Health&Wellness_EN

tourismboardaz

salam

hello

Contents

Spa hotels and sanatoriums 2

Health and wellness opportunities 4

Health and wellness destinations 6

Naftalan 8

Gabala 14

Qalaalti 20

Lankaran 26

Sheki 32

Come and immerse yourself in traditional

Azerbaijani wellness experiences to recharge

your mind, body and soul.

Soak up the healing properties of Azerbaijan’s

natural resources, gentle climate, spas and

hammams.

Nakhchivan 36

Health and wellness in Azerbaijan 40

Baku 42

Practical information 44

1


spa hotels

and wellness centres

I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX KF S

Healing Naftalan Oil

Thermal Springs

Extensive Wellness

Salt Caves

Garabag

Resort & SPA

Chinar

Hotel & SPA

Gashalti

Health Hotel

Naftalan

Sanatorium

Kapaz

Sanatorium

Qafqaz Thermal

& SPA Resort Hotel

Qalaalti

Hotel & SPA

Lankaran Springs

Wellness Resort

Uludag

Complex

Chenot

Palace

Markhal

Resort & SPA

Duzdag

Hotel

+ + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + + + +

+ + + + + + +

+ + + + + + + + +

+ + + + +

+ + + + + + + + + + +

+ + + + +

+ + + +

+ + + + +

+ + + +

I

-

Skin conditions

VII

-

Respiratory diseases

II

-

Musculoskeletal disorders

VIII -

Dental issues

III

-

Peripheral nervous system diseases

IX

-

Metabolic and endocrine disorders

IV -

Gynaecological diseases

KF

-

Kids-friendly

V

-

Kidney and urological diseases

S

- SPA

VI -

Cardiovascular diseases

2 3


Centuries ago, people travelled from afar

along the Silk Road to the Land of Healing

Oil – the home of Naftalan oil, which was once

considered a rare medicine. Naftalan oil raised

the profile of Azerbaijan long before the petrooil

boom that made Baku world famous in the

19 th century.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AZERBAIJAN

sumptuous spa breaks

with lifelong effects

Azerbaijan’s natural springs have relieved

thousands of people of their ailments, including

rheumatism and many common skin diseases.

Today, the country is seeing a flurry of new

guests arriving each year to experience the new

spa and wellness facilities for themselves.

With its rich natural resources – mineral waters and mud —

some of which are considered a remedy for many diseases,

Azerbaijan is known as the healing hub of the region.

Here, you can combine an amazing adrenaline-driven

holiday with world-class wellness treatments. Enjoy the

breathtaking views of nature peppered with pleasant local

surprises. Awaken with the wonder of ancient monuments and

be spoiled for choice with the range of activities that stretch

from leisure to adventure. Above all, restore your well-being

or recuperate through the curative properties in the natural

resources and treatments available at our health resorts.

The unique climatic features of Azerbaijan have contributed

to the development of these resorts and tourist facilities. The

dry subtropical climate over large areas has a positive effect

on human health while minerals in the water, medicinal oils

and mud, and world-class resorts allow you to enjoy yearround

activities in the country.

Azerbaijan offers a great variety of sanatoriums and

hotels with superb spas including services for balneal

and mud therapy. It is home to the world’s most diverse

mud volcanoes — about 400 of them! The Dashgil area in

Gobustan is wonderfully isolated and atmospheric with a

wide variety of active mud volcanos that bubble away with

gurgling mud pools.

Traditionally famous for its unique historical and cultural

sights, Azerbaijan’s health and wellness tourism offerings are

likely to surprise and delight. With a mild climate and stunning

landscapes including forests, mountains, rivers and waterfalls,

the country is well placed to host everything from healing

resorts to medicinal muds, curative oils and soothing salt

caves.

4

5


Shamkir

G E O R G I A

Ganja

Shamkir

Sheki

Ganja

Gusar

Gabala

Sheki

R U S S I A

Ismailli

Guba

Shabran

Gusar

Gabala

Ismailli

Guba

Shabran

Siyazan

Siyazan

health and wellness

destinations

Goygol

A R M E N I A

A R M E N I A

Naftalan

Goygol

Naftalan

Baku

Baku

Khankendi

Khankendi

Shusha

Shirvan

Shirvan

Shusha

C A S P I A N

S E A

hivan

Nakhchivan

I R A N

I R A N

Lankaran

Lerik

Legend

C A S P I A N

Siyazan Region

S Sheki E Region A

Gabala Region

Naftalan Region

Nakhchivan Region

Lankaran Region

Baku Region


NAFTALAN

oil baths

a remedial wonder

R U S S I A

As the only healing naphthalene oil field in

the world, Naftalan is a unique resort town

of international importance. The oil found

here is rare and naphthenic and while it

looks similar to conventional industrial oils,

its unique chemical composition affords it

exceptional therapeutic qualities.

G E O R G I A

With its biologically active substances,

Naftalan oil harbours anaesthetic, antiinflammatory,

antiseptic, antihistamine and

vasodilator properties that can be used to

treat over 70 diseases, including various skin

conditions, musculoskeletal, gynaecological,

urological and ENT diseases, and issues with

the nervous system and peripheral blood

vessels. The resort’s climate means that

medical care can be provided throughout

the year with excellent therapeutic results.

Along with 5-star hotels, Naftalan’s wellness

centres such as Kapaz and Naftalan also

offer the town’s famous crude oil treatments.

