Saturday 27 November 2021

Azerbaijan invites tourists to turn over an eco-friendly leaf

BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 24, 2021

At a time when the environment, sustainability and reconnecting with people while maintaining social distancing are hot topics, Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) is embracing the opportunity for change and inviting travellers to take a new look at what the country has to offer.
Straddling two continents where East meets West, Azerbaijan offers a mix of culture, architecture and culinary heritage. Add in the warm climate and natural landscapes – from mountains, volcanoes and gorges to waterfalls, forests and sandy beaches along the Caspian Sea – the country has all the ingredients for socially-distanced tourism, according to an ATB statement.
With international borders gradually opening there are regular flights operating to Baku from the UAE and Qatar.
Food scene with a focus on Slow Food
Thanks to the country’s location along the ancient Silk Road, every region has its own culinary heritage and produce, which together provide the foundation for the flavours of Azerbaijani cuisine. By combining travel with first-hand culinary experiences with farmers, shepherds, butchers and bakers, travellers are encouraged to help preserve gastronomic traditions and local ingredients that may otherwise be on the brink of extinction.
One such experience offers travellers keen to discover this side of Azerbaijan the chance to stay overnight at rural guesthouses and help with seasonal activities.
ATB has also introduced the national Ark of Taste menu, which was created as part of an EU-funded project to promote Slow Food. The menu offers traditional cuisine by supporting local farmers and food producers to safeguard native ingredients and techniques.
Nature at its best
With people seeking to travel more safely and privately than ever, outdoor and eco-friendly activities are increasingly in demand, and Azerbaijan has almost every kind of geography to explore. Highlights include:
Hiking in pristine nature – With around 150 kilometres of marked hiking trails connecting remote mountain villages and passing through forests, waterfalls and lakes in the Caucasus mountains, it is now easier than ever to hike, cycle, and camp in these landscapes and travel between them.
Birdwatching – With around 400 recorded species of birds, Azerbaijan has established itself as a leading birdwatching destination. There are magnificent sites in the Caucasus Mountains for birdwatching, and there has been particular focus on preserving and developing the Beshbarmag State Reserve, northwest of Baku.
Winter activities – Travellers looking for a fairy-tale destination can visit Shahdag in Gusar, Tufandag in Gabala and Agbulag in Nakhchivan for a real taste of winter, while other activities include skiing, snowmobiling, paragliding and quad tours.
Wonders of the natural world
Along with opportunities for nature-focused activities, travellers also have a chance to develop a deeper appreciation for the country by sampling wellness experiences such as salt therapy, thermal baths and springs, oil of Naftalan, that harness the restorative effects of nature. 
Take a walk through history and culture
From World Heritage sites to architecture, there is so much history and culture to explore in Azerbaijan. There is no better way to discover the cultural heart of the capital city Baku than with a specially-curated walking tour to its medieval core – UNESCO-protected Old City with Maiden Tower and Shirvanshahs’ Palace.
Currently, citizens and permanent residents of 42 countries can travel to Azerbaijan by air, including the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.-TradeArabia News Service


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