Azerbaijan’s tourism history has millennia-long traditions. The Great Silk Road running through Azerbaijan was not only for trade but also cultural exchange – guests from the east and west meeting and staying for days in karvans whilst exchanging goods. Interest in the country flared greatly in the time of the oil boom.Even then rapidly enriching land was attractive for people from all around the world.
Azerbaijan is a popular tourist attraction for guests from neighbouring countries such as Russia and Iran, and few from further afield. It is becoming ever popular as a tourist destination due to its untouched natural environments and array of climate zones which cater for a broad array of holiday types – mountain walks to beach holidays to skiing resorts in the north. It is common that tourism surrounds ecological tours of Azerbaijan, which include visits to nature reservations, trekking and climbing routes. Beach holiday and swimming season starts in Azerbaijan in May. The Tourism sector in Azerbaijan is developing day by day, becoming one of the most important sectors of the countries economy.
Baku is the most common destination to visit whilst in Azerbaijan. As the capital, it combines the architecture of a modern European city and historical spirit of the Old City. You can see the Maiden Tower from the skyscrapers of the downtown city; fashionable hotels neighbour narrow streets of Icheri Sheher (The Inner City). The UNESCO World Heritage List has included the following gems of Baku: Icheri-sheher, Maiden Tower and the Palace of Shirvanshahs, a unique architectural and cultural ensemble.
Some over places to note that visitors are attracted by include:
Apsheron and the Water of the Caspian Sea, which is technically a lake (the largest lake in the world) – this means that the water is not as salty as seawater; it is both: pleasant to swim in and healing for the skin. There is also a temple of fire worshippers Ateshgyah on the way to Apsheron, in the village of Surakhana, where natural gas has been burning from time immemorial due to contact with the oxygen.
The oldest village Khinalug was mentioned in the writings of ancient Greek and Roman historians. They have reserved a unique culture; they speak their own language and wear traditional clothes. The highest and most isolated settlement in the mountains of the Big Caucasus had been inaccessible until recently, but now has turned into a beloved tourist spot.
The Gobustan reserve has a territory of 537 hectares where 6000 wall carvings have been discovered. Cultural landscape of Gobustan wall carvings has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. You will also see mud volcanoes in the Gobustan reserve; it has half of the world mud volcanoes.
The Palace of Sheki khans, in Shekhi is the pinnacle of Azerbaijan medieval architecture. The two-storey palace was built in 1761-62 with no nails and was a summer residence of Husseyn-khan Mushtad.
See the links below for more tourist destinations: