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7 Days in Azerbaijan Itinerary: Best Places, Maps, & Tips

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Are you planning a trip to Azerbaijan? Here’s everything you need to craft the perfect 1 week Azerbaijan itinerary – including what to do, what not to do, what and where to eat, how to get around, where to stay, day trip suggestions, experience-based practical tips, and handy map.

One Week in Azerbaijan Itinerary: An Introduction

I spent days scrolling through the information about Azerbaijan making notes of the tiniest of details, and interacting with locals in Azerbaijan travel groups on Facebook to plan this Azerbaijan travel itinerary & feel that it’s one of the best on the internet.

When I say the best, it doesn’t mean that this itinerary covers all the best places in Azerbaijan because, of course, 7 days aren’t enough to explore everything that this beautiful country in the Caucasus has to offer, however, it includes the best places one must see to get acquainted with Azerbaijan as a first timer visitor. To become the best of friends, you need to come back!

Azerbaijan: First Impressions

Azerbaijan, the Land of Fire, turned out to be a sweet surprise for me, maybe, because I wasn’t expecting much from the country – as it’s less written and talked about. Every place felt so untouched, raw, and intriguing – like a breath of fresh air! By the end of 7 days in Azerbaijan, I found it hard to bid adieu. I wanted to stay. I wanted to know a little more. I wanted to feel its soul. Sigh! I knew I was coming back soon.

Azerbaijan definitely is one of the most charming, vivacious, and rewarding countries I’ve ever visited. From modern architectural wonders, soviet era structures, and historical gems to welcoming locals, delicious cuisine, natural treasures, and cultural encounters – a little country packs a punch.

Azerbaijan 1 Week Itinerary Map

7 Days in Azerbaijan Itinerary in a Nutshell

Azerbaijan itinerary 7 days: explore the best of azerbaijan in one week.

This Azerbaijan 7 days itinerary starts and ends in Baku and lets you explore the key highlights of Azerbaijan beside the vibrant capital of Baku – Yanar Dag, Ateshgah, Gobustan, Lahic, Sheki, and Shamakhi while combining day tours and a road trip.

Day 1: Arrive in Baku | Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku

inner city icherisheher baku old city one week in azerbaijan itinerary

Your Azerbaijan exploration starts in Baku , a vibrant capital city that very well knows how to hold on to its heritage while embracing futuristic trends and continuously reinventing itself.

A maze of cobbled streets peppered with historic architecture sits next to the spacious Parisian-style avenues and boulevards lined with stunning modern architectural wonders – a leisurely walk through the city is all you need to appreciate the intriguing contrasts.

Board a Baku Aero Express, hop on an airport taxi, or book a comfortable private transfer from Heydar Aliyev International Airport to your hotel in the city center.

You must book accommodation that’s right in the heart of the city. We stayed at Salam Baku Hotel that’s located on Nizami Street, the main downtown street. The hotel is basic, however, we could catch all the action from our room overlooking the street. Plus, it was easy to get around with the minimal use of public transportation.

You can check in to your hotel, freshen up, have a refreshing cup of coffee, and head out to explore Icherisheher aka Old City aka Inner City, Baku’s historic core – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Strolling the winding streets of the old walled city of Baku feels like walking back in time. You can take a free walking tour or guided walking tour or choose to design your route map and explore on your own.

As you lose yourself in the streets of İçəri Şəhər, you’ll notice the well-preserved old-world structures – beautiful palaces and mosques, caravansaries, traditional souks, and hammams alongside charming coffee shops, famous restaurants, luxiuorous hotels, famed tea houses, swanky boutiques, antique shops, museums, and art galleries punctuated by small shops and street vendors selling Azerbaijani carpets, silverware, and other traditional items – the overwhelming beauty and history swoons you.

If you make an effort to venture a little deeper, you can witness the local life. As per Wikipedia, more than 3,000 people live in attractive stone houses and apartments inside the Old City walls.

The notable attractions to check out in the Old City of Baku include Double Gates (Gosha Gala Gapisi), Maidan Tower , Fortress Walls , Juma Mosque , Muhammad Mosque , Palace of Shirvanshhahs , Bazar Square , Haci Banu Hammam , Vagif Mustafazadeh House-Museum , and the Museum of Miniature Books .

And don’t forget to capture the stunning views of the iconic Flame Towers  rising behind the old city fortress walls.

I’d highly recommend a guided or self-guided panoramic night tour of Baku to get a unique nighttime perspective on the capital city. The Flame Towers illuminate in the colors of the national flag and look like burning flames from a distance. And the night view of the city from Upland Park is breathtaking!

End your day with a traditional dinner at Shah Restaurant & Gallery . You must try their shah pilaf.

Where to Stay in Baku Overall Best: Royal Antique Boutique Hotel (⭐ 9.5) Budget: Renaissance Boutique  (⭐ 8.4) Mid-Range: Art Club  (⭐ 9.3) Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel Baku (⭐ 9.4)

Day 2: Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku

heydar aliyev center baku i love sign

Feast on Azeri breakfast at Sehrli Təndir , an old caravanserai-turned restaurant.

Now that you’ve seen the historic side of Baku, it’s time to discover the city’s contemporary side. Witness Flame Towers , the iconic flame-shaped trio of skyscrapers up close. Climb the stone steps or take a funicular to the lush Upland Park to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the city and its bay. Take some time to walk the Martyrs’ Lane or Alley of Honor inside the park.

Head to the Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum , a cultural center displaying the largest collection of rugs and carpets in the world. A quick stroll through the museum presents insights into the colorful weaving history of Azerbaijan.

Other beautiful attractions close to the museum are Mini-Venice , Denizkenari Milli Park , and Azerbaijan State Puppet Theatre .

Enjoy a leisurely walk on the main pedestrian and shopping street, Nizami Street . Action-packed – the street is always full of people – locals and tourists. From small shops, hip boutiques, and charming cafes, to famous food chain outlets, supermarkets, famous restaurants, and bakeries, to the range of hotels – you can find anything and everything here. The famous public square in Baku, Fountain Square is also a part of Nizami Street.

Related Read: Best Hotels in Baku Near Nizami Street

While you are here, relish a traditional lunch at Dolma or Firuze.

After a hearty meal, take a taxi, bus, or metro to the Heydar Aliyev Center . I’d say it’s the high point of Baku. It’s visually, aesthetically, and intellectually compelling – inside out. Designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, you can’t help but fall in love with the unique piece of post-modern architecture as soon as you enter the complex. Walking around the museum, you’ll find out a lot about the history, culture, and art of Azerbaijan.

Spend your evening walking a 4 km (2.5 miles) long Bulvar or Baku Boulevard , a gorgeous promenade along the Caspian Sea. As you walk, the refreshing touch of the cool sea breeze caressing your face takes away the day’s tiredness. There are many benches or cafes along the way to sit and relax and indulge in people-watching. It’s also a great place to capture the best view of the Flame Towers.

There’s no better way to end your Baku exploration than a delicious dinner with a view at Sky Grill.

Day 3: Day Trip to Absheron (Ateshgah & Yanardag) and Gobustan (Mud Volcanoes and Petroglyphs) | Overnight in Baku

gobustan qobustan azerbaijan

After spending 2 days in Baku, it’s time to discover the natural wonders around Baku.

The Absheron Peninsula is a promontory in eastern Azerbaijan extending into the Caspian Sea northeast of Baku. From mud volcanoes and lakes to beaches and ancient villages – It’s peppered with unique natural, historical, and cultural wonders.

Some of the most visited attractions on the peninsula include the famous burning mountain, Yanar Dag, and Ateshgah Fire Temple.

Gobustan or Qobustan is home to the Gobustan State Historical and Cultural Reserve which beautifully preserves the rock petroglyphs (prehistoric rock carvings) and mud volcanoes. Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape within the reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Petroglyph Museum inside the reserve is also worth a visit.

The mud volcanoes are about a 30-minute drive from the museum. You have to leave your car (if you’ve one) at the museum parking and visit the mud volcanoes with a tour guide in their vehicle.

We took this all-inclusive Gobustan & Absheron Tour that makes it easy to explore all these amazing attractions with ease. The tour includes a traditional lunch and the all entrance fees.

If you want to explore independently, I’d suggest you dedicate two days – one day for Ateshgah and Yanar Dag and another for Gobustan as it involves a lot of driving.

Day 4: Day Trip to Quba | Overnight in Baku

traditional carpet weaving factory qadim quba guba 7 days in azerbaijan itinerary

Close to the Russian border, the little sleepy city of Quba (Guba) is full of nature, art, history, and culture. Famous for its apple orchards and carpets, Quba is peaceful and charming. The city is a great base for those who want to explore the ancient mountain villages of Khinaliq (Xinaliq) and Laza.

I mainly visited to get a sneak peek into the ancient art of weaving at a traditional carpet-weaving factory – Qadim Quba. Juma Mosque, Ardabil Mosque, Guba Genocide Memorial Complex, traditional Turkish hammam, and Qirmizi Qasaba (aka Red Village or Caucasian Jerusalem) are some of the attractions worth checking in Quba .

About 168 km (104 miles) away, Quba is easily accessible from Baku by bus, taxi, or rental car.

I’d strongly recommend you join this amazing guided tour that lets you explore Quba along with the beautiful mountain village of Khinalug and the incredible colorful landscape of Khizi or this one that includes a visit to the unique Red Town and many other natural wonders along with Quba and Khinalug.

Where to Stay in Quba Overall Best: Quba Palace Hotel & Golf Resort (⭐ 9.6) Budget: Gold Hotel Quba  (⭐ 8.5) Mid-Range: House in Quba  (⭐ 9.2) Luxury: Quba Palace Hotel & Golf Resort (⭐ 9.6)

Day 5: Drive to Sheki | Explore Lahic on the Way | Overnight in Sheki

lahic lahich lahij azerbaijan

About 300 km (187 miles) from Baku, it’s a long way to Sheki. Public transport options like a coach, mini-van, or overnight train are available. Hiring a taxi, a chauffeur-driven car, or renting a car are great options for those who seek ease and comfort.

We hired a driver with a car for the next 3 days in Azerbaijan to explore Lahic, Sheki, and Shamakhi.

Lahic and Shamakhi are on the way to Sheki from Baku. We discovered Lahic while driving from Baku to Sheki and explored Shamakhi when we were coming back from Sheki to Baku.

Lahic or Lahich or Lahij is a remote lost-in-time mountain village in one of the most beautiful regions of Azerbaijan, Ismailli.

Worlds apart from Baku, Lahic is one of the best places in Azerbaijan to witness rural life and Azeri culture and traditions. Historically, it was an important part of the Great Silk Road.

Well-known for its coppersmiths’ workshops, Lahic is a UNESCO Creative City . The cobblestone streets lined with cute little wooden artisanal shops selling handcrafted copperware attract a wealth of tourists here. Besides, the cool weather and abundant natural beauty are other draws for tourists. It’s one of the best day trip destinations from Baku.

A drive from Ismailli to Lahic is utterly beautiful yet a hair-raising experience with sheer drops and bends.

For those who want to do more in less time with ease, this full-day tour to Shamakhi and Lahij from Baku is also a great option.

Where to Stay in Lahij Overall Best: Abbasov’s Guest House (⭐ 9.7) Budget: Ancient Lahij Guest House  (⭐ 8.9) Mid-Range: Abbasov’s Guest House  (⭐ 9.7) Luxury: Brick House (⭐ 8.7)

Day 6: Explore Sheki | Overnight in Sheki

summer palace sheki

The ancient Silk Road city of Sheki (Shaki or Şeki) never fails to charm its visitors. Located at the foot of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, Sheki is a must-visit when in Azerbaijan.

You can feel the historical and cultural vibe here. There’s a reason, the historic center of Sheki along with the beautiful Sheki Khan’s Palace has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Sheki is also a part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network because of its rich art and crafts heritage. Shebeke (wooden framed stained glass), pottery, and silk weaving are some of the most recognized traditional art forms in Sheki.

Getting lost in the narrow lanes, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the historic architecture the city unveils at every step. And how could I not talk about delicious food and lovely locals?

The best things to do in Sheki include visiting the Old Town, Summer Place, Winter Palace, Silk Road Caravanserai, Three Saint’s Church, and Albanian Church of Kish, and relishing the local dishes of Piti and Sheki Halwa.

If you are short on time and can’t dedicate an entire two days to exploring Sheki and its surroundings, this full-day tour from Baku to Sheki including a visit to Shamaki and Gabala on the way is perfect for you.

Where to Stay in Sheki Overall Best: Marxal Resort & Spa (⭐ 9.7) Budget: Old Town Sheki (⭐ 8.7) Mid-Range: Sheki Palace Hotel  (⭐ 8.2) Luxury: Marxal Resort & Spa (⭐ 9.7)

Day 7: Drive Back from Sheki to Baku | Explore Shamakhi on the Way | Fly Back Home

juma mosque shamakhi azerbaijan itinerary

Today’s your last day in Azerbaijan. Make the most of it. Start your drive back to Baku from Sheki after a fulfilling breakfast. You can time your journey as per the timing of your flight back home from Baku.

We left Sheki at around 8 am so we could explore Shamakhi on the way to Baku Airport. The ancient capital of Shamakhi is one of the oldest cities in Azerbaijan. It’s packed with history and culture and the breathtaking countryside surroundings make it all the more attractive.

The historic Silk Road city is also known as the city of poets because the legendary Azerbaijani poets – Sabir and Nesimi called it home. It also earned a name for its traditional Shamakhi dancers.

The city withstood invaders and earthquakes and strives to preserve its cultural heritage. Juma Mosque, one of the first mosques in the Caucasus, looks stunning. Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum is another landmark here that’s home to the tombs of Shirvanshahs – the last independent rulers of Shamakhi.

If you’ve time, you can add a visit to the Alpaca Farm and Shamakhi Safari Park, especially if you are traveling with kids.

Azerbaijan Trip: How to Plan

Best time to visit azerbaijan.

The best months to visit Azerbaijan are May, June, September, and October. July and August are the hottest months so it’s best to avoid planning during that time.

October is a perfect time to witness the autumn colors. Music lovers can plan for mid-October when the Baku International Jazz Festival takes place.

March is also a good time to visit, especially for culture enthusiasts, as it’s when (the first day of the spring, usually March 20th) the country celebrates one of its biggest traditional festivals – Nowruz, a Persian New Year. Plus, the weather is pleasant.