A R M E N I A

Ganja

Naftalan

Baku

C A S P I A N

S E A

Treatment

Therapeutic baths filled with Naftalan oil at a

temperature of 36-38°C are usually prescribed as

part of a comprehensive course of treatment and

are typically complemented by balneotherapy,

physiotherapy, massages, paraffin therapy, and physical

activities. All bathers must first undergo a medical

check-up, after which they will receive a prescription

for treatment type, duration, and required procedures

including soaking in an oil bath under doctor’s

supervision.

Naftalan story

Once upon a time, a caravan was travelling on the

famed Silk Road. One of their camels collapsed on this

difficult journey because of disease and exhaustion.

Not knowing how to help it, the merchants left it to live

its last days in the shade of an oasis next to the coast

of a vast, dark lake. Unstable on its feet, the camel

slipped and immersed itself in the dark lake. Months

later, returning on the same route, the caravan found

the camel alive, well and carefree in the shade of the

oasis. The merchants quickly concluded that the dark

lake had healed the camel so they brought with them

the dark liquid, which turned out to be Naftalan oil.

I R A N

Baku to Naftalan: 330 km

Ganja to Naftalan: 50 km

Baku to Naftalan by bus (from Baku Bus Terminal): 5 hours

Baku to Naftalan by taxi: 4 hours

Baku to Ganja by train (from Baku Railway Station): 4 hours

Ganja to Naftalan by taxi: 1 hour

Direct flights (to Ganja Airport) from: Baku, Moscow, Istanbul.

Shuttles may be arranged by the hotels from Ganja International Airport.

8


NAFTALAN

health and

wellness centres

Chinar Hotel & SPA ★★★★★

Chinar Hotel & SPA is a 5-star

health resort with its very

own polyclinic, specialising

in medical examinations and

therapeutic programmes that are

centred around balneotherapy,

therapeutic showers, physical

activity and individual dieting

regimes. It also houses a fitness

centre, a spa with rehabilitation

programmes, physiotherapy

and massage rooms, an indoor

semi-Olympic pool, a Turkish

steam bath and a sauna. In the

warmer months, the Chinar offers

open-air sports facilities and

fully equipped children’s play

areas. During the colder seasons,

guests can unwind and relax in

the Chinar’s temperate Winter

Garden.

NAFTALAN

Garabag Resort & SPA ★★★★★

Surrounded by lush, green gardens,

Garabag Resort & SPA is home

to a wide range of treatments

that not only use Naftalan oil, but

also aromatherapy, hydrotherapy,

as well as anti-stress and detox

programmes. Other hotel facilities

include outdoor and indoor pools,

a tennis court, volleyball and

basketball courts, mini golf, a

children’s playground, a library and

a business centre, and an iconic

therapeutic recreation complex

Entera SPA & Wellness, which is

located on a territory of more than

2,000 m2. The SPA treatments are

aimed at healing and relaxing the

whole body. By acting through the

skin, biologically active components

activate metabolism, improve

blood circulation, remove toxins

from the body and improve overall

feeling. Programmes have been

developed to treat chronic muscle

and joint diseases, gynaecological

and cardiovascular diseases,

neurotic disorders related to stress

and fatigue, diseases caused by

metabolic disorders, psoriasis,

allergies, and many others.

The treatment and prevention

programmes, together with the

healing climate and favourable

psychological environment help

achieve brilliant results. The complex

also has a sauna, hammam, salt

room, therapeutic showers and aroma

cabins.

Gashalti Health Resort ★★★★★

Gashalti Health Resort brings

together the best features of

a health clinic and the comfort

of a 5-star hotel. In addition to

oil therapy and a wide range

of diagnostic, therapeutic

and rehabilitation procedures

(physiotherapy, paraffin therapy,

iodine and bromine baths) and

special packages (anticellulite,

diabetic, acne, detox, etc.), the

Gashalti also houses a topof-the-range

spa, fitness and

entertainment facilities. The

hotel’s spa centre is a wonderful

opportunity for a comfortable

and relaxing holiday in addition

to medical therapies. It has

massage rooms, a sauna, a

steam room and a huge indoor

pool.

10

11


NAFTALAN

points

of interest

Museum of crutches

The only crutches museum in the world houses hundreds of

crutches of various designs and sizes. They have been left

here and signed by people who on arrival at the resort could

not walk without crutches.

Goygol district

Located in the western part of Azerbaijan, this is one of

the most picturesque regions of the country. Celebrated

in Azerbaijani poetry, paintings and songs, Lake Goygol is

the country’s best loved mountain lake, set beneath the

dramatic rocky peak of Mt Kapaz and ringed by thick green

forests that turn golden in autumn. Maral Gol, which is

nearby, is also very appealing.

Ganja is Azerbaijan’s second largest city. According to

medieval sources, the city of Ganja was founded in 859-60

CE. The city has one of the largest textile conglomerates in

Azerbaijan and is famous for a fabric named Ganja silk, which

is highly regarded around the world. The Nizami Mausoleum,

built in honour of the prominent Azerbaijani poet Nizami

Ganjavi, stands just outside the city and attracts thousands

of travellers who also visit the Juma Mosque, the biggest

mosque in the city and Khan Bagi, a 17 th -century park.

Ganja Bottle House

This astonishing two-storey house was completed in 1967

by Ibrahim Jafarov, and is made of 48,000 glass bottles of

different colours and sizes. Unusual, even for Azerbaijan!

Cities of Shamkir and Goygol

In the towns of Shamkir and Goygol we can clearly see

the traces of German settlers here in the 19th century. The

beautifully restored Germanic streets and Lutheran churches

make them unique destinations.

