When Is the Best Time to Visit Azerbaijan?
If you’re looking for the best time to visit Azerbaijan, you will be pleased to know that the country has tourism potential year-round. Azerbaijan has some of the most diverse weather in the world, with nine out of eleven climate types existing in the country. This is due to its diverse topography: northern mountains and grasslands, central desert regions and Caspian Sea coastal areas, with converging winds that sweep across the country. The diversity in climates make Azerbaijan perfect for year-round exploration, so long as you know which regions are best to visit in each season.
Summer in Azerbaijan. Summer is hot, especially in the dry, central plain that bakes in the scorching sun. However, during these months the Caspian Sea has a cooling effect on the coastal regions, making summer one of the best times to visit Azerbaijan for beachgoers and anyone wishing to tour Baku. You’ll find plenty of summer activities along the Caspian Sea, from swimming to sunbathing to kitesurfing. Summers remain cool in the northern highlands, a great time for cultural excursions to Quba or for hiking endless mountain trails. Bazaars across the country overflow with fresh fruits and provide the chance to brush shoulders with local shoppers in a natural environ.
Autumn in Azerbaijan. The summer heat starts to taper off in autumn, while the northern ranges shelter the country from Arctic winds and keep temperatures stable and pleasant. This is the perfect time for horseback riding, cross-country travel and tasting the country’s juicy melons and pomegranates. It’s also the best time to visit Azerbaijan’s northern regions, blanketed in resplendent autumn colors. The Caspian Sea retains its warmth during this period and water sports remain available throughout the season.
Winter in Azerbaijan. Winter gradually overtakes Azerbaijan, with the mountains blanketed in snow by mid-November and the rest of the country experiencing full-blown winter by December. Around the New Year there are annual equestrian competitions in the ancient town of Sheki, including a unique version of polo created in Azerbaijan. Winter is a great time to hit the slopes, try a traditional steam bath or taste some of Azerbaijan’s hearty dishes, such as plov and stews, that will keep you warm during the chilly months.
Spring in Azerbaijan. As February draws to an end, villages across the country start to buzz with excitement and activity. The Persian New Year (Navruz) on March 21 is one of the most important events on the Azeri calendar, marking the rebirth of life and the arrival of spring. People start preparing for the festivities well in advance, and traveling to a remote village to experience the age-old traditions firsthand will likely become a highlight of your trip. While the mountains snows don’t begin to melt until mid-Aprl, Spring is a great time for city exploration, historical tours and picnics among the wildflowers.
So, when is the best time to visit Azerbaijan? That just depends on your purpose for visiting, as the country provides ample tourism opportunities in every season!