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Azerbaijan Travel Guide

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The Republic of Azerbaijan is a country in the Caucasus Mountains, located on the coast of the Caspian Sea. The land, also known as the land of Od, the land of fire, is a sister land in our eyes. A nation where we speak the same language, belong to the same ethnic group, celebrate the same things and mourn the same things. We always go through thick and thin together.

I traveled 2 weeks through Azerbaijan, the land of fire, whose name is said to be composed of the Persian words
“Azer” for fire and “Pāyegān” means guardian /Protector.

I loved its geography, its traditional and modern character as well as its people. In my eyes it is a country worth seeing with its culture and its material and spiritual values ​​filtered out of its past.

I made my trip to Azerbaijan in September 2021. I rented a car for 11 days and toured the country. I flew from Izmir to Baku by direct flight. I returned to Izmir in the same way. I took the main important places of the country and Baku on my leisurely route.

The roads are beautiful, pleasant to drive and safe.

I was only able to visit part of the Baku and Northeast routes. To travel the whole country I have to drive a few more times with my travel style. If you are planning a holiday in Azerbaijan, I recommend planning at least 1 week. Below are the places to visit in the country.

It’s a good idea to know a little bit about Azerbaijan first. Because both the country of Azerbaijan and its people are not recognized as they should be in Turkey.

Azerbaijan Travel Guide

Azerbaijan is located in the Caucasus Mountains, which is a link between the countries represents East and West since ancient times. Azerbaijan borders Turkey, Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia. To the east lies the Caspian Sea.

Many kingdoms ruled the vast lands of the Caucasus. The territory of the country was the residence of many tribes in the historical environment and was under the rule of many states, as it was constantly raided. The fact that the geography was primarily a Turkish homeland coincides with the Seljuk period.

Karakoyunlu and Akkoyunlular ruled Azerbaijan in the 15th century. During this period the Turkish population increased here.

In the 15th century, the Principality of Moscow emerged as a new political power that could change the political balance of the region. In the 18th century, the struggle for supremacy over Azerbaijan was fought between the imperial Ottoman Safavid Empire and Russia .

Azerbaijan, which was part of Tsarist Russia in the 19th century, was split in two in the first quarter of the century, with a population of 6 million north of the Aras River the Russian part
,
 the part with 14 million inhabitants in the south of Aras remained under the administration of Iran.

The country that was oppressed for many years On May 28, 1918, under Russian pressure, it was conquered by Mehmet Emin Resulzade and his friends under the name National Republic of Azerbaijan, the first democratic and secular state in the Muslim world. Unfortunately, the life of this state was not long, but two years later it was again invaded by the Soviet Union and was admitted to the Soviet Union in 1920.

The country regained its independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Azerbaijan Turks, who were exposed to the oppression and violent methods of the Russians for about 70 years, declared their independence on October 18, 1991. Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan.

They call themselves Azerbaijanis or sometimes Azerbaijani Turks. The Azerbaijanis, who belong to the Oghuz branch of the Turkic group of Altai peoples, are the second largest Turkic people in the world after the Turks in Anatolian geography. Only 10 million of the 65 million people who speak the Azerbaijani language worldwide live in present-day Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan, which is the Turkish Republic with the strongest ties with Turkey, is a country that is
years old
 high level in terms of social and economic development and literacy rate compared to countries with a similar geographical location. Great attention is paid to education in the country.

The literacy rate of the population is around 99.5%.

There is no official religion in the constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and all the main political forces of the country have adopted the secular nationalistic religion. Line. In Azerbaijan, 96% of the population is Muslim and generally belongs to the Shia sect. There are also Sunnis, Zoroastrians, Christians and Bahai.

Azerbaijan, spoken in many parts of Iran, Iraq and eastern Anatolia. Three colors in the flag; It reflects the Turkish character, Islam and civilization.

Almost 4 million of the 10 million inhabitants live in the capital Baku. The biggest contributor to Azerbaijan’s economic growth comes from oil and natural gas exports. It is also assertive in terms of mining and agricultural products.

