Welcome to Azerbaijan! This is the Land of Fire and the Pearl of the Caucasus, a land where eastern colours combine magnificently with western progress. Azerbaijan is a country of unique nature, unmatched culture, centuries of history with its customs and traditions and fine cuisine; a place which will satisfy the expectations of the most sophisticated gastronomists, and finally, it is the country of Caucasian hospitality and friendliness.
Azerbaijan is situated at the eastern side of the Transcaucasia (or South Caucasus) on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The population of Azerbaijan exceeds 9.8 million and the territory covers an area of 86 600 square kilometers.
The City of Baku is the capital and the country’s largest city. The National language here is Azerbaijani. However, Russian is also widely used and many younger residents also speak English.
Azerbaijan is often referred to as the “Land of Fire”. It is known that the majority of those residing on this territory before the Common Era were fire worshippers. Since then, the country has preserved the ancient evidence of that era: cave paintings, statues of gods and ancient temples. Two of the most vivid examples of this heritage are the temple of fire-worshippers (“Ateshgah”) at Surakhani near Baku and “Yanardag”, translated as the “burning mountain”. According to legend, “Ateshgah” temple was built by Indian fire worshippers, who arrived here after learning about the eternally burning fire, emitted from the ground, and were so amazed by what they had seen, that they decided to build a temple on this very place. These lands were considered to be sacred for centuries and throughout history were worshipped by the followers of Zoroastrianism, Hinduism and Sikhism.
Azerbaijan is the West in the East and the East in the West! Welcome!
When to go
Azerbaijan is a great place to visit in any season and visitors are welcome year round. The country has nine of the world’s eleven climate zones and offers a different experience to tourists. But each of the seasons, of course, has its own unique colours and features. Which of them will bring you more pleasure can be found only through personal acquaintance with Azerbaijan’s amazingly beautiful nature, the Caspian coast, ancient history and our cultural traditions. We hope that the information we provide in this section will help you choose the best time to visit our country.
The recreation and entertainment zones located in Azerbaijan along the Caspian coast, our delightful forests and stunning mountains will deliver an unforgettable experience to all those who love the sun, sea and sand, picnics and walks along forest trails, swimming under cool waterfalls and horseback riding. Many tourist regions of Azerbaijan also have numerous natural springs with thermal and mineral waters which offer high therapeutic value.
One of the main features of the summer season is the abundance, range and local varieties of fresh vegetables and fruit in Azerbaijan.
Calm, sunny days, a warm sea and verdant forests, parks and gardens which begin to change colour in late October – it’s a real pleasure to spend autumn in Azerbaijan! A stay here will be filled with beautiful experiences without worrying about the weather which can often spoil your vacation in other countries.
Autumn in Azerbaijan – what could be more tempting for those who admire the generous gifts of Mother Nature! In place of the summer figs, watermelon, walnuts and quince come persimmons and pomegranates. This is the time when autumnal fruits ripen with their amazing colourful and tasty offerings; succulent fruits – heavy and juicy.
Every year, more and more foreign tourists who chose to visit Azerbaijan in December flock to the historic area of Sheki where, at the end of the year, unique equestrian events and competitions are held. One of the most popular of these is Chovgan – an ancient Azerbaijani version of polo. Judging by the interest shown in these tournaments across of the country, we are clearly seeing a revival on a national level of this elite game – the royal, noble, eastern version of polo.
Winter in Azerbaijan is a lovely season for lovers of local food and Azerbaijani culinary surprises.
The main and the most spectacular season, which can be enjoyed by everyone who visits Azerbaijan in Spring, is the annual Novruz holiday – the symbol of nature’s rebirth. Every year prior to March 21 all Azerbaijanis enjoy the run up to this ancient national holiday by preparing for it for four weeks. A number of holiday traditions and rituals of Novruz holiday will surprise and delight foreigners throughout the whole of March. Many people specifically travel to the regions, for example to Yukhari Salahli village, where they can witness classic rituals and traditions, just as in times gone by. During the celebration of the Novruz holiday in Azerbaijan, families and friends visit each other’s homes, exchanging gifts and the many sweets lovingly prepared at home.