Azerbaijan holds the wonders created by nature and man over the past few millennia. There's definitely something to do: stroll through the luxurious Baku, solve the mystery of the Maiden tower, take oil bath and make selfi on the background of the carpet. Reasons to visit the land of fire thousands – we chose fifteen.
To rock in the cradle of civilization
When civilization was still quite a little girl, she drew on the walls. Well, that over time, these drawings are not painted and not taped to Paris – drive to Gobustan to admire. Six thousand rock art images with people and animals for about two thousand years ago was considered ancient. If you know Latin, read the imperishable: "it was the Roman Emperor Domitian".
In Gobustan 350 active mud volcanoes, including the hero of the Guinness Book of records, which will provide you a Martian sunset. Underground rumbling, gurgling, fiery flashes – these know a lot about volcanoes in a spectacular show. And no wonder: rehearsing the last 25 million years.
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To make selfi on the background of the carpet
Consistency in Azerbaijan is not measured by money and carpets. Local carpet is a matter of pride and respect, reverence and collectibles, and even the national symbol. That is why there appeared the first Museum in the world dedicated to woven works of art.
Past the building in the form of a patterned roll in the center of Baku, you will not. Intra – million artifacts collected from all regions, even the most remote villages of the country. If you want to take pictures with these masterpieces, don't hold back. Such selfie on the background of the carpet is not ashamed to post in instagram.
To worship the fire
The name "Ateshgah" sounds mysteriously like fire spirits whispering ancient spells in Pahlavi. And the place itself 30 kilometers from Baku to become: out of the ground at a Zoroastrian fire Temple escape the flames, and in the cells of staged moments from the lives of hermits. Can seven times to repeat that the fire is not extinguished due to natural gas – shivers down my spine will still run.
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If sacred awe will seem a little, go to the mountain of Yanar Dag. 25 km North of Baku in the middle of the Sandstone glows a three-meter wall of fire. Closer to the night a heavy wind Absheron spins roaring flame, and the play of light and shadow reminiscent of the battle of dragons against the black sky.
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Try to Sheki for a taste
Local residents claim that all of the good that gives rise to the Azerbaijani land, you will find only in Sheki. "Yes, Yes!"politely, you nod, knowing that the same say in any settlement. Skepticism will last for exactly as long as one of the streets soaked in the sweet aroma of nuts and honey, you won't try the baklava in the family shop. Really do not have time to savor, as you will bring and the famous Sheki halva and walnut jam, and a whole other dish of Azerbaijani sweets, whose names are hard to pronounce, and the taste is impossible to forget.
Tasted gatamu, muteki and shekerbura, you will agree that Shaki apples are delicious, and lamb is the most succulent and products on the market is very fresh. Yes, and the market – colorful, fragrant, talkative – the most amazing of all that you have ever seen.
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Become a giant
In the Azerbaijan Museum of miniature books you instantly turn into a Gulliver. Among tiny volumes that in hands to take terrible, there are rare exhibits of the Russian Empire, publications of Pushkin, Dostoevsky and Esenin from around the world.
The pride of the collection is the oldest miniature copy of the Quran Dating back to the seventeenth century. And the little book – Russian edition "the Most amazing things" measures 6 x 9 mm – can be read only with a magnifying glass. Try to find out whether it is written in this book about her.
A taste of the truth
Going the wine route Baku – Shamakhi – Ismayilli – Gabala – Sheki – Zagatala – Balakan, leave aside the jokes like "tomorrow I will tell you what yesterday was." Important in the local culture of wine drinking – in moderation.
Nature has generously endowed Azerbaijan conditions for the maturation of 450 grape varieties, some of which are very rare. For example, the vine varieties of "Madras" is growing in small amounts only in this region, so the wine from this grape can not be faked.