Nine of the eleven existing climate zones are found in Azerbaijan.

The country’s currency, the manat, is tied to a basket of euros and US dollars. In November 2017 it was about 2.2 TL, in April 2019 it was 3.3 TL.

During my trip, 1 manat was equal to 5 TL. Although almost everything is expensive compared to Turkey due to the exchange rate, food, drink and petrol are still cheap.

If you are staying in Azerbaijan for more than 15 days, you must go to the offices of Miqrasiya (Immigration Service) or “AsanXidmət” within 15 days of each entry (including the weekend) and register your address with a photocopy of your passport. You can get help from the hotel you are staying in

Azerbaijan Attractions

When Azerbaijan is mentioned in Turkey, the first and only thing that comes to mind is the city of Baku. However, you can visit many cities in Azerbaijan that we call “two states, one nation”. The geography of the north of the country is like our Black Sea. Its peak consists of snow-capped mountains, oak forests, deep valleys and rivers.

The roads I drove from Baku to Sheki in September were amazing!

I drove my vehicle between trees that covered the road like a tent in most places. Mountaineering is a beautiful area for trekking lovers.

The cities visited are not organized yet enough to cope with the large crowd of tourists. On the other hand, this means that the region still retains its virginity.

It has a satisfactory legacy in terms of history and cultural heritage.

 I found it quite inappropriate in terms of museum exhibits and museum design. I would also like to remind you that photography is prohibited in many museums.

Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan. According to official figures, it has about 2.5 million inhabitants.

Towards morning I entered the city with the vehicle that I had received at the airport around 4 a.m. It had my heart with its very wide streets, European-style buildings that sparkled all night, conquers its first impressions.

Baku, the sister city of Izmir where I live, is situated on the shore of the Caspian Sea. It’s a city that people will easily get used to and love, with its smooth streets adorned with giant banana trees, wide squares, and parks popping up in every corner of the city.

The central part of the city It consists of modern streets, luxury shops and squares.

It was even fun to stroll through these random streets. Long parks, walking paths and shopping malls line the waterfront. Baku Boulevard is very lively and pleasant at night . Icherisehir, a historical region, is worth seeing at every turn.

Icherisehir is the oldest part of Baku, which defies time with its rich history and culture.

It is also, in my opinion, the most attractive and beautiful part. The 2-storey houses with original architecture, stretching along narrow streets that stretch like a maze, make you feel like you are teleported a century ago.

The region, which is 8-12 meters high and could be entered through 5 large gates in the Middle Ages, is also known as “Baku Ancient”. Icherisehir covers a very large area on the Caspian Sea coast. The region is home to many historical monuments such as the Maiden Castle and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Enclosed by 12th-century city walls, Icherişehir is very beautiful with its narrow, labyrinthine stone streets and ancient buildings. Many of the houses have been restored. Equally impressive are the handmade balconies, door decorations and unusual windows of the houses, which draw attention to themselves with reliefs, arches and ornaments.

The Palace of the Shirvanshahs, the most magnificent building in Icherisehir, is on the UNESCO list. A palace complex from the 15th century. The palace, which was significantly expanded with additional buildings between the 13th and 16th centuries, consists of the Divan Hane (ceremonial hall), burial vaults, a mosque with a minaret and remains of a bath, and the main palace. . Building. Although the historical artifacts displayed in the halls are somewhat inappropriate, it is necessary to put them at the top of the list of places to visit in Azerbaijan for both architecture and historical significance.

The Maiden Tower is one of the most important monuments in Baku.

 The tower structure ‘Qız Qalasi’, ‘Maiden’s Tower’, which once reached the bottom of the Caspian Sea, is estimated to have been built in the 12th century. There are historians who claim that the history of its base goes back to the Sumerians back.

Based on the structure of the tower, the purpose of which is unknown, the tower is believed to be related to Zarathustra’s Dahma, the Fire Temple, the Hymns of Zarathustra, Mitra and Anahit. It’s light at night, with many souvenir shops and
cafes surrounding it. The Maiden’s Tower has been a museum since 1964.

Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center, one of the most important modern buildings in Azerbaijan. It was designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid as the result of a competition in 2007. The cultural center with modern, unusual and futuristic architecture got its name from Heydar Aliyev who ruled up and down Azerbaijan in 1969-2003. The center, commissioned in 2013, was a beautiful space designed for Azerbaijanis to showcase and utilize their own
culture.

The building symbolizing the rise of the Caspian Sea and evokes a sense of infinity, looks quite complex on the outside, but inside it’s incredibly simple and spacious.

 Inside there are concert and conference halls, art galleries, a library, conceptual museums explaining the richness of local culture, an artificial lake and a cafeteria.

If you take the subway drive , It is close to the Nariman Narimanov metro station. Entry to the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center costs 15 AZN (75 TL). If you want to enter the Classic Cars exhibition area, which was under maintenance when I visited, you have to pay an additional 10 AZN.

Azerbaijan

Carpet Museum is a museum in the center of Baku, near the city of Icheri, and houses the largest collection of world famous Azerbaijani carpets.

In the museum building, designed as a folded carpet, centuries-old carpets and carpet fabrics are on display.

Azerbaijani carpet art, which is on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, is known all over the world. The world’s first carpet museum has already opened in Baku and has a deep-rooted history dating back to 1967. Azerbaijan’s centuries-old carpet-making tradition has found its place in the works of many writers, from Herodotus to Xenophon.

As of 2019, more than 10,000 ceramics, 14th-century metal artifacts, Bronze Age jewellery, 17th- and 20th-century carpets and tapestries were identified based on characteristics such as weave density, pattern, composition, color harmony and regions in this modern but interesting building. Carpets, silk embroidery, national clothing and embroidery are exhibited. Just next door is Little Venice, which consists of canals and is navigable by boat.

Baku Turkish Cemetery is a cemetery overlooking the bay, built in the most beautiful place of the capital. It was built to commemorate the Ottoman soldiers who died in the Battle of Baku.

Azerbaijan asked the Ottoman government for help against the invasion of Bolshevik troops and Armenian gangs. More than 10,000 soldiers were dispatched to save Baku and other provinces of Azerbaijan from this occupation.

Baku was liberated in September 1918 after 30 hours of bitter fighting. In the struggle for the liberation of Baku there were 1,130 martyrs. The Baku Turkish Cemetery is located at the Veil of Martyrs, where are the victims of the massacre that took place when the Soviet army invaded the capital Baku in
on the night of January 19-20, 1990.

You can also visit the Martyrdom which is within walking distance from Icherisehir, but the path is quite steep.

Yanardag is why it is Azerbaijan is called the Land of Fire, which reminds us of our Yanartaş; a mountain of fire of which there are few in the world, where flames shoot up from the earth into the sky. At Yanardag, a natural gas fire that burns continuously on a slope on the Absheron Peninsula in the Caspian Sea, the height of the
flames sometimes reaches 3 meters due to the pressure at the gas well.

Not in so many different spots as in Yanartaş, but in an area about 10 meters wide, flames rise from an opening below the slope, never extinguishing and burning hot enough to burn you if you approach. Nearby river surfaces are also said to be easily ignited with a match as natural gas seeps through the porous layers.

There is a 500-seat amphitheater for open-air concerts just across from Yanardag, which used to be a place of worship for Zoroastrian atheists from Iran, India and Pakistan. There is also a cafeteria upstairs where you can see the view. In the reserve there is a museum in Yanardag which provides information about the area and the volcano dolmen stone exhibition.

Atesgah is one of the 3 Zoroastrian temples in the world and is located in the village of
Suraxani , 30 kilometers from the center of Baku. According to them, one of the ancient temples of Zoroastrianism, one of the most entrenched belief systems in the Middle East, is as sacred as Mecca.