Winter is again a beautiful time to experience Azerbaijan. The beauty of the Caucasian Mountains covered in a sheet of shimmering white snow is unbeatable. adventure enthusiasts can head to Shahdag Mountain Resort and the Tufandag Mountain Resort to enjoy skiing. Also, it’s a great time for festive vibes – a colorful and flavorful event – Cold Hands, Warm Hearts Christmas, and New Year Fair takes place from December through January.

How to Get to Azerbaijan

Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku is the major airport. Azerbaijan Airlines operates regular flights to Azerbaijan from most of the famous cities around the world.

If you are coming from Georgia, there’s a daily overnight train from Tbilisi to Baku.

Visa for Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan offers single-entry eVisa to over 95 countries, including the US, European Nations, the UK, Canada, and India. Check this list to see if your country is visa-exempt or eligible for applying eVisa.

The application process is quite simple. Visit https://evisa.gov.az/ , click on the application tab, fill in the details, and pay the amount ($26). You’ll receive your eVisa in your email in about 3 days. We received ours in less than 48 hours.

The eVisa is valid for up to 90 days and permits a stay of a maximum of 30 days.

You can take the help of iVisa by paying a minimal service fee if you find it difficult to apply on your own.

How to Get Around Azerbaijan

The public transportation in Azerbaijan isn’t as efficient as other European countries. You can rent a car and self-drive to venture out of Baku, however, the roads are crazy and poorly lit (not to mention the difficult mountain terrain around remote villages) outside the cities.

So, I’d recommend hiring a car with a driver who knows the country well. If he doubles up as a guide, bingo. It’s safe, comfortable, and cheap for families.

We hired a private car and driver and absolutely enjoyed our Azerbaijan road trip.

Alternatively, you can book guided day tours to explore the places on your Azerbaijan itinerary with ease and comfort. The day tours take away the guesswork out of the trip and let you enjoy the places without any stress and anxiety. I completely rely on Get Your Guide and Viator for day tours.

How to Stay Connected in Azerbaijan

The airports, hotels, cafes, and restaurants in Azerbaijan have WiFi connectivity, however, to stay connected while traveling around the country, a local SIM card is vital.

Azercell and Bakcell are two of the famous mobile operators in Azerbaijan. Azercell is recommended by locals for its better connectivity. There are different types of tourist plans available depending on the data usage. We were in Azerbaijan for 7 days and purchased a 2 GB tourist plan for 10 manats ($5.88) from an Azercell store on Nizami Street.

If your phone supports eSim, you can buy one from Airalo .

Based on my personal experience, here are a few things you should take care of while traveling in Azerbaijan.

  • Azeris are helpful and friendly, however, language is a huge challenge because English isn’t widely understood. Make sure you download a Google Translate App or Widget on your phone. Also, learning some common phrases in the Azeri language comes in handy.
  • Taxi scam is common, especially at the airport. It’s safer to use Uber or Bolt. If at all, you hire a taxi, discuss the distance, time taken, and the approximate charge to the destination beforehand. Check if the taximeter is working properly. Getting from the airport to the center takes around 30 minutes and costs around 40-50 AZN ($24-30). For a hassle-free trip, you can pre-book a private transfer from the airport.
  • Always keep exact cash while paying a taxi driver or a street vendor or someone at a shop because there are chances that they hand over a fake currency note to you. It didn’t happen to us in Baku, Azerbaijan but in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Keep sufficient cash in the local currency (AZN). Don’t pay in USD or Euro even if someone asks you, most likely it’s a scam. You tend to overpay without even noticing it.
  • Always check the bill before paying in a restaurant or cafe. They sometimes add a food item you never ordered or quote a price for an item higher than mentioned in the menu. Don’t know intentional or accidental, but it happened to us twice. Also, it’s a common practice to serve a water bottle or a platter of mixed food items on your table while you order. You might feel these are complementary but they come with a heavy price. Ask the price of a water bottle (it’s way costlier than in the supermarket) or other specials to save the embarrassment and regret later.
  • Beware of over-friendly locals. If someone comes to you and offers help without you asking, it’s a red flag.

Suggested Azerbaijan Itineraries

If you’ve fewer or more days than 7 days, here are suggestions to help you craft an itinerary accordingly:

Azerbaijan Itinerary 4 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Baku | Explore Baku Day 2: Explore Baku Day 3: Day Trip to Ateshgah and Yanardag Day 4: Day Trip to Gobustan | Fly Back Home

Azerbaijan Itinerary 5 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Baku | Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 2: Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 3: Day Trip to Ateshgah and Yanardag | Overnight in Baku Day 4: Day Trip to Gobustan | Overnight in Baku Day 5: Day Trip to Shamakhi | Fly Back Home

Azerbaijan Itinerary 6 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Baku | Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 2: Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 3: Day Trip to Ateshgah and Yanardag | Overnight in Baku Day 4: Day Trip to Gobustan | Overnight in Baku Day 5: Day Trip to Shamakhi | Overnight in Baku Day 6: Day Trip to Quba and Xinaliq | Overnight in Baku

Azerbaijan Itinerary 10 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Baku | Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 2: Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 3: Day Trip to Ateshgah and Yanardag from Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 4: Day Trip to Gobustan from Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 5: Drive to Quba | Explore Quba | Overnight in Quba Day 6: Day Trip to Xinaliq from Quba | Overnight in Quba Day 7: Day Trip to Laza from Quba | Drive back to Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 8: Drive to Sheki | Explore Shamakhi and Lahic on the Way | Overnight in Sheki Day 9: Explore Sheki | Overnight in Sheki Day 10: Drive Back to Sheki | Explore Gabala on the Way | Fly Back Home

Azerbaijan Itinerary 14 Days

Day 1: Arrival in Baku | Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 2: Explore Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 3: Day Trip to Ateshgah and Yanardag from Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 4: Day Trip to Gobustan from Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 5: Drive to Quba | Explore Quba | Overnight in Quba Day 6: Day Trip to Xinaliq from Quba | Overnight in Quba Day 7: Day Trip to Laza from Quba | Drive back to Baku | Overnight in Baku Day 8: Drive to Lahic | Explore Shamakhi on the Way | Overnight in Lahic Day 9: Explore Lahic | Drive to Sheki | Overnight in Sheki Day 10: Explore Sheki | Overnight in Sheki Day 11: Day Trip to Ganja and Lake Goygol | Overnight in Sheki Day 12: Drive to Gebele from Sheki | Explore Gebele | Overinght in Gebele Day 13: Drive to Baku from Gebele | Overnight in Baku Day 14: At Leisure | Go Shopping in Baku | Fly Back Home

Azerbaijan Travel FAQ

Is azerbaijan located in europe or asia.

Located on the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Azerbaijan is a transcontinental country and is considered a part of both Europe and Asia or better yet, Eurasia.

What is Azerbaijan Most Famous For?

Azerbaijan is best known for its abundant oil and natural gas resources. It’s nicknamed the Land of Fire, the reasons being – it’s the birthplace of crude oil and the eternal flames (natural phenomenon) dot the country’s landscape. The name of the country literally translates to protector of fire. The capital city of Baku is also known for F1 Race.

How Many Days in Azerbaijan?

7 days in Azerbaijan are enough to explore most of the country’s highlights. If you want to travel a bit deeper, I’d recommend setting aside at least 10 days for a trip to Azerbaijan.

Which Month is the Best for Travel in Azerbaijan?

We visited Azerbaijan in June. It was scorchingly hot, with pleasantly warm evenings. After talking to the locals and fellow travelers who visited the country during different seasons, I can assuredly confirm that overall October is the best month to explore Azerbaijan.

Is it Expensive to Visit Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan isn’t a cheap country for sure, howbeit, it’s quite a competitive and affordable country to travel to, especially for Western travelers. The amount of money you spend depends on your travel style – still, you can expect to spend about $60 to $80 per person per day for an easy and comfortable stay.

Is Azerbaijan an Islamic nation?

Yes, Azerbaijan is an Islamic country, with Shia Muslims forming the majority. Yet, the country is relatively open-minded and follows secularism.

Is Azerbaijan Safe?

Yes, it is! Petty crimes like pickpocketing and tourist scams (mostly related to unofficial taxis) can happen, however, it’s safe, generally. As in any other foreign country, avoid staying out after dark and exercise caution and common sense all the time. Also, you must know that entry to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region is prohibited.

Is Azerbaijan Tourist-Friendly?

Yes, most certainly. Azerbaijan welcomes tourists with an open heart and mind. The infrastructure is super. Locals are warm and welcoming and are keen to help out if and when needed. Unlike other Muslim countries, they have a modern outlook when it comes to the freedom of women, and at the same time, they are respectful towards women. The food options are abundant. There are endless things to see and do for each kind of traveler – art, culture, history aficionado or architectural enthusiast, nature lover, or shopaholic.

Is Azerbaijan Family-Friendly?

Azerbaijan is a great place to visit with family. It’s safe and secure and offers an intriguing mix of experiences ranging from cultural, and historical to gastronomical for families traveling with kids and teenagers. We enjoyed our time as a family in Azerbaijan.

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Anjali Chawla

4 thoughts on “7 Days in Azerbaijan Itinerary: Best Places, Maps, & Tips”

I recently visited Azerbajan and your blogs were the guiding lights. It helped a lot.

Thanks for writing and keep it up!1

Oh, I’m thrilled to hear that the blog was your go-to guide for your Azerbaijan adventure! That’s exactly why we pour our hearts into each post—to make your travels just a bit more magical. If you have any stories or tips from your trip that you’d like to share, I’m all ears! Keep exploring, and thanks so much for your kind words.

Amazingly detailed research! Will help me to plan well. No other blog required to be referred. Everything covered at one place. Thanks 😊

You’re welcome! I’m so glad to hear that you found the information helpful. If you have any more questions or need further assistance as you plan your trip, feel free to ask. Enjoy your travels!

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Azerbaijan Travel Guide: The Unexplored East Meets West

Azerbaijan is a fascinating country where East meets West, modernity blends with antiquity, and natural beauty is around every corner. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about exploring this hidden jewel nestled between Europe and Asia, from its deep-rooted history and vibrant culture to its tantalizing cuisine and stunning landscapes.

Table of Contents

Why Choose Azerbaijan as Your Next Travel Destination

Azerbaijan, often referred to as the Land of Fire, is a captivating blend of contrasts and contradictions that never fails to enchant its visitors. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a nature lover, or a city explorer, Azerbaijan offers something for everyone. With its majestic mountains, sparking coastlines, historic cities, diverse culture, and rich gastronomy, a trip to Azerbaijan promises a feast for the senses and a plethora of unforgettable experiences.

A Brief History of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, often referred to as the Land of Fire, has a rich and intriguing history that spans thousands of years. Its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East has played a significant role in shaping its unique cultural and historical heritage.

Early evidence of civilization in Azerbaijan dates back to the Stone Age. The Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape , located about 60 km from Baku, is home to an array of rock carvings dating back between 5,000 to 40,000 years, signifying the area’s early habitation.

The 1st millennium BC saw the region being ruled by various kingdoms and dynasties, including the Medes, Persians, and Alexander the Great. The area’s rich natural resources, particularly oil, played a crucial role in its development and attracted many conquerors and empires.

During the Middle Ages, Azerbaijan was a significant cultural and intellectual hub. It experienced the Golden Age of Islamic science and knowledge under the Seljuk Empire and later, the Mongols.

The early 19th century saw the Russo-Persian wars, after which Azerbaijan was split between Persia (modern-day Iran) and Russia. The Republic of Azerbaijan declared independence in 1918, becoming the first democratic state in the Muslim world, although this was short-lived due to the Soviet Union’s formation.

discover azerbaijan travel

After seven decades under Soviet rule, Azerbaijan regained its independence in 1991 following the USSR’s dissolution. The country has since rapidly modernized and developed, becoming a significant player in global energy markets due to its vast oil and gas reserves.

Today, Azerbaijan presents a harmonious blend of its historical past and promising future, making it a fascinating destination for history enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike.

Understanding Azerbaijan: Language and Culture

Azerbaijan is a country with a rich tapestry of diverse influences. As you navigate through its cities and countryside, you’ll see the impact of these influences in everything from architecture to cuisine, and notably, in its language and culture.

The official language of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijani (or Azeri), a Turkic language that’s similar to Turkish. Most Azerbaijanis are bilingual, with Russian commonly spoken due to the country’s past as part of the Soviet Union. In recent years, English has also gained popularity, especially among the younger generation and in larger cities like Baku.

Beyond language, the culture of Azerbaijan is a captivating mix of East and West, blending elements of Turkic, Persian, Islamic, and Russian traditions into a unique Azerbaijani identity. The country’s strong cultural heritage is visible in its music, dance, literature, and visual arts.

Music plays an integral part in Azerbaijani culture, with traditional music styles like Mugham – a complex form of vocal and instrumental music recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage – still popular today. The country is also known for its lively pop and jazz music scene.

Dance is another significant part of Azerbaijani culture, with traditional dances varying across different regions. These dances often tell stories or symbolize various aspects of life, such as harvest, war, or courtship.

As for visual arts, carpet weaving holds a special place in Azerbaijan’s cultural history. Traditional Azerbaijani carpets, each with distinct colors and patterns unique to different regions, are considered a symbol of the nation.

Azerbaijan also hosts numerous festivals throughout the year that celebrate its culture. The Novruz holiday , marking the Persian New Year and the arrival of Spring, is one of the most significant. It’s characterized by traditional games, dances, and an array of delicious Azerbaijani dishes.

In understanding the language and culture of Azerbaijan, visitors can fully appreciate this vibrant and diverse country, enriching their overall travel experience.

The Cuisine of Azerbaijan: A Gastronomic Adventure

One of the most memorable ways to explore a culture is through its cuisine, and Azerbaijan is no exception. The country’s location between the East and the West has resulted in a rich, diverse culinary tradition that will take you on a gastronomic adventure.

Azerbaijani cuisine is renowned for its abundant use of herbs, vegetables, and grains, as well as a wide variety of meats. It’s a blend of flavors that mirrors the country’s cultural diversity, with influences from Turkish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Central Asian cuisines.

