A nation is known, recognized and distinguished among the world nations by certain characteristic features. The highest and the greatest of these features is culture.

HEYDAR ALIYEV

The Republic of Azerbaijan has an existing transport infrastructure, which includes air, rail, highway, marine and pipeline transportation.

Azerbaijan is a major logistics centre, through which is passing the shortest way from Europe to Central Asia, the Middle and Far East, in particular transport corridor TRACECA and North-South road and rail routes connecting the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, in the same territory.

According to the State Statistics Committee in recent years, an annual average the vehicles have been transported through the Republic of  Azerbaijan 177.8 million tons of cargo, 47.2% of which falls on the road transport, 15.3% - the railway, 6.6% - sea transport , 30.9% - of pipelines (including 18.2% - BTC, 1.8% -  the South Caucasus Pipeline).

69% of all freight is carried by the private sector.

Railways: 2,944 km.

Highways: 59,141 km. 29 210 km of it - with hard surface.

 

Air transport

The history of Air Transport of Azerbaijan started on October 20, 1910, when the first airplane flew over Baku. In 1923, it established the Transcaucasian Civil Aviation Joint Stock Company “ZAKAVIA”, and on June 2, 1938, the first air group was established in Azerbaijan. This date in 2006, was declared Day of Civil Aviation of Azerbaijan according to relevant decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

Today eleven regions of the country are connected by air with Baku. Over the past 20 years in the country's civil aviation has been invested over  200 million USD. This allowed to provide its fleet with modern aircrafts «Boeing-757”, to modernize air navigation system, to establish the  system of training for twenty respective specialties, built in Baku and put into commission a modern international airport serving the aircrafts of more than sixty airlines. Currently airports awarded international status have built in five regional centres of the country.

In Baku Cargo Terminal (BCT) which was completed in 2005, and operating as a transit point, has been provided with all the conditions for the receipt of goods shipped from west to east and from north to south. State organization in the management and regulation of civil aviation is the Civil Aviation Administration of Azerbaijan (www.caa.gov.az).

 

Azerbaijan Airlines

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL, АЗАЛ “Azerbaijan Airlines») are part of the “Azerbaijan Airlines” CJSC which is the largest airline and national carrier of Azerbaijan. “Azerbaijan Airlines” CJSC is a member of the International Air Transport Association (İATA). It is based in Baku.

AZAL provides passenger transport to Europe, CIS, Middle East and Asia. Direct flights are now open to cities of the CIS, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Astrakhan, Simferopol, Tbilisi, Kiev, Yekaterinburg, Aktau. The company also carries out international flights from Ankara, Dubai, Kabul, London, Milan, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Urumqi.

In 2014, the year after the purchase of a new batch of aircrafts «Boeing» for further flight, it is planned to open permanent routes to North America and Southeast Asia.

More information about the company's activities and schedule of flights is available on the official website www.azal.az.

 

Heydar Aliyev International Airport

Heydar Aliyev International Airport meeting the requirements of international standards is the main airport-based airline, is located in the north-east, 20 km from Baku the city, and connected to the city by two modern high-speed highways. Duty free shops (Duty Free) operate at the international airport located both in at point of arrival and point of departure. In the area Duty Free the purchases are paid by cards and in cash, in U.S. dollars, euros and Russian rubles.

In accordance with the order of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, in April 2011, Heydar Aliyev International Airport is under reconstruction. In April 2012, it was put into operation a new runway capable of accepting the most heavy and modern liners. Length of the new runway is 4000, width - 75 meters, and the area - 325 thousand 500 square meters.

Due to the reconstruction of the airport it has obtained even more modern image. The most modern equipment has been installed in the department for receiving the luggage of passengers arriving at the airport. At present, customs office of the airport complex has been reconstructed. All works are based on the latest achievements of science and technology, the necessary conditions for the convenience of passengers. Service area has been expanded and technically upgraded. The lighting system draws attention for its originality and modernity. Department of visas and passport registration also acquired a modern look.

A new equipment to fill the customs declaration in electronic form has been installed at the airport. Through the maps existing at the customs points of Azerbaijan, Baku passengers can get full information on tourism opportunities in our republic, hotels, subway stations, airports operating in the country and other matters which they are interested. New monitors have been installed in the complex and the number of exists has been doubled. Waiting areas have been significantly expanded, the quantity and the quality of services offered to passengers have been improved. Reconstruction has been carried out both in the south and in the north terminals. Upon completion of the restoration of Heydar Aliyev International Airport , it will have undoubtedly become one of the best  airports in the world for the standpoint of convenience and technique.

