Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bound by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km long border with Turkey in the north west.
The capital is Baku.
Population of Azerbaijan is 9,6 million, the area 86,6k km². Azerbaijan is divided into 10 economic regions; 66 rayons (rayonlar, singular rayon) and 77 cities (şəhərlər, singular şəhər) of which 12 are under the direct authority of the republic. Azerbaijan includes the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan.
Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic
Average weather temperature in winter is +4-8 °C, in summer +26-30 °C.
National currency is Azerbaijan Manat AZN. Time zone UTC +4. Country phone code +994.
Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country’s center. There are also three mountain ranges, the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, and the Talysh Mountains, together covering approximately 40% of the country. The highest peak of Azerbaijan is Mount Bazardüzü (4,466 m), while the lowest point lies in the Caspian Sea (−28 m). Nearly half of all the mud volcanoes on Earth are concentrated in Azerbaijan, these volcanoes were also among nominees for the New7Wonders of Nature.
The main water sources are surface waters. However, only 24 of the 8,350 rivers are greater than 100 km (62 mi) in length. All the rivers drain into the Caspian Sea in the east of the country. The largest lake is Sarysu (67 km²), and the longest river is Kur(1,515 km). Azerbaijan’s four main islands in the Caspian Sea have a combined area of over thirty square kilometers.
Azerbaijan is home to a vast variety of landscapes. Over half of Azerbaijan’s land mass consists of mountain ridges, crests, yailas, and plateaus.
9 out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan. Rivers and lakes form the principal part of the water systems of Azerbaijan, they were formed over a long geological timeframe and changed significantly throughout that period. There are 106 species of mammals, 97 species of fish, 363 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 52 species of reptiles which have been recorded and classified in Azerbaijan. The national animal of Azerbaijan is the Karabakh horse, a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse endemic to Azerbaijan. The Karabakh horse has a reputation for its good temper, speed, elegance and intelligence. It is one of the oldest breeds, with ancestry dating to the ancient world. However, today the horse is an endangered species.
Azerbaijan’s flora consists of more than 4,500 species of higher plants. Due to the unique climate in Azerbaijan, the flora is much richer in the number of species than the flora of the other republics of the South Caucasus. About 67 percent of the species growing in the whole Caucasus can be found in Azerbaijan.
Ancient and rich history, cultural and natural heritage attracts visitors from all over the world to our country. Virgin nature, mineral water sources, the unique curative oil – Naftalan, rare ancient memorial buildings, authentic culture, national cuisine and many other criteria allow favourable oppourtunities for various types of tourism in Azerbaijan: business, sports, medical, hunting, ekzotik, beach and even gastronomic.
Tourism in Azerbaijan is rapidly developing and turning to one of the most sigfificant spheres of country economics. The President Ilham Aliyev declared 2011 the Year of Toursim, the international Eurovision song contest hosted in Baku in 2012 – all of these casued tourist interest to Azerbaijan and impacted development of tourism in our country.
There are 30 5-star hotels in Azerbaijan, most of them being represented by worldwide brands such as Four Seasons, Hyatt Regency, JW Marriott, Hilton, Fairmont, Rixos, Pullman, and also local brands like Autograph Collection, Qafkaz Hotels. The luxury hotels are represented not only in the capital Baku, but also in other cities of the country. The amazement park Gabaland, Tufandag mountain resort in Gabala, Shahdag mountain resort in Qusar, more than 15 Olimpic complexes in regions are among the most popular attractions. Azerbaijan mugam, ashuq art, Novruz holiday, carpet art, tar art, chovqan game played by Karabakh horses, kalagayi, Lahic blacksmithing are entered in UNESCO non material heritage list.
The capital Baku is considered one of the significant touristic points in Caucasus. Among the most famous sites for visit are Icheri Sheher (Old Town), Baku boulevard, National Flag Square, Heydar Aliyev center, Fountains Square, Atashgah, Shahidlar Xiyabani, Baku TV Tower.
More than 20 museums and art galleries function in Baku. Among the most popular are Museum of Azerbaijan history, Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, Museum of Miniature books, Modern Art Museum.
There’s a number of shopping malls represented by the worldwide brands in Baku and most of the large cities.
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