Active tourism in Azerbaijan – mountains, caves, races

Baku, June 30, AZERTAC

Active rest is one of the most popular destinations of tourism all over the world. Even travelers who are more focused on a serene pastime during the holiday, are not averse to cycling, horse riding or flying on a hang glider. All this and much more can be found in Azerbaijan.

Mountaineering

Thanks to a diverse landscape, including mountainous and rocky terrain, mountaineering and its components are well developed in Azerbaijan, including rock climbing, ice climbing, mountain techniques, and mountain and hiking tourism.

These and many other types of active tourism are reflected in the activities of the Federation of Air and Extreme Sports of Azerbaijan (FAIREX), which was established in 2005. At the moment there are 59 clubs in its structure.

In addition to this, the Baku Mountain Sports Club, which unites more than fifty sportsmen and rock-climbers, attracts everyone who wants to take an active rest and healthy lifestyle. The main goal of the club is the development of mountaineering and climbing.

Rock climbing

Active recreation in the mountains is a pleasure for the soul and a charge for the body. And rock climbing – one of the most interesting ways of hanging out is accessible to everyone – both beginners and people with experience. Rock climbing is a safe sport, if you follow all the safety rules, you can do it all year round, at any age.

Fortunately, there are many rocky mountains in Azerbaijan, suitable for climbing. For example, suitable rocks are available in one of the residential areas of the capital – in the village of Bakikhanov. As well as near the village of Nardaran, on the shore of the Caspian, where in the morning you can relax on the sea, and after lunch to overcome several climbing routes.

You can climb on the rock Beshbarmag (“Five fingers”), which is in the Khizi district (104 km from Baku), from where a beautiful panorama of the sea opens. Fans of climbing come here, usually with an overnight stay, breaking up tents.

To engage in rock climbing, it is not necessary to go out on nature. In the premises of ClimBaku, which belongs to the FAIREX association, there are all conditions for climbing of various complexity. In addition, an artificial rock with a height of 9 m is open for visiting in the capital sports complex The Club.

Trekking or hiking

Azerbaijan has some of the best in Europe high-mountainous landscapes: forest valleys, picturesque gorges, caves, impressive peaks and glacial lakes of the Caucasus Mountains will not leave indifferent fans of tracking.

You may be interested in reconnaissance tours and excursions, both on weekends, and calculated for a longer time, offered by sports or tourist organizations. Professionals will help you determine the route and pick up the necessary equipment.

Excellent nature for hiking is waiting for you on the vastness of Absheron peninsula, near Baku (mud volcano areas, Gobustan reserve, etc.), as well as in the regions of Azerbaijan. The FAIREX association (Berkut, Climb Club, Salavat, Gilavar, Sheki AMA and Babadag (Sheki) and other clubs) specializes in organizing trekking tourist routes in Azerbaijan. You can also contact Golden Rock Travel, Victory Tour, Improtex Travel and others.

Orienteering

Another great way to get to know Azerbaijan is to take part in orienteering events, during which participants, with the help of a sports map of the terrain and a compass, must pass control points in a certain locality.

This discipline in Azerbaijan is actively developing thanks to the efforts of the Federation of Sport Orienteering (SMEF). The races are held both in the capital, for example, in the historical and architectural reserve of Icheri Sheher, and in nature in the regions – in the resort village of Nabran in Khachmaz district, Galaalti (Shabran town) and other areas. In total, the Federation has prepared and used 15 route maps in various regions of Azerbaijan.

Speleotourism

There are many caves in Azerbaijan suitable for the development of speleotourism. Underground travel through karst wells, mines, chasms surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites can become an unusual adventure for any lover of active leisure. Of course, provided that it is accompanied by an experienced instructor. After all, speleotourism has its own specifics. There are many elements common with mountaineering, diving, rock climbing and other kinds of tourism. The actions of tourists are complicated by complete darkness, low air temperature, high humidity, which makes special demands for technical and psychological preparation.

In Azerbaijan speleotourism is fully developed in the activity of the Federation of Air and Extreme Sports of Azerbaijan. The conditions for practicing speleoturism are in the caves of Koroglu (5 km south-west of the village of Novosaratovka, Gedabek district), Guulu (south of the village of Syundi, on Mount Gehle, Gobustan district), Hadi Gabb and Hemze in the town of Sharur, Kilit in the Ordubad city, Almamed in Julfa, Dashgala in Babek, Gyz Gala in Zagatala and in many others.

Bicycle rides

A bicycle is a great way to not only improve your body, but also to get great pleasure. This type of outdoor activity requires almost no additional equipment, except the bike itself.

Azerbaijan has the Federation of Cycling (AzViF), which includes various clubs, and there are many sites for cycling.

There is a huge BMX world-class bicycle park in the Shikh settlement in Baku, and a cycle track is set up in the Nasimi district of the capital. In the center of the city in the Seaside Park you can rent a bicycle for the required time and ride along the equipped paths, the length of more than a kilometer, inhaling fresh sea air.

Many hotel complexes throughout Azerbaijan also offer a bicycle rental service. And you can use them both in the hotel territory, and beyond, rolling around the surrounding forests and hills.

Karting

Azerbaijanis love speed. It’s no coincidence that one of the stages of the World Championship in Formula One racing is held in Baku. If you also want to test yourself on the race track – welcome to the Baku carting center located on the territory of the Water Sports Palace.

Karting center can be used by all those who are older than 7 years. At the disposal of the center are the racing cars of the French company Sodi Karts. In one race, 24 karts can take part at a time. The karts is selected for each participant in accordance with age and driving experience. Also beginners can take advantage of a two-seater race car. The karting center also has professional piloting courses and competitions among pilots of different age categories, in which both experienced and young drivers can take part.

Finally, you can visit the private Baku Karting & Event Center, which covers an area of more than 4000 square meters. Here is laid an asphalt road, there is a fleet of cars, consisting of new professional karts of the leading German manufacturer Rimo. Before sit behind the wheel, adults and children can be instructed in a racing school at the center.

To refresh yourself, head to the restaurant Champion Sports bar & Restaurant: a panoramic view of the track will allow you to follow the race and at the same time enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Auto and Moto Safaris

During the trip to Azerbaijan it is worth trying an exciting car safari in the most beautiful corners of the country. The most suitable time for this is the end of spring, summer and early autumn. Auto Safari in Azerbaijan is a short or multi-day tour in jeeps or motorcycles, during which you get a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the territory of the country and its population.

Today, many travel companies offer this opportunity and one of them is Improtex Travel. Specialists of the company have developed various safari tours on jeeps or on motorcycles in mountain regions of Azerbaijan. For those who like traveling with their own transport, the company provides maps with detailed descriptions of the planned route, assistance in the development of the program of routes, qualified guides, instructors and technical personnel who will accompany tourists throughout the route. Mountain roads, wildlife beauty and hospitality of local residents will make the route of intrepid travelers on wheels pleasant and informative.

Excellent conditions for the organization of safari routes are available in such regions as Shamakhi, Guba, Salyan (Shirvan National Park), etc.

To be continued…

Emil Eyyubov

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