Azerbaijan – Land Of Fire, A Crossroad of Asia, Middle East & Europe

Neither Europe nor Asia, Azerbaijan is an incredible tangle of contradictions and contrasts. It’s a fascinating nexus of ancient historical empires. Yet it’s also a new nation finding its feet as it emerges from a war-torn post-Soviet chrysalis on a petroleum-funded gust of optimism. Surrounded by semi-desert on the oil-rich Caspian Sea, the nation’s cosmopolitan capital, Baku, is a dynamic boomtown, where flashy limousines and mushrooming skyscrapers sweep around a picturesque Unesco-listed ancient core. In order to get to know and understand Azerbaijanis, you have to go back in time and understand their roots. Monuments of age-old architecture, mighty temples and magic mosques, ancient houses, build by architects from Azerbaijan and all over the world, cave paintings by the first humans on Earth, temples of ancient deities and many more, will amaze any guest and make him fall in love forever with the beautiful Land of Fire.

The nature of Azerbaijan – partly wild and deserted and partly covered with the remains of ancient forests, is a never-ending marvel for any traveler. The flora of Azerbaijan is exceptionally rich. It brings to mind a large national carpet, thanks to its brightness and the variety of rich colors. The terrain of Azerbaijan is densely carved by many rivers and mountain streams, some of which form noisy waterfalls, echoing deep into the mountains.
Going on vacation with children is a very demanding affair, because little travelers can easily get bored traveling with parents and their friends.

However, the capital – Baku is nourished by the ancient traditions of the nation, which honors family values above all. Therefore, special attention is paid here to those types of entertainments which will not only suit the tastes of solo travelers, but also those guests who have brought their families with them. Comfortable hotels, health resorts and recreation zones, where the grown-ups can relax and children can have plenty of fun, can be found in Baku, as well as its suburbs and in other cities, such as Qabala. However, those who wish to stay in the capital and remain at the centre of the action, can enjoy strolling in numerous green parks, supplied with all the popular attractions, playgrounds and facilities for children, or visit large shopping and recreation centres, each of them having a kiddies corner, where every child can feel like a fairy-tale hero, and every parent becomes a real magician!

 

Baku Vacation Packages

Baku, also known as Baky or Bakı, is the largest city in the Caucasus and the capital of Azerbaijan. Baku is on the coast of the Caspian Sea on the southern tip of the Absheron Peninsula. There are three major divisions in Baku: İçəri Şəhər (the ancient city), the Soviet built city, and the newest part of the city. The population as of January 2012 was 3,202,300.

The historical center of Baku reveals its tumultuous past, from its roots as a Persian capital, through its oil boom to its Soviet occupation. The old city is a maze of alleys, mosques, historic buildings and remnants of fortification, including the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and the Maiden Tower, now listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Much more than a historic site, the city hosts vibrant arts and cultural activities, as well as a bustling modern business sector.

On a fine day, head over to Sabir Park, an inviting space where the locals come together to spend time outdoors. Spend an informative morning at the Nizami Museum or Taghiyev History Museum, two popular local exhibition spaces. Ask a staff member about available tours or upcoming events. If you luck out and there’s nothing on, simply enjoy a stroll through the quiet halls.

Some say it’s difficult to know what makes a place tick without knowing its past. Luckily, this destination has carefully preserved many of its most important heritage places. Among the most popular are the Baku State University, Maiden’s Tower and Gobustan Rock Art. Boasting unique architecture and manicured gardens, the stately palaces here will leave you green with envy. You’ll feel as though you’ve walked into a storybook upon entering the lavish interior of Heydar Aliyev Palace and Palace of the Shirvan Shahs.

Religious sites are often very moving. If you want to experience Baku’s spiritual side, visit the Atashgah Fire Temple. A site for contemplation that serves as a reminder of this place’s past, Yanar Dagh is always worth visiting. See what is in fashion locally and try on new outfits at some of the area’s retail zones, such as Azure Shopping Center and Metro Park.

The cultural life of Baku enchants both residents and guests of the city with its broad-ranging evening programs, regardless of whether it is a business day or at the weekend. There are many museums and private exhibitions of popular artists, vintage theaters and amazing performances, art galleries and monuments to local and international artists, installed in Baku’s wonderful parks, where you can enjoy good times with your family or simply by yourself. Experience the region’s best and brightest performing live at Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater or Azerbaijan State Philharmonic Hall. Not to mention a multitude of other cultural entertainment options for literally any taste or age group.

 

Highlights

Family-Friendly City

Women walk chatting away, and families enjoy their attractive surroundings at all hours of the day and night. Young children run and play while their parents watch nearby, despite the clock chiming 11:00pm. Locals usually don’t stare, give you unwanted attention or make women feel uncomfortable—another great reason to visit Baku.