Official site of the Heydar Aliyev International Airport: airport.az

 

Rail transport

We would like to note that the Azerbaijan State Railway (ASR) was established in 1880. Currently, the total length of railways in Azerbaijan is 2944 km, the length of operating railways - 2122 km, including 815 km - double track line.

According to the “Program of Azerbaijan Railway for 2008-2011” the works on the design of high-speed railway line Baku-Georgian border with 503 km length, which is the central segment of TRACECA, have been implemented.

Particular importance is the construction of new railway section on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, 100 km, and the rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure of the Baku-Tbilisi-border with Turkey which will connect by rail area of ​​Middle and Central Asia, through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey with Europe. Trains which will come from China and Kazakhstan through Central Asia, the Caspian region, Baku and Tbilisi will be able to get to Istanbul, and then continue through the tunnel under the Bosporus to proceed to Europe.

 

Baku Railway Station

The complex of buildings of Baku railway station consists of an old Tiflis station, built in 1884, the new building of the Baku-Passenger Station (60-70s of XX century) and Sabunchu station (1924), specially built for the USSR's first electric trains which had to carry the workers to the oil fields of Absheron (Baku-Sabunchi).

Station complex is in the centre of town, next to 28th May underground. International passenger traffic on the Baku-Moscow-Baku, Baku-Astrakhan-Baku, Baku-Makhachkala-Baku, Baku-Rostov-Baku, Baku-Tbilisi-Baku, Baku-Kharkov-Baku, Baku-Odessa-Baku, Baku -Tyumen-Baku, Baku-Novosibirsk-Baku routes is  realized from here. Trains also make trips to Ganja, and electric trains to Sumgait city, Hovsan and Mardakan settlements.

Azerbaijan State Conservatory named after U.Hajibeyov, the National Bank of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev Palace are situated some distance far from the station complex.

Note that the realization of the tickets at the box office of the Baku railway station is also carried out through POS-terminals which allow the passengers to use bank cards such as Visa and MasterCard in case of payment.

More information about the activities of ASR, train schedules and fares are available at the official website ady.az

Maritime transport and offshore pipelines

The Azerbaijan State Caspian Marine Company (KASPAR) is a major ship owning company in the Caspian Basin. It is a diversified transport organization whose main activity is the transportation of goods with a predominance of oil and oil products. Navigation areas: Caspian, Black, Mediterranean and Marmara Seas. Strategies and priorities for the development of the shipping aim at making better use of the Eurasian Transport Corridor.

The main production base of the shipping company is a transport fleet consisting of 70 vessels, 30 of which are 34 tankers (water carriers), 26 universal cargo ships, and 2 roll on- roll-off and 8 marine rail cargo ferries, with a total deadweight of 316.0 thousand tons.

Today tanker capacity of Azerbaijan estimated 15-20 million tons of transported oil and oil products per year. The active development of ferry services on the lines of Baku-Turkmenbashi-Baku, Baku-Aktau-Baku is being planned.

 

Baku Sea Port

The Baku International Commercial Seaport was founded in 1902 and since then it is the largest and most important port in the Caspian Sea. Equipped at the beginning of its operations with just a few wooden piers and a small number of dockworkers, the Baku Port is constantly developing for over a century, was the main sea gate of Azerbaijan and plays an important role in the trans-Caspian trade.

Port operates year round and is a vital reference in trade between Europe and Asia, which contributes to the TRACECA project - the revival of the Great Silk Way.

From April to November, while navigation in the Russian rivers the vessels can make direct voyage from Western European and Mediterranean ports.

Against the background of increasing the volume of trans-Caspian oil transport and import of oil equipment to Azerbaijan in the last decade Baku International Commercial Seaport has significantly strengthened its importance. Services provided to clients by the port include: processing of dry and liquid bulk cargo, handling of general and project cargo, handling of containers (including packing of / unloading), warehousing and storage of goods.

The Baku International Commercial Seaport includes the Main Cargo Terminal, Container Terminal, Oil Terminal Dubendi, Ferry Terminal and Passenger Terminal.

It is true that currently Seaport does not carry passengers. Perhaps they will be restored, with the introduction into service of the new Seaport.

