Azerbaijan, 4th: with excursions to Georgia

Azerbaijan, 4th: with excursions to Georgia

by Mark Elliott

Paperback(Fourth Edition)



Perched beside the oil-rich Caspian Sea, compact, hospitable Azerbaijan is astounding in its scenic variety. Painted moonscape deserts, snow-capped Caucasian peaks, subtropical forests and flower-filled grasslands all lie within a few hours’ drive of Baku, the artistically-vibrant, cosmopolitan capital with its UNESCO-recognized walled Old City. Since the first edition in 1999 this map-packed book has become the definitive guide for visitors and residents alike. Now in its expanded and fully-updated 4th edition it’s more practical than ever. Practical information – Visas, getting to Azerbaijan, where to stay, where to eatSights and excursions – Discover bubbling mud volcanoes, linguistically-unique stepped villages, ruined castles, a flaming hillside and fire-temple, iron-wood forests, water that ‘catches fire’, ‘magical’ rocks kissed smooth by superstitious wish-seekers. On foot, by car, 4WD, bus, train or horse be among the first tourists to explore delightful Azerbaijan since Noah sailed across the country 5000 years ago, his Ark carving a great gash through Nakhchivan’s Snake Mountain.190 maps – Includes even more maps, illustrated with over 160 sketches and diagrams. As well as showing hotels, restaurants, bus stops etc, these maps also include landmarks at key unsigned junctions to help motorists and hikers.History, language, cultural tipsExcursions to neighbouring Georgia

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781905864232
Publisher: Trailblazer Publications
Publication date: 02/23/2010
Edition description: Fourth Edition
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 4.70(w) x 7.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Mark Elliott has been visiting Azerbaijan regularly for the last 15 years and has driven, hiked, ridden and hitched back into virtually every corner of the country to research the fourth edition of this guide.