Icheri Sheher (Baku’s Old Town)

The diverse architecture of Icheri sheher demonstrates the workmanship of skilled architects and craftsmen and takes us back in time to the past. When we see the narrow, crooked streets and squares of Icherisheher which still exist today, we can trace the gradual changes that occurred in the city over the centuries. Within its walls, we can imagine that we are traveling back in time to the past. Tracing urban planning traditions in “cultural layers,” we can almost see and hear the people who lived and worked here and their devotion to their crafts and livelihoods.

 

Maiden’s Tower

The structure of the tower leads some scholars to date it to more ancient times. They connect the Maiden Tower with Zoroastrianism and the goddesses Mitra and Anahita. The tower may have been a Zoroastrian temple, built under the influence of the Caspiana and Midiya temple towers, part of the ancient fire city Ateshi Baquan which stood amid the naturally occurring fires on the Caspian coast.

 


Baku Boulevard

Baku Boulevard, a 3.5 kilometre-promenade (2.2 miles), hugs the Caspian Sea with an amusement park, bars and cafés along with a cacti garden, Mini-Venice, and the Baku Eye. Beginning at National Flag Square and ending at Freedom Square, this is the best spot for views of the Flame Towers and a relaxing stroll along the coast.


Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center

The Heydar Aliyev Center, which was designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid and completed in 2012, is rumoured to be one of the most expensive buildings in Europe per square foot. Its rolling, flowing design made waves within architectural, engineering, and design circles and garnered it much prestigious international recognition. Its odd design stands in stark contrast to the Soviet Modernist styles typically found throughout Baku. Inside, the building offers a tranquil environment full of white space and curved lines. The centre contains a museum, gallery hall, and auditorium. Its fluid, folding walls are symbolic of its relationship with the physical and cultural landscape of the city. The entire design is meant to represent Azerbaijan’s dedication to blending its past with its future, as evidenced by the building’s slogan of, “To the future with values!”

The Caspian Sea Cruise

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea is bounded to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan, to the south by Iran, to the southeast by Turkmenistan, and to the northeast by Kazakhstan.
The ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and seeming boundlessness. The excursion can be carried out on a yacht or pleasure boats, depending on the number of trips. During the trip experienced guides tell the history of the Caspian Sea, its wealth, and existing problems. At the same time – you can admire a unique panorama of Baku, with the opening of the sea.

Food

Azerbaijani cuisine is one of the most interesting ones in the whole world and the Orient in particular. It is somewhat similar to the traditions of Caucasus and Central Asian people but has its distinct features. It is remarkable by the abundance of every possible type of meat, fish and vegetable dishes dressed by fragrant greens and spices. The most experienced gourmets coming to Azerbaijan have become connoisseurs of its cuisine. The dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine are original and unique. It is not surprising that purely Azerbaijani dolma, bozbash, bozartma, chykhyrtma, khashil, Shish kebab, piti, pilaff, and govurma are included in the national menus of neighboring Caucasus nations.

 

Most of national meals are cooked from mutton, beef and poultry. Azerbaijanis as well as other Moslems do not eat pork. Dishes from chopped meat and, certainly, fish, are widespread here.
The variety of national foods also includes many dishes with rice, flour, vegetables and greens. The Azerbaijani cuisine widely uses such spices. Especially popular in the Azerbaijani cuisine is saffron: more than 50 national dishes are cooked with this herb! To enhance the flavors of dishes Azerbaijanis extensively use lemons, green and black olives, cherry plums, dried apricots, etc.

Pita, bread baked in tendir (furnaces for baking bread), is very popular in Azerbaijan.
Vegetable salads are special in the Azerbaijani cuisine as well. Salads are served as side dishes.
The Azerbaijani cuisine is not only tasty but also good for your health; this is evidenced by a lot of long-livers and centenarians in the country. Researchers say that it is due, firstly, to Azerbaijan’s salubrious climate, secondly, the healthy lifestyle of the people, and last but not least, the wholesome food and eating habits.
Black tea is the national beverage, and is drunk after food is eaten. It is also offered to guests as a gesture of welcome, often accompanied by fruit preserves.

Day Excursions and Visits

Day Trip to Gobustan National Park and Mud Volcano Tour
Private Gabala Tour
Guba Khinalug Group Tour
Molokan village
Khinalig – Gleykhudat 1 day tour
Visit To The Winery In Novkhani Village
Excursions To The Carpet Museum And Carpet Factory Azer-ilme

Activities

Baku Karting, Boat Trip, Bowling In Baku, Golf In Baku, Horse Riding In Azerbaijan, Hunting And Fishing In Azerbaijan, Ski Vacation In Azerbaijan,

Source – expedia, traveloazerbaijan.com, mushvig mehdiyev, azerbaijan.travel, eurasia.travel