Natural Wonders of Azerbaijan

Are there any natural wonders of Azerbaijan?  Azerbaijan is a European country located in southeastern Europe.  It could be considered one of the crossroads between Europe and Asia.  The Caspian Sea borders the country on the eastern side.

Although a small country, Azerbaijan provides wonders of nature that appease many outdoor enthusiasts who travel to this country.

Lake Boyukshor

Also spelled as Boyuk Shor, Lake Boyukshor means “Big Salty Waters”. It is the second largest Azerbaijan Lake and the biggest on Absheron Peninsula, which is likewise situated in the peninsula’s center, found on the boundaries of Sabunchu, Narimanov, and Binagadi of the city of Baku, the country’s capital. Lake Boyukshor has an average depth of between 3.40 and 3.95 meters, with a maximum depth of 4.20 meters.

It has an oval shape with a length that stretches from the northwestern to the southwestern banks, measuring about 10 kilometers, while its maximum width measures at 2.0 kilometers. Its surface measures 1,300 hectares with a volume of 45 million cm3.

During the early 2000s, Baku authorities planned to construct a huge entertainment complex on the lake, drying out Boyukshor Lake so as to construct buildings and parks on its territory. The initial plan was to consume about 128 hectares of the lake with 70% soil, while the 30% to be clean artificial lake. The entire project was supposed to compose sports, resort, park, and garden facilities, including a 4.5-hectare mall, a concert hall, movie theater, a zoo, attraction parks, and a “Children’s World” complex, all to promote tourism.

Lake Goygol

Lake Goygol literally means the “Blue Lake”, which is a natural impounded lake in the country. The lake is located at the footsteps of Murovdag, nearby Ganja. The greater lake area is divided into 19 lakes, 8 of which are categorized into the large lakes such as the Qaragöl, Zelilgöl, and Maralgöl to name a few. The greater Lake Goygol is located at 1,556m above the sea level, with 6,460 meters maximum length. It measures 93 meters deep.

The lake water boasts its pureness as the underwater life can be seen clearly, along with a very rich lake fauna. The area is ideal to visit during dry winters, spring, and mild to warm summer seasons. In 2009, over 4,500 tourists visited the area, mainly German nationals as its vicinity is also composed of settlements occupied by ethnic Germans. In 1854, a German Lutheran church was built in the area, thus, the prevalence of German culture and monuments within the vicinity.

Gobustan National Park

The Gobustan National Park or Gobustan State Reserve is one of the country’s historical landmarks. It preserves the ancient carvings, gas stones, mud volcanoes, and other relics, which have become scenic attractions within the region. Just nearby the Caspian Sea, the entire state reserve protects the Yazili hill and the mountains of Beyukdash, Jingirdag, and Kichikdash. In 2007, UNESCO declared the site as a World Heritage Site, considering the rock art engravings that substantially reflect the prehistoric hunting lifestyles, including the culture that developed towards the medieval times.

The Gobustan State Reserve is situated west of Gobustan settlement and 40-miles southwest of Baku’s core. It is well-known for its archeological monuments, preserving over 6,000 rock engravings dating between 5,000 and 40,000 years ago. It covers a total area of 537 hectares. Tourists visit the place mainly because it showcases the remains of inhabited burials, settlements, and caves, which intensively reflect inhabitants from the wet period towards the last Ice Age.

Absheron National Park

During the Soviet times, the Absheron National Park’s predecessor was the Absheron State Nature Preserve. It was created in July 1969 so as to protect the Caspian seal, gazelle, and water birds that inhabit the territory. The park has a mild-hot climate, similar to dry and semi-desert steppe.

Within the park’s dry area, a lot of magnificent creatures inhabit the place such as badgers, rabbits, foxes, jackals, and gazelles. In Caspian waters, various fishes and seal are prevalent as well as species of birds like the silver gull, white-eyed black ducks, wheezing swan, sandpiper, big white bittern, sea bozcha, bald-coot, marsh belibagli, plus other migrant birds. Other birds and animals that inhabit in the Shirvan National Park are also seen in the Absheron National Park.

Bay of Baku

Also referred to as Baku Bay, this natural harbor is located at the Caspian Sea’s western shore and Absheron Peninsula’s southern shore. It has a total coastline of 20 kilometers and an area of 50 km². Sultan Cape, Shikh Cape, Dash Zira and Boyuk Zira border the bay, thus these islands are still portions of the Baku Archipelago. The waves could reach up to 5 meters high during severe storms.

It consists of a trade port, including a ferry quay in the northwestern portion. The entire port is fully equipped with mechanized loading and unloading works. There are plans of a bridge construction through the bay, which will be connected to the highway, providing utmost convenience to travelers and tourists that visit the place yearly.