  • The culinary journey in Azerbaijan often begins with bread, considered sacred and served at every meal. From the fluffy tandir bread baked in clay ovens to the thin, flaky Kutabs filled with greens or meat, the bread in Azerbaijan is as diverse as it is delicious.
  • Azerbaijan’s signature dish is Plov , a flavorful pilaf usually served with meat, dried fruits, and eggs. There are countless versions of this beloved dish, each with a unique twist that reflects different regions’ specialties.
  • Another must-try is Dolma , grape leaves or vegetables stuffed with a spiced mixture of meat and rice, accompanied by a tangy yogurt sauce. If you’re visiting during the colder months, don’t miss the hearty Piti soup, made from mutton and chickpeas and served in a traditional clay pot.
  • Seafood lovers will enjoy the vast array of fresh catches from the Caspian Sea, including sturgeon, mullet, and the famous black caviar.
  • No Azerbaijani meal is complete without tea , served in a traditional pear-shaped glass called an “armudu” and often accompanied by a variety of sweet preserves, or “murabba.”

From the bustling markets of Baku filled with exotic spices and fresh produce to the warm hospitality of rural homes where traditional dishes are prepared with love, Azerbaijan offers a culinary experience that both surprises and satisfies.

Exploring Azerbaijan: Major Cities and Attractions

Azerbaijan offers a unique blend of ancient and modern attractions, natural beauty, and urban sophistication. Whether you’re drawn to the hustle and bustle of city life or prefer the tranquility of untouched landscapes, Azerbaijan won’t disappoint.

Baku, the Dynamic Capital

Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, beautifully blends old-world charm with modern extravagance. The city’s heart is the UNESCO-listed Old City, Icherisheher, brimming with medieval architecture, cobblestone lanes, and historical sites such as the Maiden Tower and Palace of the Shirvanshahs. A walk through the city’s modern district will reveal stunning architectural marvels like the Flame Towers and the Heydar Aliyev Center, designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid. Don’t miss a stroll along the Baku Boulevard for picturesque views of the Caspian Sea.

Ganja, a Glimpse into the Past

As Azerbaijan’s second-largest city, Ganja, offers an intriguing glimpse into the past. Here, you can explore the city’s ancient roots through its historical monuments, such as the Nizami Mausoleum dedicated to the 12th-century poet Nizami Ganjavi and the stunning Imamzadeh Mausoleum with its intricate blue tile work.

Quba, Nature’s Serene Getaway

Quba is a favorite among nature lovers. Known for its lush landscapes, this region is home to Azerbaijan’s largest forest, the Quba-Khachmaz massif. The city is also known for its carpet-weaving tradition and the Red Town, the world’s only all-Jewish town outside Israel and the U.S. For those with an adventurous spirit, the nearby Caucasus Mountains offer excellent hiking opportunities.

Sheki, an Architectural Gem

Nestled in the northern part of Azerbaijan, Sheki is a charming city known for its splendid architecture. The Sheki Khans’ Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit with its stunning frescoes and stained glass work.

Gobustan National Park

For a step back in time, head to the Gobustan National Park, home to more than 6,000 rock engravings dating back up to 40,000 years. The park also features mud volcanoes that create a unique lunar-like landscape.

Exploring Azerbaijan’s diverse cities and attractions will offer you an unforgettable journey through its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Each destination has its unique charm and stories waiting for you to discover.

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring the Azerbaijani Countryside

Away from the cosmopolitan vibes of the cities, the Azerbaijani countryside unfolds a world of serene landscapes, ancient history, and warm hospitality. Venture off the beaten path to explore these rural wonders, where tradition thrives and nature astounds.

Lahij: A Craftsman’s Paradise

Nestled on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, the village of Lahij is a craftsman’s paradise. Famous for its coppersmiths and carpet-weaving traditions, this ancient village is a living museum. The cobbled streets, quaint shops, and ancient buildings are testament to its medieval past.

Khinalug: The Ancient Mountain Village

Sitting at over 2,000 meters above sea level, Khinalug is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. This remote mountain village offers breathtaking views of the Caucasus Mountains, and a unique chance to experience a way of life that has remained virtually unchanged for centuries.

Goygol National Park: A Nature Lover’s Retreat

Goygol National Park, named after the stunning Goygol Lake, is a haven for nature lovers. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, and offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and bird watching. The lake, with its crystal-clear waters reflecting the surrounding mountains, is a sight to behold.

Nakhchivan: A Region Steeped in History

Separated from the rest of the country, the autonomous region of Nakhchivan is a treasure trove of archaeological sites and natural beauty. Visit the ancient city of Ordubad, known as the “Caucasian Jerusalem”, explore the Momina Khatun Mausoleum with its intricate patterns, or marvel at the natural wonder of the Batabat Lake.

Caspian Sea Beaches

For some relaxation, head to the beaches along the Caspian Sea. The towns of Lankaran and Astara offer pristine beaches, warm waters, and a bounty of delicious seafood.

From mountain heights to coastal delights, exploring the Azerbaijani countryside offers a delightful departure from the usual tourist routes. It’s a journey of breathtaking beauty, timeless traditions, and unforgettable experiences.

Practical Information for Travelers to Azerbaijan

Traveling to a new country is an exciting adventure, and having some practical information at your fingertips can make the journey smoother. Here are some essential things you need to know when planning your trip to Azerbaijan.

The currency of Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani manat (AZN). Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and shops in larger cities like Baku and Ganja, but it’s recommended to have some cash on hand for smaller establishments, especially in rural areas. ATMs are available throughout the country, and currency exchange offices, known as “Mənzil Mərkəzi,” offer competitive rates.

Azerbaijan ‘s Azerbaijani manat current exchange rates

  • 100 AZN = $58.82 or $1 = 1.70 Azerbaijani manat
  • 100 AZN = €54.47 or €1 = 1.84 Azerbaijani manat

Other currencies:

  • 100 AZN = 46.59 British Pounds
  • 100 AZN = 90.23 Australian Dollar
  • 100 AZN = 79.47 Canadian Dollar
  • 100 AZN = 626.91 Swedish Krona
  • 100 AZN = 234.00 Polish Zloty
  • 100 AZN = 1,375.72 Czech Koruna
  • 100 AZN = 79,194.12 South Korean Won
  • 100 AZN = 424.78 Chinese Yuan
  • 100 AZN = 8,902.65 Japanese Yen

While Azerbaijani is the official language, English is commonly spoken in major cities, particularly in hotels, restaurants, and tourist sites. Russian is also widely understood due to the country’s Soviet past.

Most foreign travelers require a visa to visit Azerbaijan. The easiest way to obtain one is through the e-Visa system, which is a quick, straightforward process. Always check the visa requirements for your specific nationality before your journey.

Azerbaijan experiences a range of climatic variations due to its diverse landscapes. Coastal areas enjoy mild winters and warm summers, while the mountains can be significantly colder with heavy snowfall in winter. The best time to visit for pleasant weather is typically during the spring (April-June) and autumn (September-November) months.

Best Time to Visit Azerbaijan in 2024: Cultural Exploration, Mountain Adventures, and Urban Excursions. Azerbaijan Weather Guide

Azerbaijan is generally considered a safe country for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places, and keep your belongings secure.

Cultural Etiquette

Azerbaijanis are known for their warm hospitality. When visiting, it’s respectful to follow local customs. Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites, and avoid sensitive discussions about politics.

While healthcare facilities in Baku are adequate, services may be limited in more remote areas. It’s recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical evacuation. Also, remember to bring any prescribed medications as they may not be readily available locally.

With this practical information, you’re well-prepared for a fantastic journey to Azerbaijan, a country that promises to captivate with its rich culture, history, and unforgettable landscapes.

Useful Websites

  • Azerbaijan Travel . This is the official tourism portal of Azerbaijan where you can find comprehensive information about destinations, attractions, events, and travel tips.
  • Baku Tourism Information Center . If your travel plans include Baku, this website can provide you with detailed guides about what to do, where to stay, and local events in the capital city.
  • Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) . The national airline’s website can help you with booking flights to and within Azerbaijan. It also provides information on travel guidelines and in-flight services.
  • Lonely Planet – Azerbaijan . Lonely Planet is a reliable source for independent travel advice. You can find an array of information about Azerbaijan, from top attractions to practical travel tips.
  • Tripadvisor – Azerbaijan . This platform offers user reviews of hotels, attractions, and restaurants throughout Azerbaijan. It also has a useful forum where travelers share their experiences and advice.
  • Azerbaijan Railways .If you’re planning on using rail transport during your stay, this site provides information about train schedules, routes, and ticket bookings.
  • Culture Trip – Azerbaijan . This website offers interesting articles about Azerbaijani culture, cuisine, history, and travel experiences. It’s great for discovering unique places to visit and things to do.

Azerbaijan beckons with its captivating blend of East and West, showcasing an intriguing mix of cultures, landscapes, and historical treasures. From the modern charm of Baku to the timeless traditions of the countryside, from the tantalizing flavors of its cuisine to the warm hospitality of its people, every aspect of Azerbaijan promises an unforgettable travel experience.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or simply an adventurous spirit, this ultimate travel guide to Azerbaijan is your companion to uncovering the gems of this fascinating country. As you delve into the heart of Azerbaijan, you’ll not only discover new destinations but also connect with a rich heritage that transcends time.

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  • Azerbaijan Travel

Discover Azerbaijan in a 9-day tour

discover azerbaijan travel

Tour includes:

Accommodation in baku.

You will stay in Baku for three nights

Continental breakfast in hotels

Comfortable minibus transportation from airport to airport

Sightseeing

Daily tours of the most interesting places

English speaking professional driver

You will receive a bottle of water for each day of the excursion

Tour excludes:

Air tickets and insurance.

Airfare and travel insurance

Lunches and dinners

Entrance fees

Entrance fees to museums/entertainment

Personal expenses

Daily personal items and expenses

Visa to Azerbaijan

Discover Azerbaijan in a 9-day tour: Exploration of Culture, History, and Stunning Landscapes

Embark on a thrilling 9-day tour to discover the beauty of Azerbaijan. With carefully crafted Azerbaijan tour packages, you can explore the country's top tourist places and cities, immersing yourself in Azerbaijan tourism at its best. Visit Azerbaijans tourist cities, including the vibrant capital of Baku, known for its iconic landmarks and lively atmosphere. Gabala Azerbaijan is a scenic city renowned for its stunning natural beauty. Gabala is a popular tourist destination with a rich history and numerous tourist attractions to explore. Guba Azerbaijan is a charming city known for its captivating blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, including forests and waterfalls, Guba is an ideal destination for nature lovers. Sheki Azerbaijan is a captivating city that stands out for its historical significance and architectural treasures. The magnificent Sheki Khan's Palace, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a major attraction. Shahdag Azerbaijan located in the majestic Greater Caucasus Mountains of Azerbaijan, is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Shahdag is a popular destination for winter sports and year-round exploration of nature's wonders. Shamakhi Azerbaijan, an ancient city that is known for its historical sites, including ancient mosques and mausoleums. Visitors can delve into the history and culture of Azerbaijan while enjoying the scenic beauty of Shamakhi.

Day 1: Arrival

Arrive at the Azerbaijan International Airport. You will be welcomed and then transferred to your hotel.

Check-in at the hotel.

The rest of the day is free for you to explore this windy capital.

Overnight in Baku.

Day 2: Baku tour

Breakfast at the hotel in Baku

Excursion program (pick-up time 10:00) :

Highland Park and Flame Towers Complex

Ferris Wheel

International Mugham and “Baku Venice”

Azerbaijan Carpet Museum

Baku Boulevard

Old city tour (Maiden Tower, Shirvanshah Palace, etc)

Fountain Square

The Heydar Aliyev Center

Transfer to Hotel

Day 3: Guba tour

Transfer to Guba (pick-up time 09:00)

Excursion program:

Besh  Barmag Shrine

Red settlement

Carpet weaving factory*

Gachrash Forests

Lunch break

Check-in to the hotel.

Overnight in Guba.

Day 4: Shahdag

Transfer to Shahdag Mountain Resort (pick-up time 10:00)

Visiting Shahdag Mountain Resort

Using activities which are available on that moment*

Going to Laza village

Return to the hotel

Day 5: Shamakhi tour

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check-out from the hotel at 09:00

Transfer to Gabala

On the way guests will pass:

Diri Baba Mausoleum

Shamakhi Juma Mosque

Reaching Gabala.

Check-in to the hotel. Free time

Overnight in Gabala

Day 6: Gabala tour

Excursion program (pick-up time 10:00)

7 Gozal Waterfall (7 Beauties)

Lunch break 13.00-14.00

Tufandagh Tourism Complex

Gabala Shooting Club

Return to the hotel. Free time

Day 7: Sheki tour

Transfer to Sheki at 10.00

The Palace of Shaki Khans

Shabaka master house

Caravanserai

Street of sweets and potteries

Albanian church in the village of Kish

Transfer back to Gabala

Day 8: Transfer to Baku

Check-out from the hotel by 12:00

Way to Baku (around 3 hours)

Shopping time: in local bazaars (Sharg Bazaar, Yashil Bazaar)

Shopping malls (Daniz Mall, 28 Mall, Ganjlik Mall)

Overnight in Baku

Day 9: Departure

Transfer to the Azerbaijan International Airport (3 hours before the flight timing).

Hotel options

Econom class #1, west shine hotel.

Baku, Azerbaijan Travel

Premium Park

Good to know:, azerbaijan visa.

Apply for a visa online/. You can easily apply for an e-visa anywhere you have an internet connection, saving you time applying for a visa at Azerbaijan's diplomatic missions abroad or at Azerbaijan's ports of entry (if eligible). Click on the link below to visit Azerbaijan's e-visa website: https://evisa.gov.az/en/ Have any questions? We have a FAQ section about e-visas: https://evisa.gov.az/en/apply-faq Have more questions? 🙂 Contact us

How do I change my reservation?

If you need to change your reservation, please contact us using the link in your reservation confirmation email or by phone or email.

Are credit cards generally accepted in Azerbaijan?

Some major credit cards are accepted at some upscale restaurants and hotels.

What is it about Azerbaijan that attracts tourists?

Azerbaijan is dotted with historical monuments and museums. The country also has beautiful mosques with exquisite tilework. In addition, Azerbaijan's modern architecture leaves tourists speechless.

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Ratings & reviews.

Customer reviews

discover azerbaijan travel

Mahmoud Ahmed - Saudi Arabia

I can say that Azerbaijan is a very beautiful country with magnificent nature, people are very friendly, prices are low and we had a variety of attractions. I would like to express my gratitude to Alison Travel Azerbaijan for its hospitality and professional team. They organized unforgettable travel to Azerbaijan for me and my friends.

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Azerbaijan Travel Guide

Deane Anderton

Due to its geographic location, Azerbaijan is a country of versatility. Whether it’s the landscape or its culture, European influences collide with diverse tastes.

