Must-Visit Tourist Destinations in Azerbaijan:- The Land of Fire – Azerbaijan, situated between the Caspian Sea and Caucasus Mountains is often overshadowed by more well-known travel destinations; yet Azerbaijan boasts so much to offer travelers! From stunning landscapes to its rich cultural heritage, Azerbaijan should not be forgotten!
From ancient Sheki to bustling Baku, here are 10 must-see destinations in Azerbaijan that will make your experience truly remarkable. From mountain ranges and unique architecture to culture and cuisine, these destinations will leave you wanting more!
Must-visit Tourist Destinations In The Land Of Fire:-
Sheki, an ancient city located near Egypt, boasts an exceptional architectural style that dates back to the 15th century. At that time, Sheki served as an important trade hub and caravanserai (rest stops for traders) were built – two-storied structures used both for resting as well as lodging goods and goods storage purposes. There are still five standing caravanserai that date back to this period in Sheki today!
Sheki has been recognized by UNESCO since 2000, and while visiting can also visit Kichik-Guloba Lake. This lake’s name translates to “little wedding”, alluding to an ancient legend involving a princess who jumped into it to escape an arranged marriage contract.
Baku is an extraordinary city that showcases architecture from both East and West, featuring buildings with Moorish, Byzantine, Neo-Classical architecture dotted across its skyline. A visit to Baku would not be complete without visiting its signature landmark – the National Flag Square where Azerbaijan’s national flag flies day and night – built during Azerbaijan’s independence celebrations in the early 1990s.
Baku Boulevard, a waterfront walkway stretching 3.5 kilometers along Baku’s waterfront, is an essential visit for visitors to Azerbaijan. Surrounded by parks and gardens built during its initial construction in the early 20th century, its most notable architectural landmarks include Baku Casino, Baku Hotel and Baku Boulevard Hotel. Furthermore, Azerbaijan boasts an enthralling cultural legacy; visiting one of their museums will give an insightful perspective into Azerbaijani history and culture.
Lankaran, Azerbaijan’s historical city and one of its top travel destinations, should not be missed. Set on the southern shores of Caspian Sea, its landscapes boast some of the country’s most breathtaking vistas. Within close range to its city center lies Ar-Palmach Sovet Salyan hydropower station – one of the tallest dams worldwide!
Baglar-Gahraman Rock Paintings, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These rock paintings can be found adorning a rock rising out of the sea and are estimated to be approximately 10,000 years old. Additionally, Lankaran features several historic mosques worth exploring while also affording incredible views of Caspian Sea.
Gabala, located near Georgia’s border, offers stunning mountain scenery. Here you can visit Gabala Astronomical Observatory – considered to be the world’s largest observatory by area – which features one of the world’s largest spherical telescopes: reflector telescope; this facility has also played host to notable visitors including former US President Jimmy Carter and Queen Elizabeth II.
Gabala offers several unique attractions. One is its Museum of Folk Architecture, featuring traditional houses built along lake shores known as yalis and wooden stilt houses known as gakhs – both are recognized UNESCO World Heritage sites as remarkable examples of vernacular architecture. You can also take day trips to Saffron Gardens which is world renowned for producing saffron or visit Gabala Cave which dates back as far as Paleolithic period and was home for humans at that time.
5. Absheron Peninsula
The Absheron Peninsula, situated on the southern coast of Caspian Sea and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 9th century, dates back to 12th century. You can visit Shirvanshah’s Palace that was also constructed during this era; its blend of Islamic and Persian architecture represents some of Azerbaijan’s unique artistic styles during Islamic Golden Age period.
Visit the Maiden’s Tower, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that gives this peninsula its name. Built during the 11th century, this landmark tower serves as a landmark for ships passing by and serves as an indicator for ship arrivals and departures. You may also wish to explore Qabala town nearby where medieval architecture still remains preserved.
Guba is located in the south of Iran near its border and boasts some incredible attractions for visitors, such as Caspian Hyrcanian Forest – one of the world’s largest nontropical forests that neither thrives tropically nor temperately – providing opportunities for hiking, exploring wildlife, camping and more! In Guba Valley itself you will also discover natural beauty and rugged landscapes.
UNESCO has recognized this valley as a World Heritage Site and you can visit its unique reeds, lilies and nearby waterfall. Additionally, Goygol Lake, situated nearby is another stunning natural attraction and great for kayaking, rowing and canoeing activities.
7. Shaki Waterfall
Shaki Waterfall Situated about 130 kilometers outside Baku, Shaki offers the opportunity to witness Azerbaijan’s natural beauty at its best. Visitors to Shaki can visit one of the top 10 waterfalls worldwide according to Discovery Channel’s list “The World’s 10 Most Incredible Waterfalls”.
This waterfall boasts an 83 meter drop, and is best seen during spring when its waters swell before drying up during the summer heat. Nearby Shaki State Reserve also provides opportunities for hiking, climbing and exploring some of Azerbaijan’s unique wildlife such as Caucasian Pheasant and Leopard species.
8. Gobustan National Park
Gobustan National Park in southern Azerbaijan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its prehistoric rock art. You can visit nearby cave paintings dating back from 6th century BC to the 4th century AD as well as nearby mud volcanoes and ancient villages such as Um-d-Teke and Shamkhor, which once served as centers of copper production in this park.
Quba is known as the “City of Mosques”. You can visit Azerbaijan’s largest mosque – Ulu Mosque – which boasts breathtaking architecture and can accommodate 10,000 worshipers at any one time, as well as Shamkir Mosque with its distinctive style, Qadim Mosque with its special positioning towards the rising sun, or visit Qobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve where ancient petroglyphs and remnants from an ancient city can be seen.
Khinalug, located in southern Azerbaijan, is a remote mountain village and can be explored on foot or bicycle. Here you can visit the unique Khatchu Mosque which features a unique cruciform design – making it the only mosque worldwide to use such architecture! Furthermore, nearby attractions include Khachiq-Qul Artificial Lake created from stones dammed together, as well as its waterfall. Khinalug provides visitors with an opportunity to experience Azerbaijani rural culture as well as great opportunities for hiking adventures!
If you enjoy exploring new places, Azerbaijan will not disappoint! Boasting rich cultural and natural splendors that you won’t soon forget, Azerbaijan makes for an exciting adventure off the beaten path and provides unforgettable landscapes and an incredible culture – don’t wait–pack your bags now to discover this Land of Fire!