where to go on the Caspian coastline

When summer hots up in Azerbaijan, people naturally migrate towards the coastline. One of the best spots is the Absheron Peninsula, which thrusts into the Caspian north of Baku and attracts the crowds with its summer houses, hotels, spas and sanatoriums. Here are six of the best places to visit: 

Bilgah Beach Hotel

Bilgah Beach Hotel

In the coastal village of Bilgah a futuristic structure looms above the coastline. This is Bilgah Beach Hotel (bilgahbeachhotel.com), occupying one of the best spots on the Absheron, blessed with turquoise sea and breezy air. The 300m private beach is a great spot to swim and sip cocktails, while you can zone out completely at the calming indoor and outdoor pools. More soothing experiences await in the sumptuous spa with Turkish and Finnish saunas. For more action, head to the aqua park at Cali Beach Club. There’s a range of cosy rooms, suites and villas, plus bars, lounges and restaurants and even a nightclub. 

Amburan Beach Club

Amburan Beach Club

Another seaside retreat in Bilgah is Amburan Beach Club (amburan.com) where the indulgent outdoor pool invites guests to chill out in cosy deck chairs and sun loungers. Or you may prefer to laze on the beautifully clean sliver of private gold-sand beach. There are activities like beach football, volleyball and mini golf to get involved in, and you can keep yourself fuelled up with everything from coffee and ice cream to pizza and pilafs served at three different eateries. With an entrance fee of just 30 AZN per person on weekdays and 35 AZN on Saturdays and Sundays and free for children up to 12, this is an extremely good-value option for a fun day with the family.

Dalga Beach Aquapark

Dalga Beach Aquapark

At Dalga Beach Aquapark (dalgaaquapark.az) in Mardakan there’s a lovely area of private beach where you can kick back on loungers or get active on kayaks, water skis or jet skis. What many people really love about this place is the fun aqua park, equipped with an entertaining assortment of pools and slides, accompanied by the sounds of an in-house DJ. In between all the relaxation and fun, you can grab a bite to eat at restaurants dishing up Azerbaijani and Italian cuisine, burgers and kebabs. Let the kids run wild in the onsite kids’ club, and if you’d like to stay there are four-bedroom villas with jacuzzis, sea views and billiards. 

Sea Breeze

Sea Breeze

In the village of Nardaran, only a 30-minute drive from central Baku, is an exclusive self-contained seaside resort called Sea Breeze (seabreeze.az), comprising several architecturally striking hotels plus minimalist villas and luxurious apartments along with bars, restaurants, pools, private beach, tennis courts, football pitch, kids’ club, fitness halls and even an anti-ageing centre. This is the ultimate high-end summer escape where you can rest up, rejuvenate and soak up the amazing vibe of the Caspian. Sea Breeze also hosts a popular four-day summer music festival called Zhara. 

Blueplanet Kite Beach

Blueplanet Kite Beach

About a 50-minute drive north of Baku, on the coast near the settlement of Shuraabad, Blueplanet Kite Beach (kitesurfing.az) is Azerbaijan’s first and only kitesurfing centre and hotel which is situated on a thin peninsula and features an 8km2 lagoon with ideal wind conditions. The season lasts from May to October, during which time you can come and learn to kitesurf, perfect your skills, or simply chill out at the beach club. That includes a private pool, sun terrace and restaurant and is undoubtedly one of the most relaxing spots on Azerbaijan’s Caspian coastline.

Sandy beaches of Absheron Peninsula

Sandy beaches of Absheron Peninsula

If you’re looking for a more local experience, then spend an afternoon on one of the vast sandy beaches lining the Absheron Peninsula – which draw Baku and Absheron locals to while away hot weekends, cooled by a refreshing breeze and dips in the sea. Here you can rent an umbrella, hut or gazebo, order tea and watermelon, and tuck into fresh fish at simple beachside restaurants. Be sure to stay for sunset to see a glorious lilac haze hovering over the Caspian. The best beaches to visit are in the coastal villages of Mardakan, Buzovna, Bilgah and Novkhani, reachable in just over an hour by bus from Koroghlu metro station. But hop in a taxi to get there much quicker (approx 30 minutes). 

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