In the north-east of Azerbaijan, Guba region is located to the north of Baku. This is the mountainous region of the country closest to the capital a journey to which will give the opportunity to have a good rest in picturesque places of Azerbaijan, take a tour to the fortress Chirag-gala, visit the Alpine village Khinalig. Guba is one of the most developed agricultural regions of Azerbaijan. Guba is the administrative centre of Guba region. The city is located in north-eastern slopes of the famous Mount Shahdag, at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. The tourism industry is well developed in Guba, there is a large number of recreation areas, hotels, restaurants and scenic places. No less beautiful is Guba neighbourhood. Especially attractive for tourists are Afurjy waterfall of 30 m height and Tenge gorge. There is the centre of carpet weaving in Guba also as this area is famous for its carpets of Chichi, Sirt Chichi, Gimil, Jimi, Erfi types that are the adornment of the many museums and private collections around the world. In the city remained historical monuments such as Sakina Khanum Mosque, Juma Mosque, mausoleum of the XVI century, ancient oriental bathes.
Gusar is a town in the north of Azerbaijan located in the foothills of the Greater Caucasus, on the river Kusarvats, 35km south-west of the railway station Khudat and 180km from Baku. The town is located near the mountains Bazarduzu, Shah-Dag and the border with Russia. Part of Gusar was included in Shahdag National Park – the largest one in Azerbaijan. Shahdag Tourist Centre open all year round has enormous popularity. In winter, it is a popular ski resort, and in summer – camp site in the lap of the mountains of the Greater Caucasus Range. Near the complex is ancient settlement Laza surrounded by the mountains and known for its majestic waterfalls. In winter, climbing competitions are held in the frozen waterfalls. Tourism in Gusar is flourishing with the help of the conditions in the regions. Gusar has all the conditions for eco- tourism. Ecological routes can be divided into three areas:
1) Direction Gusar – Laza: tourists are invited to visit the historical Anig village, admire the historical monuments in the village and take a look at examples of folk art;
2) Direction Gusar – Sudur. Tourists, travellers can visit the mausoleum of Sheikh Junayd in the village Hazra
3) Direction Gusar – Gazanbulag. The most interesting object in this route is beech forest Alistan Baba.
Khachmaz occupies a part of Samur-Davachi lowland and is located in the north-east of Azerbaijan. From the north it is bordered by Russia. On its territory are main highways and railway (Baku-Moscow). The climate in this area is warm temperate semi-deserts and dry steppes. Nevertheless, more than 20h are covered by forests, several rivers run, there are three artificial lakes, lots of spring water sources, including thermal and mineral one. Across the region remained about 60 monuments of history and culture, from traditional crafts the most developed is carpet weaving. You can stay in Khachmaz at Khachmaz Hotel. On the territory of Khachmaz region is the second largest and well-planned recreation area on the Caspian coast which stretches across the seaside from Muhtadyr village to Nabran village and further. There are many hostels and guesthouses where you can stay.
This area is interesting because after the edge of the sandy beach immediately begins the forest which hosts various tourist facilities, camps, boarding houses, holiday homes. The conditions in which are the most diverse – from comfortable hotels of luxury class, cosy cottages for small number of people to the tent camps. The main value of Nabran is amazing nature. Ancient forests grow here at the very sea shore. The beach is separated from the village by swamps formed by springs which rise directly from the ground. Turtles and various fish species are found in these marshes. Among the centuries-old oaks, beeches and elms live raccoons and wild boars. In the foothills, you can see an owl or a deer. Numerous rivers flowing into the Caspian Sea divide sandy shore into several parts. The climate is mild and temperate: humid in winter but not too frosty, in summer – warm and dry. The beach season begins in late May and continues until mid-September.
Atlant, Lotus, Palma, Malibu are considered the most famous tourist centres.