Used as a Zoroastrian temple before Islam, Atesgah is a medieval temple, but the buildings you will see now were built in the 1600s and 1700s.

Atesgah has one Art Madrasa architecture a complex pentagonal structure with a four-columned altar in the center and a courtyard surrounded by rooms containing monks’ cells. In the center is a building that burns a sacred fire that never goes out. The cells used for religious purposes along Caravanserai
have been converted into museum rooms explaining Zoroastrian beliefs and how this place was used at the time.

The Zoroastrians who came here believed that they would be cleansed of their sins, by torturing their bodies in rooms called çilehane.

 To this day, Zoroastrian visitors from Iran and India are considered saints and are visited as pilgrims. Entrance costs 5 manats. If you take an Uber, it costs about 10 manats.

Kobustan National Park is the most important and oldest inhabited area of ​​Azerbaijan, in which testimonies of people’s life in the Stone Age and later periods are concentrated. I think it should be on your list of places to visit in Baku, which is about an hour away from Baku.

The settlement, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007, dates back to the Upper Paleolithic (5,000 to 10,000 BC). So old!

There are more than 6000 rocks Paintings called Petroglyphs in the prehistoric settlement found by Azerbaijani archaeologist Ishaq Caferzade in 1939. Among the interesting rock formations, here you can see up to 20 habitats and drawings of wild animals and wild scenes on the rocks. 

The entrance fee of to Kobustan National Park and the museum where you can see the testimonies of those who lived in the Stone Age and later is 8 AZN (40 TL).

I had rented a car. You can go to Gobustan by public transport and take a taxi from there. The distance between the rocky area with the petroglyphs and the museum is also about 2 km.

Gobustan mud volcanoes is an interesting geological formation located on the ridges of the village of Gobustan, about 60 km southwest of Baku, 13 km from the Petroglyphs Museum. The Great and Small Mud Volcanoes, located on a dry hillside overlooking the Caspian Sea, is one of the largest mud volcano formations in the world. It is estimated that about 400 of the estimated 700 mud volcanoes on our planet are in Gobustan, Azerbaijan and on the Caspian Sea.

Some take a mud bath here, cover their whole body with mud and then are in the lake cleaned right below. A vehicle is essential to reach the mud volcanoes.

 While 4x4s are better, if you tell them to drive patiently and slowly, you can drive regular vehicles. There are no controls or doors, entry is free.

Yes If you say that art is your thing, then National Center of Fine Arts of Azerbaijan and Literary Museum of Azerbaijan might be of interest to you. The Fire Towers, which are also Azerbaijan’s first skyscrapers, shine brightly at night. The Azerbaijani TV Tower with a
revolving restaurant inside can be an interesting place to take in the views of the city ​​to enjoy.

Sheki is a small but beautiful historic town on the historic Silk Road that will enchant both your heart and stomach. The city chosen by TURKSOY as Turkey’s World Cultural Capital 2016 is one of the oldest cities of Azerbaijan with many historical and cultural monuments. Sheki, which is also the center of Sheki Rayon in northwestern Azerbaijan, is a decent city that is home to historical and natural beauties.

Many different states, from
Arabs to Shirvanshahs, from Ildenizler to Kingdom Georgia, and eventually from the Safavids to the Ottomans, have left their mark on the turbulent history of Sheki, which was called Nuxa until 1968. When Nadir Shah was assassinated in 1745, Haji Celebi established the Sheki Khanate, but his life did not last long.

It was under Russian rule in 1805 and the khanate was dissolved in 1819.

Sheki, which is like our Black Sea region, lies at the foot of the 2,000 meter high Caucasus mountains with oak forests and is surrounded by greenery, about 370km from Baku. There are many mosques, caravanserais, castles, baths and other monuments dating back centuries in the city, which lies on the River Kish and is famous for its healing mineral water and silkworm breeding. Everything is within walking distance except for the village of Kish.

Sheki Khan Palace is a palace that is recognized as one of the most important monuments of the City is listed medieval architecture of Azerbaijan and fascinates the viewer.