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Look for the seal
Too small for the sea, too salty for the lake. The Caspian sea – a miracle of nature. What would you about him or told – believe it! Divers will rightly say that this is one of those places where it's tempting to dive on in. Couples will breathe a sigh of warm whisper of the waves on the beach at night. Fishermen will shrug, showing that it is not just caught here in-about-from such salmon. Mom clearly confirm: "With children on the Caspian sea". If you love unusual holiday, you still here – ready for the Caspian seal from the red book.
Lunch in the Museum restaurant
In Azerbaijan it seems that around every corner is a portal to the middle ages, and behind every door is a Museum. Behind the doors of the Baku restaurant "Shirvanshah" Museum of lies. Every thing here breathes history. Clothes, utensils and carpets the owners collected from all over the country. In an antique interior is prepared according to authentic recipes and live music. You will be welcomed with true Eastern hospitality and fed bread just out of the oven and succulent lamb.
Look at the lights of Baku
Heart of fire Azerbaijan is burning in the modern part of Baku. The Flame Towers complex was among the top 10 most impressive skyscrapers in the decision of the jury of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2013. A survey of known forum about urban planning recognized exterior lighting towers the best in the world. And another about the construction of the highest building of the complex made a film on the Discovery Science channel.
To admire the play of flames on the glittering surface of the flame towers better from afar. In the evening they are visible from any point of Baku. In two towers there is a business center and residential complex in the third – the hotel Fairmont Baku at the Flame Towers. If you come in the traditional Oriental luxury and modern service, book one of the 318 great room and in the evening, head to the restaurant, pool or Spa.
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Old man in the city the city of Icheri Sheher, with a wise smile watching grows and blossoms of modern Baku. Behind its strong walls will make you feel like a speck in the long history. Stroll through the Marketplace, look at the residence of the Baku khans and get lost in the narrow streets with antique and craft shops, looking at the dishes, hand-woven carpets, shawls and hats. Separate pleasure – to bargain with the owner of the shop when hitting the hands, you both remain happy with each other. Some streets will seem very familiar: here was filmed the Turkish scenes of the film "the diamond arm" and the film "the amphibian Man".
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To solve a girl's secrets
Leisurely strolling along the Icheri Sheher, you'll be near the ancient symbol of Baku – Maiden tower. Its summit offers a panoramic view of the city, but people come here not only for this purpose. From the XII century, the debate continues about the unusual design of the tower and its architectural style. Still no one knows why the tower is a huge flat ledge in the Eastern part. So if you surprise her appearance, know that historians share that feeling. For centuries, the tower, like a true woman, keeps its secrets and the legend of its origin. Climb up – she will reveal them to you.
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Feel on top of the world
In the panoramic restaurant 360 Bar Hilton Baku come for the stunning views of the Bay, a favorite local boardwalk -- seaside Boulevard and iridescent night lights of Baku. While you SIP a cocktail while the chef prepares the shrimp tempura, the restaurant slowly rotates on its axis, so you looked around the whole city.
To take oil bath
In the depths of Azeri earth is born a unique therapeutic oil Naftalan. A swim in the resorts of Naftalan. Here you can enjoy baths and wraps for the treatment of skin, joints and nervous system. Magic oil puts on his feet – the city even has a Museum of crutches left behind by those who passed here a course of treatments. But take a bottle of healing Naftalan will not work – the plane is not allowed.
To touch the future
During the trip you get used to contrast the architecture of Baku: to move from the middle Ages to the XXI century, sometimes enough to cross the street. However, prepare to be amazed again at the Cultural center of Heydar Aliyev. This is an ambitious project icons of world design Zaha Hadid. Futuristic building Design award of the Year 2014, built without a single straight angle.
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Buy handmade Souvenirs
If you love the thrill of twisty mountain roads where two cars don't seem to miss, look in Lahij. This tiny city wizards stands on the silk road. The villagers, of which more than a thousand years, cherish the traditions of the forty ancient crafts.
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Stop at the workshop of the Potter, embroiderer, and the armorer or jeweler and see how born jewellery, copper utensils and weapons, decorated with elaborate engraving. From Lahij you will take the most authentic Azerbaijani Souvenirs.
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