Advertorial: Azerbaijan – an ideal vacation destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts

On a trip through Azerbaijan you will get to know not only cultural highlights such as mosques and monasteries and winding old towns, but also the great nature of the country. You can discover it especially well when you are active in it. We present you the top five outdoor activities in Azerbaijan.

1. Hiking in the incomparable mountain world

The mountains make up almost 60 percent of Azerbaijan’s total area. Unforgettable moments can be experienced while hiking through the breathtaking landscape and stopping in timeless rural villages to observe the life of the locals. There are many popular marked hiking trails in the Greater and Lesser Caucasus and some in the Talish Mountains.

For example on the almost ten kilometer long “Azgili-Chiragli Trail”. From this hiking trail, which connects the regions of Goygol and Dashkasan, you have a magnificent view of the mountains of Kapaz and Goshgar, as well as the Murov Mountains. The route leads over bare hilltops and through sparse forest.

You can also hike in the Candy Cane Mountains, the “candy cane mountains”. The red, orange, pink and chalk colored swirls inspired British travel writer Mark Elliott to give them this name. The amazing colors are said to be due to the ground water that has changed the oxidation state of the iron compounds in the rock. If you take an organized hike here, which can be booked through tour operators in Baku and preferably takes place in autumn or spring, you should take a look at the ground beneath your feet: You may discover tiny fossils and maybe even an octopus-like belemnite from the Cretaceous period.

Or discover the secrets of Beshbarmag Mountain, located an hour’s drive northwest of Baku. The 382 meter high mountain owes its name to its bizarre shape: Beshbarmag means “five-finger mountain”. Legend has it that at some point in the past, a prophet named Khidr ventured here in search of a “potion of life” and gained immortality by drinking from a spring on the summit. Today the mountain is shrouded in mystery, and locals come here to pray for strength and good fortune. As a tourist, it is worth climbing the mountain not only to witness a series of ancient spiritual rituals, but also for the fantastic view of the Caspian Sea that you can enjoy from the summit. In addition, the area is also one of Azerbaijan’s best birding spots, as the corridor between the mountains and the sea serves as a bottleneck for hundreds of migratory bird species.

2. Experience the mountain scenery of Sheki on horseback

Sheki is known for its historical monuments – the center with the Khan Palace is a Unesco World Heritage Site – and breathtaking nature, but you can also enjoy active recreation here. One of the most unforgettable and interesting adventures is climbing the magnificent Caucasus Mountains on horseback. Starting from the Kish Adasi restaurant and recreation center near the historic village of Kish, there are horseback riding routes in different directions where you can experience the spectacular nature and history of the region.

On the way through the mountains you can not only admire the beautiful scenery, but also pass local sights such as the Gelersen-Gorersen fortress, the palace of Sheki Khan, the Khan plateau, the Gaynar waterfall and the village of Bash Kungut. Before you start, you will receive a short briefing under the guidance of experienced instructors. For those who don’t want to go that far, the recreation center also offers easy horseback riding. For more information about the tours, contact Sheki Destination Management Organization (email to sheki(at)

3. Sport shooting with Caucasus scenery

Gabala Shooting Club, a shooting center in the village of Bum, offers first-class facilities – stages of the Shooting World Cup were held here between 2014 and 2016 – and incomparable shooting experiences against the backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains. With its cottages and an excellent restaurant, the center is also suitable for tourists who simply want to relax in the beautiful nature.

The shooting club is part of the Gabala Sports Club, a broader, state-of-the-art training facility for Azerbaijan’s national teams in shooting, boxing, karate, taekwondo, soccer and judo.

4. Active vacation in Shahdag Mountain Resort

Shahdag Mountain Resort in the northern region of Gusar was opened in 2012 as the first ski resort in Azerbaijan. Since then, it has become an excellent all-round tourist center with a wide range of activities both in winter and in summer. One of the most exciting attractions, open in all seasons, is the new Alpine Coaster – the only mountain roller coaster in the Caucasus.

The roller coaster is 1.430 meters above sea level and has a 1.670 meters long track with nine exciting curves. Adrenaline addicts here have a unique opportunity to experience the breathtaking mountain scenery, snow-covered in winter and perfectly green in summer, while whizzing down at 42 kilometers per hour. The 50 sledges installed on the attraction can be used by 300 to 350 people per hour.

Tickets for the ride can be purchased at Shahdag Hotel& Spa and Zirve can be purchased. Before using the attraction, which is accessible to children over the age of three, the staff will familiarize you with the safety rules.

In the Shahdag Mountains in the summer there will also be a variety of activities such as off-road tours, horseback riding and excursions by quad bike, scooter and bob kart. In the near future, a water slide, paintball, zip-lining and a play park for children will complete the offer.

5. Runaway Houses

You can relax in nature by hiking and camping in different parts of the country. However, if these activities are too strenuous for you and you just want to take a small bag and make a trip to be alone with nature, there are several great regions to visit.

In the Ismayilli region you will find the conditions of modern hotels in cabins in remote corners of nature. All you have to do is turn off your cell phone, stay away from social media and immerse yourself in nature. Both the natural environment and the opportunities it offers are ideal for unwinding and strengthening the bond with your vacation companions. You can gather around the fire to cook or warm up and meet with your loved ones.

Another place where you can spend a few days surrounded by nature is the village of Vandam in the Gabala region. Here, in a wooded area surrounded by houses with A-shaped roofs, you will feel like you are in another world. Hearing the sounds of nature and feeling its spirit, soaking up the sun’s rays on the terrace and conversations around the campfire are just some of the things that will draw you here.

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