Welcome to Azerbaijan! The country of fire, stunning nature, ancient and modern cities, hospitable people and great cuisine. Azerbaijan is the biggest country is the South Caucasus, situated between the Caucasus Mountains and Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is Pearl of the Caucasus. The country of colors, contrasts and flavors will blow your mind, you will love it at the first sight!
Let’s begin with the capital city – Baku. Baku is the biggest city in the Caucasus, this city is so unique and so interesting: modern high technology architecture alongside with the oldest buildings and soviet visuals. There are lots of malls, restaurants and entertainment places in the city, the most interesting part is the old city Baku is called Icheri Sheher, this area is among the World Heritage Sites by Unesco, here you can see the most beautiful Shirvanshah’s Palace, Maidan Tower and Juma Mosque. Baku is full of surprises near the old town and narrow streets you can suddenly find “Little Venice”, dancing fountains, parks and squares.
Azebaijan is a very old area, it was populated from the ancient times, and Archaeologists have found caves and tools dating back 1.5 million years. In Azerbaijan you can explore the most unique sights in the world, for example Gobustan National Park, which perceives 40 000 years of rock drawing and reflects the lifestyle, imagination, traditions and rituals of the ancient people. This place is full of mud volcanoes, mud is thought to have medicinal qualities, so tourists enjoy this place very much. So in Azerbaijan you can travel I time and space and immerse yourself in ancient times.
Azerbaijan has literary everything: amazing mountainous nature, sea and of course oil. The Petroleum industry is the most important for the whole country economically and of course historically, even tourist the main attractions are connected with oil and natural gas phenomena.
Because of natural burning gas, Azerbaijan was the best place for Zoroastrian worshippers, as fire is the light of God and the most important symbol of Zoroastrians, they come to Azerbaijan because of it and these natural flames where signs of God for them. Zoroastrian worshippers left some very important landmarks in the country, for example Ateshgah Temple of fire or Yanar Dag - burning mountain which seemed to be worshipping place too. Now these places are the most visitable places near Baku, just imagine mountain burning already 4 000 years despite snow, wild or rain, very impressive!
What else? Ancient city Gabala, Shamakhi, Sheki, Lankaran all these cities are so interesting and beautiful. There are lots of Word Heritage sites by UNESCO in Azerbaijan, imagine how amazing this destination is, it’s only one and unique, enjoy!
The easiest and the most comfortable way to get to Azerbaijan is by plane. Direct flights to Azerbaijan are carried out by such companies as Azerbaijan Airlines, Aeroflot, UTair, S7 Airlines, Qatar Airways, AirBaltic, Turkish Airlines, Air Astana and others. You can check tickets and schedule on their official websites.
Today it is possible to use such routes as the Tbilisi-Baku, Baku-Tumen, Rostov-Baku, Baku-Kharkov, etc. More information about the directions and the train schedule is available at www.railway.gov.az. Trains and local trains are too slow, therefore road transport is preferred for travel within the country.
The first thing you should pay attention to the ideal quality of route to the airport, and the two sided highway! So get stuck in traffic on the way to the plane is unlikely. You will spend on average 25-30 minutes to get from the centre of Baku to airport, a taxi costs 20-25 euros. Often the autobahn to airport is the only thing that post-Soviet country can boast, but this is not about Azerbaijan, where the development of transport infrastructure — this is one of the most important national priorities. Excellent roads with a perfect coating and markings are directed to all major cities and tourist centres, so travel around the country is a pleasure. You can travel between Baku and regions of Azerbaijan on buses and minibuses. That’s about the fare on the bus from Baku to Zagatala (7 euros), Shaki (5 euros) Lahij (4 euros).
Moreover, you can cross the border of Azerbaijan with Russia, Georgia, Iran and Turkey by personal vehicle.
It is easy to travel across Azerbaijan by car provided that you hold an international driver’s license. The country has well-maintained roads in the capital, as well as intercity highways connecting Baku with regional cities, towns and villages, settlements, air and marine ports, railway stations, natural reserves, tourist recreation zones, and international border entry points.
Tourist visas can be obtained from Azerbaijani embassies around the world or through electronic visa online without going to any embassy. Starting from March 15, 2013 new procedure of tourist e-visa system has been implementing in Azerbaijan to provide the execution of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated November 20, 2012 ”On the facilitation of visa procedures for foreigners and stateless persons, traveling to the Republic of Azerbaijan”. With an aim to attract more tourists from all over the world, this new system is designed to transfer all visa applications to the electronic context which is very cheap, fast and easy. The visitors need to upload all necessary documents to www.evisa.com.az. After the relevant documents are prepared the www.evisa.com.az apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for e-visa. When confirmed by MFA, e-visa is forwarded to visitors in electronic format. Henceforth, visitors just need to print out the e-visa and are free to visit the country via any modes of entry (by air, on land, by sea, etc.)