For more details about the Baku seaport enter the official website seaport.az

Construction of a new International Commercial Seaport of Baku

In September of 2007, the Korean company «GSEngineering & Construction» presented to the Ministry of Transport of the final version of the construction project of a new seaport in Alat. Moving the seaport from the centre of Baku to Alat settlement should be realized by 2015. According to preliminary estimates, the construction of a new seaport would cost more than $ 400 million.

According to the project, the port will have 11 bridges- piers. The new port built to international standards, will be able to receive and process 11.6 million tons of cargo in 2015. In light of the emerging prospects it will be modern gate for access to the Great Silk Way.

 

Road transport

The length of public roads in Azerbaijan is 24 981 km. 191 km of these complies with 4-band movement of road transport. Total road density in the country is 288 km/ 1000sq. km.

The road network is securely connected to all the cities, regional centres, towns, airports, seaports, railway stations, reservations, resort and tourist recreation areas, as well as border crossings with neighboring countries.

Main roads along which the interstate flow of vehicles with cargo and passengers is the Baku-Alat-Ganja-Gazakh-Georgian border (Azerbaijani segment of TRACECA corridor), 503 km long border with Russia, and the Baku-Astara-border of the Islamic Republic of Iran ( Azerbaijani segment of “North-South” corridor), with length of 521 km.

Road transport in Azerbaijan has been fully privatized. Transportation of passengers and goods are engaged mainly by the corporate enterprises and the private sector (companies and physical persons).

International transport of goods in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the transit through its territory to other countries make truckers of 40 countries of Europe and Asia. Azerbaijan has a passenger bus service to the cities of the Russian Federation, Georgia, Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

International passenger traffic carried by the Baku International bus station complex, located at the entrance to the capital.

 

Baku metropolitan

Baku metropolitan began its activity on November 6, 1967. At present metropolitan consists of 23 stations, and its total length is 34,6 km. It has two lines with a compound structure of trains movement which can be conditionally divided into 5 routes.

In 2010 the construction of the second depot named after Ilgar Garayev was started near the station “Darnagul”, its opening is envisaged in 2014-2015.

The official website of Baku metropolitan: www.metro.gov.az

Transport - is probably the most important means in planning the travel in any countries. Of course, everybody wants the transport be predictable, comfortable and available. How do things stand with transport in Azerbaijan? Let’s begin with how to get into the country.


Air transport
First - it is the national airline “Azerbaijan Airlines” - AZAL, which operates flights through Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport and other airports in the country.
The route network from AZAL quite extensive: it is the main European cities and capitals of CIS countries, among the local directions most popular is Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic where air transport is the main means of communication with the rest of the country (the ticket price - 100 euros round trip). There are also airports in Ganja, Lankaran, Zagatala and Gabala. The latter has been recently commissioned and its main destination connects with tourism.  Stunning nature, spa resorts, luxury hotels, children's centres, racetrack, golf course and ski resort are planned for the near future.
Many of the leading European airlines fly to Baku.
For Europeans, one of these options is Baltic airline AirBaltic. Namely, it is possible to arrive in Azerbaijan from Central Europe by using the aircrafts of this air carrier, it is cheaper, and you can save money when planning a complex itinerary. AirBaltic’s cost calculation is the result of summing up the segments, as one way ticket offered by the traditional airlines can be cost the ticket of AirBaltic for round trip. Kiev makes favorable offer - from Aeroflot via Moscow for 320USD.
AZAL offers regular price for flights Kiev-Baku-Kiev on average 450USD, to Paris – 700 USD, to London - up to  900 USD.
AZAL has direct flights to the cities of the CIS countries: Aktau, Kiev, Mineral Waters, Moscow, Novosibirsk, Tbilisi, as well as Turkey, Dubai, Kabul, London, Milan, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Tehran, Tel Aviv, Urumqi.
If you have a complicated route, then one more good option for you is to continue the journey through Dubai. Since 2009, the Arab loukost FlyDubai has started the flights to the capital of Azerbaijan. Now Baku-Dubai - two hours in one direction and up to 200 USD, afterwards you can enjoy any flights of route networks FlyDubai or Emirates.
Furthermore the airline Qatar Airways makes flights from Baku to more than 100 destinations around the world (qatarairways.com).
Low prices for a number of cities of Europe and Turkey are offered by airline AZAL according to the arrangement with Pegasus Airlines. Tickets to Stuttgart and Cologne amount 330 euros, and to Amsterdam, Stockholm, Basel, Copenhagen, Zurich, Munich, Berlin and Dusseldorf - 340 euros.
The company also offers price starting from 290 euros to 15 cities in Turkey. All prices are exclusive of airport charges.
You can be found flight schedule at - azal.az.
Good news for tourists: on board of airlines AZAL now available mobile communications, and the next step will be to provide the operator of Internet services. This will be the first in the CIS project to provide a full range of communication services on board of aircraft.
Azerbaijani mobile operator - Azerfon, has a 10-year exclusive agreement with AZAL to provide mobile communication services on aircraft. However, the other two mobile operators concluded a roaming agreement with Azerfon, will also be able to provide mobile communication services on aircraft.
The system has already been introduced in 9 Airbuses, and it will be provided next year in another 4  Airbuses and 3 Boeing Dream Liner of AZAL . By the way the cost for calling makes 1.75 AZN per minute, regardless of the zone of flying of the plane.