Read an Excerpt

IntroductionFascinating Azerbaijan has an incredible wealth of scenic contrasts, is famous for caviar and carpets and has curiosities from bizarre mud volcanoes to perpetually-burning fire temples. Baku, the cosmopolitan capital, oozes historical interest from the core of its UNESCO-recognized walled Old City to its grand, century-old ‘oil boom’ architecture. Its hospitable people are highly cultured, there’s a vibrant art and music scene, several colourful markets and an ever-expanding choice of dining and entertainment possibilities. Just an hour or two’s drive beyond the city amazingly varied landscapes encompass painted deserts, vineyards, orchards, oak woodlands, snow-capped peaks, iron-wood forests, hilltop castles and magnificent canyons. Azerbaijan clearly has a bright tourist potential. But as yet few Westerners seem to have noticed. Indeed in many areas you may still be among the first foreign visitors locals have seen in generations. Things are gradually changing, however, as comfortable new and renovated accommodation options sprout in an ever wider range of lovely rural settings, aimed primarily at Baku weekenders. With a horse or four-wheel-drive vehicle and/or lots of time the adventurous can explore Azerbaijan’s least known but most spectacular regions in and around the soaring High-Caucasus mountains. This guide gives you an unparalleled depth of background information and all the practical tips necessary to appreciate and make the most of this beautiful, varied and under-estimated land.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION (1) PART 1: AZERBAIJAN OVERVIEW Practical Information (Visas, Getting there, Getting around, Money, Accommodation, Food, Drink, Health, Annoyances and safety, Climate, What to wear, things to take, Sources of information, Post and telecommunications ) Facts about the country (History, Religion, Culture and attitudes, Festivals and holidays, Language, Entertainment and the arts, Carpets, Sports and games) What to see, where to go (Geographical overview , Land of fire, Beaches, Mud volcanoes, Post-Soviet curiosities, Architecture, Museums, Into the mountains, Flora and fauna) (2) PART 2: BAKU (Orientation, Information and guides, Naming confusions, History, Exploring the Old City, Around the Old City (Suggested walk), Central Baku, Best of ... overviews, Station area, The Yasamal Slopes, Shähidlär Xiyabany, Zorge and Officer parks, Gänclik and the Embassy area, Tabriz Avenue, In the distant suburbs, Bazaars, Shops and services, Accommodation, Restaurants, Cafés, pubs and bars, Discos, clubs and pick-up bars, Entertainment, Getting around, Getting to/leaving Baku) (3) AROUND BAKU Baku to Älät (Baku to Sahil, Sahil to Gobustan, Gobustan and the mud volcanoes, Älät), Absheron peninsula (History, Beaches, Getting around, Places to visit, North-West Absheron) (4) THE NORTH (Introduction, Regional history, Baku to Giläzi, Giläzi to Alti Aach and the tough route to Shamakha, Giläzi to Qandov, Qandov to Nabran, Nabran , Qandov to Quba, Quba, Excursions from Quba, Quba to Qächräsh and beyond, Hiking excursions from Xinaliq, Quba to Samur, Quba to Qusar, Excursions from Qusar) (5) Shamakha–Shäki route (Introduction , Baku to Märäzä, Märäzä to Shamakha, Shamakha, Around Shamakha (north), Around Shamakha (south), Shamakha to Ismaili, Ismaili, Around Ismaili, Ismaili to Qäbälä, Qäbälä , North of Qäbälä, North-west of Qäbälä , South of Qäbälä, Qäbälä to Shäki, Shäki, Around Shäki, Shäki to Qax, Qax, South of Qax, North-east of Qax/Ilisu, Qax to Zaqatala, Zaqatala, North of Zaqatala/Car, Zaqatala to Balakän, Balakän, Postbina (Crossing the border to/from Georgia) (6) CENTRAL AZERBAIJAN (Introduction , Älät to Kürdamir, Göychay to Mingächevir , Mingächevir , Yevlax, Bärdä, Bärdä to Tärtär and Naftalan, Naftalan , Göranboy and the Todan Loop, Gänjä, Around Gänjä, Bayan–Dashkasan–Hosh Bulaq, Gänjä to Shämkir, Shämkir, Shämkir–Gadäbäy–Tovuz loop, Tovuz to Qazax, Qazax, Qazax to the Georgian border, Krasni Most/Red Bridge (Georgian Border) Towards Karabagh (Background, Shusha, Lesser-known sites in the occupied area, Getting to Karabagh, Towards the occupied area) (7) THE SOUTH (Introduction , Älät to Salyan, Salyan to Neftchala , Sälyan to Masalli, Masalli, Around Masalli, Masalli Istisu to Yardimli, Yardimli, Around Yardimli, Yardimli to Lerik, Masalli to Länkäran, Länkäran, Around Länkäran, Länkäran to Lerik, Lerik, Towards Kalaxan, Astara region, Astara town) (8) PART 8: NAKHCHIVAN (History, Practical Information, Nakhchivan City, Southern Nakhchivan , Alinja Castle, Northern Nakhchivan, North-Western Nakhchivan ) (9) PART 9: EXCURSIONS TO GEORGIA (SAKARTVELO) Facts about the country (Introduction, History, Religion, Visas, Getting there, Getting around, Money, Accommodation, Food, Health, Climate, Sources of information , Staying in touch) Tbilisi and around (Exploring the centre, Accommodation, Where to eat and drink, Greater Tbilisi) Kaheti and routes to Azerbaijan (Tbilisi to Lagodekhi direct, Tbilisi to Telavi, Telavi, Telavi to Lagodekhi/Azerbaijan border, David Gareja cave monasteries) Routes to Turkey (Tbilisi to Posof via Akhaltsikhe, Tbilisi to Trabzon via Batumi, Into the Georgian Mountains, Swaneti and Khevsureti) (10) APPENDICES Bibliography, Menu decoder, Glossary, Who’s who, Useful words and phrases, Names (11) INDEX


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