| ||Baku Region|
The political, economic, and cultural center of Azerbaijan. Oil has been extracted here since 1871.
An exclave bordering Turkey to the west
| ||Northeastern Azerbaijan|
An ethnically diverse region in the Greater Caucasus mountains covered with lush green forests
| ||Sheki Region|
A beautiful green mountainous region bordering Georgia, containing Azerbaijan's loveliest city
Ethnic Armenian region controlled by an unrecognized independent government. Only accessible via Armenia.
|Nagorno-Karabakh is covered in this guide separately from Azerbaijan; while its government is not recognized by any UN member state, it does have de facto control over the area. This is not a political endorsement of any party's claim in the dispute.|
There are 71 urban settlements in Azerbaijan with the official status of a city (Azerbaijani: şəhər). However, only 3 of them have population more than 300,000 people — Baku, Sumqayit and Ganja — and Sumgayit is de facto suburb of Baku today. Here are the most important destinations to explore in the country:
- Baku — The capital and largest city of the Caucasus
- Ganja — Azerbaijan's second largest city has a long history and some important sites
- Lankaran — Southern city near the Iranian border
- Nakhchivan city — The administrative capital of Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan exclave
- Sheki — A beautiful city in the forested Caucasus Mountains with lots to see and do
- Gabala — new resort town deep in Caucasian Montains.
- Shemakha — capital city of Shirvanshahs before Baku.
Notable National Parks and Reserves:
- Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape
- Göygöl National Park
- Ismailli State Reserve
Notable towns and villages:
- Khinalug—scenic, remote mountain village once a center of Zoroastrianism; today the few inhabitants are an ethnic isolate believed to be descendants of the Caucasus Albanians (Not to be confused with modern-day Albanians of Albania in south-eastern Europe who are entirely unrelated to them).
- Goygol — formely named Khanlar (Xanlar) and Helenendorf. Town was founded not far from Ganja by german farmers from Bavarian Swabia. Today, town remains in exelent condition old german neighbourhood, including lutheranian church.
- Shamkir — another germans populated town.
- Lahich — cozy highland village.
- Gakh — small town on the way to Alazan Valley .
- Agdam — a ghost town.
- Nij — enormous village of endangering Christian ethnic group - Udins.
- Shahdag Ski Resort
- Ski Complex "Tufan"
- Beaches of Absheron Peninsula. Region is home for the top-rated beaches of Caspian Coast. There are many of luxury resort areas along the coast.