It was built in 1762 as the summer residence of Muhammed Hüseyin Khan Müştag, the grandson of Hacı Çelebi Khan, the founder of the Sheki Khanate. The palace consists of two floors, six rooms and two mirrored balconies one small Structure but very interesting and intriguing.

One of the most important features of the Sheki Khan Palace, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2019, is that no nails or adhesive materials were used in its construction. Each square meter of window grille consists of 5,000 interlocking slats and pieces of glass. The walls of the hall and the rooms are decorated with colorful embroidery, motifs and murals depicting war scenes.

The representations of war and hunting in the rooms give the place a different beauty. The rarest examples of handicrafts with geometric patterns called “nets”, made by placing glass of different colors between wooden slats, adorned the windows of the palace.

In front of the palace there is a pond in the garden called ‘Han Bagi’. Two plane trees, one 34 meters high and the other 42 meters high, stand on either side of the pool, predating the palace which was built in 1530 and is called “Han Plane” by the locals. The palace is completely surrounded by walls and behind the fortifications are forested mountains. The entrance fee is 5 manat along with the Khan’s Palace, the Winter Palace and the Museum of Applied Folk Art.


Caravanserai
 is one of the two caravanserai of the South Caucasus, the has survived to this day, with souvenir shops, exclusive Sheki sweets, tea houses and other places.

This is the liveliest place I’ve seen in Sheki.

The caravanserai was built in the 18th century with brick and tea stone in Sheki’s unique architectural style and consists of three floors, from one of which is a basement and over 300 rooms. It has two exclusive doors of Sheki architecture. Don’t forget to visit the large courtyard.

The Kish Temple (Church of Saint Yenisei) is an Albanian church in the village of Kish, 5 km north of Sheki .

The Kingdom of Albania ruled over a vast area covering the geography of present-day Azerbaijan and Dagestan, as well as the southern half of Chechen/Ingush territory. The Albanians who converted to Christianity in the 3rd century AD , they built the Kiş Church in the 12th century.

In the past, there was an ancient pagan temple on its base. The prayer area under the altar in the church dates from around 3000 BC. Some graves with about 2 meter tall people from the past can be seen from the floor covered with glass.

It is believed that some of the evidence that Norwegians and other Scandinavians partially trace their roots back to Azerbaijan relates to this temple. Entrance costs 4 manats.

It are many historical sightseeing attractions in Sheki. Sheki Khan’s Winter Palace, Mirza Fatali Akhundov House Museum, Rashid Bey Efendiyev House Museum and Sabit Rahman House Museum are some of the places you should visit. See also the Friday Mosque, an 18th-century legacy. 

Walk to the hillside war memorial for a better view of Sheki.

Those with time can add the city of Kish, built between mountains and forested valleys, and its attraction, the lush Garden of Eden, to the list of places to visit in Sheki. span>

Lahic is a unique village that has managed to keep its old historical look and you can hear the voices of the old workshops producing handicraft products, if you walk the streets. I lived well from Sheki to Ismailli
and from there to Lahij. With its stone houses and streets, neat architecture, polite and friendly people, this is a city that should be on the list of places to visit in Azerbaijan.

At 1,505 meters above sea level on the southern slope of Azerbaijan Azerbaijan. the ridge of the Greater Caucasus, Lahij is a city that has become famous in a few centuries thanks to the masterpieces of skilled craftsmen.

 Up until the 19th century, merchants from many parts of the world would visit this city to buy the impressive copper products made by the Lahitian masters. Until modern mass production emerged. After the masters migrated to the great cities to earn a living, this art has been almost forgotten here.

Lahiy, one of the oldest settlements in Azerbaijan, has been trying to revitalize its historical and cultural reserve since 1980. The craft was revived in
. Of course,
 the work done is not the same as it used to be, but the most important thing is that the local people have already managed to keep all the secrets and peculiarities of the old craft.

There are families that pass this tradition on from father to son.

