western route

healing nature inspiring history

Naftalan’s healing oil is one of Azerbaijan’s great natural wonders but the western region is also packed with heart-stopping history and breathtaking landscapes.

western routehistory & heritage

From German heritage to medicinal oil

Bordered by the majestic Caucasus Mountains and the Kura River, Azerbaijan’s western region is brimming with history and beautiful landscapes. If you like the sound of discovering the story of the Caucasus Germans, visiting some of the country’s oldest wineries and visiting luxury spas offering curative oil therapy, then this route has plenty for you.

Climate

Climate

This area is a mix of semi-desert lowlands and mountains, so temperatures can vary greatly. Expect hot dry summers lower down and much cooler weather in the mountains with snow in winter. 

Natural resources

Natural resources

In addition to oil and natural gas, the mountains around Dashkesen are rich in deposits of iron, alunite, gold, copper, and limestone. The Kura River flows through the region and is a key source of hydropower.

Accessibility

Accessibility

As well as having an international airport, Ganja is on the railway line and highway that link Baku and Tbilisi. An express train also operates daily between Baku and Ganja, and buses go regularly from Baku's International Bus Station to each town and city in the region. Taxis and shared cars are also readily available.

Economy

Economy

Ganja and Dashkesan are centres of Azerbaijan's metallurgical industry while agriculture is a key activity throughout the region. Shamkir is renowned for its production of fruit and vegetables, Gadabay for its potatoes and winemaking is widespread from Ganja to Tovuz.

where to goin the western route

Baku
Baku

Baku

Walk around this UNESCO-protected site surrounded by 12th-century walls and discover the many cool things this marvellous old town has to offer. More

Ganja
Ganja

Ganja

Welcome to Ganja, the European Youth Capital in 2016 and the birthplace of legendary Azerbaijani poet Nizami. A historic city with a youthful spirit. More

Naftalan
Naftalan

Naftalan

Lay down and enjoy Naftalan, a unique resort town of international importance with the only healing naphthalene oil field in the world! More

Goygol
Goygol

Goygol

Discover one of the most picturesque regions in the country. Goygol is celebrated in poetry, paintings and songs as the country’s most loved mountain lake. More

Shamkir
Shamkir

Shamkir

Visit Shamkir, famous for its greenhouses, folk music, fresh agriculture and historical parks. Learn about its history and german heritage. More

what to doin the western route

Stroll through the Khan’s Park & central Ganja
Stroll through the Khan’s Park & central Ganja
Mosques and Tombs

Stroll through the Khan’s Park & central Ganja

Spend half a day strolling in Ganja's city center, exploring its main historical attractions. Discover... More

Be inspired by Lake Goygol
Be inspired by Lake Goygol
National parks

Be inspired by Lake Goygol

Located in the Goygol National park, Lake Goygol is known for its stunning, crystal-clear water.... More

Travel back to ancient Shamkir
Travel back to ancient Shamkir
Arts, culture and heritage

Travel back to ancient Shamkir

Shamkir has a rich history. Explore its wonderful old city ruins and discover more of the... More

Relax at Baku’s traditional hammams
Relax at Baku’s traditional hammams
Wellness

Relax at Baku’s traditional hammams

Discover centuries-old hammams like Agha Mikayil, Akhund and Tezebay to rejunevate in the traditional way:... More

Explore Baku's Old City
Explore Baku's Old City
Carpet

Explore Baku's Old City

Walk around this UNESCO-protected site surrounded by 12th-century walls and discover all the amazing things... More

Stroll through Baku’s oil-boom architecture
Stroll through Baku’s oil-boom architecture
German heritage

Stroll through Baku’s oil-boom architecture

Discover old Baku’s oil industry architecture, its details, buildings and the secrets behind them. Does... More

Stroll along Caspian seaside  boulevard
Stroll along Caspian seaside boulevard
Family holidays

Stroll along Caspian seaside boulevard

There is no better way to feel freedom and wellness than by strolling along the... More