INTRODUCTION

Straddling Western Asia and Eastern Europe, Azerbaijan is a versatile land, not just geographically but culturally. It is where ancient and modern, mountains and beaches, and urban and rural charm and amaze travellers.  

The country has also acquired an alternative moniker of the Land of Fire due to its vast oil and natural gas supplies. It was once a centre of fire worshipping, and fire is one of the symbols of its capital city.  

Furthermore, fire has been deeply ingrained in Azerbaijani culture and mythology since the inception of Zoroastrianism, one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, which took root 3,000 years ago. Encompassing multiethnic, multicultural, and multi-religious communities, Azerbaijan is a largely secular country. Zoroastrian customs are present in contemporary culture, as fire temples burning with sacred flames present a window to the past of a land forever at a crossroads of people, continents, and faiths.  

One of Azerbaijan’s most famous sites is Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain), where flames blaze continuously on the Absheron Peninsula. The country has many different climate zones, and with its deep and intriguing history, the natural landscape is dramatic. It provides a calming backdrop of beauty whilst swimming in the Caspian Sea or relaxing on a soft-sanded spot on the black beaches in Lankaran.  

Alongside the cobbled streets of the Medieval Old Town in the capital city of Baku, relish the magnetic contemporary architecture of the iconic Flame Towers and the futuristic Heyder Aliyev Centre, designed by world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid.   

Azerbaijan seamlessly blends Eastern charm with a Western perspective; the legacy of the Silk Road can still be found at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, with local artisans making crafts.  

Whether you’re drawn to scenic hikes, top-tier wellness resorts, award-winning wines, or rich traditional cuisine, Azerbaijan has something to offer everyone. Surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains and Caspian Sea, the country offers an experience unlike anywhere else. It is an off-the-beaten-path destination, which has become a growing interest to tourists. You will not regret adding this destination to your travel list.

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TOURISM INSIGHTS: AZERBAIJAN TOURISM BOARD

We speak to Florian Sengstschimd , CEO of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board , about showcasing the destination to a global audience, inviting you to discover its hidden gems, untold stories, and secrets.

Q&A WITH FLORIAN SENGSTSCHIMD, CEO, ATB

Firstly, can you talk us through the origins, vision, and mission of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board?

Florian Sengstschimd, CEO (FS):  The Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) was established as part of the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan with the strategic vision to transform the country into a premier destination that offers visible, sustainable, and quality tourism. We aim to create a delightful blend of Caucasian atmosphere, mesmerising nature, and exquisite gastronomy to provide unique experiences that delight in every sense, appealing to both domestic and international tourists. 

Our mission at the ATB is to develop quality tourist products that showcase the authentic experiences of Azerbaijan based on the diverse opportunities our country offers in nature, culture, health, and wellness. We strive to understand the needs and travel patterns of various traveller groups from our target markets and have successfully developed new products, experiences, and services to meet those needs. From mapping the tourism product potential of the country to infrastructure development and creating cultural heritage routes, we’ve achieved notable progress in enhancing the tourism appeal of Azerbaijan. 

In essence, the ATB’s vision and mission revolves around showcasing Azerbaijan as the most engaging experience provider in the region, with a commitment to offering quality, sustainable, and unique travel experiences that reflect the diverse and rich tapestry of Azerbaijani nature, culture, and heritage. 

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Why, in your opinion, should someone visit the capital city of Baku – what defines it?

FS: Baku uniquely blends ancient charm with a modern atmosphere. It’s where history meets contemporary, offering every traveller many entertaining, gastronomic, and cultural experiences. Visitors can stroll through the UNESCO-protected Walled City of Baku and experience its historic treasures, while indulging in the Seaside Boulevard’s modern attractions or admiring the futuristic architecture and the majestic Baku Eye. The city boasts historical sites, art galleries, authentic restaurants, and beach clubs, offering a captivating experience combining its rich cultural heritage with state-of-the-art amenities.  

Baku appeals to a wide array of travellers. History enthusiasts are drawn to its UNESCO World Heritage Sites and ancient marvels like the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower, whilst art and architecture lovers are captivated by its modern buildings. Families can delight in attractions like the Kinderland entertainment centre and scenic boat rides in Little Venice. Nature lovers can escape to the sandy beaches of the Caspian Sea or the mesmerising mud volcanoes. Gourmands can savour the delectable Azerbaijani cuisine, while wine aficionados can explore the city’s burgeoning wine industry. Adventure seekers can indulge in water sports or hike in national parks, while luxury seekers can unwind in 5-star spas and hammams.  

In essence, Baku welcomes everyone, from solo travellers and history buffs to families and luxury seekers. 

What is your branding strategy for Baku, how do you market and promote the city?

FS: Our strategy emphasises Azerbaijan’s rich tapestry of culture, history, and modernity. We focus on amalgamating the city’s historical legacy with its modern-day allure. Azerbaijan places significant emphasis on tourism development. Through a multifaceted approach, we aim to elevate tourism-generated revenue and spotlight Baku’s potential as a compelling tourist destination. 

The cosmopolitan capital of Baku boasts a tapestry of city experiences, from museums and galleries to chic bars with local wines and delicacies to an array of restaurants with traditional and international cuisines, as well as countless meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) offerings. With its well-equipped resources and world-class infrastructure, Azerbaijan can host events of all scales. It features the 5-star Baku International Airport, a plethora of chain hotels, versatile venues, and facilities like the Baku Congress Centre and the Heydar Aliyev Centre, which includes museums, exhibition complexes, and multimedia conference rooms for international events. 

We have reactivated collaborations with international hotel chains, including recent openings of The Ritz-Carlton, Winter Park Baku, and Mercure Baku. Such partnerships emphasise luxury, comfort, and global standards. We also aim to showcase the country’s intangible treasures. Baku’s rich culinary heritage, especially the winemaking tradition, is another aspect we highlight. Visitors can indulge in wine tastings at local bars and explore the unique grape varieties we possess. 

Our promotional activities include showcasing both the historical hotspots and the modern architectural wonders of Baku. We also emphasise the city’s safety, family-friendly attractions, and wellness facilities, including the traditional hammam culture and the vast culinary landscape. By interweaving these elements, we position Baku as a destination to visit and an experience to cherish. 

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What is the sustainable tourism approach for Azerbaijan, and what eco-friendly travel experiences does the country offer?

FS:  We’re deeply committed to fostering sustainable and eco-friendly travel experiences, showcasing Azerbaijan’s distinct and rich heritage. Our initiatives are broad and diverse, aiming to offer immersive and authentic experiences.  

In line with our commitment, we have crafted and implemented an action plan for advancing sustainable tourism in Azerbaijan. We aim to enhance the regulatory framework by introducing sustainability standards to the industry and acknowledging sustainable practitioners through certification. Taking a proactive approach, we are currently embarking on a comprehensive destination audit, beginning with the northern region of Azerbaijan. This initiative allows us to scrutinise the current situation and devise a meticulous action plan, ultimately working towards establishing a sustainable ecosystem in the area. 

We actively involve local communities in creating and implementing tourism experiences, providing economic benefits and opportunities for residents. Supporting locals and meeting their needs will sustainably generate a baseline for the value of tourism. Since locals create the destination and make it attractive to the whole world, “local” will dominate our continued tourism strategy. 

This is why we started the Slow Food Travel programme in 2021, to honour and preserve the age-old methods and products that are in danger of extinction and connect local producers with hotel and restaurant chains. Additionally, we are enhancing our focus on outdoor and adventure activities, with a keen interest in developing winter tourism. 

 For instance, the Shahdag Mountain Resort has recently expanded its facilities and infrastructure to welcome more winter enthusiasts. Moreover, together with industry partners, we have developed joint initiatives over the years. Join us on well-developed hiking routes and explore birdwatching nationwide.  

Birdwatching in Azerbaijan is a rewarding experience with over 400 bird species, including endemic ones like the Caucasian snowcock, making it an exciting destination. Nature reserves like Gizil Aghaj National Park, Shirvan National Park, and many more are hotspots for bird lovers.  

Hiking routes passing through Khinalig village will take you to witness the newly UNESCO-inscribed cultural landscape of Khinalig and the ‘Köç Yolu’ transhumance route. The village is located in the Caucasus Mountains on a steep mountain peak nearly 2,200 metres from sea level. Having historically practised transhumance, every year when the season changes, thousands of Khinalig families still roam between the mountainous lowlands along the so-called ‘Köç Yolu’ seasonal migration route.  

Central to our strategy is the development of sustainable and responsible tourism. We’re actively working on creating new hiking trails in the south and north of Azerbaijan, which are set to open to the public in 2024 in addition to the existing ones. We are also introducing a range of eco-friendly activities, from butterfly watching and olive tree route developments to new camping zones. Cultural and infrastructural renovations are underway in various regions, including Khinalig, Nakhchivan, and Sheki. A German heritage route in Azerbaijan is in the final stages of development, promising immersive cultural experiences. 

Our commitment to sustainability is further echoed in our partnership with the World Travel & Tourism Council’s ‘Hotel Sustainability Basics’ initiative, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of our hospitality sector and involve as many hotels as possible in this transformative journey. 

We have also initiated the Rural Guesthouse Programme to cultivate a network of sustainable rural accommodations, set to provide valuable resources and enrich the local tourism sector, emphasising our dedicated efforts to reshape Azerbaijan’s global image from solely an oil-rich destination to one that conscientiously preserves and showcases its invaluable resources and traditions. 

In essence, our varied initiatives, from sustainable food experiences to innovative tourism projects and responsible accommodation practices, all represent Baku’s holistic approach to offering rich, sustainable, and eco-friendly travel experiences, inviting the world to ‘take another look’ and discover Azerbaijan’s commitment to sustainable and responsible development. 

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What are the main trends transforming tourism in Azerbaijan?

FS: The tourism landscape of Baku is witnessing several transformative trends. Firstly, blending ancient history with modern attractions gives travellers a multi-dimensional experience. From the UNESCO-protected sites in the Old Town to contemporary marvels like Flame Towers, Baku offers a diverse palette of experiences.  

Secondly, luxury tourism is on the rise, fuelled by the entry of international hotel chains and malls with luxury brands, such as the Port Baku Mall. These establishments emphasise top-notch luxury, comfort, and world-class service, catering to the high-end traveller segment. 

Thirdly, there’s a renewed interest in intangible cultural experiences. Tourists are eager to delve into Azerbaijan’s revered UNESCO-listed ‘tea tradition’ and our rich culinary heritage, which can be enjoyed in many local restaurants. The emerging trend of experiential travel is leading to more immersive experiences like wine tastings and exploring the unique grape varieties of Azerbaijan. 

Lastly, family and wellness tourism is gaining traction. With many attractions on offer, families and wellness seekers find unique experiences tailored to their interests. 

In essence, the main trends are a synthesis of luxury, cultural immersion, family-centric activities, and wellness experiences, making Azerbaijan an all-encompassing and versatile destination. 

Are there any sights, activities, or hidden gems you would recommend?

FS: Azerbaijan offers incredible diversity, with nine of the world’s 11 climate zones. From lush subtropical regions with lemon trees and tea plantations to majestic mountains, forests, and coastal beauty, we have a unique experience waiting for you, whatever the season. 

While the southern regions boast a pleasant mild climate, just a short drive from Baku, you can experience the beauty of our northern ski resorts. The journey from Baku to the north unveils picturesque landscapes, from the world’s lowest national capital to our highest peak. Along the way, you can explore the historic Chirag Gala fortress, meet the unique ethnic group in Khinalig village, or enjoy an array of winter activities at our mountain ski resorts. 

The rising popularity of our winter resorts is undeniable. As we anticipate increased visitor numbers in the coming year, we’re eager for more tourists to experience Azerbaijan’s winter splendour. The range of icy colours and luxury resorts with all the necessary equipment is perfect for a ski getaway in the Shahdag and Tufandag Mountain Resorts.  

The resorts are constructed in such a way that everything you are looking for is located in one place: scenic views with first-class hotels, apartments, spas, lots of restaurants to dine in, as well as various thrilling sports and leisure activities. An Austrian engineering and consultancy firm planned and supported the construction of the Shahdag Tourism Complex, the first project of its kind in Azerbaijan. Not many people know, but right here at the Shahdag Mountain Resort, you’ll find the only mountain coaster in the Caucasus. 

It’s an exhilarating adventure for both the young and the young at heart. The infrastructure work has been executed to extend the skiing slopes, leading to an overall length of 30 kilometres (km). 

At both resorts, everyone from beginners to professional skiers can relish vast pistes. Non-skiers can also have fun choosing from activities such as off-road tours, paragliding, cycling, trottinette, and cable car rides overlooking the majestic mountains. 

Can you tell us about Azerbaijan’s gastronomical experiences?

FS: Azerbaijani culinary delights promise to tantalise your taste buds. From flavourful fruity sauces to succulent mutton-based meat dishes and a variety of aromatic plovs, Azerbaijan’s rich cuisine is a journey in itself. Its variety of high-end Western-style restaurants converted old medieval caravanserais, and rustic eateries situated in the lush forests of the Caucasus Mountains’ foothills offer a vast range of dining experiences. In Baku, traditional bistros serve classic local dishes to accompany soulful local folk music. At the same time, regional recipes in other corners of the country are infused with the aromas of the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus Mountains, and Azerbaijan’s astonishing nine climate zones.  

Explore Azerbaijan’s rich winemaking tradition and taste local grape varieties like Madrasa, Bayan Shira, Shirvanshahi, and Khindogni. In the Soviet times, most of the vineyards in Azerbaijan were destroyed, but in the past year, locals have revived the industry. Azerbaijan’s commitment to viticulture and wine tourism has earned recognition from the Council of Europe and the European Institute of Cultural Routes.  

As you embark on the journey to the vineyards, enhance your experience with more delights. Explore Sheki’s captivating Wine Museum, savour wine tastings at the Chabiant winery in Ismayilli, consider an overnight stay at the Chateau Monolit Guest House, and don’t miss out on a trip to the nearby craft village of Lahij. In the sun-kissed terroir south of Gabala, indulge in Savalan’s unique wines and the luxurious Chenot Palace Gabala. 

Explore the Meysari winery in Shamakhi, known for crafting sophisticated organic dry reds and whites, and Sharg Ulduzu near Shamkir, boasting renewed vines and delightful tastings. Meanwhile, the Goygol winery, an historic icon dating back to the late 19th century, plays a pivotal role in Azerbaijan’s winemaking heritage. 