The city that has managed to remain unchanged as it was in the past For centuries, it’s like an open-air living museum Crafts such as copper, leather and carpets thrive in the city, with the only difference being that today the main customers are tourists rather than merchants. Locals sell a wide range of spices and herbs from their small shops on the cobbled streets. In many ways I would have preferred to stay at least 1 night in this unique mountain town, but unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to stay, now for another visit.

Kebele (or Gabala) is a city northwest of Baku, 3 hours from the capital, which was the capital of the former Caucasian Albanian state for 6 centuries. Although very little remains of the ancient capital’s ruins, its location in the middle of the 2,500-year-old Silk Road has made the city a popular and important crossroads between Europe and Asia.

Today, as In the In the past, Kebele was a magnet for local and international events. It can be said that it is the second most popular
destination in Azerbaijan after Baku. Numerous conferences and political summits take place in the city’s 5-star hotels.

It offers beautiful views of the densely forested mountains that surround the city, with a river running in front of it. There are many world-class hotels and resorts.

Nic Village is a small town where I stopped on my way from Sheki before reaching Qabala. When I visited the Alban Church Museum in the village of Kish in Sheki, the director recommended that I walk through this village. I have not seen a city center full of hazelnut trees.

I visited two Albanian churches in town. Both churches are on the road to Nic town. If you are interested in historical sites go, but the place that caught my eye was the Udi quarry in Azerbaijan. .

Azerbaijani Udi Quarry is a museum, restaurant and hotel complex that showcases the heritage and traditions of the Udis, the indigenous people of the Caucasus. The Udis are a people of about 10,000 people currently scattered in
countries such as Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

They were one of the 26 ethnic communities that formed the historical Albanian state.

They speak the Udi language and belong to the Christian religion. This city preserves its language and traditions and has a deep-rooted history. Only 4,000 of the Udis live in the town of Nic. Worth seeing is a 250 year old house in the Udi quarry, preserved as well as many belongings of an old Udil.

The house where the sister lives, who is a hairdresser and seamstress, has great ethnographic value.

In Hogar Udi there are hotel rooms with very different concepts. Some of them have been designed as small bungalows, while others have been designed as houses for 10-15 people. I didn’t stay, but it can also be called a delicious accommodation option. It would be a delicious option for families with children in contact with nature.

Çukur Gebele is located 15 km southwest of today’s Gebele Region, in the region between the Karaçay and Covurluçay rivers. Here you will see the old settlements and castle walls that are left of the historic Albanian state. It consists of 2 different hills and 2 nearby castle fortresses. Excavations unearthed from the excavations are on display at the nearby Archaeological Museum.

The

Gabala Shooting Center is a shooting range that you can visit on the way to Sheki or back. If you’ve never fired a gun, shotgun, or arrows in your life, this might be a place to break new ground. This is a professional facility.

Athletes who come from many parts of the world to this largest and most modern shooting range in the Caucasus are preparing for shooting. Traditional shooting sport events take place here every year.

 There is a hotel where you can stay and also a restaurant. Shooting arrows costs 1 manat and a 16-round rifle costs 5 manats.

Tufandağ , With a height of 4,191 meters, it is one of the highest mountains in Azerbaijan. The Tufandağ ski resort in Tufandag is one of the leading ski resorts in the Caucasus. It serves up to 3,000 people daily.

This is the heart of winter tourism in Azerbaijan. It has a 17-kilometer ski slope. Tufandag Mountain Resort Hotel is one of the best hotels in the region. A must in winter.  I couldn’t go due to lack of time.

Gabaland is an establishment belonging to the Qafqaz Riverside Resort Hotel where I stayed. The largest open-air amusement park in Azerbaijan. It’s a fun place like amusement park for families with kids. There is a fish and meat restaurant called Caspian Fish Evi.

Shamakhi is an Azerbaijani city that was the capital of Shirvanshahs state for several centuries.

