Aeroflot operates direct flights to Azerbaijan (duration: about 3 hours) that land at Heydar Aliyev International Airport, situated 25 km from the city centre. The most affordable option is to buy a round-trip ticket. Please note that the best deals on flights to Azerbaijan tend to sell out quickly, so we recommend booking tickets in advance.
Azerbaijan is an amazing country with a thousand-year history that links the East and the West, a bridge between Europe and Asia.
Archaeologists say that the first people to live in these lands appeared at the end of the sixth century BCE. The Great Silk Road passes through these lands, bringing continents together. Its advantageous location attracted numerous invaders over the centuries, and Azerbaijan fell under the control of various empires at different times.
Today, it is a land of contrast and authentic culture where just about everything can be found, from ultramodern architecture and the luxury of Caspian Sea resorts to mountain villages where the breath of ancient civilisations can still be felt.
There are nine climatic zones here. In a single journey, you can go from the subtropical humidity of Lankaran in the south to the veritable tundra of the northern uplands. Prepare yourself for surprising vistas and natural wonders.
The underground riches of the Absheron Peninsula have won for Azerbaijan the mystical name of the Land of Lights. Ancient cults were founded there, where oil and gas burst through the surface of the ground. Head for Surakhani, where to this day the sacred flame in the Atashgah Zoroastran Fire Temple still burns. Alternatively, if you are seeking an even more striking spectacle, go to Mekhemmed village to the Yanar Dag burning mountain. One-metre columns of fire whirl up from its crest. Looking at the flames, think back to the time when the great adventurer Marco Polo stood where you now stand, marvelling at the inextinguishable lights.
Do you like to feel a connection through the ages? If so, then Gobustan is for you — one of the first centres of human civilisation. A cromlech (a local equivalent of Stonehenge), the relics of Roman ambassadors and six thousand petroglyphs left by the earliest inhabitants await you.
As well as dormant history, Gobustan is renowned for a striking natural display of mud volcanoes. Volcanic eruptions are to be found throughout Azerbaijan. No other country has as many mud volcanoes, and nowhere else on the planet will you find the "healing oil" which is extracted at Naftalan.
Only here can you sink into a bath filled with black gold for the sake of your health. Naftalan oil's unique qualities do wonders for the skin, joints, circulation and central nervous system. Yet, don't try to take a bottle of this magic fluid away with you when you leave. They won't let you take it onto the plane!
If you want a souvenir you should go to Lahich — the ancient village of artisans. The locals here have passed the secrets of their crafts from generation to generation through the ages. Even the stone streets and narrow alleyways of the village speak of how carefully tradition is preserved here. However, to discover the secrets of Azeri national cuisine, Sheki should be your destination. In addition to the prevalence of medieval architecture here, the town is renowned as a gastronomic centre. The tastiest apples, the best mutton and most delicious halva with strong tea are all found here. Piti, levenghi, kutabi, bozbash and dolma — the names of the dishes alone make your mouth water. Do not deny yourself this pleasure: Azeri cuisine is believed to be the most original and gourmet of cuisine to be found in the East.
Mountains and seas, rivers and waterfalls, beaches and snowy slopes, hot springs and healing oil, the tastiest of delicacies — everything about this country is enchanting!