Goygol Lake

12


GABALA

mineral waters

thermal springs

R U S S I A

Gabala is one of Azerbaijan’s foremost resort

towns. It builds on a beautiful landscape

with an exceptional range of upmarket and

affordable hotels. Activities are aplenty,

including quad biking, skiing, hiking, skating,

paintball, bowling, horse rides, spas and

shooting, and visitors can choose from

several fabulous swimming pools. Mountain

waterfalls, large forests and the magnificent

Caucasus Mountains make Gabala an ideal

place for relaxation in summer, while during

winter Gabala offers winter sports such as

skiing and snowmobiling.

G E O R G I A

Gabala

Baku

A R M E N I A

Mineral waters in Gabala

Since ancient times, mineral waters have been

widely used for medicinal and preventive purposes in

Azerbaijan. Currently, there are more than 30 deposits

of thermal mineral waters with different concentrations,

sulphur levels and organic substances in the Greater

Caucasus. Three of them are located in Gabala.

The Yengija and Gamarvan thermal springs are popular

for their therapeutic value not only in Azerbaijan, but

also in neighbouring countries, and function at the

moment as resorts with hot springs. The Gamarvan

spring, called Chomcha Bulag, is a thermal mineral

water (39.2°) that is rich with ferruginous and sulphur

compounds. In terms of chemical and physical

properties and therapeutic value the Gamarvan mineral

spring is similar to the well-known Kuldur mineral water

in Western Europe. Shongar is a hydrocarbonaceous

and calcareous cold mineral spring that is widely used

as high-quality drinking water by the population. The

exceptional water of the Yengija spring is artificially

heated with “mountain stone” and widely used in the

treatment of many diseases. Heating with this stone

significantly enriches the Yengija mineral water and

converts it into a solution containing compounds of up

to 10 chemicals that are valuable for the human body.

I R A N

Baku to Gabala: 225 km

Baku to Gabala by flight: 45 minutes

Baku to Gabala by bus (from Baku Bus Terminal): 4 hours

Baku to Gabala by taxi: 2.5-3 hours

Direct flights (to Gabala Airport) from: Baku, Dubai, Moscow.

C A S P I A N

S E A

14


GABALA

health and

wellness centres

GABALA

Chenot Palace Health Wellness

Hotel ★★★★★

The Chenot Group could not

have chosen a more idyllic

location for a place to unwind:

in the ancient region of Gabala,

situated on the historical Silk

Road, surrounded by high

mountains and deep canyons,

rivers and lakes, hot springs

and waterfalls. The luxurious

Chenot Palace stays true to the

brand’s legendary hospitality,

exclusivity, and world-class

wellness packages. Luxury is

infused into every aspect of

the Chenot Palace Hotel: the

location, the medicinal spa

and a sophisticated clinic

that seeks only to improve the

health, wellbeing, and natural

appearance of all its guests.

Qafqaz Thermal & Spa Hotel

Gabala ★★★★★

Nestled within the outstanding

natural beauty of the Yengija Forest,

the 4-star Qafqaz Thermal & SPA

Hotel is a unique relaxation and

recreation centre, built right on top

of a therapeutic water source in

Gabala. After years of chemical

analysis, scientists have confirmed

what local people have known for

centuries – the water possesses

restorative properties. In the hotel’s

health centre, guests are invited to

bathe in the locally sourced water

that has been proven to help treat

arthritis, rheumatism, dermatological

diseases, osteochondritis and

other disorders. The hotel offers

naphthalene oil therapy procedures

that have been used for generations

to help cure dermatological,

neurological, gynaecological,

urological, ENT, and cardiovascular

issues. The hotel also has a spa

centre, gym, indoor pool, restaurant

and bar.

The Chenot also offers a number

of bespoke programmes (lasting 3,

7 or 14 days) such as Fundamental,

Advanced and Active Detox,

Prevention and Aging Well, Stress

Recovery and Re-Energising, and

Metabolic Optimization & Weight

Loss.

The Palace was designed

to create an invigorating

environment, and has equipped

its 6,000m 2 spa with state-of-theart

facilities to conduct check-ups

and spa treatments on each and

every guest. The hotel also houses

a first-rate metabolic laboratory, a

-110°C cryo-chamber, antigravity

technology, an altitude chamber,

and facilities for medical aesthetic

treatments.

16

17


GABALA

points

of interest

Old Gabala and Nij

History hunters have plenty to do seeking out the

archaeological reminders of the once great kingdom

of Caucasian Albania. Its 4 th -century capital was about

20 km west of Gabala, a site that is now a beautifully set,

rural archaeological place of interest with a splendid new

museum. In the nearby village of Nij, the population still

speaks an otherwise ‘lost’ dialect.

Seven Beauties waterfall

The Seven Beauties or Yeddi Gozel waterfall flowing from

the highest peaks of the Caucasus Mountains and located

in Vandam village in Gabala is named after the 7 mountain

roads that reach the waterfall. As the waterfall is completely

frozen in the winter, it is very hard to get here. However, during

spring and summer, teahouses dot every mountain road,

where guests are offered a tea set with traditional types of

Gabala jam. At the highest point of the waterfall there is a

teahouse with a special wooden floor where you can drink tea

against the soothing backdrop of the pleasant sounds and

scenery of the waterfall. The water for the tea is taken from

the waterfall and enhances its flavour.

Gabala in winter is as magnificent as in

summer. With skiing and snowmobiles, it

appeals to the adrenaline junkie and through

its sheer beauty it also draws visitors seeking

relaxation and tranquillity. There are ski

slopes for both beginners and professionals

at Tufandag Winter-Summer Tourism

Complex, one of the main ski resorts in the

Caucasus.

The ski season runs from 15 th December until

31 st March. In addition, there are fun activities

such as snow motorcycling, sleigh rides, quad

biking for adults and snowboarding.