North-western tourist area
Route Shamakhi-Ismayilli- Gabala-Sheki
Shamakhi region is the centre of ancient Shirvan, the former state of Shirvanshahs of historical region of Azerbaijan. It is located in south-eastern foothills of the Greater Caucasus. The climate in the main part of the area is moderately warm with dry summer. Shamakhi is the largest centre of Azerbaijani viticulture. Shamaki wines are popular not only in the local market but have long been gaining medals and diplomas at international exhibitions. This region is a popular place of recreation for the residents of the capital, tourists, lovers of sport tourism. The region hosts Reserve Pirgulu. In mountain villages, locals weave famous carpets. Shamakhi is one of the major trade and craft centres in the Middle East. Shamaki lands are renowned for their vineyards, pastures, wines and cognacs. There are neither severe frosts nor sizzling heat – a peculiar nature, mild climate, mineral springs – all this attracts tourists from around the world. The main relief of the area is mountains. The nature here is very beautiful – the mountains covered in forests, cliffs, rivers, waterfalls. The most popular places for tourists: Sakit Gol – Silent Lake Hotel and Shirvan Hotel & SPA
The main relief of the area is mountainous. The nature here is very beautiful – the mountains covered in forests, cliffs, rivers, waterfalls. The region hosts Reserve Ismailli established in 1981. In the region remained ancient traditions of crafts and applied arts. There are developed carpet weaving, production of copper embossed crockery and weapons, tannery, blacksmith’s craft, wood and metal carving, making the national women’s silk scarves kelagai with print pattern. In Lahij and Basgal established historical and cultural reserves where a lot of monuments were taken under the protection of the state. Here, you can stay in Talystan motel, in the recreation area Gyz Galasy.
Gabala region is located on the territory of Sheki-Zagatala zone, in north-western part of Azerbaijan, on the border of Dagestan and Georgia. One of the climbing routes on the highest peak of the republic – mountain Bazarduzu runs across here. Gabala is rich in its sights and cultural centres. Tourism in the region is developing rapidly, at the moment the city has a huge number of 4-5- star hotels provided luxurious rooms and cottages with all amenities. Do not forget to see the magnificent 7 Beauties Waterfall, Nohur lake, Gabalaland Amusement Park will not let you get bored. The resort is rich with forests, and the area is rich in walnut and chestnut trees.
Amazing landscape of the mountain ranges of Sheki region is of interest not only for the beauty of nature but also the monuments occurring throughout the long history which prove the need and desire of the people to the creation and preservation of lasting values conclusively transmitted from one generation to other. Found medieval settlements suggest that the town was founded 2,500 years ago and considered one of the oldest towns in the country. Sheki is known for its harsh but at the same time impressive nature: powerful mountains, crystal clear mountain streams, dark green coniferous forests. The city has many historical and architectural attractions, but the proud of ancient Sheki is the majestic Royal Palace of Sheki Khans. Sheki is a major trade centre. Here, you can buy jewellery and engraved products of local craftsmen The most popular places for tourists: Sheki Palace Hotel
Gakh region is located in the north-west of the country, on the border with Georgia. In the south of the area, the climate is dry, in the centre – a temperate hot alternated by subtropical humid, in mountains – cold. The region hosts Ilisu State Reserve. The highlight of Gakh region is also considered Ilisu village which locates at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level, 12 kilometres from the town. Every year it attracts a huge number of tourists to enjoy the untouched nature, beautiful forests, medicinal mineral springs and spectacular rivers and waterfalls. Here, you can see many historical monuments. Sumug Gala, a defensive tower built in the VII-IX centuries is located in the village of Ilisu, Ulu Bridge, Temple Complex (the XII century), mausoleums of Haji Tapdig and Sheikh Yunis Imre. The most popular places for tourists: Ulu Dag Resort, Green Park Resort
Zagatala region is located on the ridges of the Greater Caucasus to the north-west of thecountry. In north-eastern border of the region lies the border between Azerbaijan and Russia. Relief is mountainous and plain, the climate is cool in the mountains and warm in plains. The area has many forests but they are located mainly in the mountains and foothills. In 1929, here, on southern slope of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range Zagatala Nature Reserve was arranged. Here, on the territory of the reserve, there are places where tourists can rest and spend the night. Historic monuments of region are located in villages that have survived from ancient times until now. In villages Gezbarah and Galal is Kebeloba Jar. This town by its climate and the beauty of nature can be called a true resort. Here, on an area of 14ha, a park of culture and recreation was laid, there is also an interesting monument of nature – plane tree which is 800 years old, and there is a historical museum with a rich collection of medieval manuscripts. The most popular places for tourists: Cobalt cottage Masalli-Lankaran- Lerik-Astara
