For millennia, Azerbaijan has been at the crossroads of history. Dating back 5,000 years, it has developed a composite culture that has evolved with the passing of travellers along the Silk Road. From the latest cultural experiences to traditions that haven’t changed in millennia, every corner of Azerbaijan reflects the influence of all the artists that have passed through it.
The collections at the Heydar Aliyev Centre and Yarat Contemporary Art Centre show the incredible diversity and energy of Azerbaijani art today. With Instagram-worthy memories and moments, an extraordinary range of destinations and a gastronomic adventure, Azerbaijan promises unforgettable experiences for any kind of holiday, for every kind of traveller.
The diversity of Azerbaijan’s geography offers travellers several possibilities throughout the year. Bordering Russia and Georgia, with a stunning coastline along the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is easily accessible from Europe, the Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia. Amburan’s beaches boast some of the best resorts with splendid views of the Caspian, while water sports enthusiasts must head out to Shurabaad, which offers perfect conditions for novice kite-surfers to raise their game, before venturing out into the open Caspian Sea.
City slickers will find plenty to amuse themselves within the capital, Baku. An open-air museum, it is also home to a fairly challenging, but immensely enjoyable Golf Course close to the city centre. Serious golfers would enjoy a trip out to Quba to play on the National Federation Golf Course, which also packs in breathtaking mountain views.
The mountains, particularly around the Qakh and Ilisu villages, are perfect for hiking and spoil the traveller with photogenic ramparts, amazing viewpoints and spectacular waterfalls. For an endless, expansive snowy vista, Shahdag and Tufandag are well-equipped with luxurious amenities and friendly teachers to welcome guests to their stunning ski slopes. A trip to Azerbaijan would not be complete without a visit to the iconic Yanar Dag, a hill of fire that has been blazing with a 10-metre wall of flames for centuries.
Feast for the Senses
Azerbaijan’s unique geography and location have resulted in it developing a specific cuisine that is influenced by the variety of its local produce and ingredients and by the details of the people that have passed through it. The country’s favourite dish, Plov, is rice served with meat, fish or even fruit and even has an international Plov Festival dedicated to it.
The country’s most famous fish is the Beluga sturgeon. It comes as no surprise that Beluga caviar is now one of the world’s most expensive delicacies. The ultimate way to experience traditional Azerbaijani food is at a caravanserai. These were the hotels of the medieval merchants travelling on the Silk Road, and now offer sumptuous banquets.
Along with food, fashion and music are also constantly celebrated in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis have an exquisite taste in fashion, placing the country at the forefront of contemporary chic with its seventh fashion week season.