Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is often compared to Dubai for its outlandish architecture and appetite for gold. Also comparable to Venice, a part of the capital known as Baku Boulevard or “Little Venice” is enveloped in man-made waterways and is a relaxing escape from the city within the city. But above all else, Azerbaijan is quickly emerging as an excellent luxury destination and even a perfect ground for business meetings. Besides its modern architectural feats, the country hosts an array of medieval architectural goldmines, spectacular mountainous natural retreats, and a rich culture that captivates all those with the eyes to see. This blog will cover a few of Azerbaijan’s top tourist attractions, some of the best hotels and retreats in the area, as well as a unique and well-kept living memorial of the soviet days. Here’s our list of Azerbaijan’s top tourist attractions:
Azerbaijan’s Top Tourist Attractions No. 1: Ivanovka Village the Collective Farm
For those hoping to get a more cultural experience from the visit, the living socialist museum that is the kolkhoz (Russian for collective farm) or the Ivanovka Village is an excellent opportunity to get a taste of the peaceful Azerbaijani/Russian village life.
A collective farm is an amalgamation of many farms usually held under the supervision of a communist government that dictates how the output is distributed when land is not privatized. All the inhabitants play a role in the operation of such an enterprise.
However, in Ivanovka, the farm belongs to the community. A community that, to a large extent, is self-sustainable and lives off of its own produce.
Life in the Ivanovka Village
The highest authority in the collective farm is the Council of Elders. They guide the everyday life of the villagers through the dictates of the Molokan religion. Molokans are a Christian sect that evolved from Eastern Orthodoxy.
The entire community attends Sunday mass. Everyone works on the collective farm, and no doors are locked within the village. Members of the council of Elders can be seen going about attempting to reconcile couples on the verge of divorce and convincing youngsters not to drink alcohol.
The population of over 3,000 Molokans is extremely honest and does not cuss. If a cow has strayed away from the herd and made it into Ivanovkan territory, the Molokan will not rest until its owner is found.
Molokan men are bearded, and it is seen as a disgrace to die without a beard.
More About the Ivanovkan Collective Farm
Producing its own milk and cereals, the village boasts auto farms, mills, cattle breeding facilities, poultry farms, and even brick and tile factories. There also exists a milk processing plant that produces cheese and sour cream and a bakery that produces scrumptious Russian bread. The products that come out of the collective farm have earned the recognition of all of Azerbaijan.
Apart from enjoying local soul food, visitors can observe the local’s unique way of life and hear some of the well-kept folklore as it is translated to them.
The area has a refreshing aura of innocence and wholesome living. The calmness and quietude of the Ivanovkan plains are enough to make the soft whistles of the wind audible. The village is best visited in the warmer seasons.
Carpets in Azerbaijan
Carpets are held in high esteem in the country. There are laws preventing carpets older than 30 years of age from being exported and you will be searched and asked for a carpet certificate at the airport if you choose to buy this souvenir.
Considered the epicentre of the carpet renaissance of the 21st century, Baku has an endless selection of carpet designs and types to choose from.
Visitors can find a good wide selection of carpets in the Icheri Sheher shopping area A.K.A the Old City in Baku. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvellous architectural feats from as early as the 12th century can be found here, along with an array of handicrafts and local attires. Refer to this carpet buying guide before shopping for the esteemed hand-woven carpets.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum is a great way to get acquainted with the country’s carpet scene. Click on the following link for a virtual tour of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum.
Azerbaijan’s Top Tourist Attractions No. 2: Sheki City
Once a trading hub on the Silk Road, the mountainous area of the Azerbaijani mountains is very much alive with the legacy of the past. So much so that it has been compared with stepping into another era entirely. The wild hills, woodlands, bushlands, and valleys surrounding this area are ideal for hikers and nature lovers.
Astara City and the Flammable Water Spring of Yanar Bulag
Bordering Iran and facing the Caspian sea, Astara is a unique corner of the country. Laden with rice, tea, and citrus orchards and farms, the area is known for its tranquillity and the Hikran National Park. Just a few kilometres northwest of the city, visitors are known to make a pitstop (with a lighter ready at hand) at the famous Burning Springs of Archivan. Located in a small pavilion, the water fountain is highly flammable due to the methane gas that is exuded along with its water.
Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Baku
Baku has some of the best hotels and resorts in the Caucus regions. Here are a few of our top picks.
Fairmont Baku – Flame Towers
One of the most scenic buildings across Bakus’s racy skyline is the flame-shaped towers that light up the sky with an almost translucent glow. When you choose the Fairmont Baku, you will be spending the night in the luxury of one of these suites. Overlooking the Caspian sea, with a rooftop pool and spa, plus a ground-floor Lamborghini showroom, the state-of-the-art facilities of the Fairmont Baku are there to make your stay an unforgettable one.
Another great choice for accommodation is the Hilton in Baku. Distinguishing itself with Arabic-speaking concierges and staff, the availability of Halal food, and accommodating the lingual preferences of guests wherever possible (such as the availability of Arabic TV), the Hilton Baku has gained the hearts of Arab guests with how at home it makes them feel. Furthermore, the hotel’s luxurious atmosphere also includes fitness facilities, pools, and spas. The hotel is also great for family trips, with babysitting options and a kid’s menu available.
One of the few places that are pet-friendly, where children below 17 can stay free of charge, and those below 12 eat for free, the Holiday Inn leaves no guest unhappy. Providing guests with a range of accommodation options, the Holiday Inn caters to everyone in 5-star fashion and is very conveniently located within the centre of the city.
Gulf Reps and Azerbaijan’s Top Tourist Attractions
Gulf Reps is the leading travel and tourism representation company in the Middle East, with over 60 years of regional and industry experience. We have served clients on six continents, delivering transformative results to everyone from hoteliers to tourism boards. Our mix of world-class marketing expertise, PR specialists, unparalleled connections and relationships, and eclectic mix of marketing channels makes working with Gulf Reps the only sure way to drive Middle Eastern tourists to your destination.
To find out more about our services, you can call us at +971 (0)4 703 6333 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org