Rail transport
We proceed from air transport to rail transport. Unfortunately, this kind of transport at the moment has not yet become a priority in Azerbaijan and therefore has not become fast and modern.
Today it is possible to use such routes as the Tbilisi-Baku, Baku-Tumen, Rostov-Baku, Baku-Kharkov, etc.
More information about the directions and the train schedule is available at ady.az
Trains and local trains are too slow, therefore road transport is preferred for travel within the country.


Bus trips
The first thing you should pay attention to the ideal quality of route to the airport, and the two sided highway! So get stuck in traffic on the way to the plane is unlikely. You will spend on average 25-30 minutes to get from the centre of Baku to airport, a taxi costs 20-25 euros.
Often the autobahn to airport is the only thing that post-Soviet country can boast, but this is not about Azerbaijan, where the development of transport infrastructure - this is one of the most important national priorities. Excellent roads with a perfect coating and markings are directed to all major cities and tourist centres, so travel around the country is a pleasure.
You can travel between Baku and regions of Azerbaijan on buses and minibuses.
That's about the fare on the bus from Baku to Zagatala (7 euros), Shaki (5 euros) Lahij (4 euros).
The cost of travel and the schedule of the buses in all directions within the country can be found at this link.
The rates and schedule of buses of Baku International Bus Station can be found at this link.
Baku International Bus Station is located at the entrance to the capital. You can get there from 20th January underground on public transport buses (No.197, 116, 90). The bus No.90 goes from the bus station to the centre of the capital.
The fare on the public transport buses in the capital is 0.2 euros.


Taxi
Taxis in Baku are the purple London cabs! The locals call them “eggplants”. Two years ago the production of these cabs was sold by the English to Chinese, according to the contract, in the capital of Azerbaijan is to be delivered 3000 of purple cars. In Baku, they are now about 1,000. The first machines «LondonTaxi» GeelyTX4 arrived in Azerbaijan in 2011.
It should be added that 5 passengers can seat in these cars, and, instead of the front passenger seat - the trunk. Drivers say that the design of the machine has high security, as cab driver and passengers are separated by glass, there is only a window for cash.
Km distance is about 4 cents. Taxi drivers, by the way, drive strictly according to the meter!
Petroleum in Baku is 60 kopecks per liter for 95, 55 kopecks - for the A93, and 45 kopecks per a liter of diesel fuel (about 0.7, 0.6 and 0.5 euros per liter, accordingly).
Tariffication according to the meter: seating in the bus makes 1 euro per km - 0.6 euros. To use the service of “London” taxis it is enough to call Baku Taxi Company to short code * 9000.
Another convenient twenty-four-hour taxi service is provided by “Motor Service” Company, it receives the orders by calling (99412) 189.
Taxis in the regions make 1-2 manats. Also in the province still remains authentic “Lada” with warm-blooded drivers. There is certain romanticism of eastern temperament!


Underground
Baku is a major metropolis and the fastest way of moving there is its underground. Like any post-Soviet undergrounds, Baku underground is a sample of the celebration of design and architecture (it is prohibited to take photo inside). One of such magnificent undergrounds is “Nizami” underground named after the famous Azerbaijani poet. The station is one of the most beautiful ones in the Baku metropolitan. The underground hall was decorated with a mosaic portrait of Nizami Ganjavi and panels on the topic of his works, authored by the People's Artist of the USSR Mikail Abdullayev.
The fare at the underground 20 kopecks (0.2 euros).
More information about the history, activities and access to the Baku metropolitan is available  at metro.gov.az, presented in three languages ​​- Azerbaijani, Russian and English.


