Kis was not a destination on my trip. I thought I would simply check it out on a day trip from Sheki because they said there was an old church there.

I arrived to Kis and was absolutely charmed by its hilly layout amidst a lush green forest, its cobbled streets with typical Azerbaijani households and friendly locals. So I decided to stay there for a night to get a better grasp of its vibe and do a morning hike into the nature.

Kis is a Caucasian Albanian village, and Caucasian Albania has nothing to do with modern day Albania. I didn’t know anything about it, and the local museum that is situated in a beautifully restored church does a good job of introducing one to this part of the Greater Caucuses history. Caucasian Albania was an ancient kingdom that existed on the territory of present-day Republic of Azerbaijan and southern Dagestan. You can find more about its history here.

Caucasian Albanian Church that now houses the local museum

Ancient burial site

Inside the church/museum

In the morning I did a lovely hike to Gelersen-Gorersen fortress which was an easy walk on a well-posted route. Although, when I was asking around about this hike in Sheki, I was told that I definitely need a guide and that wild animals make it unsafe to go alone, I gave it a try and none of the warnings were justified. There is not much of the fortress left but on the way there are some lovely views and plenty of large  green resting areas to chill at.

En route to Gelersen-Gorersen fortress

The Kis river

In the evening I was watching the sunset on an abandoned house fence as I couldn’t find any other good spot on the village streets that all have quite high stone fence walls.

Beautiful dense forest at the sunset

Sheer beauty

I could have easily stayed there for another day as locals mentioned a few other hikes around the village but … the road was calling.

The village kids first offered me to play cards, and then wanted to rent out a bike. When I refused both of their entrepreneur ideas, only then did they directly ask for some money.