The north-western tourist region of Azerbaijan is located on the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus and covers the territory of Balakan, Gakh, Oguz, Zagatala, and Sheki administrative districts.
The picturesque nature of the North-West region has turned it into an important holiday region and attracts tourists from all over. An international tourist route to Georgia passes through this territory (Baku-Shemakha-Sheki-Belokan-Zakatala-Tbilisi).
This is a beautiful part of Azerbaijan with a rich and ancient history. Back in the days, this city (Kabbalah) was the capital of Caucasian Albania (an ancient state that used to exist on the territory of modern Azerbaijan) for 600 years. Up to the present time you can still see the ruins of the ancient city and the main gate of Caucasian Albania. There are a great number of historical and cultural monuments covering different eras in this region.
Several 5 star hotels of the Azerbaijani hotel chain, Qafqaz, small family hotels, and several tourist camps are in operation in Gabala.
The largest amusement park in Azerbaijan – Gabaland is located in Gabala, covering an area of 16 hectares. It’s great fun for kids and adults alike.
The town also hosts an annual international music festival of classical music, jazz and Mugham, which is attended by bands, performers and artists from around the world.
Gakh is a district on the border with Georgia. The climate in the south of the district is dry subtropical and temperate in mountains. There are plenty of mountain rivers and waterfalls in this district.
This region is rich in its nature. In the Iliisu National Park located here you can come across bears, mountain-goats, wolves, wild cats, boars, jackals and others wildlife. In this part of Azerbaijan, one can see a number of ancient Albanian temples – these were the first churches in the Caucasus and some of the first churches in the world.
Zagatala is a beautiful, green city with wide streets, where one-storey houses with tiled roofs are set alongside modern hotel buildings.
More than half of the territory is covered by mountains and forests and the administrative center –Zagatala city is located at 535 meters above sea level.
This district has a large number of historical and cultural monuments. There is an particularly interesting natural monument in this city – a tree of 800 years old.
One of the most ancient cities of Azerbaijan, Sheki is rightly enjoys its reputation as the architectural reserve of the country. Of particular interest to tourists from all over the world is the Palace of Sheki Khans (1762) – a rare example of combining national and palace architectural traditions.
To the north of the city can be found the ruins of the once impregnable fortress "Gelersan – Gerarsan" (“Come and See“) dating back to the XV-XVIII centuries.
Sheki is also famous for its melt-in the-mouth baklava, piti (a stew with vegetables cooked in a clay pot), and the sense of humor of its people.