Car rental
Almost all rental agencies have representative offices at Baku airport. The rental makes about 50 USD per day for sedan. Cars can be rented with a driver or without.
In general, to travel across the country is easy and simple, the country is relatively small and you do not spend much time for travel, everywhere along the road are numerous snackbars, where for 5-8 euros per person you can eat incredibly hearty and delicious meal with plenty of meat dishes.
Transport - is one of the important components of a successful journey in Azerbaijan this is no problem.
Worth one visit to Azerbaijan as completely overturned many stereotypes and myths that exist about it. Baku without exaggeration may be called the European capital with amazing oriental flavor.

(Unofficial translation)

Migration Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Article 21.

21.1. Foreigners or stateless persons temporarily staying in the Republic of Azerbaijan for more than 10 days should get registered upon place of stay (relevant notification in Azerbaijani, Russian and English languages is presented at border checkpoints to foreigners and stateless persons entering the country).
21.2. For this purpose, the management of the place of stay of the foreigner or stateless person (hotel, sanatorium, rest home, guest house, camping, tourist base, hospital or other similar places) or the owner of the apartment or other residential area where the foreigner or stateless person stay (hereinafter referred to as the receiving party) should submit application for registration upon place of stay and copy of the passport (other border crossing document) of that person to the relevant executive authority through official website of the relevant executive authority, e-mail or in person within 10 days after arrival of the person in the country.
21.3. Foreigners and stateless persons can also apply themselves in a way envisaged by Article 21.2 of this Code for registration upon place of stay.
21.4. After reception of the application, the relevant executive authority immediately registers the foreigner or stateless person upon place of stay by entering the information about them into the Unified Migration Information System and informs the applicant about it within 1 business day.
21.5. Foreigners and stateless persons are registered for the following periods:
21.5.1. Persons arriving upon visa – for the period of stay indicated on the visa; Unofficial translation
21.5.2. Persons arriving under visa-free regime – for 90 days.
21.6. Registration upon place of stay (during the protection period) of foreigners and stateless persons who are under the protection of UNHCR Representation in the Republic of Azerbaijan, is conducted by the relevant executive authority upon data provided by the Representation.
21.7. No state fee is required for registration upon place of stay of foreigners and stateless persons.
21.8. When foreigners and stateless persons leave their places of stay, the receiving party or the person himself/herself informs the relevant executive authority about it and they are deregistered upon place of stay based on that information. When the registration period ends, foreigners and stateless persons are considered as deregistered.
21.9. When a foreigner or stateless person changes his/her place of stay, he/she should be registered upon new place of stay in a way set forth in Articles 21.2 - 21.5 of this Code.

In details: migration.gov.az

About e-Visa

The e-Visa is issued within 3 (three) working days.

e-Visa applications can be created for an individual, for a family (minimum of 2 and maximum of 10 persons) or for a group (minimum of 10 and maximum of 300 persons).

The necessary data required for the e-Visa should be entered directly into the system.

The fee for the e-Visa is paid electronically via the system.

The e-Visa is sent to the e-mail address of an applicant.

 

About Portal

The State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan carries out the function of the Portal's operator.

You can get the e-visa in just 3 steps (apply, pay and download e-Visa) via the Portal.

A foreigners or a stateless person can apply directly through the portal for a single entry visa valid for 30 days stay in the country.

 

About Application

Foreigners and stateless persons should apply for electronic visa at least 3 (three) working days before their planned date of arrival in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The expiry date of the applicant’s passport or other travel document should be at least 3 (three) months later than the expiry date of e-Visa .

After the payment of the fee, a notification on the acceptance of the application is sent to the applicant's e-mail address and monitor screen

 

About Payment

The fee for e-Visa is 20 US Dollars. This fee is charged for reviewing a visa application and is non-refundable under any circumstances.

An amount of 3 (three) US dollars is charged as a service fee for processing an electronic visa application. This amount is payable in addition to 20 (twenty) USD state fee for the electronic visa.

Payment operations can be made only using Visa and Mastercard. The card does not have to be under your name.

