Bordered in the east by the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan is overflowing with medieval relics and unusual landscapes. The country is made up of two zones; the plains in the centre and the Caucasian Mountains in the north. The highest peak is Bazaduzu Dagi, which rises to 4,485m of altitude. It is located on the volcanic plateau of Karabakh between the Armenian border and the mountains of Karabakh. There are two dormant volcanoes in this country: Porak and Tskhouk-Karcka, which create a natural border with Armenia. Azerbaijan has around 8,300 rivers and 250 lakes, but they are all rather small. Most of the rivers cannot be navigated.
The Absheron peninsula is not only home to the city of Baku but is also where a large amount of Azeri heritage is found. Azerbaijan's main seaside resorts are located in the north, on the Caspian Sea coast. The best-known among these are Nabran, Khudat and Siazan. However, Azerbaijan's coast is generally of very limited interest.
The fauna of Azerbaijan includes many reptiles. In the mountains you will find deer, wild boar and bears, while gazelles live on the coastal plains. The forests of Lenkoran in the south are home to tigers and porcupines. Sturgeon, salmon, herring and a rare variety of perch all live in the Caspian Sea.
Azerbaijan has thousands of plant species. Beautiful orange groves cover the country's coastal plains. As you go higher up in altitude, the scenery changes to forests of chestnut, beech, hornbeam, maple and ash trees.
Azerbaijan's culture is defined by concepts from the Eastern world and Islam. The country's rich folklore, literature and music are all similar to those found in both Central and Eastern Asia.
Azerbaijanian literature is probably the one mostly linked to the sciences in the world. The country's musical traditions are also very important. The traditional theatrical arts are closely linked to the music and to the rugs.
The plastic arts and architecture also hold an important place in Azerbaijanian culture. Azerbaijan is full of remarkable constructions and monuments, such as towers, mausoleums, palaces and castles mostly built between the 12th and 15th centuries.
Since Islam forbids the representation of living objects, the people of Azerbaijan developed ornamental art. Skilfully made rugs, exceptional miniatures, elegantly decorated great doors, lace-like mural drawings and mosaics can be found next to modern and graphic paintings.