HIRKAN NATIONAL PARK
Hirkan National Park, being one of the pearls of Azerbaijani nature, is located in the south of the country, in the heart of the Talysh Mountains. Here, you won’t find camping areas, cafes, bars, restaurants and other such delights of modern tourism, because this place is the home to a 60 million year-old natural wilderness, with its own truly unique flora and fauna. This region has existed since the ice age, and it can be easily compared to a botanical garden.
The Hirkan Ironwood tree, which is specific to this area, not only survived the ice age but indirectly became one of the reasons for the oil boom in Azerbaijan. Not many know that back in the days, the Nobel brothers were looking to buy a large quantity of ironwood for their weapon production facilities. Luckily, transportation proved too expensive and the brothers decided to invest instead into the oil business. That’s when Ludvig Nobel purchased an oil plant in Baku.
The Hirkan forest is home to another amazing place and that is Khanbulagh Lake. Sometimes, in the early morning on the shores of this lake, you can see deer swimming in the water. The deer are not crossing the lake, but simply swimming around in small circles before coming out vigorous and fresh after their morning exercise. Since the year 1935 this place has been inhabited by the spotted deer (Cervusnippon), and sometimes the famous white deer come to visit from the south. It is known that tigers also inhabited the area until the late 1930s.
On the territory of Astara and Lankaran Districts