Naftalan crude oil baths
Approximately one hour’s drive from Ganja is Naftalan – a resort town named after a rare type of oil which for centuries has been extracted and used here to cure all sorts of ailments. According to popular legend, the oil’s healing properties were first spotted by a Silk Road merchant who left one of his sickly camels by a pool of oil and later returned to find it fully recovered. Later, the town’s sanatoriums were a big hit with Soviet health seekers suffering from skin, muscle, joint and bone conditions, and following a decline in the 1990s, Naftalan has recently re-emerged as one of Azerbaijan’s leading health tourism destinations. Treatment typically involves taking daily baths of crude oil at one of the town’s many health and wellness centres.