Ganjabasar - This part of the country is considered one of the most beautiful regions of Azerbaijan for its mountain lakes. Everything is beautiful here - mighty forests, snow-capped peaks, fast rivers, noisy waterfalls, healing mineral springs, crystal clear mountain air and its mottled subalpine and alpine meadows.
Ganja, with a history of over 2500 years, is the second largest city in the country, a monument to its ancient culture, the industrial centre of western Azerbaijan and the home of the great Nizami. Ganja is surrounded by a multitude of forests, vineyards, lakes, rivers and mountains. The area is famous for many mineral springs and the unique medicinal oil – naphthalan, extracted 48 km from Ganja, in the city of Naftalan.
In the neighboring area of Goygol, there is the Goygol Nature Reserve which is the primary reserve in Azerbaijan.
Naftalan city is a well-known petroleum spa resort, the center of medical tourism in Azerbaijan and is located 330 km west of Baku and 50 km from Ganja, the second largest city in the country.
The unique Naftalan oil has no equivalent anywhere in the world. The curative properties of the oil are particularly helpful in the treatment of musculoskeletal system diseases, as well as neurological, urological, gynecological, skin and other ailments.
Among the popular venues in the area are the Medical-Prophylactic Center Chinar Hotel & Spa, “Naftalan” Health Centre and the “Gashalty” Sanatorium.
Tovuz district is located in the western part of Azerbaijan on the border with Georgia and Armenia.
According to ancient Turkish written sources, the name of the city originates from the merging of the names of two kindred Turkish tribes – the Oguz and the Toguz. This merger took place exactly here, which is how it came by its name.
There are many forests on the mountain slopes, rich in flora and fauna as well as places where springs come to the surface.
Goygol district, located in the western part of Azerbaijan, is one of the most picturesque regions of the country. The State Goygol Reserve established in 1925, is located on the banks of the famous Goygol Lake at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level. Lake Goygol is the cleanest among the mountain water reservoirs of the Caucasus.
The centre of the district was formerly called Elenendorf. The settlement was founded by German colonists in August, 1819 on the site of an ancient village, Hanlyglar, that later grew into Hanlar city. Now Goygol district is a symbol of the close friendship between the Azerbaijan and German nations. A lot of work has been done here to preserve the German heritage.
A favorable climate, rich cultural and historical heritage, and a well developed infrastructure are the important factors which continue to attract tourists to Shamkir.
According to the most modest calculations, the city’s existence began in the 5th century, and the period between the 9th-11th centuries is considered to be its flourishing time. In 1235, Shamkir, along with Ganja, was occupied and destroyed by the Mongols. Later a new city was built in this area, and the old one abandoned. Nowadays full-scale excavations are being carried out in old Shamkir, the ancient, medieval settlement sitting on left bank of the Shamkirchay River.
Travellers’ special interest is evident in the so called “German pages” of Shamkir’s history. Back in 1819, immigrants from the Wurttemberg area, escaping from the ravages of the Napoleonic wars, came to Azerbaijan and first established two colonies here – Elenendorf and Annendorf (now Goygol and Shamkir cities). Later on, four more colonies came into being in the area. Since then, there still remains much historical evidence of German “footprints” in Shamkir, among which are whole streets with German-style houses, a beautiful Lutheran Church, parks, a winery etc.