural attractions, or simply relaxing in the beautiful outdoors, Goychay has something to offer every traveler. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this fascinating city and its warm, welcoming culture.