The historical past of Shamakhi, which has a rich nature, is very old. One of the first mosques in the Caucasus, the Friday Mosque with a double minaret (743), the tomb of Shahi Handan (18th century), XV), the tomb of Pirmerdekan (13th-14th centuries), the ruins of Gulistan Castle (11th-12th centuries) are among the sights.

Meysari Village

span> It is one of the most interesting places in Shamakhi. The name of the village, famous for its vineyards, located 2 hours from
Baku, comes from the name given to the strongest left wing of the army under the Seljuks. It is believed that the city’s name came from here, since the soldiers of the Seljuk army settled in this region.

Shirvan Wines in the village is one of the newest wine producers in Azerbaijan. There are currently only three types of wine made from a blend of French varietals, but I’m told the range will be expanded once the newly planted Caucasian seedlings are mature. The grapes from its vineyards are harvested by hand and 100% organic wine is produced. 3 red, 2 white and 1 rosé wine are produced.

The Abqora
Restaurant, with its Mediterranean architecture reminiscent of Tuscany, is a 200-seat restaurant, where Şirvan Wines offers its guests the most exclusive flavors and wines.

If you are traveling from Baku to Ismayilli, Gebele, Sheki or Ağsu, you can add Meysari as a stopover to your route.

Sakitgöl is one of the most popular summer resorts in the region. There is also a lakeside hotel built by Italian architects in harmony with nature. Unfortunately I didn’t get through here. You might want to go.

What to eat in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has a very rich and delicious cuisine.

You don’t have to go hungry in Azerbaijan! Even I, who don’t like to eat and drink that much, whetted my appetite for Azerbaijani dishes. Meat specialties are already very famous, because you can really feel it we forgot. Stuffed, wraps and pilaf are like miss.

Meat dishes have an important place in Azerbaijani cuisine.

Fish from the Caspian Sea also attract attention. The meat is usually eaten in the form of a doner kebab. The best known are Piti soup and Lüle doner kebab . I ate the famous piti soup at Sheki’s. Chickpeas and tail are made from fatty meat.

have never eaten lard in my life, but I ate it in Sheki and tried it.

One of the most famous Azerbaijan dishes is Shah Pilaf. This dish of rice, lamb, dried apricots, prunes, chestnuts and raisins is the staple of Azerbaijani cuisine. Mrs. Şems, one of the managers of the Park Inn By Radisson Baku hotel, prepared it especially for me.

I can’t thank you enough. On the first day of my trip to Azerbaijan, I had the opportunity to learn about and taste the most delicious dishes of the country’s cuisine.

Dusbere , which consists of tiny ravioli stuffed with beef or lamb, is another popular flavor of Azerbaijani cuisine. It is eaten with garlic and vinegar sauce. Another favorite dish is the pistachio leaf wrap , which uses pistachio leaves instead of vine leaves.

Where to stay in Azerbaijan

Park Inn by Radisson Baku Hotel (★★★★★), one of the best hotels in the city, I stayed 3 nights in the hotel. Centrally located 10 minutes walk from Baku Icherisehir. There is a large shopping center in front of the hotel. A 100-year-old promenade that runs along the beach in front of the hotel invites you to take an evening stroll. The rooms are spacious and modern.

From the front desk to all the staff in the cafeteria and restaurant, they are very friendly and professional. The hotel restaurant prepares delicious local Azerbaijani food, everything was amazing! The cleaning of the rooms is excellent, I paid special attention to that. A good option for accommodation and meals.

The Four Seasons Hotel Baku (★ ★ ★ ★ ★) occupies a magnificent French-inspired building characterized by ornate Gothic architecture Adornments and Renaissance Elements, just steps from downtown.

I had the opportunity to stay 2 days. One of the best hotels in Baku. The French balcony of my deluxe Caspian Sea view room I stayed in overlooked the endless Caspian Sea Sea.

The bathroom in the room is one of the most perfect hotel bathrooms I have ever seen. In the boutique design, the toilet, shower and bathtub are spatially separated.