If you can’t make it to the vineyards in the regions, you can visit Baku’s excellent wine bars to try local wines along with Azerbaijani culinary delights. 

What makes Azerbaijan a health and wellness destination?

FS:  While in Azerbaijan, one should enhance their trip with a refreshing wellness experience. Travellers can restore their minds and souls at renowned wellness resorts nationwide. In addition to thermal baths and springs, you can also try the famous oil baths in Naftalan, known for their ability to heal more than 70 diseases.  

Azerbaijan is also home to more than 30 deposits of thermal mineral waters with different concentrations, sulphur levels, and organic substances in the Caucasus Mountains. Three of these are located near the charming city of Gabala and are the essentials of balneotherapy treatments at several world-class health and wellness resorts.  

Discover the ideal urban escape at the luxurious Chenot Palace Gabala, which offers a wide array of wellness experiences for relaxation and rejuvenation. Several villages of Azerbaijan, such as Haftoni in the Lankaran region in the south of the country, are also famous for their thermal water springs, with several sanatoriums offering relaxing and therapeutic baths where hot, mineral-rich water flows naturally from underground. To indulge in the wonders of these thermal waters, one should visit the luxurious Lankaran Springs Wellness Resort, with its modern amenities and promise of a tranquil and serene experience. 

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Finally, what are the Azerbaijan Tourism Board’s current goals?

FS: In our dedicated journey at the Azerbaijan Tourism Board, our central goals revolve around making Azerbaijan a leading destination, emphasising accessibility, sustainability, and quality in tourism. 

We aim to present a harmonious blend of our rich Caucasian culture, breathtaking natural beauty, and diverse gastronomy to captivate local and international tourists. 

We’re deeply invested in creating top-notch tourism products that echo Azerbaijan’s authentic experiences, from its unique nature and rich cultural tapestry to wellness opportunities. By understanding the diverse needs and preferences of travellers from our target markets, we’ve embarked on introducing new products and immersive experiences. 

A significant part of our strategy involves tapping into the full potential of Azerbaijan’s tourism offerings. This encompasses everything from enhancing our infrastructure to charting cultural heritage routes and establishing vibrant recreational zones.

OUTLOOK RECOMMENDS

FOR A REFRESHING WELLNESS EXPERIENCE…

Authentic salt therapy at the Duzdağ Hotel – an underground sanatorium converted from a former salt mine – will restore your mind and soul. Although there are many different therapies, from hot springs to hammams.

FOR SAVOURING UNIQUE LOCAL WINE…

Tour the wineries and sample vino straight from the mesmerizing vineyards in the regions. Local grape varieties such as Khindogni, Madrasa, Bayan Shira and Shirvanshahi are highly valued by winemakers for their unique flavours and aromas. Furthermore, Azerbaijan has unique tastes including pomegranate wine by Azgranata and Aznar, and the exceptional Manat Gold quince wine. Alternatively, enjoy the evening in the cosmopolitan city to try local wines at chic bars with delicious delicacies.

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FOR AN AUTHENTIC DISH…   

In the Old Town of Baku, visitors can try various traditional delights while enjoying a beautiful view of the medieval architecture.  

FOR A LUXURY CITY CENTRE STAY…

With its collection of suites, The Ritz-Carlton offers international luxury with breathtaking views from the balconies of the largest rooms in the city. Marble bathrooms with heated floors, Diptyque amenities, and smart glass technology are standard. Upgrades to premium rooms are also available. Unrivalled dining experiences are accompanied by a pool, fitness centre, and spa to ensure the perfect stay.

It should be noted that there is a huge choice of varying types of accommodation throughout Azerbaijan.

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AZERBAIJAN IN FOCUS

A city enchanted with the ambience of ancient times and the magic of the modern atmosphere, there is more than one way to spend your vacation here.

Enjoy the atmosphere strolling along the seaside boulevard or a gondola ride in Little Venice, visit the Carpet Museum, constructed like a rolled carpet and designed by Austrian architects Franz Janz, and taste the best dishes from local cuisine. You can also indulge in a shopping spree at two of the largest malls of the Caucasus region – Deniz Mall and Yashil Bazaar – a magnificent manifestation of the Silk Road.

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Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage boasts a range of UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Walled City of Baku with Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower, Gobustan State Reserve, the historic centre of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace, with the cultural landscape of the Khinalig People, and Hyrcanian Forests newly inscribed on the list. Beyond these tangible landmarks lie intangible treasures, such as the revered tea tradition and the crafts of Sheki, Lahij, and the renovated Basgal village. Surrounded by beautiful nature, Basgal village is filled with restored hammams, mosques, and artisans of kelaghayi – a traditional silk headscarf for women, crafted from natural local resources with a unique batik technique.  

Experience the nomadic spirit by hiking to another newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khinalig village. Perched at 2,200 meters in the Caucasus Mountains, it’s one of Azerbaijan’s highest villages. Celebrating its rich cultural heritage, locals preserve their traditions and a language spoken nowhere else, embracing a truly authentic semi-nomadic lifestyle. As part of the Khinalig Historical, Architectural, and Ethnographical Reserve, enjoy breathtaking mountain views and an immersive cultural journey. The Köç Yolu trail, connecting highland summer pastures with winter lowlands, reveals the village’s age-old practice of seasonal livestock movement for an extraordinary experience. It would be best to take your travel up a notch by extending your trip to the epic landscapes in other parts of the country, too. 

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LANDMARK ATTRACTIONS

Caucasus Mountains

Northern Azerbaijan is decorated by the Caucasus Mountains, which offer unique hiking opportunities. Nature’s immeasurable generosity and beauty provide an attractive future for nature-based tourism, which is actively developing. Notably, the Khinalig-Galakhudat and Galakhudat-Griz trails near Guba stand out for their unrivalled beauty. As over 50 percent of Azerbaijan is mountainous, many of its villages and most monumental landscapes are accessed by hiking.

Mud Volcanoes

Azerbaijan has the greatest concentration of mud volcanoes of any country, with 700 of the 1,700 that are situated around the world and only 350 are active. Underground and submarine volcanoes are also famed in Azerbaijan, as there are more than 140 of them in the Caspian Sea. The landscape around Baku is messy and bubbling, and Dashgil, around a 90 minute drive from Baku, is a popular site to visit to see the natural, unearthly phenomenon in action.

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Palace of the Shirvanshahs

Described by UNESCO as “one of the pearls of Azerbaijan architecture”, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs is located in the inner city of Baku. Together with the Maiden Tower, the monument is built over earlier structures. Within the palace complex is the Divankhana, a reception hall that some researchers believe contains the Tomb of Shah, the remains of Key-Kubad Mosque, Murad’s Gate, and the Palace bathhouse, to name a few.

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GETTING THERE AND AROUND

Before you book tickets, a visa is required to enter Azerbaijan. Visit the Republic of Azerbaijan’s website for an electronic visa available through the ASAN Visa system.  

Served by many international airports, Azerbaijan Airlines operates regular flights from Berlin, Milan, Vienna, Barcelona, London, Istanbul and Beijing. The airline also flies several times a Nakhchivan. The Airport Express Bus runs every 30 minutes to Baku’s central transport hub.  

Once there, buses and trains are a convenient way to travel around the country. The buses are a modern, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive way of getting about, taxis are widely available, and Baku’s metro connects the city centre, suburbs, and rural areas. International and local car hire companies are also based in downtown Baku.  

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VIEW THE AZERBAIJAN TRAVEL GUIDE

Read Issue 15 of Outlook Travel Magazine

Azerbaijan : Outlook Recommends

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Getting To and Around Azerbaijan

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An Ultimate Guide to Azerbaijan

If you’re searching for an exciting, lesser-known destination for your next trip, Azerbaijan is an excellent choice. It’s not overrun by tourists, which means you’ll get to explore its unique charms without the crowds. This hidden gem offers a blend of East and West, with rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and a warm, welcoming spirit.

Azerbaijan: A Comprehensive Travel Guide for the First-Timers

Planning a trip to Azerbaijan? You’re in for a great time! This journey might just be one of the best you’ll ever have. To make it even better, I’ve put together a travel guide to Azerbaijan based on my own experiences. This guide will make it easy for you to discover all the wonderful places and experiences this country has to offer.

Azerbaijan: First Impressions

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Azerbaijan is often called the Land of Fire , a name that comes from its unusual natural fires. In this country, you’ll find an amazing mix of the old and the new.

The capital city, Baku, epitomizes this mix. The city is very modern with tall, impressive buildings that make it feel like you’re stepping into the future.

But Baku also has a historic side, called Icherisheher . This old part of the city stands in beautiful contrast to the new buildings, showing off Baku’s rich history and its modern ambitions side by side.

Additionally, the country’s oil wealth is evident, adding a layer of prosperity and development to its urban landscape, which further enhances its unique character.

Outside of Baku, Azerbaijan has many small, quiet old villages that seem like they haven’t changed for centuries. These villages, my friend, are a treasure trove of rich cultural heritage and traditional ways of life.

What’s really special about Azerbaijan is how it mixes European and Asian cultures. You can see this in the food, the buildings, and the way people live. It’s like a bridge between two continents.

Plus, the country is home to the stunning Caucasus mountains, adding to its natural beauty.

This unique combination of city life, ancient villages, and beautiful landscapes makes Azerbaijan a fascinating place to visit.

Where is Azerbaijan

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Azerbaijan, situated in Southwestern Asia, is a country without a coastline except for its border along the Caspian Sea.

It’s nestled among several countries: Russia and Georgia to the north, Armenia to the west, Iran to the south, and it also shares a small border with Turkey.

How Many Days in Azerbaijan

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Your perfect length of stay in Azerbaijan really depends on what you like – history, nature, or culture. Usually, people visit for about 5 to 10 days.

If you’ve got 5 to 7 days , that’s great for a quick trip. You can spend a few days in Baku to see the old and new parts of the city. Plus, you can take short trips to places like Gobustan National Park and the Ateshgah Fire Temple. Also, you can visit a beautiful area like Sheki, Quba, or Gabala for a day or two.

If you have 10 days or even more, you can explore more of the country. After seeing Baku, you can travel to different towns and villages, enjoy the Caspian Sea beaches, check out the mud volcanoes, and maybe travel to far-off places like Nakhchivan. With more time, you can really get to know each place better and take your time exploring.

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How to Get to Azerbaijan

The most common and easiest way to travel to Azerbaijan is by flying. Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku is the primary airport for international flights. Various major airlines have flights to Baku from cities worldwide, and if there’s no direct flight from your location, you might transit through key hubs like Istanbul, Dubai, or Moscow.

For those already in nearby countries such as Georgia, Russia, or Iran, overland options like train or bus services, including the overnight train and minibus (marshrutka) from Tbilisi, Georgia, to Baku, are usually available.

If you prefer the freedom of driving, traveling by car (whether rented or your own) from Georgia offers a picturesque journey.

An alternative way to reach Azerbaijan is by taking a ferry across the Caspian Sea, with services available from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Important Note: At the moment of writing this, Azerbaijan’s land and sea borders are closed to tourists , meaning entry is only possible by air. The closure of these borders is expected to continue at least until January 2, 2024. As a result, for now, flying is the only option for entering Azerbaijan.

How to Get Around Azerbaijan

In Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, getting around is easy with its modern metro system. It’s cheap and connects major areas.

Buses are everywhere in the cities and good for longer trips too. Baku’s buses go all over the city and comfortable buses link big towns and places tourists like to visit.

Marshrutkas, or minibusses, are a quick, cheap way to get between cities. They’re smaller and faster than buses but might not be as comfy. Indeed, even for travelers accustomed to using budget public transport, these minibusses can be quite uncomfortable.

Taxis are easy to find in Baku and other cities. Just make sure to use official taxis and agree on the price first. 

There’s also a train network, not as efficient, in Azerbaijan. It links Baku with cities like Ganja and Sheki.

I wouldn’t recommend self-driving in Azerbaijan because the road conditions, combined with local drivers not following the rules and often driving rashly, can make it quite challenging and potentially unsafe, especially for those not familiar with such driving environments. Instead, opt to rent a car with a driver from a well-known tour company.

We hired a car with a driver, instructing him to follow the traffic rules, which was a real time-saver and made things easier. However, we did face some communication challenges, as the driver didn’t understand much English. Thankfully, Google Translate was a big help in overcoming this communication hurdle!

Best Time to Visit Azerbaijan

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The best time to visit Azerbaijan is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) months. During these periods, the weather is mild and pleasant, ideal for exploring the country’s diverse landscapes, and fewer tourists provide a more relaxed experience.

For culture enthusiasts, March is an excellent time to visit Azerbaijan, coinciding with the vibrant Novruz Bayrami celebrations. This traditional holiday marks the Persian New Year and the arrival of spring, and it’s filled with rich cultural events, traditional music, dance, and a variety of local delicacies. It’s a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Azerbaijani customs and festivities.

Unmissable Experiences in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan offers quite a few captivating experiences that showcase its unique culture, history, and natural beauty. Let me share with you some of the top experiences you shouldn’t miss:

  • Explore the Ancient & Modern Wonders of Baku

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Exploring Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is an amazing adventure. This city has a mix of old and new things. When you walk around the Old City, called Icherisheher , a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s like going back in time. The narrow streets and old buildings there are just magical.

Then, as you leave the old part of the city, you’ll see a completely different side of Baku. The city is famous for its ultra-modern architecture. The Flame Towers , three tall skyscrapers, really stand out. At night, they light up with LED lights that look like flickering flames – it’s an amazing sight.

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Don’t miss the Heydar Aliyev Center , designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid . Its smooth, futuristic look is a total contrast to the historic buildings in the Old City and shows just how diverse Baku is.

Baku isn’t just about its buildings, though. The city’s culture is a lively mix of the traditional and the modern. You can enjoy classic Azerbaijani music and dance, and then relax in a stylish cafe or fancy restaurant. This blend of the old and the new is what makes Baku’s charm really special.

  • Experience the Silk Road Legacy in Azerbaijan

Discovering Azerbaijan’s Silk Road legacy is a truly enriching experience for any traveler. This journey takes you deep into the country’s history as a key crossroads on the ancient Silk Road .

Azerbaijan sits where East meets West, playing a vital role in this historic trade and cultural route. This rich past is best seen in its caravanserais – ancient inns where Silk Road travelers and merchants would rest.

