Dramatically located on Silk route, Azerbaijan- ‘The Land of Fire’, has been a host to many caravanserais in the past and many explorers today who have unleashed their curious cans. With every bunch of cavalcade who left their imprints on this land, have today created a community of contrasts and contradictions. Already a host to Formula 1 and Europa League Football Azerbaijan is also breathtaking landscapes with a vertical of a metropolitan city rising from the Caspian Sea. The UNESCO listed the capital city of Baku that dazzles with 21st-century architecture. The Great Caucasus Mountains lap many rural villages. Easy visa processes, budget hotel and hair-raising natural beauty- all these magnets have been attracting a good amount of tourists over the years.
Baku, the capital and the largest city of Azerbaijan narrates chronicles of the Soviet era. Its narrow alleys making their way along world-class promenades and modern architectured buildings will surely make your visit memorable. History of Azerbaijan rests in the Palace of Shirvanshahs whereas Maiden Tower stands high to give you a panoramic Baku. Local food and international cuisines at restaurants await to relish their visitors. Sheki is the loveliest town of Azerbaijan and has a UNESCO listed tag to its kitty. Azure tiled palace of the King makes it a delight to visit this mini fairyland. Green patios densely ornate this town of a painter’s canvas.
Nakhchivan is the most loved city for its neatness and free visit to numerous museums. This historical capital embeds heavily historical monuments, endless deserts, lakes dotted with grasslands and villages sitting in rugged mountains. Nakhchivan hosts cultural pluralism and food tourism. The prominent Machu Pichu of Azerbaijan is Alinja Castle that tracks up to 1500 m on a cragged mountain range. Exceptionally restored for its visitors, Alinja Castle is bound to attract huge bundles of visitors. Xinaliq is Europe’s highest village. Retaining numerous stone houses stepping up the terrace farms makes this site scenicly blessed. Clouds hovering over the Caucasus tips makes the view breathtaking and extremely magical. Your way to Xinaliq will be hypnotizing with flocks of mountain sheep grazing the lush green chunks of this part of the land. Nights are chilly so layers of warmers will protect you.
The epic Archeological Reserve site near Baku is the Gobustan Petroglyph Reserve. Proudly carrying the UNESCO tag, this site carries snippets of the ancient civilization with carvings on rocks. These ancient doodles are based on wild animals or livestock themes. Once you reach the top of this site, not only historical significance but Gobustan is a scenic treat. Lahic is a Persian highland village where local smiths rest. Weekends are lively here and English speaking becomes a trend when visitors are sighted. Lahic is a good start point for trekking while sharing some words with locals.
The Atesgah Fire Temple is a must-visit for its significance of being nominated UNESCO World Heritage site. With dragon-like fire oozing out from the core of a four-pillared structure right in the centre of this site, Atesgah- The Temple of Fire was built by Indian traders. Invocations of Hindu religious scripts and Adi Granth of Sikhs, this site has natural fire that believed to be a Zorastrian belief of worship.
Azerbaijan has a lot to offer and wholeheartedly unfold its mysteries to its visitors.
I don’t think there is anything that can stop you from travelling to this country of wonders.