Baku

Few cities in the world are changing as quickly as Baku. An architectural mix of Paris and Dubai, the tree-lined boulevards of Azerbaijan’s capital is gracefully illuminated with stone mansions and futuristic towers. Just outside the wealthy capital lies an array of bizarre attractions in Gobustan National Park and Absheron Peninsula.

At the heart of Baku lies the UNESCO-listed Old City with its exotic medieval fortress, Shirvanshahs’ Palace, Maiden Tower and caravanserai complex. Also not to be missed is the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum with its vast collection of over 10,000 carpets, jewellery and ceramics. Head to UNESCO listed Gobustan, which preserves more than 6,000 rock engravings over 5,000-40,000 years old, as well as its curiously gurgling subterranean Mud Volcanoes. In Absheron Peninsula, wander through the Burning Mountain (Yanar Dag), the fire-worshipping temples of Ateshgah and Masazirgol Pink Salt Lake. The swirling, colorful Candy Cane Mountains is a perfect addition for those with extra time.

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