In Baku, the Multani Caravanserai , dating back to the 15th century, is one of the most striking examples. Walking through its arched doorways and exploring its stone corridors, you can almost hear the whispers of ancient traders and the clatter of caravans.

Another notable caravanserai is the 14th-century Bukhara Caravanserai , also located in Baku.

Beyond Baku, places like Sheki and Ganja also hold significant remnants of the Silk Road . The Sheki Caravanserai , with its magnificent façade and intricate design, highlights Sheki’s role in historic trade and craftsmanship.

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Azerbaijan’s bazaars also reflect the Silk Road’s influence. Bustling markets filled with spices and colorful goods give you a taste of what ancient trade was like.

In Nakhchivan , an autonomous part of Azerbaijan, you can further explore the Silk Road’s impact. It was a crucial stop on this ancient trading route, connecting Europe and Asia. Here, you can see old places, special buildings, and customs that remind us of the Silk Road days. 

Embarking on this journey through Azerbaijan’s Silk Road history connects you with the stories and people of a land that was a central hub in this famous trade network.

  • Discover the Historical Castles and Fortresses of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is filled with historic castles and fortresses, each telling a unique story of the country’s past.

In Baku, you shouldn’t miss the Maiden Tower , a mysterious and ancient tower with amazing views of the city and sea. Also in Baku is the Palace of the Shirvanshahs , a beautiful 15th-century palace that shows how important the Shirvan Empire was.

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Out in the countryside, you’ll find old fortresses on hills and valleys, reminding us of times when they protected the land. The Sheki Fortress in the scenic town of Sheki is a great example, showing the area’s medieval history and its ties to the Silk Road.

For something unique, visit Alinja Castle , sometimes called Azerbaijan’s “ Machu Picchu .” It’s high up on a mountain and was once a very strong fortress. The views from the top are incredible.

There’s also the Gulistan Fortress , an old but important stronghold that has seen many historical events. It gives a great look at the region’s past military strategies.

These fortresses, along with others scattered across Azerbaijan, are not merely relics of the past. They are enduring symbols of Azerbaijani resilience and architectural ingenuity.

  • Tour the Ancient Villages of Azerbaijan

The quaint, peaceful, tiny villages of Azerbaijan are like time capsules, preserving centuries-old traditions, architecture, and ways of life.

Exploring these villages is like walking in a living museum, where every alleyway, every craft, and every local custom speaks volumes about the country’s fascinating past and enduring spirit.

To get into the skin of the country’s culture, you must explore its villages.

Khinalug , high in the Caucasus Mountains, is incredibly old and remote. Life here hasn’t changed much in over a thousand years. The people still speak their language and live in traditional houses on the mountainside.

In Lahij , known for its stone streets and copper work, you’ll feel like you’re in the Middle Ages. This mountain village is famous for keeping old crafts alive. The sound of copper smiths mixes with the village’s old-world feel, showing off Azerbaijan’s craft heritage.

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Quba , another old village, has a charm of its own. Famous for apples and carpets, Quba is a mix of colors and traditions. It’s not just pretty, with its old-style buildings, but also full of life, from busy markets to green scenery.

  • Uncover the Breathtaking Natural Wonders of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a land of many contrasts, with unique mud volcanoes, eternal flames, peaceful lakes, beautiful waterfalls, the grand Caucasus mountains, and the calm Caspian Sea coast.

The country is known for its over 300 mud volcanoes, some of the most active worldwide. These natural wonders are spread across Azerbaijan, with the most famous one in Gobustan , a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Gobustan is not only known for its mud volcanoes but also for ancient rock carvings.

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Yanar Dag , or Burning Mountain, is where natural gas fires burn continuously, creating a magical scene, especially at night. This is why Azerbaijan is nicknamed the “Land of Fire.”

Near Baku is the Ateshgah Fire Temple , a historic site for fire-worshippers, built over a natural gas vent. The eternal flame here is a unique feature of Azerbaijan.

For nature lovers, Azerbaijan has lovely lakes like Lake Nohur , Rose Lake (known for its pink waters), and Lake Goygol .

The Caucasus Mountains, stretching across northern Azerbaijan, are perfect for adventures. They offer stunning views, hiking paths, and a chance to see diverse wildlife. Mountain villages show centuries-old traditional lifestyles.

The Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland body of water, boasts beautiful beaches in Azerbaijan, with the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains. Some of the best beaches in Azerbaijan that I would recommend are Bilgah Beach, Dalga Beach, and Amburan Beach.

The Caspian Sea is also a hotspot for unique wildlife and is popular with birdwatchers, especially during bird migration seasons.

Where to Stay in Azerbaijan

In Azerbaijan, Baku has many luxury and boutique hotels, plus big international brands. Staying on Nizami Street in Baku is great for a top-notch experience. It’s lively, full of shops and restaurants, and close to many attractions.

discover azerbaijan travel

Outside Baku, in places like Sheki, Lahij, and Quba, you can stay in traditional guesthouses. These are cozy and show off the local style. They’re usually run by families, so you get a warm, homely feel. You can also try delicious home-cooked Azerbaijani food there.

If you’re in rural or remote areas, consider a homestay. You’ll live with a local family, which is a great way to understand Azerbaijani life and culture.

For nature lovers, regions like Gabala and Guba offer mountain retreats and lodges. These are in beautiful spots with great views of mountains and forests. They come in different styles and prices, from simple to luxurious.

Things to Consider While Traveling to Azerbaijan

discover azerbaijan travel

  • Before your trip to Azerbaijan, it’s important to verify whether you require a visa. Many travelers can obtain an e-visa through the ASAN Visa system , which is a straightforward online application process.
  • For stays exceeding 15 days, you must register with the State Migration Service within 15 days after arriving in Azerbaijan.
  • Azerbaijan’s geography means it has multiple climate zones. Pack accordingly, especially if you’re planning to visit both the mountains and the coast
  • Dress modestly, especially in rural areas and at religious places. In cities like Baku, you can dress more casually like in European cities. Remember to bring a scarf for visiting religious sites.
  • Whether exploring Baku’s cityscape or venturing into rural areas, comfortable shoes are a must.
  • Not many locals speak English, so knowing some Azerbaijani phrases is useful. Also, keep the Google Translate app handy – it’s a big help! There are other important travel apps you should consider downloading before your trip.
  • The currency in Azerbaijan is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN). While credit cards are commonly used, it’s a good idea to have cash on hand for visits to rural areas.
  • Don’t miss out on local dishes like plov, kebabs, and dolma.
  • While Baku is a must-visit, Azerbaijan’s true charm lies in its diverse regions, from the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea. So, explore beyond Baku!
  • If you’re traveling to Azerbaijan in winter, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Shahdag Mountain Resort and Tufandag Mountain Resort , both offering excellent skiing experiences.
  • Exchange money at trustworthy banks or exchange offices and steer clear of street dealers to avoid bad rates or fake currency.

That’s it for my Azerbaijan guide! I hope it helps you plan an amazing trip. Azerbaijan really left a big impact on me, and I think it’ll do the same for you. My unexpected trip there turned into an adventure I’ll never forget.

I’m already thinking about going back. Next time, I want to see more places I didn’t get to before. There’s so much to see in Azerbaijan, and one trip isn’t enough to see it all. I’m looking forward to returning and exploring even more of its culture and beautiful scenery.

Happy travels, and may your journey be as colorful and inspiring as a sunset over the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan awaits you!

Anjali from Travel Melodies , who has recently explored Azerbaijan, generously shared her top tips to help you fully enjoy your time there. She’s put together this Azerbaijan guide just for you.

Keep reading: Silk Road: A trip from China to Turkey

discover azerbaijan travel

Azerbaijan Travel Guide

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mysterious legends unexplored land

Nakhchivan, an autonomous Azerbaijani republic, is a region of breathtaking landscapes, quaint villages and a cuisine distinct from the rest of Azerbaijan. It’s also scattered with historical monuments and a growing list of intriguing attractions.

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Azerbaijan's best off-the-radar destination

Considered one of the first human settlements in the region, Nakhchivan is home to sites such as the 12th-century Mausoleum of Momine Khatun and Nakhchivan Khans' Palace, while driving the scenic route to Ordubad you’ll see the iconic cleft peak of Mount Ilandag which is said to have been carved out by Noah's Ark. Not surprisingly, this is becoming a truly unmissable destination to visit where local people embrace visitors with amazing warmth and hospitality.

Nakhchivan interesting facts

DID YOU KNOW?

Known locally as the ' Museum of Mineral Springs ', Nakhchivan is home to 250 springs as well as famous water brands Sirab and Badamli . 

Nakhchivan was designated the Islamic Culture Capital for 2018.

what to do in Nakhchivan

Recreation centres in Nakhchivan

Recreation centres in Nakhchivan

If you're still wondering how best to spend your summer or winter holiday in Nakhchivan,... More

Nakhchivan, Southern route

Nakhchivan

Historical pilgrimage site Imamzadeh Complex

The term ‘Imamzadeh’ signifies ‘descendant of an Imam’ or ‘child of an Imam.’ The Imamzadehs... More

Embrace of nature Kükü village

Embrace of nature Kükü village

The village of Kükü is among the larger settlements of Shahbuz District. This village is... More

Huseyn Javid House Museum and Memorial Complex

Huseyn Javid House Museum and Memorial Complex

Huseyn Javid was an outstanding Azerbaijani poet and playwright who was active in the first... More

historical hammams  across Nakhchivan

historical hammams across Nakhchivan

A visit to Nakhchivan cannot be considered complete without exploring its age-old hammams. Reflecting the... More

sacred mausoleum Nehram Imamzadeh

sacred mausoleum Nehram Imamzadeh

The religious complex of Nehram Imamzadeh, located in the settlement of the same name in... More

Trove of art  Bahruz Kangarli Museum

Trove of art Bahruz Kangarli Museum

Bahruz Kangarli, founder of the Azerbaijani Realism painting school, was the first artist from Azerbaijan... More

Mount Hachadag divine Nakhchivan

Mount Hachadag divine Nakhchivan

Nestled 6 km east of Kirna village in Julfa District, stands an icon of awe... More

Miraculous  Ashabi-Kahf Shrine

Miraculous Ashabi-Kahf Shrine

One of Azerbaijan's most famous places of pilgrimage is Ashabi-Kahf, located near Julfa. According to... More

Sufi haven  at Khanagah

Sufi haven at Khanagah

Among the religious architectural sites in Nakhchivan, Khanagah Monument Complex holds a special place with... More

Magnificently adorned Gulustan Mausoleum

Magnificently adorned Gulustan Mausoleum

A witness to the region's centuries-old history, Gulustan Mausoleum is one of the unique architectural... More

Thermal waters at Daridag

Thermal waters at Daridag

In the South West of Azerbaijan, a few kilometres from the city of Julfa, lies... More

Go skiing in Nakhchivan

Go skiing in Nakhchivan

The dramatic mountains of Nakhchivan make for a perfect setting to embark on an enthralling... More

Birdwatching in Nakhchivan

Birdwatching in Nakhchivan

Many birders consider Nakhchivan the highlight of a birdwatching trip to Azerbaijan for its many... More

Visit the Ashabi Kahf Cave

Visit the Ashabi Kahf Cave

Ashabi-Kahf is a charming retreat to the east of Nakhchivan City with an ancient legend... More

Travel to Ordubad

Travel to Ordubad

Stroll around the quiet streets of the historical reserve of Ordubad and discover ancient monuments,... More

Relax at Lake Batabat

Relax at Lake Batabat

Experience the calm of Nakhchivan's stunning countryside at one of the most outstanding picnic spots... More

Explore the Nakhchivan Khans’ Palace

Explore the Nakhchivan Khans’ Palace

Nakhchivan Khan's Palace is one of the most outstanding architectural sights in Azerbaijan. Enjoy the... More

Visit Noah’s Tomb

Visit Noah’s Tomb

In Nakhchivan, there are dozens - even hundreds - of myths and beliefs. According to... More

Marvel at the Momine Khatin Mausoleum

Marvel at the Momine Khatin Mausoleum

Be inspired by the exquisite Momine Khatin Mausoleum in the heart of Nakhchivan City. It... More

Discover the amazing taste of Nakhchivani cuisine

Discover the amazing taste of Nakhchivani cuisine

Explore the best of local cuisine in Nakhchivan – a region with distinctive flavours and... More

Discover the legendary Alinja Castle

Discover the legendary Alinja Castle

Alinja Castle is one of Azerbaijan's unique treasures. Experience a touch of history and breathtaking... More

Explore salt therapies at health resorts in Azerbaijan

Explore salt therapies at health resorts in Azerbaijan

Salt therapies are offered in many health resorts in Azerbaijan, but for the most authentic... More

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Travel Stories, News, Guides & Tips

Discover Azerbaijan: Best Time to Visit!

Did you know that Azerbaijan offers diverse climates and seasonal delights throughout the year? With its unique location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, this stunning country has something to offer in every season, making it a perfect destination for your next adventure. Whether you’re seeking soaring temperatures and high-altitude retreats, cultural festivities and mild weather, winter wonders, or blooming landscapes and a cultural awakening, Azerbaijan has it all.

Planning your journey to Azerbaijan can be a breeze if you understand the country’s climate diversity and the influence of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea. From exploring top activities and experiences for every season to immersing yourself in cultural revelations through festivals, cuisine, and traditions, this article will provide you with valuable insights and local tips to help you plan your trip.

Whether you’re a beach lover, an adventurer, or someone who craves vibrant nightlife, discover the best time to visit Azerbaijan’s unique destinations and embrace the country’s seasons for an unforgettable journey. Let’s begin!

Azerbaijan’s Seasonal Delights: When to Explore Its Riches

Soaring temperatures and high-altitude retreats: summer in azerbaijan.

In summer, Azerbaijan experiences soaring temperatures, especially in the lowlands like Baku, where temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius. However, the highlands like Sheki and Quba offer perfect weather for hiking, and the beaches along the Absheron Peninsula provide a respite from the heat.

Autumn Harmony: Mild Weather and Cultural Festivities

Autumn in Azerbaijan brings mild weather and cultural festivities. October is considered the best time to visit Azerbaijan by locals, as the temperatures are moderate and comfortable. It’s a great time to explore the northern regions, which display vibrant autumn colors.

Winter Wonders: From Snowy Peaks to Urban Celebrations

Winter brings cold temperatures and snowfall to Azerbaijan, particularly in the mountains. The city of Baku comes alive with New Year and Christmas celebrations, while the town of Sheki hosts unique equestrian competitions. It’s a great time for winter sports and indulging in hearty Azerbaijani dishes.