Lahij

Less than a 2-hour drive from Gabala, via a geologically

spectacular canyon, the pretty little village of Lahij woos

visitors with its antique copperware workshops, whitecobbled

streets, stone houses and craft shops. It’s a great

place to unwind in relatively cool summer air and to hike

across a series of accessible mountain trails to the crumbling

remnants of half-forgotten fortresses.

Gabala Shooting Club, a favourite place for active

leisure fans, is an ideal place to hold large-scale sports

competitions. All the necessary conditions have been

provided for the convenience of both guests and athletes

at the complex.

Muchug waterfall flows from mountain slopes 7 km from

the village of Laza. Here, from a height of 54 m, Muchug

Waterfall amazes visitors with the force of its sound as well

as its charming view. You will have to cross over slippery

rocks to reach the actual waterfall and then a stone tunnel

will lead you deeper into this charming landscape.

Gabaland is the largest open-air theme park in Azerbaijan

and in the region. It is a favourite destination amongst locals

and visitors to Gabala. The entertainment and leisure park,

which is open throughout the year, is intended for adults

and children and located in one of the most beautiful areas

of Gabala. There is plenty to appeal to all demographics

including young children and adults.

18

19


QALAALTI

timeless treatments

contemporary comforts

R U S S I A

G E O R G I A

Located 122 km from Baku, Qalaalti is a

small village on the border of the Siyazan

and Shabran regions and is considered one

of the most authentic and attractive health

resorts in Azerbaijan. Stretching across

the picturesque foothills of the Caucasus

Mountains at a height of 1,000 m above sea

level, it’s a place of special natural beauty

with crystal-clear air, located amid charming

wooded slopes along the Caspian seashore.

Here mountain and sea air merge to create a

climate with low humidity that allows people

to feel comfortable. Qalaalti means ‘under

the castle’ because it’s located below the

fortress of Chiraggala, which was built in the

5 th century by the Sassanids.

A R M E N I A

Siyazan

Baku

Naftsu and its healing properties

Qalaalti is in a region which is rich in mineral waters,

mud volcanoes and oil. It is also a place where ‘naftsu’

comes out from the bowels of the earth. According to

the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA),

a new source of naftsu or ‘oily water’ was discovered at

Galaalti in 1969 in picturesque woodlands located 20 km

from the centre of Shabran. Naftsu is the only medicinal

water in the world with a raised content of organic

substances originating in oil, such as ether soluble

organic compounds, phenols containing hydrocarbons,

volatile organic acids and humus. The water from

Qalaalti, which is strong in both taste and smell, can

only be drunk at the source, as the water doesn’t travel

or store well. The water is low in minerals, but high in

organic compounds, and has a very complex structure,

as a result of which it has a unique physiological impact

on the human body. It’s thought to prevent early aging,

reduce inflammation, and re-balance metabolism, but its

main use is in the treatment of urolithiasis (the formation

of stones anywhere in the urinary tract). Qalaalti’s water

also reduces and prevents the formation of kidney and

gallbladder stones.

Baku to Qalaalti: 122 km

I R A N

Baku to Qalaalti by bus (from Baku Bus Terminal): 4 hours

(including transfer to another bus at the Siyazan Bus Station)

Baku to Qalaalti by taxi: 1.5-2 hours

C A S P I A N

S E A

20


QALAALTI

health and

wellness centres

Qalaalti Hotel & Spa ★★★★★

Located just 120 km from Baku in the Shabran region, the Qalaalti

Hotel & SPA is a medical and recreational complex with a unique

architectural twist. The resort is home to Chirag, its very own

modern medical spa centre, equipped with state-of-the-art

technology. Medical staff meet with you and draw up a bespoke

strength and wellness programme for 7, 14 or 21 days. While

treatment programmes are mostly specialised around urology,

the centre also offers therapy for a wide range of other issues,

such as gastroenterological, andrological, gynaecological,

endocrinological, cardiological, neurological and musculoskeletal

diseases. Short-stay guests are also encouraged to visit the inhouse

clinic for a full check-up.

Here visitors can also undergo various balneo procedures, such

as Charko douche, circular and underwater shower massage,

Galvan bath, scented pearl bath with chromo therapy, dry

carbonic baths, hydrocolon therapy, which are based on

the properties of Qalaalti mineral water containing calcium

bicarbonate, chloride, sulfate, sodium and other microelements.

Qalaalti

22


QALAALTI

points

of interest

Shahdag

The rapidly expanding Shahdag resort sits on a glorious

shoulder of green mountain, offering a fine range of summer

hiking options across shepherd pastures towards the

dramatic crags above. You might also take an easier path

into the gloriously set village of Laza surrounded by strings of

waterfalls. These freeze into ice climbs in winter when snow

turns Shahdag into a spectacular ski resort. Piste quality is

ensured by state-of-the-art snow guns and accessed by a

brand new network of world-class cable cars and ski lifts.

Red Town in Guba

The largest Mountain Jewish settlement in the Caucasus,

Red Town is the only entirely Jewish settlement outside

of Israel and the US, and the last surviving shtetl. The

settlement was named as Krasnaya Sloboda or

Red Town, perhaps after the red-tiled roofs on the

houses. Red Town grew and became a diverse, yet closed

community of Mountain Jews, which has managed to

maintain its own culture, traditions and language for

centuries.