Shopping: boutiques & bazaars in Baku
Shopping: boutiques & bazaars in Baku
Bazaar experience

Shopping: boutiques & bazaars in Baku

Baku has the perfect combination of international shops, fashion boutiques and traditional stores and bazaars.... More

Play golf in Baku
Play golf in Baku
Golf

Play golf in Baku

What more can a golf lover ask for than a challenging course and stunning scenery?... More

Visit Baku's Carpet Museum
Visit Baku's Carpet Museum
Fun and learn

Visit Baku's Carpet Museum

Situated on Baku's Seaside Boulevard, the Carpet Museum is home to the largest collection of... More

Dining in Baku
Dining in Baku
Traditional Food

Dining in Baku

Baku offers a wide variety of restaurants and bars, from the traditional options to the... More

Learn the legacy of ancient fire worshippers
Learn the legacy of ancient fire worshippers
Cultural activities

Learn the legacy of ancient fire worshippers

Discover the incredible story of Azerbaijan’s ancient fire worshippers. Visit the Ateshgah Fire Temple and... More

Enjoy the Caspian sea & beaches
Enjoy the Caspian sea & beaches
Beach activities

Enjoy the Caspian sea & beaches

From water sports to romantic afternoons and lively evening parties, the sandy Caspian beaches around... More

Discover Gobustan's ancient rock art
Discover Gobustan's ancient rock art
Arts, culture and heritage

Discover Gobustan's ancient rock art

Uncover an astonishing collection of over 6,000 ancient petroglyphs charting ways of life dating back... More

Explore Baku's mud volcanoes
Explore Baku's mud volcanoes
National parks

Explore Baku's mud volcanoes

Discover why the landscape around Baku is fulfilled by mud volcanoes, how are they formed... More

Get a photo of Ganja's Bottle House
Get a photo of Ganja's Bottle House
Family holidays

Get a photo of Ganja's Bottle House

One of Ganja's most unusual building, the Bottle House is a curious two-storey building worth... More

Visit the Imamzadeh Mausoleum in Ganja
Visit the Imamzadeh Mausoleum in Ganja
Mosques and Tombs

Visit the Imamzadeh Mausoleum in Ganja

Located roughly 7 km north of Ganja city centre, the Imamzadeh Mausoleum is one of... More

Experience Ganja's local cuisine
Experience Ganja's local cuisine
Food, drinks and nightlife

Experience Ganja's local cuisine

Ganja's cooks give an interesting twist to delicious national desserts and dishes. Be sure to... More

Visit German-inspired Goygol
Visit German-inspired Goygol
Arts, culture and heritage

Visit German-inspired Goygol

Ganja has an interesting culinary take on different delicious desserts and dishes. Don't forget tasting... More

Bathe in Naftalan oil to relieve aches and pains
Bathe in Naftalan oil to relieve aches and pains
Health & wellness

Bathe in Naftalan oil to relieve aches and pains

Naftalan is a resort named after a rare type of oil famous for its healing properties.... More

Rejuvenate at Naftalan's wellness resorts
Rejuvenate at Naftalan's wellness resorts
Health & wellness

Rejuvenate at Naftalan's wellness resorts

For nearly a century the resort town of Naftalan has been attracting sufferers of all... More

Visit Shamkir’s German heritage
Visit Shamkir’s German heritage
Arts, culture and heritage

Visit Shamkir’s German heritage

Shamkir was once a German colony known for winemaking. However, it still has a unique... More

Experience the city of Shamkir
Experience the city of Shamkir
Shopping

Experience the city of Shamkir

Shamkir has interesting events or locations you should experience while in Azerbaijan. Enjoy the agricultural... More

Day tours to learn about Gadabay's history
Day tours to learn about Gadabay's history
German heritage

Day tours to learn about Gadabay's history

In the middle of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, Gadabay has many stories to tell. Read... More

Uncover Jewish traces in Baku
Uncover Jewish traces in Baku
Jewish heritage

Uncover Jewish traces in Baku

Since the early 1800s, Baku has been home to a vibrant community of Ashkenazi Jews.... More