Blooming Landscapes and Cultural Awakening: Springtime in Azerbaijan

Springtime in Azerbaijan is characterized by blooming landscapes and a cultural awakening. March marks the celebration of the Persian New Year, Navruz, and the entire country prepares for the festivities. It’s a good time to explore cities, historical sites, and enjoy picnics among the wildflowers.

Understanding Azerbaijan’s Climate Diversity

Azerbaijan is known for its remarkable climate diversity, thanks to its unique topography. The country encompasses a wide range of landscapes, from high mountains and grasslands to central deserts and Caspian Sea coastal areas. This diverse geography contributes to Azerbaijan’s varied climate patterns, with nine out of eleven climate types found within its borders.

The Influence of the Caucasus Mountains

The Caucasus Mountains play a significant role in shaping Azerbaijan’s weather. As a natural barrier, these majestic mountains provide protection against harsh Arctic winds, creating a more temperate climate in the northern regions of the country. The mountains act as a shield, ensuring stable temperatures year-round. This makes Azerbaijan an ideal destination for activities like horseback riding and cross-country travel, regardless of the season.

The Caspian Sea’s Effect on Azerbaijan Weather

The Caspian Sea, the largest inland body of water in the world, also exerts a significant influence on Azerbaijan’s weather. The coastal areas along the Caspian Sea experience a cooling effect during the summer months, providing relief from the heat. This makes it an optimal time to visit for beach enthusiasts and those planning to explore the vibrant city of Baku. The Caspian Sea retains its warmth even during the autumn season, allowing water sports to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Azerbaijan Climate Diversity

Top Activities and Experiences for Every Season

Azerbaijan offers a wide range of activities and experiences for every season. Whether you’re visiting in summer, autumn, winter, or spring, there’s something to suit every traveler’s interests.

In summer, you can enjoy beach activities along the Caspian Sea, such as swimming, sunbathing, and engaging in water sports. Explore the stunning coastline and soak up the sun while taking in the scenic views.

In autumn, Azerbaijan’s vibrant autumn colors create a picturesque backdrop for outdoor activities. Take a hike through the northern regions to witness the stunning foliage and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the country. Indulge in local cuisine and participate in cultural festivities to truly experience the essence of Azerbaijan in this season.

Winter in Azerbaijan is perfect for those seeking outdoor adventures. Hit the slopes and go skiing in the mountains or embrace the festive atmosphere of Baku during New Year and Christmas celebrations. Warm up with hearty Azerbaijani dishes and experience the winter wonderland that the country has to offer.

As spring arrives, Azerbaijan blossoms with vibrant landscapes and a cultural awakening. Explore the cities and historical sites, revel in the celebrations of the Persian New Year, Navruz, and enjoy picnics among the wildflowers. Springtime in Azerbaijan is a time of renewal and celebration, making it a perfect season to visit.

Discover the beauty of Azerbaijan throughout the year, immersing yourself in its rich culture, landscapes, and unforgettable experiences.

Top Activities and Experiences in Azerbaijan

Cultural Revelations: Festivals, Cuisine, and Traditions

Azerbaijan is a country rich in cultural festivals, cuisine, and traditions that offer unique insights into its vibrant heritage. From celebrating the Persian New Year to savoring local Azerbaijani delicacies , there are plenty of cultural revelations to explore.

Navruz: Celebrating Persian New Year

One of the most significant cultural festivals in Azerbaijan is Navruz, which marks the arrival of spring. Celebrated on the vernal equinox, Navruz is a time of renewal and new beginnings. Preparations for Navruz begin well in advance, with people cleaning and decorating their homes, preparing traditional dishes, and wearing traditional clothing.

During Navruz, the streets come alive with festivities, as people gather to watch performances, listen to music, and participate in traditional dances. Traveling to a remote village during Navruz is a unique experience, as you can witness age-old traditions and customs firsthand. From lighting bonfires to jumping over them for good luck, Navruz in Azerbaijan is a celebration not to be missed.

Savoring Local Azerbaijani Delicacies

Azerbaijani delicacies

Azerbaijani cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors, influenced by both Persian and Caucasian culinary traditions. The use of fresh ingredients and traditional cooking techniques makes Azerbaijani delicacies a must-try for food enthusiasts.

Savor the rich flavors of traditional dishes like plov, a fragrant rice pilaf cooked with meat and spices, or indulge in succulent kebabs grilled to perfection. Don’t miss the opportunity to try dolma, stuffed grape leaves or vegetables with a savory filling. Azerbaijani cuisine is also known for its use of herbs, spices, and unique flavor combinations, creating a culinary experience that is both delicious and memorable.

Local Insight: Optimal Travel Times for Key Azerbaijan Destinations

For optimal travel experiences in Azerbaijan , it’s important to consider the best times to visit key destinations. Whether you’re planning a trip to the vibrant capital city of Baku or exploring the ancient town of Sheki nestled in the Greater Caucasus Mountains, understanding the optimal travel times will ensure you make the most of your visit.

If you’re heading to Baku, you’ll find that the capital city can be visited year-round. However, the summer months are particularly vibrant, offering a plethora of outdoor activities and cultural events to enjoy. From exploring the historic Old City to basking in the sun on the Caspian Sea shores, Baku has something for everyone.

Sheki, on the other hand, is best experienced in spring when the landscapes come alive with blooming flowers and the weather is pleasant for outdoor exploration. This ancient town is known for its historical sites, such as the magnificent Palace of the Sheki Khans, and its rich culture.

Other key destinations in Azerbaijan, such as Quba, the Absheron Peninsula, and the northern regions, have different optimal travel times based on the activities and experiences they offer. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the mountains, relaxation on the beaches, or immersing yourself in the local culture, it’s important to plan your visit accordingly.

By considering the optimal travel times for key destinations, you can ensure that you have an incredible and memorable experience in Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan optimal travel times

Best time to visit Azerbaijan for Beach Lovers and Sun Seekers

For beach lovers and sun seekers, Azerbaijan offers fantastic opportunities to enjoy its beautiful Caspian Sea shores. Whether you’re looking for a vibrant summer beach destination or prefer a more peaceful off-season beach experience, Azerbaijan has something to offer.

Summertime on the Caspian Sea Shores

During the summer months, the Caspian Sea shores come alive with beach activities and leisurely sunbathing. With temperatures reaching their peak, it’s the perfect time to take a refreshing dip in the sea, indulging in swimming or engaging in thrilling water sports. The beaches along the Absheron Peninsula, including those near the capital city of Baku, provide the ideal setting for beachgoers to soak up the sun.

Aside from enjoying the splendor of the Caspian Sea, summertime offers an additional benefit for beach lovers – the opportunity to explore Azerbaijan’s other attractions. From cosmopolitan Baku with its modern architecture and historical landmarks to the charming seaside towns and villages, summertime allows you to embrace the rich culture and vibrant festivities while reveling in the warm coastal climate.

If you’re seeking a combination of sun, sand, and cultural immersion, summertime is the best time to visit Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea shores.

best time to visit Azerbaijan beaches

Off-season Beach Bliss: Enjoying Milder Weather

Alternatively, visiting Azerbaijan’s beaches during the off-season can provide a more tranquil and relaxed beach experience. The mild weather during the off-season allows for comfortable beach outings without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist crowds.

During the off-season, you can still enjoy the beauty of the Caspian Sea and its picturesque shores. Explore hidden coves and uncrowded beaches, take leisurely strolls along the coastline, and bask in the serenity that comes with fewer visitors.

Visiting during the off-season also provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the local culture and experience the authentic charm of coastal towns and villages. Engage with friendly locals, savor traditional cuisine, and discover the lesser-known gems that make Azerbaijan’s coastal regions unique.

For a more peaceful and serene beach experience, consider visiting Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea shores during the off-season.

Adventurous Azerbaijan: Hiking, Skiing, and More

Adventurers will find plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities in Azerbaijan . The country’s diverse landscapes make it suitable for activities like hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and more. The mountains and highlands provide scenic trails and slopes for hiking and skiing enthusiasts.

Whether you’re an experienced outdoor enthusiast or a beginner looking for a thrilling adventure, Azerbaijan has something to offer. Explore the majestic beauty of the Caucasus Mountains while hiking through breathtaking trails. Discover the thrill of skiing down powdery slopes in popular winter resort areas. Engage in exhilarating horseback riding trips that take you through picturesque valleys and countryside.

One of the must-visit destinations for adventure seekers is the Shahdag Mountain Resort. Located in the Greater Caucasus range, this resort offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. The stunning views and well-maintained slopes make it a favorite spot for skiers of all levels.

Azerbaijan adventure activities

Experience the thrill of outdoor adventures in Azerbaijan’s unspoiled natural landscapes. From challenging mountain hikes to thrilling ski slopes, there’s no shortage of excitement and adrenaline here.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Tufandag Mountain in Gabala is a must-visit destination. With its diverse trails catering to all skill levels, you can take in the stunning views of lush forests, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes along the way.

Don’t forget to explore the Gobustan National Park, where you can witness prehistoric rock art and embark on a hike through unique mud volcanoes. This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a fascinating glimpse into Azerbaijan’s ancient history and natural wonders.

In addition to hiking and skiing, outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy thrilling activities like paragliding, white-water rafting, and off-road driving. These exhilarating experiences allow you to immerse yourself in Azerbaijan’s stunning landscapes and make memories that will last a lifetime.

No matter the season, Azerbaijan provides ample opportunities for adventure and exploration. So pack your gear, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to experience the thrill of outdoor activities in this breathtaking country.

A Guide to Azerbaijan’s Nightlife: From Baku and Beyond

Azerbaijan’s vibrant nightlife scene offers a range of options for those looking to explore the country after dark. Whether you’re in the bustling capital city of Baku or venturing beyond to other cities and towns, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the lively atmosphere and vibrant entertainment.

Azerbaijan nightlife

In Baku, you’ll find a plethora of clubs, bars, and entertainment venues that cater to all tastes. From chic rooftop bars with stunning city views to underground clubs playing the latest electronic beats, Baku’s nightlife has something for everyone. Dance the night away in popular venues like Enerji Club, Park Bulvar, or Pasifico Baku.

But nightlife in Azerbaijan isn’t limited to Baku alone. Beyond the capital, other cities and towns offer their own unique nightlife experiences . In cities like Ganja, Nakhchivan, and Gabala, you can discover a more local and authentic vibe, with cozy bars and traditional dance performances.

No matter where you choose to venture, Azerbaijan’s nightlife is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories of lively music, delicious cocktails, and a vibrant atmosphere that will keep you entertained until the early hours of the morning.

Conclusion:

Planning your trip to azerbaijan.

As you plan your trip to Azerbaijan, it’s important to consider the country’s diverse seasons and the activities and experiences they offer. Whether you’re interested in exploring historical sites, enjoying outdoor adventures, or immersing yourself in the vibrant nightlife, Azerbaijan has something for everyone.

To make the most of your trip, it’s essential to understand the climate diversity and optimal travel times for key destinations. Take into account the influence of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea on the weather, and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Embracing Azerbaijan’s Seasons for an Unforgettable Journey

Embrace Azerbaijan’s seasons and immerse yourself in the country’s rich culture, landscapes, and nightlife for an unforgettable journey. From soaring temperatures and high-altitude retreats in summer to blooming landscapes and cultural awakening in spring, each season offers unique delights.

Discover top activities and experiences for every season, indulge in the local cuisine and traditions, and explore the vibrant festivals that celebrate Azerbaijan’s heritage. Whether you’re exploring the Caspian Sea shores, hiking in the mountains, or enjoying the bustling nightlife, Azerbaijan promises a memorable travel experience.

Plan your trip to Azerbaijan and get ready to embark on a journey filled with cultural revelations, natural wonders, and incredible hospitality. With proper planning and an understanding of Azerbaijan’s seasons, you’ll create memories to last a lifetime.

Q: What is the best time to visit Azerbaijan?

A: The best time to visit Azerbaijan depends on your preferences. Summer is ideal for beach activities and high-altitude retreats. Autumn offers mild weather and cultural festivities. Winter brings snowy wonders and urban celebrations. Springtime showcases blooming landscapes and cultural awakening.

Q: What is the weather like in Azerbaijan during the summer?

A: Azerbaijan experiences soaring temperatures in the lowlands, reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius. However, the highlands provide perfect weather for hiking, while the beaches along the Absheron Peninsula offer a respite from the heat.

Q: When is the best time to visit Azerbaijan for cultural festivals?

A: Autumn is an excellent time to visit Azerbaijan for cultural festivities. October, in particular, offers moderate and comfortable temperatures. It’s a great time to explore the northern regions, which display vibrant autumn colors.

Q: What can I expect during winter in Azerbaijan?

A: Winter in Azerbaijan brings cold temperatures and snowfall, especially in the mountainous areas. The city of Baku comes alive with New Year and Christmas celebrations, while the town of Sheki hosts unique equestrian competitions. It’s a great time for winter sports and indulging in hearty Azerbaijani dishes.

Q: What is springtime like in Azerbaijan?

A: Springtime in Azerbaijan is characterized by blooming landscapes and a cultural awakening. March marks the celebration of the Persian New Year, Navruz, and the entire country prepares for the festivities. It’s a good time to explore cities, historical sites, and enjoy picnics among the wildflowers.

Q: How diverse is Azerbaijan’s climate?

A: Azerbaijan boasts diverse climates due to its unique topography. The country is home to nine out of eleven climate types, ranging from northern mountains and grasslands to central desert regions and Caspian Sea coastal areas.

Q: How do the Caucasus Mountains influence Azerbaijan’s weather?

A: The Caucasus Mountains have a significant influence on Azerbaijan’s weather. They shelter the country from Arctic winds and maintain stable temperatures in the northern regions, making it a great destination year-round for activities like horseback riding and cross-country travel.

Q: What effect does the Caspian Sea have on Azerbaijan’s weather?

A: The Caspian Sea also impacts Azerbaijan’s weather. Its coastal areas experience a cooling effect during the summer, making it an ideal time to visit for beachgoers and those planning to explore Baku. The Caspian Sea retains its warmth in the autumn, allowing water sports to be enjoyed throughout the season.

Q: What are the top activities and experiences in Azerbaijan?

A: Azerbaijan offers a wide range of activities and experiences for every season. From beach activities in summer to cultural festivals in autumn, winter sports in snowy mountains, and exploring historical sites and picnicking among wildflowers in spring, there’s something to suit every traveler’s interests.