Masalli region is located along the main artery of the region – the road from the capital to the south, to Iran. One of the boundaries of the area is the Caspian coast, another is the Talysh Mountains. Contrast terrain, mountains and plains underlie the climate drops from moderately warm with dry summer to subtropical one. The rivers that flow here – Vilyash, Alvadichay, Tatian flow into the Caspian Sea. Masalli region is rich in mineral springs, both thermal and cold, some are with a high content of sulphur and other microelements. In one of the most picturesque corners of the mountainous region is a mineral source Istisu, water in the source is curative. People come here for treatment and just relax – the place is very beautiful, with a waterfall of thermal water and suspension bridge. Masalli town is the administrative centre of Masalli region. In the vicinity of Masalli, viticulture and winemaking are well developed. On the outskirts of the town, in the forest there is a small picturesque lake – a favourite vacation spot for both guests and locals. Historical and architectural monuments of the town are a mosque of the XIX century, antique bath, Erkivan tower, museum of local lore; in the surrounding villages Digah and Boradigyah – mosques of the XVI century, Seid Sadig mausoleum. On the road from Masalli to Lankaran, on southwest coast of the Caspian Sea (Gulf Gizilagach) is located Gizilagach Reserve
The most popular places for tourists: Vilesh Palace Hotel
The territory of Lankaran region occupies the east coast of the Caspian Sea and whole Lankaran lowland up to the Talysh Mountains. On the local coast of the Caspian Sea are many beautiful sandy beaches. Wet subtropical climate without harsh winter, dry, hot summer and rainy autumn underlie the richness of flora and fauna of the region. Lankaran region is another important agricultural region of Azerbaijan which special climatic conditions led to the breeding of subtropical crops. This is the main region of the country where grows the famous Lankaran tea. Also Hirkan Reserve is located on site which in 2004 was transformed into Hirkan National Park. Presently, among architectural-historical monuments remained Khan’s Palace Khan Evi with original facade ornaments, Kichik Gala mosque, minaret Guldasta, old Haji Mirza bath. You can acquaint with the history of the region by visiting the Museum of History. The town has shops of arts and crafts where masters are engaged in the thread on wood, stone, metal. Lankaran region is full of attractions that so attract tourists from all over the world. Much attention is attracted by Lankaran Fortress, or to be more precise, the remaining fragments. Lankaran region is divided into three tourist zones:
1) The coastal zone – if you want to enjoy a rest on the shores of the Caspian Sea, just visit this site. Predominant here black sand has healing feature. This is a great area for relaxation and health.
2) Gafton area has a large number of sights that attract many tourists. Also, this area is rich in recreation areas and sanatoriums. In the forests there are springs Isti-Su (hot waters) which have magical healing properties. For tourists who are fond of ecotourism, there are all conditions here.
3) Narimanabad zone – this tourist area is located in fact on the peninsula of Sarah situated in the Caspian Sea. On the left, the area is bordered by Gizilagach Reserve.
The most popular places for tourists: Luxe Lankaran Hotel
The territory of Lerik region is surrounded by the Talish mountains. In the south and south-west it borders with Yardimli region, in the north-east with Lankaran, in north-west with Masalli, and in south-east with Astara regions. Lerik region is one of the most beautiful corners of Azerbaijan located high in the mountains of Talish. Beautiful nature, clean mountain air filled with the scent of the forest, springs, rivers, fertile soil – this region is famous for its long-livers not without reason. On the territory of Lerik region, numerous cultural and historical monuments remained. For example, Stone Age cave site; ancient settlement Giz Yurdu near a mountain village Mistan at an altitude of about 2,430m. Mausoleums: Baba Hasan near the village of Jonu, Baba Isa in the village Mondigyah, Khoja Seyyid in the village Khanagah (the XIV c.), Pir Yusif near the village Kekonu, Jabir (the XII-XIV c) and Khalifa Zakariya on the road to the village Jengemiran. Here, you can visit the Museum of Local History, explore the memorial erected in memory of the victims of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Lodging can be provided by local residents, as well as in numerous recreational areas located on the road from Lankaran to Lerik, the most popular of which are Shelale and Meshachi.
