Visiting Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan
Whether you are looking for picturesque landscapes, historical monuments, or a gastronomic journey, Nakhchivan is a place where every type of tourist can find what is desired. Such combination of ancient history and breathtaking nature offers you an unforgettable vacation experience.
Nakhchivan welcomes you to merge into a journey through history visiting places such as Alinja Castle which is also known as oriental Machu Picchu. This medieval fortress has a marvellous location sitting atop a cragged mountaintop. Climbing 1,500 stairs to see this historical pearl of Nakhchivan would be rewarded with a breathtaking view.
To further explore the rich history and culture of the region, one must visit another unique architectural monument – the 12th century Momine Khatin Mausoleum. This remarkable monument will not only be aesthetically pleasing but touch your soul with deep philosophical messages written on the tombs. The historical journey doesn’t stop here and takes you to Nakhchivan Khans’ Palace built in exquisite oriental style. The palace that has richly ornamented floors with shebeke – stained-glass windows used to be a residence of Nakchivan’s Khanate between mid-18th and early 20th centuries. These architectural jewels of Nakhchivan are a must-visit for all culture vultures searching for exclusive sights in the journey of exploration of humankind’s history.
Nakhchivan is known for the legends and mystery it is shrouded in. Ashabi-Kahf caves are unique as they are mentioned in one of the surah’s of the Koran. The complex is located about 12 km east of Nakhchivan and is a popular pilgrimage site for locals. The next mysterious and intriguing place takes us way back in time to the 4th millennium BC. An iconic sight of Ilandag Mountain will catch your attention when you drive the scenic route from Nakhchivan to Ordubad where Noah’s Tomb is believed to be located. Legends say that as the Great Flood receded the mountain has been carved out by Noah’s Ark. This historical wonder opens curtains to the secrets of the past and shares them with every visitor.
The tranquillity and picturesque landscape of Nakhchivan’s stunning countryside are greatly combined at Lake Batabat. This iconic natural sight is located in the Shahbuz region at 2,500 meters above the sea. The area magnetizes with its beauty, especially when covered with blooming wildflowers and a floating island in the middle of the lake. The lake offers a comforting atmosphere and attracts with its accessibility with a rather short driving distance from Nakhchivan city (65 km). The road from the city to the lake will leave you speechless as you witness dramatically changing landscapes. Not surprisingly, the lake is a popular picnic spot both for locals and tourists to spend a perfect family weekend. Shahbuz area is also known for its honey production with a floral aroma and a rose taste.
Overall, Nakhchivan is a great place to dive into a gastronomic journey. Many of the local dishes such as local lamb stew, qovurma shorbasi, is still cooked and stored according to ancient tradition: underground in earthenware pots. Lamb dishes are very popular in Nakhchivan and thus, you must definitely try – dadli qala (‘delicious fortress’): ribs cooked inside a tandoor oven and served with buckwheat, roast potatoes, and tomatoes. When visiting Ordubad which is located in the east of the region, one should taste famous puffy omelettes soaked in honey and variety of fresh fruits.
Nakhchivan is a land inclined to offer diverse experiences to travellers. For the most authentic salt therapy experience, you should head to Duzdag (Salt Mountain) located 12 km from Nakhchivan city. This former salt mine was turned into a physiotherapy centre to alleviate respiratory diseases. Whether you are a patient spending the night in comfy rooms located along the former mining tunnels or a tourist just visiting the tunnels, in both experiences your lung function will be improved as you breathe in the healing salt.The marvellous land of Nakhchivan awaits you to welcome to the journey full of exceptional experiences.