Q: What cultural revelations can I experience in Azerbaijan?

A: Azerbaijan is rich in cultural festivals, cuisine, and traditions. The Persian New Year, Navruz, is a significant event celebrated in Azerbaijan. Travelers can also savor local Azerbaijani delicacies , known for their diverse flavors and fresh ingredients.

Q: When is the optimal time to visit key Azerbaijan destinations?

A: The optimal travel times for key Azerbaijan destinations vary. Baku, the capital city, can be visited year-round, but summer is particularly vibrant. Sheki is best visited in spring when the landscapes bloom. Other destinations have different optimal travel times based on the activities and experiences they offer.

Q: What is the best time to visit Azerbaijan’s beaches?

A: Summertime is the best time to visit Azerbaijan’s beaches along the Caspian Sea. You can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Alternatively, visiting during the off-season provides milder weather and a more peaceful atmosphere for beachgoers.

Q: What adventure activities can I do in Azerbaijan?

A: If you’re an adventurer, Azerbaijan offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking, skiing, horseback riding, and more are available in the country’s diverse landscapes, including scenic trails and slopes in the mountains and highlands.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Azerbaijan?

A: Azerbaijan’s nightlife scene is vibrant, particularly in Baku. The capital city offers a variety of clubs, bars, and entertainment venues. Beyond Baku, other cities and towns also have nightlife options, each offering a unique experience.

Q: How should I plan my trip to Azerbaijan?

A: When planning your trip to Azerbaijan, consider the country’s diverse seasons and the activities and experiences they offer. Understanding the climate diversity, optimal travel times for key destinations, and cultural events will help you plan your itinerary effectively. Embrace Azerbaijan’s seasons for an unforgettable journey.

Other sources:

  • https://www.responsibletravel.com/holidays/azerbaijan/travel-guide/best-time-to-visit-azerbaijan
  • https://www.sotc.in/tourism/azerbaijan-tourism/best-time-to-visit-azerbaijan
  • https://www.advantour.com/azerbaijan/best-time-to-visit.htm

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6 Day "Discover Azerbaijan" Tour

  • Partially Guided
  • In-depth Cultural

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Image of a map showing the route of the tour

  • Introduction
  • Day 1 Welcoming and Introduction
  • Day 2 Baku City Full-day Tour
  • Day 3 Full-day Trip to Guba
  • Day 4 Trip to Qobustan and Mud Volcanoes
  • Day 5 Full-day Tour to Shamakhi and Gabala
  • Day 6 Free time and transfer to the airport

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Download this tour’s PDF brochure and start tour planning offline

What's Included

  • Additional Services
  • Accommodation

Where You'll Stay

Customer photos.

discover azerbaijan travel

Operated by Azerbaijan-Tours

At AZERBAIJAN-TOURS, we have one focus and that is simply to make your trip the experience of a lifetime without breaking the bank. Being avid travellers ourselves, we know what is essential to creating that perfect trip, and have tried to combine all of these elements in each and every one of our tours. We go to non-explored destinations in Azerbaijan from the top of Caucasus mountains to darkness of Hyrcanian forests with peak biodiversity, discover from worlwide hidtorical heritages of land of flame to the sunshine and beashes of Caspian sea , keep it festive with our festival tours to country regions and around the Baku city. With our enthusiastic and experienced guides, the likes of people you will be traveling with, premium accommodation and travel, and not to mention competitive prices, we believe we have ticked all of the boxes to create that unique and authentic travelling experience. Azerbaijian Tours' guests are not just tourists, but travellers. Join us on one of our tours to experience the difference.

Customer Reviews

  • Overall Rating Excellent 5.0
  • Itinerary Excellent 5.0
  • Transport Excellent 5.0
  • Accommodation Excellent 5.0
  • Food Excellent 5.0
  • Tour Operator Azerbaijan-Tours 5.0
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Frequently Asked Questions

We are there for you! If you have any questions about this tour, then please don't hesitate to contact us 24/7 and we will get back to you latest within 2 hours!

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Good to Know

  • Currency $ US Dollar

As a traveller from USA, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa you will need an adaptor for types C, E, F.

  • These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
  • Typhoid - Recommended for Azerbaijan. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
  • Hepatitis A - Recommended for Azerbaijan. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
  • Tuberculosis - Recommended for Azerbaijan. Ideally 3 months before travel.
  • Hepatitis B - Recommended for Azerbaijan. Ideally 2 months before travel.
  • Rabies - Recommended for Azerbaijan. Ideally 1 month before travel.
  • Unfortunately we cannot offer you a visa application service. Whether you need a visa or not depends on your nationality and where you wish to travel. Assuming your home country does not have a visa agreement with the country you're planning to visit, you will need to apply for a visa in advance of your scheduled departure.
  • Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.
  • For any tour departing before 29th May 2024 a full payment is necessary. For tours departing after 29th May 2024, a minimum payment of 20% is required to confirm your booking with Azerbaijan-Tours. The final payment will be automatically charged to your credit card on the designated due date. The final payment of the remaining balance is required at least 60 days prior to the departure date of your tour. TourRadar never charges you a booking fee and will charge you in the stated currency.
  • Some departure dates and prices may vary and Azerbaijan-Tours will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
  • The following cards are accepted for "Azerbaijan-Tours" tours: Visa, Maestro, Mastercard, American Express or PayPal. TourRadar does NOT charge you an extra fee for using any of these payment methods.
  • Insurance Unless otherwise mentioned, TourRadar does not provide travel insurance. We do however recommend purchasing it through our tried and trusted partner, World Travel Nomads .
  • Accessibility Some tours are not suitable for mobility-restricted traveller, however, some operators may be able to accommodate special requests. For any enquiries, you can contact our customer support team , who are ready and waiting to help you.
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Traveling to Azerbaijan Today!

Explore the Fire Land with all of the pristine beauty, Islam culture and marvelous nature.

Traveling with confidence

Our travel services will offer everything you need for an Azerbaijan trip.

Rush Service with High Guarantee

Our Online Process can support you get acceptance in the next 5 hours.

Explore the Eternal Fire Land

Embark on a journey to one of the world's most breathtaking destinations - Azerbaijan. From the rolling hills of the Caucasus Mountains to the sparkling waters of the Caspian Sea, this stunning country has it all. In another amazing experience, take a stroll through the streets of Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan, and marvel at the stunning architecture of its ancient Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the iconic Flame Towers, soak up the vibrant cultural scene, and explore the stunning Palace of the Shirvanshahs.

Hike through the lush forests of the Greater Caucasus, soak in the hot springs of Naftalan, and marvel at the towering snow-capped peaks. Don't forget to taste the delicious cuisine, juicy kebabs and savory plov to sweet baklava and delicious pomegranate juice. Have an enjoyable with a traditional tea ceremony and sample the famous Azerbaijani bread, lavash, freshly baked in a tonir oven. Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or a little bit of both, Azerbaijan has something to offer. Apply now to start planning your journey to this incredible destination.

Take a well-prepared backpack on your back!

Where to go.

Baku

The capital city of Azerbaijan is a modern metropolis with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene. Discover the timeless beauty of the iconic Maiden Tower, the symbol of Baku and one of the most well-preserved structures from the medieval era. Stroll through the historic Old Town, where narrow cobblestone streets lead to grand palaces, ancient caravanserais, and vibrant bazaars. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the iconic Flame Towers, which light up the night sky with their mesmerizing displays.

Guba

Visitors to Guba can take a scenic hike in the surrounding mountains, explore the beautiful Gudyalchay River and its picturesque waterfalls, or visit the nearby Guba Carpet Museum to learn about the region's famous carpet-making traditions. Additionally, Guba is home to several historic temples, including the Juma Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in Azerbaijan, and the centuries-old Saint George's Temple.

Sheki

Sheki's historic old town is dotted with charming homes, narrow cobblestone streets, and beautiful mosques, all surrounded by towering mountains and rolling hills. Nature lovers will also find plenty to enjoy in Sheki, with its stunning scenery and breathtaking landscapes. Explore the surrounding mountains, visit the beautiful Kish Lake, or take a scenic drive through the breathtaking Gudyalchay Canyon.

Nakhchivan has incredible scenery

Visitors to Nakhchivan can explore the city's many historical sites, including the ancient city of Nakhchivan, the Juma Mosque, and the Nakhchivan Necropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to some of the oldest and most impressive tombstones in the world. Nakhchivan is also famous for its vibrant local cuisine, which is characterized by the use of fresh ingredients, bold spices, and traditional cooking techniques. Try dishes like plov, a hearty rice dish with meat and vegetables, or pakhlava, a sweet pastry made with filo dough, nuts, and honey.

For Unique Travel Experiences

Start your journey with travel experts today.

Create a fully customized day-by-day itinerary and discover the hidden gems of Azerbaijan. On the first trip to Azerbaijan, we have many special deals for your convenience. Hurry up, don't miss it anymore!

Azerbaijan travel consultant

Best Things To Do

Some interesting activities, you shouldn't be missing in Azerbaijan.

Some interesting activities in Kavkaz Mount

Go skiing in Kavkaz mount

Visit Baku Flame Towers

Visit Baku Flame Towers

Explore Caspi beach

Explore Caspi beach

Visit the most ancient village Xinaliq

Visit the most ancient village Xinaliq

Explore Turaghai volcano

Explore Turaghai volcano

best-things

See the Azerbaijan Grand Prix

What travellers say about us.

Let's see customer experiences with our services!

Great services, all processing steps are very simple and fast. Their advice is very helpful to the whole trip. Thanks!

Feedback Molly Robinson

Molly Robinson

Your service has saved me a lot of time preparing for the family trip. Really know the dedicated support of the consultants

Feedback Stiven Smith

Stiven Smith

Actually, this service is pretty good and makes our family comfortable. Friendly and Enthusiastic staff, so I like this.

Feedback Saidul Islam

Saidul Islam

Appreciate your help with my trip, the simple process, and getting the documents fastly. That's all my needs for a well-prepared service.

Feedback Shahnewaz Sakil

Shahnewaz Sakil

How can we help you.

Our team is here to listen

+994 70 202 31 73

Discover azerbaijan with us.

Travel to Azerbaijan, information about hotel prices, car rental, transfer service and p. Contact us for services such as.

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Explore 3 different countries, 3 different cultures, hundreds of hotels with us now. Enjoy your travel comfortably!

MEARAJ TRAVEL

We have thought of everything for your comfort!

HOTELS & APARTMENTS

Hotels, Apartments, Resorts, Villas, Inns and many more.

Rental of all vehicles from luxury cars to standard cars.

FLIGHT TICKETS

Low-cost, comfortable, easy-to-book flights from leading airlines.

PRIVATE TRANSFERS

Transfer service from the airport to the hotel with carts of all categories, including VIP Service.

3 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES

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ARE YOU READY TO EXPLORE MIRACLES OF AZERBAIJAN WITH MEARAJ TRAVEL?

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You can contact us regarding your desired questions, complaints or offers.

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🛫 Ready to Start Your Adventure? 🛫

🌐 visit our website now to apply for your azerbaijan evisa and begin your journey of a lifetime..

Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary journey filled with culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes? The gateway to your dreams is just a few clicks away. Introducing Azerbaijan eVisa – Your Passport to Discovery!

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The Last Minute Deals

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3 Days Tours

Baku city tour.

The Old city, The Maiden tower, The Shirvanshah palace, The Haydar Aliyev Center, The Carpet museum, The National Seaside Park, etc…

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4 Days Tours

Gabala - oghuz.

Nohur Lake, Gabala shooting center, Tufandag Mountain Resort, Gabaland Entertainment Center, Khal-khal Waterfall, etc…

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Guba - Gusar

Khinalig village, Afurja waterfall, Chenlibel Lake, Qechresh, Tengealti, Shahdag Mountain Resort, Laza Village , Anigh Castle, etc…

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This is AZERBAİJAN!

Love explore your life, travel where you want.

Explore the captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern wonders in Azerbaijan, where vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality await your discovery.

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  2. Azerbaijan: Take Another Look

    English and Russian are widely understood and spoken in the capital, Baku, but as you travel across the country knowing a few words of Azerbaijani will definitely enrich your experiences. learn more. The land where the east meets the west, the sea hugs the mountains, and the old coexists with the new. From the people and their traditions to the ...

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    Located at an elevation of 28 meters below sea level, Baku is the world's lowest-lying national capital city. Baku is the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. Known as the City of Winds, there are two main gusts to look out for in Baku - the warmer Gilavar blowing from the south, and the cool Khazri sweeping down from ...

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    Azerbaijan itinerary 7 days: Explore the Best of Azerbaijan in One Week. This Azerbaijan 7 days itinerary starts and ends in Baku and lets you explore the key highlights of Azerbaijan beside the vibrant capital of Baku - Yanar Dag, Ateshgah, Gobustan, Lahic, Sheki, and Shamakhi while combining day tours and a road trip.

  6. Top 10 Things to do in Azerbaijan

    Bathe in healing oil. Approximately one hour's drive from Ganja is Naftalan - a resort town famous for its healing oil which for centuries has been used here to cure all sorts of ailments. Treatment typically involves taking daily baths of crude oil for at least a week at one of the town's many wellness centres. #5.

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    Dive into our comprehensive Azerbaijan Travel Guide to uncover the magic of this East-meets-West nation. Learn about its rich culture, intriguing history, mouth-watering cuisine, and striking landscapes. ... Each destination has its unique charm and stories waiting for you to discover. Off the Beaten Path: Exploring the Azerbaijani Countryside ...

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  11. Azerbaijan Travel Guide

    Azerbaijan Travel Guide. BAKU- JULY 20: Heydar Aliyev Center on July 20, 2015 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Heydar Aliyev Center won the Design Museum's Designs of the Year Award in 2014. Due to its geographic location, Azerbaijan is a country of versatility. Whether it's the landscape or its culture, European influences collide with diverse tastes.

  12. An Ultimate Guide to Azerbaijan

    An Ultimate Guide to Azerbaijan. aworldtotravel. on December 15, 2023 at 11:00 AM. If you're searching for an exciting, lesser-known destination for your next trip, Azerbaijan is an excellent choice. It's not overrun by tourists, which means you'll get to explore its unique charms without the crowds.

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    This is AZERBAİJAN! Love Explore Your Life, Travel Where You Want! Explore the captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern wonders in Azerbaijan, where vibrant cities, breathtaking landscapes, and warm hospitality await your discovery.