Unknown to most of the world, Azerbaijan is a surprisingly fun, safe and laid back country sandwiched between Russia and Iran. The country was formerly part of the Soviet Union until getting its independence in the early 90’s. Since then the country hasn’t wasted time opening up to the rest of the world and transforming its capital to an international city. The country’s population is 97% Muslim, but is full of expatriates from all over the world who come to work in Azerbaijan’s rich oil fields. This country’s natural beauty, adventure, and nightlife all took me by surprise, making it my favorite destination out of the four countries I visited in my Russia & Caucasus trip.
Opened minded and modern, Baku is a great city to visit with all its night life, restaurants, and beach life along the Caspian Sea. The city is very friendly, and probably holds the best night life in the entire Caucasus region. Baku is divided into its modern section and the old Baku which is surrounded by an ancient city wall.
Gobustan national park is located along the Caspian sea. It’s made up of rocky mountains and giant boulders that provide a safe haven for wildlife, natural beauty, and several ancient cavemen drawings. Also special to this area are the famous mud volcanoes. These mud volcanoes literally spit out cold mud and most have the traditional cone shape of real volcanoes. There are about 800 mud volcanoes in the world, but over half of them are found in Azerbaijan.