Horse riding in Baku
Horse riding in Baku
Adventure & sports

Horse riding in Baku

Horse riding and polo are truly royal experiences Baku can offer. Spend an active and... More

Gutab-making masterclasses
Gutab-making masterclasses
Food, drinks and nightlife

Gutab-making masterclasses

If you're in Baku and keen to uncover local culinary secrets then don't miss the... More

From Village to City market
From Village to City market
Bazaar experience

From Village to City market

Baku's Kendden Shehere (From Village to City) market is a great place to visit to sample the best... More

Visit Yashil Bazaar for a world of aromas
Visit Yashil Bazaar for a world of aromas
Bazaar experience

Visit Yashil Bazaar for a world of aromas

Baku's Yashil Bazaar is one of the largest food bazaars in the Caucasus. Enter it... More

Take a wine bar crawl
Take a wine bar crawl
Wine Degustation

Take a wine bar crawl

Baku's growing number of wine bars are a great place to soak up the local... More

Tours of Sharg Ulduzu
Tours of Sharg Ulduzu
Wineries

Tours of Sharg Ulduzu

Discover the Sharg Ulduzu Winery in western Azerbaijan, popular especially for its dry red wines.... More

Tour the Goygol Winery
Tour the Goygol Winery
German heritage

Tour the Goygol Winery

Since 1860, Helenendorf, currently Goygol, is known as the birthplace of the wine industry in... More

Tours of the Marandi winery
Tours of the Marandi winery
Wineries

Tours of the Marandi winery

Visiting the Marandi Winery is a great half-day adventure from Baku and a unique opportunity... More

Feel the vibe of the Kur river in Mingachevir
Feel the vibe of the Kur river in Mingachevir
German heritage

Feel the vibe of the Kur river in Mingachevir

Enjoy the pleasing views and peaceful atmosphere by the Kura river in Mingachevir, one of... More

Browse the home of Azerbaijani fine arts
Browse the home of Azerbaijani fine arts
Art and Culture Museums

Browse the home of Azerbaijani fine arts

Discover an oil-boom mansion packed with a wealth of art spanning multiple centuries and geographic... More

Admire the curves and collections of the Heydar Aliyev Centre
Admire the curves and collections of the Heydar Aliyev Centre
Art and Culture Museums

Admire the curves and collections of the Heydar Aliyev Centre

Explore the wide range of art collections and exhibitions of the Heydar Aliyev Centre, then... More

Snap a photo of the Flame Towers
Snap a photo of the Flame Towers
Arts, culture and heritage

Snap a photo of the Flame Towers

The trio of skyscrapers named the Flame Towers are one of the top architectural wonders... More

Shop and socialise in the Port Baku area
Shop and socialise in the Port Baku area
Arts, culture and heritage

Shop and socialise in the Port Baku area

If you love going out to eat or shop and are looking for an upmarket... More

Polish heritage in Baku
Polish heritage in Baku
Traditional Food

Polish heritage in Baku

In the central streets of Baku are dozens of stunning buildings in European styles built... More

Western route

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Western route

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see other routesin Azerbaijan

Northern
Northern
between | mountains & sea

Northern

This route leads from Azerbaijan’s buzzing capital along the Caspian Sea coast and into the heart of the Caucasus Mountains. Expect outdoor adventures such as hiking, kitesurfing and paragliding, culinary surprises and some of the best scenery anywhere in the Caucasus. More

North-western
North-western
north-western route| spirit of the Silk Road

North-western

You’ll be following in the footsteps of ancient travellers and merchants on this scenic route along the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. More

Southern
Southern
southern route | gateway to the subtropics

Southern

To truly experience Azerbaijan’s natural diversity, head south to Lankaran, Lerik and Astara to a land of hot springs, nature reserves and the majestic Talysh Mountains. The local cuisine is pretty great too – don't leave without trying dishes like fish lavangi or parcha-dosheme plov and enjoy endless cups of freshly grown Azerbaijani tea. More

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