 

About visa form

The requirements of the second part of Document 9303 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have been taken into account in the e-Visa form issued for a visit of foreigners and stateless persons to the Republic of Azerbaijan. The e-Visa form is in A4 format.

There is a special machine-readable code on the upper-right hand part the e-visa form.

If a foreigner or a stateless person has obtained several e-Visas, he/she should leave the country with the one that was used to enter the country.

In case of loss, an e-Visa form can be re-printed from the Portal or e-email.

 

ENTER TO ELECTRONIC VISA PORTAL

Information is updating...

At any time of year it is possible to visit Azerbaijan. Nine of the eleven climate zones that exist in our planet allow the country to welcome visitors all year round. But each of the seasons, of course, has its own unique colors and features. Which of them will bring you more pleasure can be found only through personal acquaintance with amazingly beautiful nature, the Caspian coast, ancient history and cultural traditions of Azerbaijan. We hope that the information we provide in this section will help you to choose the time to visit our country.

 

Summer              

Recreation and entertainment zones located in Azerbaijan along the Caspian coast, forests and mountains will deliver an unforgettable experience to all those who love the sun, sea and sand, picnics and walks on forest trails, swimming under waterfalls and horseback riding. Many tourist regions of Azerbaijan have also numerous springs with thermal and mineral water, which has high therapeutic indices.

One of the main features of the summer season is abundance of vegetables and fruit in Azerbaijan, admiring with their range and local varieties.

Recreation and entertainment zones located in Azerbaijan along the Caspian coast, forests and mountains will deliver an unforgettable experience to all those who love the sun, sea and sand, picnics and walks on forest trails, swimming under waterfalls and horseback riding. Many tourist regions of Azerbaijan have also numerous springs with thermal and mineral water, which has high therapeutic indices.

One of the main features of the summer season is abundance of vegetables and fruit in Azerbaijan, admiring with their range and local varieties. Surprisingly delicious cherries and apricot and honey-flavored peaches, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, plums precede the season of watermelons, melons, figs, grapes, best varieties, which are comparable in quality with only the Greek and Italian.

True gourmets like summer dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine based on local products, preserving its natural taste while cooking. Recently, more and more foreign visitors noted this feature in recipes Azerbaijani cuisine. This primarily refers to the summer barbecue in nature, which is made from fresh, succulent meats, fish, poultry and game. Barbecue in Azerbaijan is famous for at least an Italian tavern, inn Slavic, French bistro, Japanese seafood restaurant ...

And all dishes are served necessarily cheese, greens, great meats and pickles, occupying pride of place on the menu.

Centre of attraction visitors and tourists in Azerbaijan, as well as all fans of high art is Gabala Music Festival - a festival of classical music as well as jazz and mugham, which has held every summer since 2009 (late July - early August) in the Azerbaijani city - Gabala .

The festival is held at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, with the support of Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Musical performances take place at an open-air in the chamber and concert halls Gabala. Orchestras and singers around the world take part in the Festival. Every two years there is an international piano competition.

Since the fourth festival was held from July 22 to August 5, 2012, gathering 350 musicians from 10 countries. One of the guests of honor was the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit.

Official site of the Gabala Music Festival: gabalafestival.com

Summer in the capital

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.

 

Outmn 

Calm, sunny days, warm sea and summer-green forests, parks and gardens which begin to change their colors in late October - a real pleasure to spend autumn in Azerbaijan! Staying here will be filled with beautiful experiences without worrying about the weather often interfering the program of staying the tourists in other countries.

Autumn in Azerbaijan - what could be more tempting for fans of generous gifts of nature! In place of the figs, watermelon, walnut, walnuts, quince come persimmons and pomegranates. This is the time of ripen of amazing and taste fruits with red succulent seeds that reach pound weight.

It is no coincidence that in October Goychay region of the country holds a bright Holiday of Pomegranate – it is a real festival and fair which attracts many foreign tourists. Green wine - grape, pomegranate, raspberry, cherry and strawberry - aptly complements fish dishes which are prepared in autumn at reputable restaurants and roadside cafes, where there is always a comfortable place for a passing traveler. Fresh jam made of local fruits and berries are popular among all visitors of Azerbaijani tea house.

In late September, beloved Baku Boulevard is magically shining. Here, several significant events are celebrated in the National Seashore Park.

On September 20, Azerbaijan celebrates Day of oil workers and signing of well-known “Contract of the Century”, the number of participants of which today is 34 companies from different countries.

