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- Travel & Leisure
Fascinating Azerbaijan offers an incredible wealth of scenic contrasts, is famous for caviar and carpets and has curiosities from bizarre mud volcanoes to mysterious medieval fire temples. Baku, the cosmopolitan capital, is one of the world’s fastest-changing cities, its medieval-walled Old City ringed by century-old ‘oil boom’ architecture and an ever growing platoon of shiny new tower blocks. Its hospitable people are highly cultured, there’s a vibrant art and music scene, several colourful markets and an ever-expanding choice of dining and entertainment possibilities.
Just an hour or two’s drive beyond the city amazingly varied landscapes encompass painted deserts, vineyards, orchards, oak woodlands, snow-capped peaks, iron-wood forests, hilltop castles and magnificent canyons. While few foreigners come specifically to enjoy these delights, their discovery can transform one’s experience of Baku life. And in many areas you may still be among the first foreign visitors locals have seen in generations. The recent economic boom means that changes even in the countryside are accelerating with new roads to provincial centres under construction and an ever wider range of rural getaway ‘rest zones’ offering accommodation to richer Baku weekenders. But to explore Azerbaijan’s most spectacular regions in and around the soaring High-Caucasus mountains, you’ll still need hiking boots, a horse or a strong four-wheel-drive vehicle.
This guide, now in its fourth fully updated edition, gives you an unparalleled depth of background information and all the practical tips necessary to appreciate and make the most of this beautiful, varied and under-estimated land.
- Contents list
- Getting to Azerbaijan
- What to see, where to go
- Exploring Baku's Old City
- Mud volcanoes!
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