Azerbaijan is a Muslim country positioned between Russia and Iran on the Caspian Sea. Its protracted fighting with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, causing 800,000 displaced refugees, has put a strain on this tiny nation. Azerbaijan has an as yet untapped resource of oil, and as oil companies and international business visitors increase in number in its capital, Baku, the quality of tourist facilities has begun to rise. Azerbaijan has always been an important stop on trade routes; it was a major stopover on the Silk Route.
This small country just oozes culture and history. Don’t miss the Acropolis of Baku, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, and 12,000-year-old rock carvings at the Qobustan Museum.
Bustling street life and tea houses give Azerbaijan a very Middle Eastern flavour. Do stay away from the Armenian-Azerbaijan border as this is a region still engulfed by conflict.