Neither Europe nor Asia, Azerbaijan is a tangle of contrasts. Untouched nature, unique ancient architecture and the local cuisine attract visitors from all over the world.
Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is known for an outstanding collection of more than 6,000 petroglyphs. These rock engravings date back between 5,000 and 40,000 years. The site also features the remains of inhabited caves, settlements and burials. One of the famous attractions is the Musical Stone of Gobustan, a resonant stone that has been played since prehistoric times.
Azerbaijan is home to nearly a third of the world's mud volcanoes. This geothermal phenomenon can be spotted in the coastal area around Gobustan. Mud volcanoes are associated with oilfields. Rich oil and gas fields are found in the territories of mud volcanoes.
How to get there:
Take a look at the flight deals to Azerbaijan:
- Flights from Ukraine to Iran, Georgia or Azerbaijan from only €79 >>
- Summer: Kiev to Iran, Azerbaijan or Georgia from only €82 >>
- Non-stop flights from New York to Baku, Azerbaijan for $570 >>
Where to stay:
In Baku, we encourage you to stay at 4* Premier Hotel with very good reviews. This 4-star hotel is located in Baku city centre. The Premier Hotel offers free use of the sauna and indoor swimming pool. The modern rooms at the Premier Hotel feature elegant interiors and include air conditioning, cable TV and a balcony. Wi-Fi is free in the whole hotel. The Premier Hotel offers free parking and is a 10-minute walk from Genklik Metro Station. Baku’s UNESCO Walled City with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and the Maiden Tower are 5 km from the hotel.
In Shaki we recommend you to book 3* Hotel Service. Featuring free WiFi, this well-reviewed 3-star property has a 24-hour front desk, concierge service and gift shop. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. Every room is air conditioned and is equipped with a flat-screen TV. Every room has a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries. You can play billiards at the motel. The nearest airport is Gabala International Airport.
What to do:
For amazing mountain views, visit the Shahdag National Park.
Good places to hike in Azerbaijan are the Absheron Peninsula, Pirgulu, Gusarchai Valley, Shamakhi, Tangaalti Gorge, Talish Mountains, Ismayilli, Khizi, Dubrar Dagh and Beshbarmag.
The best time of year for walking trips in the Greater Caucasus is spring – from April to June. Although caravans no longer pass through Azerbaijan on the Silk Route, the Bactrian camels can still be found in the mountains. You can also go skiing in the Mount Shahdagh.
If you’re looking for thrills, you can explore the ghost town of Ağdam. One of the best places to photograph is the Masazir Lake (Masazirgol) with its mushroom-shaped salt formations. Water of this lake is heavily saturated with salt and has a bright pink colour.
See oil pumps and rigs at the field by the Caspian Sea near Baku. Azerbaijan is also famous for its mineral springs and the world’s only oil field treatment – naphthalene. Take a bath in crude oil, used as therapeutic treatment in the Naftalan clinic. Visit the Yanar Dağ Fire Spring, a mysterious hillside with continuously burning natural flames. This impressive 10-metre long wall of fire naturally is at its most spectacular at night. Visitors can view the fire from a nearby teahouse. You can also head to the Zoroastrian fire-worshipers temple in Surakhani, in the suburbs of Baku.
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