Khinalig village

For those in search of breathtaking views, look no further than

the picturesque Khinalig village in the Guba region. One of

the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world, it is

known as ‘the island among the mountains’, because it sits

snugly within the Gizilgaya, Shahdag, Tufandag and Khinalig

mountains. For centuries, this village has been cut off from

civilization by hard-to-reach mountains. After the road was

paved, it became a place of pilgrimage for travellers. The

village is located 2,000 metres above sea level.

Beshbarmag Mountain is a 382 m high hill situated along the

Guba highway, just over a one-hour drive northwest from

Baku. Beshbarmag is famous as a sanctuary attracting

thousands of visitors every year. According to legend, the

immortal prophet Khidr, whose name is mentioned in ancient

Greek sources, lived here, but the secret of the spring on the

top of the mountain, which sometimes dries up, remains a

mystery.

Golf in Guba

Although golf is a relatively new sport in Azerbaijan, the

country already has a lot to be proud of. The golf club in

Guba, which was constructed in a year, has 44 golf vehicles

to drive over 92 hectares of the club’s total area. The 18-hole

golf course covers an area of 75 hectares. Moreover, three

artificial lakes have been created within the facility to install

water barriers. There are also plans to conduct training

sessions there. The conditions provided at the club meet

the highest international standards, which allows it to hold

various international competitions.

Khinalig

24

25


LANKARAN

reconnect with nature

rejuvenate your body

R U S S I A

G E O R G I A

Bordered by the Caspian Sea and the lush

Talysh Mountains, the Lankaran region’s

countryside is diverse and eye-catching. It

is also home to two protected areas – the

Gizil Aghaj Reserve and the Hirkan National

Park – and thus within a relatively small area

offers a surprising variety of vistas. You can

journey between dramatic mountains, calm

seaside and ancient forests all in the space

of a few hours. But the nature here is not just

pleasing on the eye: from the curative black

sands of Caspian-lapped beaches to the

aromatic tea and fragrant citrus fruits grown

on its lowlands, this subtropical corner of

Azerbaijan is naturally therapeutic. Indeed,

it’s well known throughout Azerbaijan for

its numerous natural thermal water springs

(called ‘istisu’ in Azerbaijani) which have been

used by the local population for centuries.

A R M E N I A

Baku

C A S P I A N

S E A

I R A N

Istisu Water in Lankaran

Scattered among local villages, these tend to be

low-key establishments offering simple bathing

booths filled with the hot, mineral-rich water flowing

naturally from underground. Bathing in these is

surprisingly relaxing, but the village of Haftoni has

taken the procedure to an entirely new level. A popular

sanatorium opened around this village’s hot springs

way back in 1958 attracting health seekers from across

the Soviet Union, and in the summer of 2019 this was

replaced by the state-of-the-art Lankaran Springs

Wellness Resort.

Medical researchers have found the thermal waters in

the region to be packed with useful microelements and

ions, as well as nitrogen and heavy metal compounds.

Bathing in them, or even drinking from them, helps

treat a wide range of aches and pains, disorders and

diseases related to circulation, the nervous system, skin,

muscles and bones, breathing, diabetes, digestion and

kidney problems. At Lankaran Springs, balneotherapies

make use of the 12 thermal sources occurring on the

hotel’s territory while Charcot douche, mud therapy and

multiple forms of massage are also available.

Baku to Lankaran: 246 km

Baku to Lankaran by bus (from Baku Bus Terminal): 2.5-3 hours

Baku to Lankaran by taxi: 2-2.5 hours

Direct flights (to Lankaran Airport) from: Moscow.

Lankaran

Lerik

26


LANKARAN

health and

wellness centres

Lankaran Springs Wellness Resort ★★★★★

Lankaran Springs in the small village of Haftoni, 250 km

south of Baku, is Azerbaijan’s newest health and resort

complex located in one of the most beautiful places

of corners of the country. Located on a site well known

for its unique healing hot springs, the newly built health

and wellness resort promises to be one of the world’s

leading balneological resorts. The resort is surrounded

by a beautiful mountain forest landscape and is only

15 minutes from the Caspian Sea and 10 minutes from

Lankaran International Airport.

The complex has a distinct architectural style

resembling a ship sailing through an ocean of lush green

countryside. It consists of a hotel, a wellness centre

equipped with mineral springs, and a children’s centre,

and covers an area of 11 hectares. Guests are offered a

wide range of thermal procedures prescribed by highly

qualified doctors and can also enjoy delicious dishes

of local and foreign cuisine at the main restaurant,

whose open terrace also offers stunning views of the

surrounding greenery.

Lankaran Springs Wellness Resort

28


LANKARAN

points

of interest

Hirkan National Park

One of the true gems of Azerbaijani nature is located in

the heart of the Talysh Mountains, a region that can easily

be compared to a botanical garden. The Hirkan ironwood

tree, which is endemic to this area, not only survived the

last ice age but indirectly became one of the reasons for

the oil boom in Azerbaijan. Not many know that about

150 years ago, the Nobel brothers were looking to acquire

ironwood for their weapons manufacturing business. Luckily,

transportation proved too expensive and the brothers

decided to invest instead in the oil business.

Lerik

Perched high in the Talysh Mountains, the quiet town

of Lerik is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape

of mountains, rivers and waterfalls. The nature here is

refreshing that it’s even thought to be medicinal and the

main reason why Lerik became known as the Land of

Centenarians. So many of the local residents have passed

the 100-year threshold that the town has its own museum

dedicated to its long livers. One man featured here is Shirali

Muslumov, a resident of the nearby village of Barzavu, who

lived for an astonishing 168 years!

