Located in the Ismailli Rayon of Azerbaijan, the road to Lahij is one of the most dangerous drives in the world. It follows a river with huge cliffs and some drops of 300m. Due to frequent earthquakes, it can be closed anytime. A 4 WD and an experienced driver are recommended. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point.
Lahij (also known as Lagich, Lahich, and Lahic) is a small town buried deep on the southern slopes of Greater Caucasus, at an elevation of 1,375 m (4,514 ft) above the sea level. The village was isolated for centuries forcing them to develop their own language and skills. This medieval town with cobbled streets and squares is one of the most famous craft and trading centers in the Caucasus and beyond. You can spend a few interesting hours in Lahic. Walk along the cobblestone streets, visit the History Museum and the Mosque, browse the shops, have a look the the copper workshop or try to visit the carpets cooperative.
The road to Lahic isn't really a road. It’s gravel& stony, 20km long and called Lahıc yolu. There are some narrow sections -scarcely wide enough for two cars- where if two vehicles have to pass each other, one might have to reverse for some kilometers of winding narrow road to get to a place wide enough to pass. It shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. The dirt road winds up the Girdimanchai river gorge from the vineyards outside Semaka, crossing the "torrent" (more like a trickle) on a flimsy bridge (more like flimsy) and skirting the sheer walls on narrow, roughly hewn ledges. Only the suicidal, the insane, or the paid-to-do-this should ever drive down.
The road is difficult and it’s a nightmare in the wet or dark (or both). There is little room for error on this road. It tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of landslides. The drive has some spectacular sections with perilous drops, geological wizardry and a couple of attractive villages en route. Ice and snow cut Lahic off from the valley for weeks at a time in winter and washouts are common in heavy spring rains. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. The drive up to Lahic is as stunning as dangerous: animals appear out of nowhere in a winding 'road' that hugs the cliff face that plunges down into the valley below.
The road, which leads through a mountain gorge, offers stunning views with hairpin turns, rock falls and wash-outs. Due to frequent earthquakes, it can be closed anytime. A 4 WD and an experienced driver are recommended. Avoid driving in this area if unpaved mountain roads aren't your strong point. The drive starts off as a tarmac road but then deteriorates into a potholed / mixed surface messy road, and then a track. As you approach Lahic, the narrow mountainous road gets steeper every turn. In many places the road is bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson