These National parks in Azerbaijan are the perfect tourist spots in the beauteous country
- Walk in delight at the Caucasus’ largest park
Aliyev Park Complex, which has been transformed into one of the symbols of modern Ganja, offers a unique place where you can experience various types of activities all in one place, from leisurely wanders through the greenery to a wide variety of entertainment.
There are several enormous parks in the world, and one of them is Heydar Aliyev Park Complex in the Azerbaijani city of Ganja. With a total area of 450 hectares, the park complex also offers a delightful range of entertainment for children and adults alike. Activities such as walking, picnicking and various other attractions make the park a highly popular destination.
At the entrance, guests are greeted by the grand Triumphal Arch, from where you can admire a panoramic view of the park, which stretches for two kilometres, and the entire city from a platform 35 metres up. The artificial lake created in the park, the picturesque rose and flower beds, and rare plane trees further enhance the thrills for visitors. Thanks to the botanical garden that surrounds the park complex from all sides, it has become a favourite spot for those who want to share captivating photos on social media. Moreover, the attractions in ‘GanjLand’ leisure and entertainment centre within the park are not only for children but also for adults. While here, you can even join the audience for events and concerts held at the amphitheatre. There is also a 7-km-long cycle path for those who like to take a bicycle for a spin.
Heydar Aliyev Center, which operates in the park complex, is a fine example of modern architecture. The national architectural elements, intricately worked into the façade of the building, draw visitors’ attention. Inside the three-storey center, a modern sundial made of glass reflects the map of Azerbaijan.
All of these attractions combine to create a formidable experience that the residents of Ganja and the city’s guests always leave with the most pleasant memories.
- Khan Baghi Park Ganja’s sanctum
Ganja, which stands out due to its distinctive beauty, is not only rich in a wide variety of historical sites and monuments, but also in nature spots with centuries of history. Khan Baghi Park, immersed in the past, is one of these exceptional places. Khan Baghi Park traces its roots far back as one of the first parks in the Caucasus, serving as a beloved relaxation spot for the people of Ganja, both young and old. Historical sources mention that Khan Baghi Park was established in 1582 and belonged to Mehmed Pasha, son of the Ottoman Ferhad Pasha. Although commonly referred to as ‘Khan Baghi’ (‘Khan’s Garden’) Park, its official name is ‘Serdar Baghi.’ What distinguishes Khan Baghi Park from most others is its unique atmosphere, created by hundreds of different plant and tree species. With the arrival of autumn, this beautiful vegetation takes on tints of red, painting a captivating scene to inspire and rejuvenate visitors. While relaxing in various serene spots within the park, the fresh, crisp air will also revitalise you. In fact, due to the abundant oxygen levels in the garden, it is also called ‘The Lungs of Ganja.’
One special feature of the park is the open-air Yashil Theatre (‘Green Theatre’), a site for a variety of cultural events. Shirali Bey Tower, a surviving tower of Ganja’s fortress walls that was built in the 16th century, completes the magnificence of Khan Baghi Park.
- Birdwatching in Absheron National Park
Birders who visit this remote part of the Absheron Peninsula will be rewarded with sightings of a wealth of water fowl and waders. Conveniently close to the capital, Baku, the Absheron National Park may be Azerbaijan’s smallest national park, covering 783 hectares, but it buzzes with birdlife and has a lovely remote setting at the tip of the Absheron Peninsula. The park’s landscape combines coastal wetlands and semi-desert, and a trip here will reward birders with sightings of a variety of gulls, terns, ducks and waders, as well as various species of raptors. Most of the birds are migrants flying along the Caspian coastline, however there are some nesting species, such as the short-eared owl, which can be seen in autumn. The park is also home to gazelles, wolves, jackals, Caspian tortoises, the Levantine viper, and other interesting animals. The Caspian seal, the world’s smallest seal, can sometimes be seen at the tip of the cape between May and August.