Autumn in Azerbaijan
Whether admiring the vibrant colours along scenic country lanes or enjoying breezy and lively evenings in the capital, Baku, autumn is a wonderful time to visit Azerbaijan. Summers in the country last right up till the end of September, followed by colourful and chilly autumns, which you can fully enjoy in these great places:
Bordered by the Caspian Sea and the majestic Talish Mountains, Lankaran is ideally located between two of Azerbaijan's best nature reserves. The fabulous wetlands of the Gizil Aghaj reserve on the Caspian coast are famous for their abundance of water birds that make the national park a perfect destination for birdwatchers. Meanwhile, the Hirkan National Park spreads throughout the Lankaran and Astara regions and is a botanist's paradise, home to a huge variety of rare tree species, including ancient iron trees that survived the last Ice Age, as well as the endangered Caucasian leopard.
Over a dozen marked routes offer great hiking opportunities, some with lunch stops and tea breaks along the way in timeless local villages. One such village is Sim in Astara, located in the heart of Talish mountains. Sim has a unique and very different atmosphere due to the tall old trees and large mossy rocks between and around the houses in the village. You will encounter a wonderful surprise in the woods nearby - Sim Waterfall. Here you can have a picnic or drink the famous Astara tea made with a samovar and the narrow footpath leading to the waterfall will give you a real sense of adventure.
Goygol National Park is famous for its stunning lakes with crystal-clear water, the largest of which is Lake Goygol. Lying 1,500 metres above sea level in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains surrounded by lush forests and backed by Mt Kapaz, many consider Goygol (meaning 'Blue Lake') to be Azerbaijan's most beautiful lake.
Shahdag National Park is the largest protected area in Azerbaijan, covering over 130 thousand hectares. Outdoor activity fans should definitely pay attention to the unique Shahdag mountain, whose peak reaches 4,243 metres above sea level. The routes for climbers and hikers will allow you to enjoy mesmerizing landscapes adorned with alpine lakes and picturesque canyons accompanied by peaceful silence along the way. In addition, adventurous tourists will be able to see ancient bridges, caravan routes and other historical monuments that have survived to this day.
Finally, lovers of extraordinary landscapes should definitely visit the mud volcanoes located near the Gobustan Reserve. Azerbaijan is home to the world's greatest concentration of mud volcanoes, numbering about 400 in total. While smaller than normal volcanoes, they can reach heights of 700 metres and even erupt occasionally. Near the Gobustan Reserve, just 1.5-hour drive from Baku, a Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex will soon open allowing tourists to explore the amazing moonlike landscapes.