Absheron route View on map
If the shape of Azerbaijan on a map is similar to a bird flying towards the sea then the bird's "beak" would be the Absheron peninsula with an ancient and ever young city situated on its southwest coast. The city is Baku - the capital of Azerbaijan. Absheron and Baku feature major transport lines: International Airport n.a. Heydar Aliev, a big port in the Baku Bay (the biggest on the whole Caspian Sea), Baku Railway station and highways connecting the capital with the rest of the country.
Major oil and gas pipelines also originate on the peninsula. Baku is a key point of the international transport corridor (Europe-Caucasus-Asia) TRASECA, in the framework of which Azerbaijan participates in restoration of a historical route, the Great Silk Road. Climate. The Absheron Peninsula is located 28 m below World Ocean level. The climate of Baku and Absheron is of temperate warm semi deserts and steppes with Absheron-specific winds. While bringing refreshment in summer the northern wind "Khazri" is chilling in winter; on the contrary, the southern "Gilavar" is heating in summer but attenuates the cold in winter. Mineral deposits - oil, gas, building stone (limestone - "badamdash"), salt, sand, lime. Salt lakes at the Absheron include Masazir, Gala, Boyuk-Shor and Hodzhasan. There are some of the oldest oil wells in the world where people would draw oil from with buckets and the first industrial oil wells on the Absheron.
Mud volcanoes - A fine mystery of nature. Azerbaijan is the first among the world's countries by quantity and diversity of mud volcanoes.
Gobustan petroglyphs - an outdoor museum.
The history of Absheron. Favorable climate-geographical and geological conditions contributed to the fact that the Absheron was already inhabited 20000 years ago (e.g., an ancient human settlement site near the village of Yeni Surakhany). The whole peninsula is studded with ancient man settlement sites and mounds dated to the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. There are types of burial complexes with burials of anthropomorphic figures made of stone accompanied by plot pictures (villages of Dubandy, Turkani, Hashahuna, Mardakan, and Shuvelan) that are restricted only to the Absheron. More settlement sites have been found in Pirallakhi, on the lake of Zikh, in Binagadi and in Amiradzhani. This evidences that the whole Absheron was one of inhabited places in the most ancient times. However, geostrategic position of the peninsula attracted various invaders as well.
The largest settlement site on the Absheron is Mashtaga. Here, aside of settlements dated to the Bronze and Iron Ages there are also posterior monuments: mosques: Bira Argutai (1414), Hodzha Aydamir, Gazikhana, Hodzha Kerbalai Khusein (18th century) , a mosques dated to the 13th-14th centuries with a 40 m tall minaret built later, a bath of 17th century, Ovdan (a lodgment dated to the 19th century), mausoleums: Agil Baba, Hodzha Aslan, Gasanbek, Hodzha Aydamir (18th century).
"Gala" is the State Historical and Ethnographic Reserve located in the Absheron village of Gala. Remained in "Gala" are ancient mosques (Juma mosque, Gala settlement mosque), old roads, ovdans, an ancient cemetery(15th century), baths and settlement sites dated to the Bronze Age.
Attracting a great interest among guests of Baku is the temple of Zoroastrians - Ateshgah (the house of fire) in the village of Surakhany (17th century).
Ancient, prehistoric tracts - complete analogs of the mystical road tracks in Malta have been found in every part of the Absheron. Many of them lead right to the sea vanishing in the depths…
 In the period of Shirvanshahs State formation, Baku attained even higher importance. In the 12th century, after a powerful earthquake that severely damaged Shamakhi, the capital of the State of Shirvan, Shirvanshah Ahsitan I relocated the capital to Baku. Baku became of the main city of the Shirvan State. Shirvanshah got a new capital, built the fortress walls of IcheriSheher, and surrounded them with ditches. The population was occupied in crafts: carpet weaving, production of copper and bronze wares, weapons (many of them made their way to the museums of different countries in the world). Baku emerged as a strategic port on the Caspian Sea which favored its further prosperity.
Monuments of Baku. Among historical monuments of Baku the most exciting is the Old City - IcheriSheher, surrounded by large fortress walls from three directions. There is a palace of Shirvanshahs with a complex of various structures: a burial vault, Palace mosque, Divan-khane, the Mausoleum of Seyd Yakhya Bakuvi (mausoleum of a dervish) - a court scientist. An interesting monument of antiquity is Juma Mosque with the inscription of Sultan Oldzhaytu (13th century). In the narrow streets of Icheri Sheher where the width of passages between houses are often reduced to the width of stretched arms, there are many little shops where one can buy ancient and modern wares of local craftsmen: carpets, ceramics, copperware etc. Here in IcheriSheher, in buildings of the ancient caravanserais there are restaurants where one can taste the meals of Azerbaijani national cuisine.
Viewing the city from above, from the Upland Park of from the direction of the sea it is easily seen that the city's shape resembles an amphitheater on the slopes of rocky hills, it is like a bowl on the sea coast. Rising above at the edge of IcheriSheher, near the big Seaside Boulevard is one of the most famous historical-architecture monuments of the country, a symbol of Baku, Giz Galasy (Maiden's Tower).
It has been speculated that on the Caspian Sea, not far from Baku, there was another tower of the same kind. However, only the following information can be considered reliable. During archeological excavations about 700 stones with inscriptions along with fragments and whole pieces of earthenware and copper coins of Shirvanshah Kershasb(13th century) were raised from the bottom of the sea. Some of the stones were later exhibited in the atrium of the palace of Shirvanshahs. The submerged fortress is now known as "Shahri Saba", "Sabail Castle" or "Bail Stones".
Memorial of world-wide importance:
Nowadays Baku is a modern city with a delicate charming of the East and features of a modern megapolis. Here, in the capital, there are museums of: National Historical Museum of Azerbaijan, Literature, State Museum of Azerbaijan Musical Culture, The State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art (named in honor of Letif Kerimov) and Azerbaijan State Theatre Museum named after Jafar Jabbarli, Museum of Archaelogy and Ethnography. There are also memorial Museumsof: U. Hadzhibekov, the founder of modern Azerbaijani music, a renowned Azerbaijani composer Niyazi; composer and jazz performer V. Mustafazade, Baku-born world-famous musician M. Rostropovich, writers and playwrights G. Javid, J.Jabbarli, M.S. Ordubadi and a unique Museum of Miniature books.
There are also a number of exhibitions, concert halls, art galleries, theaters, sport complexes, stadiums, swimming pools, numerous hotels and restaurants.
Around Baku, along the whole perimeter of the Absheron peninsula there are a number of beaches. One can bathe and tan on the Absheron five months a year since there are many warm and hot sunny days. When the sun goes down and the heat of summer days fades away discos and night clubs begin their work on the beaches. At the service of tourist and vacationers are plentiful of hotels, resorts and health centers on the Caspian Coast.