There is a TV on the glass in the bathroom, you can dim the lights and watch TV from the bathtub. With standard Four Season amenities, your great bed is incredibly cozy and comfortable.  It has a large indoor pool, the SPA is very good.

Breakfast was very varied and elegant, served a la carte. The hotel staff is extremely courteous and helpful, just like a classic Four Season.

Hilton Baku (★★★★★) is a clean and comfortable hotel right in the center of the city, within walking distance from popular streets. I stayed here for 2 nights when I first came to Baku. When I opened the curtains in my room on the 20th floor, which I entered after midnight, the brilliant view of Baku was magnificent.

The rooms are very clean and comfortable. The in-room WiFi service worked seamlessly and was incredibly fast.

Whether you are staying at the hotel or not, be sure to visit the rooftop bar on the terrace. Panoramic views of all of Baku beneath your feet. There are rotating seating areas separated by privacy screens-in-glass to survive Baku’s strong winds.

Qafqaz Riverside Resort Hotel (★★★★★) is one of the famous hotels in Gabala region, where I stayed on the way back from Sheki. I had a room with a wonderful view of the forest and mountains.

Due to the end of September and the pandemic, the hotel was very quiet. It has all the beliefs of large 5-star hotels. All the staff compete for the best service. The breakfast is very good and varied . In the evening there was a dinner with live music, but I couldn’t go because I was busy exploring the geography.

The Gabaland theme park right next to the hotel offers many activities for travelers with children.

The Old Town Sheki Boutique Hotel is the place to visit I I found my car in the hotel parking lot while looking at many places when wondering where to stay in Sheki but I did fine. I enjoyed my 2 night stay. I already like possible boutique hotel concepts, this one has become a place to stay in peace.

An old historic stone building, inside it’s like a museum, you can feel the spirit of building

The rooms are spacious with very high ceilings. The decoration is simple. The best thing about the hotel is the very pleasant courtyard. There was live music every night.  ; ;Mostly Turkish songs were sung.

 Breakfast was good. I also had dinner here. Food was delicious, prices were reasonable. If I come back to Sheki, I will stay here again.

Where is Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is a Caucasian country neighboring Turkey’s eastern borders. More than 50% of Azerbaijan, which forms a transition area between the Anatolian and Caucasian mountain systems, is mountainous. To the west of Azerbaijan is Armenia, which cuts the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan like a wedge.

In the east of Azerbaijan lies the Caspian Sea, which gives life to Azerbaijan. It has a short border with Turkey in the southwest. In the south, it borders with Iranian Azerbaijan. The Aras river defines its border with Iran. It is bordered by Dagestan, which is part of the Russian Federation in the north, and Georgia in the northwest.

How to get to Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan used to require a visa, the visa was obtained at the gate. The bilateral agreement allows citizens of the Republic of Turkey to travel to Azerbaijan visa-free for 90 days with their new chip ID cards, with no passport required. Don’t forget to pay 50 TL as international exit fee.

Negative PCR and vaccination card are required to enter the country. Entry and exit stamps
are printed on the bilingual “Entry and Exit Form” upon departure from Turkey.

Do not lose this card. If you are traveling to the country with an ID card, please have another ID card with your photo ready. You may need it if you lose your identity.

Azerbaijan visa and how to get to Baku There is more detailed information about visa and how to get to Azerbaijan in my blog posts. If you intend to stay in Azerbaijan for more than 15 days, you must complete the address declaration obligation in time.

It is mandatory to submit an address declaration to the Azerbaijan State Migration Service. Your information about this can be obtained from the hotel you are staying in.

Turkish Airlines, Pegasus, Azerbaijan Airlines (Azal ) and Buta fly direct from Turkey to Baku. I flew from Izmir to Baku with Pegasus, and on the way back I took Buta, Azerbaijan’s low-budget airline. The flight Izmir-Baku lasted 2.

5 hours.

If you buy the tickets early, you have a chance to get a cheap ticket from Buta, but they even charge money for hand luggage. Therefore, like me, you can choose the ticket with 10 kg.

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