Azerbaijan is becoming one of the popular tourist destinations

BakuOldCityLand of Fire becomes attractive destination for travelers.

Azerbaijan, a South Caucasus country located at the junction of the two world civilizations, is becoming one of the popular tourist destinations of the region.

The land rich with historical, cultural and natural heritage attracts visitors from all over the world. Untouched nature, mineral springs, the world’s only oil field treatment – naphthalene, a unique ancient architecture, unique culture, cuisine, and many more enable Azerbaijan to create all types of tourism, including business, sport, medical, cognitive, hunting, exotic, beach and even gastronomic.

With its towering Caucasus ranges, fertile valleys, thick forests and beautiful Caspian Sea coast, Azerbaijan is home to a remarkable natural diversity. Huge part of Azerbaijan’s territory is preserved as national parks and reserves, ranging from desert to highlands, to rolling fertile valleys, and marshlands. These landscapes offer a range of unusual flora and fauna, including ancient mountain villages.

In addition to the natural and rural attractions, Azerbaijan has a rich cuisine, changing from region to region. ‘Tasting’ Azerbaijan means enjoying juicy apples, pomegranates, grilled meats, kabab, dolma, bozbash, all perfumed with the herbs of untouched woodlands and the spices of the Silk Road.

There are ample of things to do in Azerbaijan, be it exploring the country on a horse back or simply savoring the delicious cuisine. The country offers something for every traveler. History lovers can see Gala Fortress, Gobustan, Icherisheher, etc. Adventure seekers can indulge in hiking, horse-riding hunting, etc in Guba, Shamakhi, Lankaran and other regions, or check out the nightlife of Baku.

The modern face of the city is of equal interest for the visitors. Buildings of Flame Towers, the sport and entertainment complex Crystal Hall which held a Eurovision contest in 2012, the cultural center of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and others are the unique characters symbolizing Baku.

A favorite place for walks for residents and guests of the capital remains transformed and shining by neon lights city Seaside park (Boulevard).

The flow of tourists is increasing every year, so in the capital and other tourist areas there is growing number of hotels with the highest level of service.

One of Azerbaijan’s strongest assets for tourism development is its service culture – Azerbaijanis are famous for their hospitality. This culture is best reflected in the hotel and restaurant sectors.

Last year, 35 hotels were built in the country, while 25 are under construction. In general, there are more than 500 hotels in Azerbaijan.

In 10 years, foreign tourists in Azerbaijan will spend $6 billion a year, according to the report of the World Travel & Tourism Council, WTTC.

The report says that in 2016 the tourism industry of Azerbaijan provided 2.285 billion manats ($1.437 billion) or 4.1 percent of the country’s GDP.

The WTTC forecasts says that in 2017 tourism will provide 7 percent or 2.446 billion manat of GDP, in 2017-2027 the sector’s share will grow by 6.5 percent to 4.581 billion manats ($2.881 billion) or 5.9 percet of GDP.

In 2016, some 479.5 million was invested in the tourism sector of Azerbaijan, according to the report, which predicts growth by 6.2 percent in 2017, and by 4.9 percent in the next 10 years.

In connection with March holiday – Novruz Bayram, a large number of tourists came to Azerbaijan mainly from Iran, Russia and Arab countries who spent more than a week in the country.

By Aminda Nazarli




Shamakhi Will Turn into The Tourism Hub


Shamakhi, the ancient capital of Azerbaijan located 122 km from Baku, will turn into the tourism hub, as the city will enjoy new tourism facilities soon.

This statement was made by President of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan SOCAR Rovnag Abdullayev at the meeting with local businessmen, representatives of executive authorities and municipalities.

Hailing the contraction and overhaul works carried out here and amazing nature of the region, Abdullayev said that Shamakhi enjoys every opportunity for the tourism development.

SOCAR’s president said, taking into account each region’s economic potential and employment figures, the government have prepaid more than 150 investments projects amounting to 1.5 billion manats (about $95 million) for the upcoming years.

He noted that these measures are targeting to neutralize the possible negative impact of the global crisis and unstable trend in the world’s economy on Azerbaijan’s economy.

The history of Shamakhi, which is replete with shady forests and green meadows, dates back to the 5th century BC.

The city has a rich heritage, providing the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence. For centuries, Shamakhi was one of Azerbaijan’s most prominent cities, an important cultural and trading centre and the royal seat of the Shirvanshahs (9th to 18th centuries). Furthermore, it is known as the root of Azerbaijani literature.

Today, the city is well known for wine-making and carpet weaving. To meet craftsmen, weaving famous carpets such as “Shirvan”, “Gobustan”, “Shamakhi”, “Israfil” and “Ardzhiman” tourists can visit village of Jangi.

Exceptional and flamboyant nature and mild climate adorn the city and its suburbs, having all the conditions for skiing in winter and horseback riding in summer.

Shamakhi is interesting not only for its rich nature, but also ancient history. Despite the numerous earthquakes in the region, Shamakhi still preserved many historical monuments.

The “must see” attractions in Shamakhi are Juma mosque with its two minarets built in the 10th century, the mausoleum of Shahihandan and Diri-Baba, the tomb of the Shirvan Khans, the ruins of the Gulistan citadel and the Gala-Bugurt fortress.

One of the most renowned places in the city is the Juma Mosque also called the Friday Mosque of Shamakhi that dates back to 734-744. Considered the landmark of Shamakhi, it is the only building that withstood giant earthquakes.

Another picturesque area of the city is “Girkh-Bulag”(forty springs), well-known for its impressive springs. To protect the beautiful nature of the region a reserve “Pirkuli” covering 1,521 hectares was established.

The largest astrophysical observatory in Azerbaijan and the whole Caucasus is also located in Pirkuli, Shamakhi. The observatory named after famous Azerbaijani architect, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher Nasreddin Tusi is equipped with modern facilities and one of the largest in the CIS telescope with a mirror diameter of 2 meters.

By Amina Nazarli