The most popular places for tourists: Relax Hotel and Resort
Astara region is located on the border with Iran, in the south-east of Azerbaijan. Part of its territory is occupied by the Talysh Mountains and another part is plain which underlies the climatic diversity of the region. The region hosts a part of Hirkan National Park which makes the place attractive for ecotourism. In Astara region, near the border with Iran, in the borough of Isti- Su are medicinal springs. In the area develop tea, vegetables and citrus growing. The region has a large number of historical and architectural monuments. The town is an important transit point on the route Baku-Tehran. Astara is a border town on the one hand limited by the sea, on the other – by the Talish Mountains. Around town, there are rice fields, fishery was developed which could not but affect the local cuisine. In Astara, there is a local history museum with a pretty rich exposure. The real pride of the museum is old coins evidencing about the advanced level of trade in ancient times.
The most popular places for tourists: Espinas Hotel
Ganja is located in Ganja-Gazakh lowland, on the banks of the River Ganjachay which cuts the city into two parts. Ganja is the second largest city in the country, a monument of the ancient culture, industrial centre of western Azerbaijan. The city with a history that goes back 2.5 thousand years (in 2016 Ganja celebrated anniversary of 2510 years) is of great interest for tourists. There are a lot of forests, vineyards, lakes, rivers and mountains. The area is famous for its mineral springs and unique curative oil – naphthalene produced in 48km from the city of Ganja in Naftalan. This is a homeland of world famous poet Nizami Ganjavi, poetess Mehseti Ganjavi, Mirza Shafi Vazeh. There are many historical monuments: Juma Mosque with madrasa, mausoleum of Sheikh Ibrahim, Mosque Gizil Hajali, Ozan, Bala Bagban, Sharafhanly, Shahsevan. Large and small bridges (the XII century), complexes of caravanserais. You have to visit Nizami Ganjavi Mausoleum located at the entrance to the city. Ganja is one of the oldest cities played a major role in different periods in the history of our country. The very history of Ganja is the story of its destruction by invaders almost to the ground and further bright revival. Hajikend resort area is located now near Ganja with plenty of tourist routes, guest houses, camp sites and holiday homes. Goy-Gol State Reserve is the first reserve in Azerbaijan. To learn more about the history of Ganja, tourists can visit the local museum which houses more than 30 thousand exhibits. The local fad is a house made of bottles: two-storey building the erection of which took about 50,000 glass bottles. Ganja has many parks and picturesque alleys where it is pleasant to wander on a summer day, the largest and most beautiful of which is considered Khan Bagi (Khan’s Garden). The most popular places for tourists: Ramada Plaza.
Hajikend is a well-known mountain resort in Azerbaijan. The spice of the resort si its unique and extraordinarily clean air. It is often visited by people suffering from diseases of the nervous system and the respiratory system. Hajikend attracts tourists from all over the world for its ecology and natural beauty. Extraordinarily beautiful scenery that can be seen in these places remains forever in the memory. Hajikend Resort climbed high into the mountains, to the level of 1,200 meters above sea level. Paradise for tourists where you can be in the picturesque woods and wonderful meadows with sources of mineral waters. Hajikend surroundings with clean mountain air and mountain Lake Gey Gel unusual for its beauty were announced the reserve territory. And those who prefer active forms of recreation, such as hiking trails or mountain climbing can enjoy themselves in the conquest of the local mountains. In recent years, a few bases for such tourists have been built here. Goygol Lake is a real jewel of not only Hajikend but also the entire region. It is located in western part of Azerbaijan, on the territory of Goygol region, on northern slope of the ridge Murovdag, at the foot of Mount Kapaz, in the valley of the River Aghsu. It is one of the largest lakes in Azerbaijan. Average depth is 30m, and the maximum one is 96m. On northern shore of Lake Goygol is located resort. Only one river, the Upper Aghsu falls into the lake. The lake