Shirvan National Park

Home to 230 species of birds, 34 of which are rare, the

Shirvan National Park is one of the best birdwatching spots in

Azerbaijan. But most people come here to see the beautiful

jeyran or Caucasian gazelle, which is also considered a rare

species throughout the world. Azerbaijan is the main territory

where these beautiful animals live. It was these gazelles that

were the inspiration for creating the Shirvan National Park

and today they are thriving here. The park is also home to

interesting species such as wolves and flamingos, as well as

mud volcanoes and remote beaches.

Tea plantations

Lankaran’s warm, subtropical climate is perfect for growing

citrus fruits. If you are lucky enough to visit the region during

autumn, you’ll be able to glimpse the colourful village

orchards overflowing with mandarins, lemons and kumquats.

Historically known for its rice plantations, tea-growing also

began to blossom here in the 1930s and quickly developed

into a symbol of Lankaran – there’s even a giant samovar

monument greeting visitors upon entering the city! Take

a tour of a local tea plantation to see how our delicious

national drink is treated, or visit the annual Tea, Rice and

Citrus Fruits Festival to get a taste for the region’s signature

produce.

Gizil Aghaj Reserve

30

31


SHEKI

where exclusivity

means an enhanced experience

R U S S I A

Sheki is Azerbaijan’s true travel

gem whose historic centre is

included on UNESCO’s World

Heritage List. Rich in Silk Road

history, this city is renowned for

its fascinating architecture, good

food, and friendly residents, and is

travel and leisure in the Caucasus

at its finest. An hour’s drive from

Sheki, located in Gakh, the

Uludag Complex is surrounded by

breathtaking mountains.

G E O R G I A

Sheki

Gabala

Markhal Resort & Spa Hotel ★★★★★

The 5-star Markhal Resort & Spa is just a

few kilometres from central Sheki, situated

at an altitude of 1,080 metres above sea

level on the south-western slope of the

Greater Caucasus. The jewel in the resort’s

crown is undoubtedly the exclusive spa: wan

indoor swimming pool, sauna, fitness suite.

A R M E N I A

Baku

Furthermore, the hotel houses a special

Wellness and Spa Centre, including salt and

sand rooms. The amber room, embellished

with natural Baltic amber, is said to infuse

its guests with enough positive energy

to treat all manner of ailments, such as

cardiovascular diseases, joint problems, and

the central nervous system. And what better

place to seek refuge and take time to heal?

The Markhal Resort whisks you far away

from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving

you the silence you need to relax.

I R A N

C A S P I A N

S E A

Baku to Sheki: 299 km

Gabala to Sheki: 87.6 km

Baku to Sheki by bus (from Baku Bus Terminal): 6 hours

Gabala to Sheki by bus (from Gabala Bus Terminal): 1.5 hours

Baku to Sheki by taxi: 5 hours

Gabala to Sheki by taxi: 1.2 hours

Direct flights (to Gabala Airport) from: Baku, Dubai, Moscow.

32


SHEKI

points

of interest

Sheki Khan’s Palace

The lavish decoration of this palace at Sheki is a visual

feast. The façade is covered with shebeke – a mosaic of

coloured glass, set in a wooden latticework and assembled

without nails or glue. The round-form shebeke of the Sheki

Khans’ Palace is unique and history comes to life through the

expert commentary of the guides. Afterwards to prolong the

relaxation, enjoy the exquisite Sheki cuisine of local chefs.

Sheki Fortress

Located at the top of the hilly north-eastern part of the city,

Sheki Fortress was built during the reign of the first Sheki

Khan Haji Chalabi. The fortress was a stronghold of the

Khan while construction of the city remained outside of it.

Up to 40 buildings were constructed inside the fortress over

different periods of time, however the Khan’s Palace was the

centrepiece.

Caravanserais

Caravanserais in Sheki were constructed in the early 18 th

century to accommodate travellers on the Silk Road. Named

as Yukhary (upper) and Ashaghy (below) caravanserai, each

of these buildings has a specific shape with a large inner

yard with a pool in the centre.

Kish is a village of 7,000 inhabitants about 5 km from Sheki.

It is a bumpy ride on the narrow cobblestone roads, but

well worth a visit to the beautiful Albanian church and the

picturesque mountain village. The brilliantly renovated

round-towered Albanian church has been lovingly converted

into a very well-presented trilingual museum. In fact, the

church site goes back well beyond the Christian era, and

glass-covered grave excavations allow visitors to peer

down over the bones of possibly Bronze Age skeletons. The

church in the village of Kish is one of the major Christian

architectural monuments of Caucasian Albania. It is thought

to have been erected in the 6 th -7 th centuries.

Hiking

The views in the mountains are stunning in summer,

especially the area of Gakh. Ilisu village was once its

very own tiny sultanate, and it is possible to hike from

the photogenic ramparts to amazing viewpoints and

spectacular waterfalls.

Sheki

34

35


NAKHCHIVAN

soak up

the power of nature

R U S S I A

Travelling amid the fabulous mountains

and monuments of the Nakhchivan

Autonomus Republic, you’ll discover beautiful

landscapes, ancient sites and quaint villages

nestled in scenic valleys. The towns and cities

of this region stand out for their historical

and artistic values, cozy corners, squares

and inimitable hospitality. Early summer

is the best time to visit this fascinating

Azerbaijani exclave which is also easily

reachable from Baku.

G E O R G I A

Ganja

Salt caves at Duzdag

For centuries, people around the world have benefited

from the power of salt therapy and the positive effects

it wields on aging skin, asthma, allergic reactions and

respiratory problems. Many salt-based treatments,

such as inhaling infused steam, are offered in health

resorts and wellness centres all over Azerbaijan. But

you must delve into the natural salt caves found in

Duzdag, where the underground tunnels have been

converted into a leading therapy centre, welcoming

guests with a wonderful team of physicians and

physiotherapists.

