Azerbaijan: Here's why you should visit this unexplored country
Have you heard of Azerbaijan? Nope, it isn't a Bollywood film but a largely unexplored nation in the Caucasus. Photos of Azerbaijan might make it appear like a fictional land with its East meets West backdrop, but trust me, it's for real! It is intriguing that this country is elusive on tourist maps, but you should consider flying there at least once. Here's why.
The Land of Fire offers fire temples and burning water
Azerbaijan has a strong fire culture and there are a number of flame-related wonders in the city to substantiate this. The fire temple in Baku has eternal flames in its altar, which was once a natural phenomenon but is now powered by gas pipelines. The Yanar Bulag is another wonder where you can witness a rare combination of the fire and water elements.
Baku, the capital city, has old-world charm with futuristic buildings
Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, has strong architectural influences of the East and the West and is an exotic blend of both cultures. On a day out in Baku, you can walk past the majestic flame towers and visit the enigmatic Maiden Tower, which is still a mystery to historians. There are also local markets and carpet shops from where you can take back souvenirs.
Treat your eyes to the rare sight of mud volcanoes
Just like volcanoes that spew lava, mud volcanoes shoot plumes of mud into the air due to gas build-up in the earth. Azerbaijan is home to 350 mud volcanoes and visitors often compare them to the surface of the moon. The Garasu Volcano is believed to be the largest mud volcano in the world with outbursts of almost 1,000 meters into the air.
Visit the stunning mountain villages for its pristine landscapes
Azerbaijan is not just home to flat terrains, but there are also a number of fascinating villages perched in the mountains of the Great Caucasus. Xinaliq, Quba, and Laza are three of the many stunning villages that offer a panoramic and breathtaking view of the Caucasian mountains. The villagers are also warm and hospitable, making it an added bonus in this unknown land.
Visiting Azerbaijan won't really burn a hole in your pocket
Azerbaijan has rich oil reserves, which makes it one of the cheapest countries in the world when it comes to travel. In addition, food and accommodation are tourist-friendly as well. The daily expenditure per tourist in Azerbaijan can fall somewhere between $30 and $40 depending on the choice of accommodation. However, opting for a private driver can take this expense a notch higher.