was formed as a result of the devastating earthquake near Ganja on September 30, 1139 as a result of which the top of mountain Kapaz collapsed in the Aghsu River gorge. One of the most beautiful lakes in Azerbaijan is definitely worth a visit. Located in the west of the country, this body of water is a part of the national park of the same name so that you can only envy the richness of the flora and fauna. From Azerbaijani, Goygol is translated as ‘a blue lake’ and the name is fully justifies the appearance of the water body – the water here is of amazingly beautiful colour, clean, clear even at great depths. Usually, tourists come to northern shore of the lake where there is the resort of the same name. The local microclimate and the air are beneficial to people suffering from diseases of the respiratory tract and nervous system. Around the lake grow 423 species of trees and shrubs, and medicinal herbs. On the banks of Goygel inhabit red deer and roe deer, bears and wild boars, wolves, foxes, mountain goats, jackals and badgers, porcupines, bobcats. And there is trout in the lake. Neighbourhood of Goygel is notable not only for the National Park and the lake, it appears that German colonists massively settled here from the 19th century, on August 22, 1819 they also laid town Elenendorf – future Khanlar on the site of an ancient village Khanliglar. German heritage is sensitively guarded today, so that within the district you can see about 30 historical and architectural monuments. In particular, in Khanlar it is worth seeing Lutheran Church (1854) and three bridges that were built by German hands.
Ancient Karabakh is the heart of Azerbaijan, the land that gave the country a lot of talented people. It is not only the unique nature, the landscapes included in the List of Natural Monuments, it is also a striking list of talents – poets, writers, musicians, hanende (masters of the national music Mugham). Nature and resources of this ancient land leave no one indifferent. Perhaps, that is why this beautiful land is occupied now.
Barda region is located in the centre of Karabakh Plain, in north-western part of Kura-Araz lowland, on the bank of the River Terterchay. There is also the River Khachin, on the border area flows the Kura, and the large Upper Karabakh Channel was built. Along the road Barda-Tartar, there are two beautiful lakes; one more (Agali) is located near Barda. To the collapse of the Soviet Union, the area was the All-Union Health Resort, a popular resort as the local land is rich in mineral springs. The most famous is Istisu which is located three kilometres from town of Barda, and the spring near the village Muganli. Beautiful fabrics, ceramic and glassware, decoration of simple and precious metals were created here. Famous Carpets of Karabakh group (with and without nap) by Azerbaijani masters were mainly ‘natives’ of Barda. It was a genuine Town of Craftsmen that the great Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganja glorified in his poem Iskandername.
Aghdam region is situated in the centre of Karabakh, in the north-east of the foothills of the Karabakh mountain range, in the west of Kura-Aras lowland. ‘Agh dam’ (Azeri ağdam) is literally translated as ‘a white roof.’ According to the data published on the website of theMinistry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the name of Aghdam means ‘light, lit by the sun’s rays, white house’: in the middle of the XVIII century Karabakh Khan Panahali ordered to build a residential complex – imaret of white stone which had long served as a kind of a reference point for the inhabitants of nearby villages. In Aghdam, Bread Museum was located where there were items related to the antiquity and the Middle Ages. Among the exhibits were samples of fossilized grains, rare species of grass, books related to agriculture, valuable manuscripts, ancient instruments of labor (plow, plain and toothed hoe, hand-mill), and others. On its territory remained many architectural monuments. It is Hanaoglan mausoleum (the XVII c), Caravanserai (the XVIII c) in the village Shahbulag, mosque (the XVII c), palace and mausoleum of Panahali Khan; mausoleum Gutlu Musaoglu (the XIV c) in the village Hachynturbetli, two mausoleums and a mosque in the village of Papravend, cave temple carved out on northern slope of Bozdag Mountain of Christian period of Caucasian Albania and others.
