What to see in Azerbaijan
The capital of Azerbaijan – Baku has attractive summer in many respects. The city is surrounded by numerous resorts and beach zones: Mardakan, Zagulba, Bilgah, Buzovna, Nardaran, Shih, Novkhani, Pirshagi, Dyubandy, etc., where the luxury hotels have recently built, and private beaches have opened and the service is provided by modern standards. Today hotels such as Jumeirah Bilgah Beach Hotel, Sea Breeze, the family-entertainment complex AF Hotel-Aqua Park, Khazar Golden Beach Hotel and others are very popular. In the capital and its suburbs there are open several aqua parks where you can spend your time if you are not a fan of sea swimming. Those who have not visited Baku will be interested to know about the reception of guests in hotels of different categories in the capital of Azerbaijan. They are luxury hotels, quite a large number of business hotels, boutique hotels, charming, unusual, family, and even romantic. Baku at night like a shining metropolis of ultramodern fantastic film. Baku seacoast boulevard — one of the best in the world, the most attractive place for all who come to the capital of Azerbaijan, regardless of the purpose of visiting the country. Gorgeous landscaping, shady alleys, comfortable cafe serving delicious ice cream, desserts and snacks of any kind, tea, a yacht club, attractions for children and adults, a shopping and entertainment centre Park Bulvar. The true ornament of the National Seashore Park — Baku Crystal Hall, a shining neon lights was opened on the eve of Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Many pleasant impressions you can get during a visit to parks and gardens of Baku city. Philharmonic Park, Officers’ Park, Molokan garden and other gardens in the city are especially beautiful and well-furnished. It is interesting to visit the Botanical Garden and Mardakan Arboretum which contains a rich collection of various types of world flora. There is also new funicular which has been the recently reconstructed according to modern standards.
Tour fans will learn a lot of interesting things while visiting Baku, its historical and architectural monuments and tourist facilities such as historical and cultural reservation Icheri Sheher, Shirvanshahs Palace, Archeological and Ethnographic Museum Gala, State Historical-Artistic Reservation Gobustan, historical and architectural complex Ateshgah, and other sights of the capital. Would you like to enjoy a frosty succulent oranges, fresh lemons and tangerines which are served to the table in Azerbaijan through the winter? These fragrant citrus always give a sense of the holiday, and, are cheaper than in other countries. In general, in Absheron Peninsula, where the Baku is situated, the winter is moderate with average temperatures of 4-6 degrees. But if you want to enjoy all the delights of winter holiday in Azerbaijan, then snow paradise awaits you in the mountains Gusar and Guba regions, unique summer and winter sports and tourist complex “Shahdag» (www.shahdag.az). This mountain resort which second to none in the Caucasus worthy of the best epithets. You can hold international competitions in winter sports, as well as a vacation any time of year! On the territory of about 2,000 hectares are built five luxury hotels, chalets and cottages in the eastern style, laid ski tracks, a ski school, ski lifts, snowmaking system … even orchards and trout streams! At the top of the mountain Shahdag, at 2,500 meters, there will be built a revolvable restaurant which can be reached only by cableways. The Complex receives its first guests in 2013. Here, in a clear winter day in the vicinity of Laza village, Gusar you can make interesting excursions to several icy waterfalls. Obviously holiday fairs organized for celebrating the Day of Solidarity of the World Azerbaijanis on December 31, and New Year, are of great interest and most of the best restaurants of the capital are full of people, because the space is booked in advance! And the regions successfully hold Tea Holiday, usually in the towns of arts and crafts, as is customary in Lankaran, in southern part of Azerbaijan. Numerous guests gladly buy flavored products of local and foreign tea factories, take part in the tasting of this fine drink, as well as competitions, where winners are awarded with valuable prizes. Among winter surprises of Azerbaijan, of course, is the famous music festival named after Mstislav Rostropovich. This international festival is organized every year by the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO, Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva in Baku. It is like a real celebration of music, which is attended by world-famous artists and musical groups. More details about the festival can be found on the official website of the Foundation of M.L.Rostropovich. The main and the most spectacular event, which is open to all travelers who visited Azerbaijan in spring, is Novruz holiday — the symbol of the coming spring. Baku has many restaurants whee you can taste azeri national food. Every year on March 21 all Azerbaijanis meet this ancient national holiday by preparing to it for four weeks. A number of holiday traditions and rituals of Novruz holiday surprise and delight foreigners during the whole March. Many people specifically travel to regions, for example, Yukhari Salahli village where they become the witnesses of classic ritual, just like old times. During the celebration of Novruz holiday in Azerbaijan people visit each other, exchange gifts and many sweets that are prepared in every family. On the eve of Novruz holiday the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev annually congratulates the Azerbaijani people, and with the members of his family takes part in the festivities which take place in Baku before the Maiden Tower, the Old Town and the National Seashore Park. On September 30, 2009 Novruz holiday was included in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. And on February 23, 2010 the United Nations declared March 21 the International Day of Novruz. The Azerbaijani spring pleases all with the wonderful weather and stormy generous variety of colors of nature. This time of year the Azerbaijani cuisine offers vitamin menu consisting of succulent , spicy and sweet vegetables. Although in winter they are always on sale, but there is nothing to compare with spring grasses. Gourmands will, of course, like green kutaby, kuku, sabzi-pilaf. Do you want to enjoy the unique culinary products, to take part in the festivities of pilaf, try more than fifty (!) types of this crown dish of the Azerbaijani cuisine with the most tender lamb, herbs, chestnuts, apricots, walnut, raisins, traditionally served on a huge plate? Cinnamon, cloves, pepper, turmeric, cumin and other spices give the dish a very exotic flavor. Another important event of the Azerbaijani spring attracts a lot of tourists from abroad, experts and connoisseurs of music. In March Baku hosts international festival “World of Mugam” that Heydar Aliyev Foundation organizes in the centre “International Centre of Mugam”. Famous singers of popular music genre, professionals mugham art come to our country within the framework of festival, and in parallel with contests of mugham singers, numerous mugam operas and symphonic concerts and classical mugam, international scientific symposiums are also held here. The festival ends with a gala concert which brings full house at the Baku Heydar Aliyev Palace. More information about the festival, enter the official website www.mugam.az Bright Flower Festival on the Boulevard in May — a real palette of artistic festival where the pictures are painted with vibrant colors, and huge lawns serve as pavilions in the central squares of Baku and mile-long flyover of Seashore Park. Thousands and thousands of blossoming flowers, sparkling with all the colors of the rainbow which are brought specially for the festival from many countries, and the skilled craftsmen change them into memorable pictures, murals, frescoes and “sculpture.”