Duzdag Physiotherapy Centre

Located 12 km from Nakhchivan, Duzdag is home

to Azerbaijan’s most magical caves, 1,173 metres

above sea level. Not only is the Salt Mountain made

up of 130 million tons of some of the clearest and

purest natural salt in the world, but it is also known

to possess healing properties. The modern Duzdag

Physiotherapy Centre is a work of art in its own right,

tiled throughout with salt panels, air temperatures

maintained at 18-20° C and humidity ranging between

24-50%. Duzdag is one of Europe’s top health centres

for treating both allergies and pulmonary disorders

(particularly asthma in children).

The microclimate at Duzdag:

Height above sea level: 1,173 m

Temperature: 18–20° C

Atmospheric pressure: 740 mm.c.st

Relative humidity: 24–50%

Airspeed: 0–0.1 m/s

High dense Na +, CI + ions: 17.5 mg/m 3 , or 12.5 mg/m 3

Oxygen: 20%

Noise: 15-20 DB

Composition of Duzdag salt: NaCl - 98.4%; CaCI - 0.04%

MqCl - 0.06%.

A R M E N I A

Nakhchivan

I R A N

Baku to Nakhchivan: 405 km

Baku to Nakhchivan by flight: 1 hour

Direct flights (to Nakhchivan Airport) from: Baku, Ganja, Moscow, Istanbul.

Baku

C A S P I A N

S E A

36


NAKHCHIVAN

points

of interest

Momine Khatun Mausoleum

The splendid Momine Khatun Mausoleum is Nakhchivan’s

icon. With dramatic, semi-desert mountain landscapes,

Nahkchivan stretches from the looming shadow of Mount

Aghri to the historic town of Ordubad. This stunning

25-metre high decagon is representative of the city’s

architectural tradition, typified by its use of brick and

turquoise enameled tiles.

Ashab-i Kehf Cave

After the Momine Khatun Mausoleum, this region’s most

important attraction and perhaps the most exciting one

is the Ashab-i Kehf cave. According to legend, the cave is

the site of a popular legend according to which 7 friends

sought refuge here from persecution and fell asleep for 309

years. The place is filled with beautiful fountains considered

to be holy by locals, as well as several caves which can be

accessed by stairs. It is located 18 km away from Nakhchivan

city and also has several cafes that make travelling here a

pleasant short break.

Alinja Castle

Dubbed by locals as the ‘Machu Picchu of Azerbaijan’,

Alinja Castle and its recently restored ruins are one of the

prime tourist attractions in Nakhchivan. The comparison

has some merit as it sits far atop an inaccessible peak and

is distinctive for its various layers and stunning panoramic

views. However, its setting is on a stark crag rather than a

lush green South American mountain.

Nakhchivan Khans’ Palace

Built in 1760, the Khans’ Palace was the residence of the ruling

Nakhchivan khans from the mid-18 th until the early 20 th century

and is a fine example of eastern architecture. The Khans’

Palace has a luxurious interior with a large hall and ceiling

covered with exquisite ornaments, two summer gazebos on

the third floor, a courtroom and chambers formerly used by

the khan‘s family. The museum has 9 exposition halls featuring

about 2,000 exhibits, 236 of which are exhibited in the State

Historical and Architectural Museum of the Khans’ Palace

which is also located in the building.

Batabat Lake

Batabat is a mountain lake, in the mountains of the

Shahbuz region of Nakhchivan. This picturesque lake

is surrounded by alpine meadows near the source of

Nakhchivan River at an altitude of 2,500 m above sea level.

It is best known for its floating peat island and crystal-clear

fresh water.

Lake Batabat and Ilandag

38

39


HEALTH AND WELLNESS IN AZERBAIJAN

traditional recreation

modern relaxation

Spas

Whether you’re looking for spa days, spa breaks, spa hotels,

or beauty treatments – Baku is ready to pamper you from

head to toe. Visit the luxuriously tranquil Absheron Spa to

enjoy a broad range of services, from body treatments, to

fitness counselling, to taking a dip in the pool — all with a

stunning view across the Caspian Sea.

For those that enjoy a more metropolitan view from their

window, experience the ultimate escape from reality in the

Hilton Baku’s VIP Suite and indulge in the most rejuvenating

beauty treatments before heading to the steam room and

sauna.

Take a breath of fresh air from the heated outdoor swimming

pool at the Ovdan Spa in Shahdag Resort – a place that is

sure to not only set your mind at ease, but is proven to help

relieve muscle pain and reduce stress levels.

Keeping active

Azerbaijan can offer all manner of activities for all the family

to enjoy. For those who love to run, join thousands of athletes

at the Baku half marathon – just do not forget to take in the

spectacular views of the city as you go. If you prefer to find

your inner peace at a much slower pace, try a yoga class in

some of the most exquisite landmarks the capital has to offer,

such as the Seaside Boulevard or the Heydar Aliyev Centre.

And just a short drive along the coast, the Baku Aquatics

Centre awaits you with its world-class swimming pools

where parents and children alike can get involved in aqua

aerobics, water polo, synchronised swimming and just-for-fun

competitions.

Invest in your physical and mental wellbeing:

embark on a journey to a place where

eastern traditions meet western technology.

Hammams

Hammams in Azerbaijan are places to gather, relax

and socialise. In the heart of the city, any local will tell

you that the Agha Mikayil, Agha Zeynal and Tezebay

Hammams are the best spots to visit. While most public

hammams are exclusively for men, some of them open

doors to women several days a week. The traditional

Azerbaijani hammam experience entails completely

immersing oneself in warm water before taking a steam

bath, followed by a scrub-down – all of which are even

more enjoyable in the colder months. All hammam

procedures are usually followed by a tea ceremony with

friends.

