Top 9 destinations to visit in Azerbaijan

by | May 12, 2020 | Azerbaijan, new

Azerbaijan, also known as The Land of Fire, doesn’t fail to impress its visitors. This country has a lot to offer its visitors. From the fire blazing mountains to its mud volcanoes, from its varied climate zones to its varied landscapes, this country has got a lot which will make you say wow. Let’s discover Azerbaijan with this list of the 9 best places to visit in Azerbaijan.

Baku

This Azeri capital city gives a very beautiful first impression of the whole country of Azerbaijan. Baku is very popular for its walled city, Icherisheher, which accommodates the infamous Maiden Tower and Shirvanshah’s Palace.
This city is a perfect blend of its old and modern architecture. Flame Towers, Heydar Aliyev center, Carpet Museum, and Heydar Mosque are some of the many attractions in the city to name.

Places to Visit around Baku

Located around 67 km from Baku, you can do a one-day trip to Gobustan National Park popular for its mud volcanoes. Yanar Dag (aka Fire Mountain) is a mysterious hillside neat Baku that’s blazing continuously with natural fire. Yanar Dag is located around 15 kms from Baku. Another place to visit around Baku is Absheron National Park (around 56 km from Baku). This national park is located at the tip of Absheron Peninsula and shows you the Flora and Fauna of Azerbaijan.

Also Read: Top things to see and do in Baku

Top things to see and do in Baku - Featured Image
Flame towers. Old and Modern architecture, Baku © Somesh Rai / @worldnestler

Ganja

Ganja is the second largest city in Azerbaijan. And no, the name of the city has nothing to do with marijuana. Spend one day walking around the city, discover the city on foot as many attractions are close to eachother, and enjoy local food at restaurants.

Walking in this city is very interesting, gives the vibe of an old city which refused to develop much in modern ways. You can see many old cars and buses dominating the roads here.  

Popular for its vineyards, Ganja offers some of the best wine in Azerbaijan. Nizami Mausoleum, Imamzadeh, and Heydar Aliyev Park are some of the places I recommend to visit in Ganja.

Most people come to Ganja to visit Azerbaijan’s two very popular lakes: Lake Goygol, and Lake Maralgol. These two lakes are fairly close to eachother but are located around 40 kms outside of Ganja city.

Image showing Lake Maralgol near Ganja azerbaijan
Lake Maralgol © Somesh Rai / @worldnestler

Sheki

Sheki is another popular tourist destination in Azerbaijan. This town used to be an essential point on the Silk route. Sheki played an important role of silk producer for thousands of years.

Recommended places to visit in Sheki include:
Palace of Sheki Khans – a beautiful palace in Sheki. No photography allowed inside.
Shakikhanov’s Palace (Winter Palace) – another palace near Sheki Khan’s palace. Photography is allowed here.
Caravanserai – a historical accommodation which was used by the traders on the silk route.

Sheki khan palace main façade.
Sheki khan palace main façade © Sefer azeri / Wikimedia Commons

Qabala

Qabala or Gebele or Gabala is considered to be an all year-round travel destination in Azerbaijan.

It is a mountain town in the Caucasus and is popular for outdoor activities it offers. This destination offers snowboarding in Winters, and in summers it offers a range of activities including paragliding, hiking, shooting, quad-biking, and rafting.

Azerbaijan Gabala lake
Azerbaijan Gabala 2 © Havin_HP / Wikimedia Commons

Quba

Quba or Guba is a country town located in the north-eastern part of Azerbaijan. It is a great place to experience the beauty of the Caucasus Mountains and is popular for hiking.
Nizami Park, Quba Genocide Memorial Park, Quba Mosque, First Museum of Mountain Jews are few attractions in Quba.

Mostly tourists visit Quba for hiking and visiting Quba’s neighboring mountain villages of XInaliq, Laza,Griz, Galakhudat, and its beautiful iconic peak of Mount Shahdag. Spring and Summers are the best time to visit this region.

Quba
Quba Area, Azerbaijan © Gulustan / Wikimedia Commons

Xinaliq

The town of Xinaliq is the highest settlement in Azerbaijan, and possibly one of the highest settlement in the whole of Europe.
Best way to reach Xinaliq is to take a jeep from Quba, around 50 kms. If you like to live in the moutains and find peace in mountains, this place is definitely for you. There are just few locals in the town offering homestays. There are no ATMs in the town, so carry cash with small denominations.  

Image showing the town of Xinaliq
Xınalıq, avqust 2009 © Cekli829 / Wikimedia Commons

Nakhchivan

Nakhchivan is the autonomous region of Azerbaijan republic.
There is no direct way on land connecting Nakhchivan to the mainland Azerbaijan due to its awkward geographical position with Armenia. To visit Nakhchivan, you have to take an hourlong flight from Baku that flies 4 times each day and costs AZN 70.

Visit the Alinja Castle, relax at Batabat Lake, check out the Ahabi-Khaf’s Caves or go to the Salt Sanatorium at Duzdag. You are going to enjoy your trip to this less travelled region of Azerbaijan.

Lahic

The town of Lahic is located in the Caucasus Highlands of Azerbaijan. It is around 180 km from the capital city of Baku.

Lahic is most popular for its copper crafts and is also known for its carpet weaving. There are a lot of interesting shops here selling those unique handicrafts and are good for taking souvenirs from Azerbaijan.
Walk around the village’s cobbled streets and just appreciate the beauty of the town, the streets, and the wares they create.

cobbled street in Lahic, Azerbaijan
Lahic, Azerbaijan © Nick Taylor / Flickr

Gusar

Gusar, sometimes referred to as ‘Nothern Gates’ of Azerbaijan, is another small town located around 13 km from Quba. Visit to Gusar promises you amazing and breathtaking views of the Caucasus Mountains.
Gusar is home to Azerbaijan’s popular Lezgi cuisine and some of the highest peaks in Azerbaijan. Visit Gusar to enjoy the scenery of the Caucasus Mountains.

Are you thinking of visiting any of these places in Azerbaijan? Let me know in the comments below.

View of Şahdağ Mountain, Qusar, 2013
Şahdağ Mountain, Qusar, 2013 © Murad Ahmadzade / Wikimedia Commons

Featured Image: Xınalıq, avqust 2009 © Cekli829 / Wikimedia Commons


<a href="https://www.instagram.com/worldnestler/" target="_blank">Somesh Rai</a> | Writer

Somesh Rai | Writer

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