Our Azerbaijan holidays and tours show you a very different side to Europe. It is the odd one out in the Caucasus. With an Islamic heritage and culture more akin to Central Asia than Europe, Azerbaijan stands in stark contrast to both Georgia and Armenia.

Bordering the Caspian Sea and with rich oil reserves, the country has always been rather a cultural entrepot. Today the ultra-modern constructions of Baku show a confident nation that some describe as the new Dubai. But look beyond these for an alternative insight into the country. The people of Azerbaijan’s remoter areas still retain distinctive folk traditions. Beyond Baku, the landscapes vary from soaring mountains, to barren deserts and mature forests.

On our Azerbaijan holidays you’ll discover the ancient palaces of the Khans, delightful hidden villages and striking mausoleums that are evidence of a rich and colourful history. The strange geological phenomena of the Absheron Peninsula, with its flaming hillsides, as well as old Zoroastrian temples have given rise to the moniker ‘Land of Fire’. Its bubbling mud volcanoes add to the sheer bizarre nature of one of Europe’s most intriguing destinations.

Top highlights on Azerbaijan holidays and tours

  • Marvel at flaming mountains and bubbling mud volcanoes
  • Visit the unique town of Krasnaya Sloboda, home to Azerbaijan’s Jewish population
  • Wander the cobbled streets of Lahic, with its old mosques and coppersmiths
  • Witness the elaborate decorations of the Khan’s Palace in Shekhi
  • Stop at Beshbarmag Mountain, a natural fortress frequented by rock-kissing pilgrims
  • Explore Baku’s historic quarter and the Palace of the Shirvanshas

Encapsulating a curious balance between east and west, our Azerbaijan holidays take us from the glittering skyscrapers on the Caspian Sea, to the dramatic peaks of the High Caucasus.

Culture

Azerbaijan’s main language is Azeri, which is related to Turkish. Russian is fairly widely spoken among the older generation but increasingly younger people are starting to learn English and you’ll often find that in the larger cities it’s not too difficult to find someone who speaks some degree of English.

Most people in Azerbaijan are Muslim, although levels of adherence to the faith differ widely, especially as religion was discouraged under Soviet rule. Other faiths include Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism, although these are much less significant within the country than Islam.

Azerbaijani’s are also very superstitious people. These superstitions include kissing holy rocks and stopping to make a donation at a roadside shrine to ensure a safe journey. Spitting three times is the Azerbaijani equivalent to touching or knocking on wood. There is also a tea drinking culture in Azerbaijan and you will undoubtedly be treated to endless cups of tea if you visit an Azerbaijani home. A cube of sugar accompanies and the locals take a bite before sipping the tea as part of an old medieval tradition.

Azerbaijan is fiercely proud of its artistic, literary and musical achievements. The country is famous for its carpet weaving and coppersmiths, and Baku has a vibrant arts scene with many galleries, and a variety of theatre and live music performances.

When to go on holiday to Azerbaijan

The best time to visit Azerbaijan is either in autumn or spring when the mountains are carpeted with wildflowers and the snow melts making travel into the mountains easier.

Temperatures can be extreme in both the winter and summer months. In the summer, you can expect highs of 40 °C, although the Caspian Sea provides some relief. In the winter, the Caucasus Mountains see snow with temperatures dipping as low as -20°C.

Start planning your trip to Azerbaijan

Check out our small group tours to Azerbaijan: Between East and West and The Edge of Europe. While many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger group. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made Azerbaijan holidays or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Good for:Historic Sites, Local Culture and Stunning Landscapes