Horse riding

What can be fun and whip you into shape at the same

time? Horse riding! Those of all ages are welcome to get

involved, whether in an amateur polo competition, or on

a peaceful ride through Baku (Elite Horse Club, Gunay

Horse Club, etc.) or Sheki. Horse riding has been proven

to wield both emotional and physical benefits, allowing

visitors to get in touch with their natural surroundings –

including with the horses themselves, whose rhythmic

gait invites inner calm.

40

41


BAKU

points

of interest

Gobustan

Rising out of the semi-desert here is the UNESCO Cultural

Landscape of more than 6,000 rock engravings, which go

back 40,000 years. You can also see graffiti by a Roman

legionary - the furthest east it has ever been found.

Icherisheher (Inner City)

The heart of Azerbaijan’s cultural heritage has a history

of thousands of years and is located in the historic

centre of Baku, the capital city of the ancient state of the

Shirvanshahs and symbol of Azerbaijani statehood. This

unique historic ensemble has been called the ‘Acropolis of

Baku’, Old City or Icherisheher.

Ateshgah & Yanar Dag

The fire-worshipping Zoroastrians left their mark at

Ateshgah, where the Fire Temple enthrals visitors with its

spouts of flame. The present-day temple, adopted by

the Hindu merchants trading in Baku, dates from the 19 th

century, and features 16 inscriptions in Sanskrit or Punjabi

that harbour centuries-old secrets. Less than a 20-minute

drive away from Ateshgah, a 10-metre wall of flames rises

from atop a hill at Yanardag. The natural flames were once

described by Marco Polo and continue to mesmerize those

who view them from near and afar.

Heydar Aliyev Centre

World-famous architect Zaha Hadid designed the crown

jewel of our architecture in central Baku. It flows seamlessly

from the plaza around it, joining the exterior and the interior

to represent the inclusion of everyone in a place of shared

ideas. A museum, exhibition halls and an auditorium are

housed together in this single eternally flowing shape.

Aqua parks

While Baku is conveniently located on the shore of the

Caspian Sea, swimming in the sea is not the only activity you

can try - the city is also home to several aqua parks.

Karting

Want to get your karting kicks without leaving the urban

sprawl? Located on the New Boulevard, the Caucasus’

largest indoor karting arena couldn’t be any more central.

Whiz around the track head-to-head with your friends and

family in super quick electric karts.

Flame Towers

42


PRACTICAL INFORMATION

salam

Azerbaijan

4 hrs

Moscow

Country Size

86, 600 km 2

Population

10 million

4 hrs

Minsk

3 hrs

London

Frankfurt

2 hrs

Kiev

Paris

Vienna

1 hr

Madrid

Barcelona

Rome

Istanbul

Ankara

Tbilisi

Baku

Aktau

5 hrs

Tehran

Tel Aviv

New Delhi

Doha

Dubai

Best time to visit

Dec-Mar: Cold, but perfect for

skiing and hammam experiences.

Apr-May: Getting warmer - try

hiking in the foothills. Take a brolly

in spring!

Jun-Aug: Very warm. Ideal for

hiking in the high mountains,

relaxing at by the Caspian Sea or

Gabala resorts.

Sept-Oct: Perfect for walking at

medium altitudes.

Nov: Enjoy the changing foliage.

Wear layers!

Time zone

4 hrs ahead of GMT. Since 2016 , we

no longer put the clocks forward an

hour in summer, so while the time

is 4hrs\3hrs ahead of UK\Western

Europe in winter, that drops to 3

hrs\2hrs April – October.

Religion

While we are a secular country,

most of the population follow

Islam. Muslim dress code is not

enforced nor expected. Alcohol is

very widely available. All religions

have somewhere to worship in

Azerbaijan.

Language

Our state language

is Azerbaijani.

Basic English is

understood by most

of the population.

A few mountain

villages have

their own unique

languages.

E-visas

For some

nationalities visas

are available upon

arrival. For others

e-visas can be

obtained within

3 days via evisa.

gov.az. We advise

you to check

requirements before

booking your trip.

Exchange rates

Mastercard\Visa

ATMs are very

widespread and

available in main

towns. Changing

money back is no

problem.

Accommodation

Riyadh

We have a complete range of options, from luxury

and mid-range hotels, to rural en-suite bungalows,

provincial motels and even private homestays.

Transport prices

On the bus and Baku underground one journey

costs 30 qepik, taxis are also widely available as

an alternative option.

Driving

An international driving licence is advised. Car

rental is increasingly available in Baku.

Telephone

The country code is +994, the dial out code from

Azerbaijan is 00.

Internet

Most good hotels are fully equipped with Wi-

Fi connection throughout, and big hotels will

also have business centres with at least a few

computers. Major hotels sometimes charge for

Wi-Fi, but it’s free in dozens of cafés, parks and

restaurants across Baku and beyond. Mobile

phone providers offer relatively inexpensive

dongles so that you can access the web through

3G mobile networks.

Shopping

Most international goods are available in Baku,

which has a phenomenal range of designer

boutiques. Export certificates are only required for

carpets, art and antiques. There’s a 125 g limit on

exporting caviar.

44


azerbaijan.travel

Azerbaijan.Travel

experienceazerbaijan

Published by:

Azerbaijan Tourism Board,

96E Nizami Street,

3rd floor, Landmark I,

Baku, AZ1010, Azerbaijan

More magazines by this user