On September 27 - at the World Day of Tourism, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism often holds interesting events. So at different times on this day concerts, exhibitions of works by artists of national art, gift drawings, folk festivals, etc. were organized. 

In autumn the capital holds annually Baku International Jazz Festival which involves the most famous artists around the world. Many foreign jazz stars come here and demonstrate publicly their talent along with Azerbaijani musicians. The festival concerts are held at the Baku Jazz Centre, the International Centre of Mugham, Heydar Aliyev Palace in Baku Philharmonic. The official site of the festival - bjf.az

Visiting Baku in autumn is a great chance to get acquainted with the theatres and museums of Baku. Visiting the Museum Centre of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Museum of History, Museum of Azerbaijan Literature named after Nizami, Azerbaijan State Museum of Musical Culture, Miniature books, the National Museum of Art, of course, will deliver no less positive than familiarity with a variety of theatres of Baku. Among them are unique in architecture, history and repertoire - the Azerbaijan State Academic Drama Theatre, Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, Azerbaijan State Russian Drama Theatre, Azerbaijan State Musical Comedy Theatre and many others.

Many foreigners visiting Azerbaijan for the first time in September-October are interested in visiting historical sites of the country covered with glory of millennial secrets. One of the tourist routes will lead you to the unique place -  Beshbarmag mountain, where, according to the legend, the saint Hyzr opened the source of immortality. No less exciting and informative the tours to Khinalig village, Guba which is famous for its unique traditions and culture, or trip to the fortress Chirag Gala (IV-V centuries.) near the village of Gala-alty, called “lamp”, etc.

And the fans of hunting, fishing, picking mushrooms, medicinal plants can visit the picturesque woodlands which are rich with their quiet lakes, streams and protected medicinal groves where the trophy will please the most demanding traveler.

 

Winter 

Every year, more and more foreign tourists visiting Azerbaijan in December endeavor to be in the historic area ​​Sheki where at the end of the year offers a unique equestrian tournaments and competitions. One of the most popular is Chovgan - ancient Azerbaijani game competition of riders. Judging by the interest shown to these tournaments in many regions of the country, we can talk about the revival of the national project of the elite game, royal noble eastern version of polo.

Winter in Azerbaijan is a lovely season of local food lovers and culinary surprises.

Precisely in the cold times it is good to eat a hot amber broth - hash (aspic) of beef feet which is preparing for the night on a low flame or hot dushbara (national dumplings) afternoon and evening, rosy meat pie - fijim from sheep pulp, roasted onions, minced garlic, pepper and dried herbs, baked in dough, as well as delicious and tender piti in clay pots. This transparent fragrant soup flavored with saffron, served with pepper, sumac, mint, tomatoes or chestnuts.

What a winter without seafood? Generous Caspian is able to meet the most biased demands of judges of magnificent assortment of fish dishes that will be offered by many of the restaurants of the capital and regions. Sturgeon sauce “Absheron” with tomatoes and cheese, stuffed salmon, lamprey in a hot frying pan and fried on its own fat, kutum (Black sea roach) with raisins and nuts baked in the oven or tendir, fish kebabs and balyk ...

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". 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.

 

Spring  

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. 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.”

Spring is magnificent also far beyond Baku. Foreigners called Gabala a small Switzerland in honor of magnificent beauty of the Caucasus Mountains. Mountain meadows and forests attract tourists with their beauty. Hunters and fishermen are always pleased with the results of their trips. It provides freedom for lovers of ecological tourism. In the north-west of Azerbaijan ancient mosques, temples, mausoleums compete with unique natural artifacts. Tourists usually visit the shining “Golden Rock”, Alpine eylag (pasture) “Golden Throne” Blue Valley “Inge” (“Fine”), a mountain of black sheep, and visit the lush riparian forests along the rivers or in the caves of Mount Aveydag.

We also have places that do not have similarity in the world where people come in the spring and throughout the year, such as the temples of Health and Life. Naftalan - a resort town with health spas and resorts, located in Goranboy region, which many years ago became famous throughout the world for its Naphthalan oil. This oil is called Median oil, and we also should remember the famous Argonaut Jason whom sorceress Medea gave miraculous ointment, healing from fire. This is how myths and legends are confirmed true! Even in ancient times, thousands of people from different parts of Asia tried to get rid of diseases in Azerbaijan, taking away Naftalan oil, and now the same thing happens.