Top 10 things to do in Baku

Baku is an oil city. The black gold has turned what was once a small sleepy port into a modern city vying with Dubai for excess in modern architecture. The hotel prices are crazy, and accompanied with an archaic visa system (now slowly changing), there is little encouragement for tourists to visit. Yet Baku is well worth the effort, and expense, to visit and explore.

A mountain on Fire. Yanar Dag

A mountain that is continually on fire near Baku, Azerbaijan? That sounds a bit like the 'Gate to Hell' at Darvaza in Turkmenistan, one of the most amazing sites I have experienced. I set off to see how one of the major attractions in the country compared with that of its near neighbour.

Rock art, Paleolithic Style

Hidden away in the hills, less than an hour from Baku, is Gobustan (pronounced Qobustan by the locals) an astounding site of ancient human art. Whereas other prehistoric sites such as Lascaux in France are closed to the public, with museums built nearby with reproduced copies of the art for tourists to see, Gobustan is an open air museum with few visitors and easy to walk around.

The Mud Volcanoes of Gobustan

If you are a regular reader of Far Flung Places you will know I have a penchant for volcanoes, particularly active ones. Travelling through Azerbaijan I had heard about their local version, the Mud Volcano, although getting to see one was not going to be so easy.