The town owes its name to the splendid clean and transparent air of these places. ‘Shusha’ means ‘a glass.’ This is one of the most beautiful towns of our country blessed by nature with unique springs – Isa Bulag, Turshsu, Sakina Bulag, Isti-Bulag, Soyug-Bulag, Yuz-Bulag, Girkh-Bulag, Charyg-Bulag, etc. The birth and subsequent flourishing of the town are connected with consolidation of power, strengthening of Karabakh khanate. On both sides of Shusha remained formerly powerful fortifications. In the XVIII century Shusha emerged as one of the most significant towns of Azerbaijan. Large and thick walls were built around, there were numerous quarters of craftsmen, Shusha merchants traded with the cities of Iran, Moscow, the town minted silver coin Panabadi (Panakhabady). A beautiful town located high in the mountains was admired by travellers. It is difficult to list all the monuments of architecture and art in Shusha – just architectural monuments is estimated as 170, the arts – 160. They include house museums: of the poet Khurshud Banu Natavan, a general of artillery Mehmandarov (participant of the heroic defence of Port Arthur), an outstanding composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov, singer Bulbul, poet and artist Mir Mohsun Navab. The castles of Ibragim Khan and his daughter Gara Beyukhanim; ‘Ganja Gates’, the fortress wall etc. This town is called ‘the conservatory of the East’ – Shusha became home to many prominent Azerbaijani singers, musicians, great composers and conductors.
Kalbajar region is an administrative and territorial unit in western part of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The territory of Kalbajar region is located in the valley of Terter River within the Greater Caucasus. The natural borders of the region are formed by the ridges Dalidag, Keyti, Murovdag, Kepez, Shargi Geychagelu, Myhtoken Geychi. The administrative centre is the town of Kelbajar which means ‘high pass’, ‘high country’. The territory of Azerbaijan paradise, Kelbajar could be called Gulistan (a flower garden). With more than thirty thousand sources of spring which outskirts were full of guests all the year round, Kelbajar region indeed is natural museum. The region is home to more than 4 thousand plants 200 of which are medicinal. The area is famous for its mineral springs, including thermal ones. Other healthful springs are located at an altitude of 2,000-2,400m, on the banks of the Terter River. According to their chemical composition, they are almost identical and even surpass the world-famous waters of Karlovy Vary (the Czech Republic). It should be noted that Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan which is under the occupation of the Armenian Forces. Certainly, the Azerbaijanis are sensitive to any cases of tourists visiting Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia. In case that a tourist has visited Nagorno- Karabakh, and his/her passport has a corresponding mark, he/she will be denied a visa and entry into Azerbaijan because he/she broke the law and illegally entered the territory of our state. The subject should be treated with the utmost seriousness and patience. So, you will show respect for the feelings of Azerbaijanis. Moreover, Azerbaijan cannot ensure the safety of tourists in the occupied territories.
To the south-west of Azerbaijan is located Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR). It is separated of Azerbaijan by a narrow strip of the foreign state that was once possible as a result of the collision of Russian and Persian imperial interests. NAR is located on southern slopes of the Daralayaz and south-western slopes of the Zangezur Mountains. This is mountainous terrain. The highest mountains in the region are Kapujyuk (3,904m) and Ilandagh (2,385m). Autonomous Republic is rich in deposits of marble, rock salt, lime, gypsum, unique mineral waters: Sirab, Badamli, Vayhir, Nagajyr, Giziljir. Here, is a lot of groundwater so historically the region reached a high level of the art of building Kagriz – unique underground tunnels for water. Along the border with Iran and Turkey flows the Araz River. There is a beautiful lake Batabat with so-called ‘floating islands’, there is also an artificial lake which waters are used for irrigation of Julfa and Babek regions. Across the region remained a large number of the ruins of ancient towns, towers, fortresses, mausoleums. This region had always been attractive to capture both because of its strategic location and natural resources. Especially famous Nakhchivan is for its builders – here, the famous school of architecture of Nakhchivan occurred and construction works took a large scale. In the Middle Ages, according to the travellers admiring the beauty of the city, here were built the famous ensemble of the Eldegizids’ Palace, mosque, a large madrasa which became a centre of Islamic education, government buildings, the palaces of the aristocracy. Nakhchivan has a long history of salt caves which attract people from all corners of the earth for their healing properties. At the centre, all the conditions for the patients with diseases of the respiratory system and internal organs were arranged, and excursions for those who wish to look at this miracle of nature are arranged there.