Azerbaijan - Land of Fire

Azerbaijan is a mountainous country (60% of the area is covered with mountains) in Asia, on the western coast of Caspian sea, bordering Russian Federation, Georgia, Armenia, Islamic republic of Iran and partially by Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (Azerbaijan’s Exclave) – Turkey.

Territory of Azerbaijan is around 86 000 (#113 in the world), with population around 9,3 million people (#93 in the world). Capital city is Baku, biggest city on the coast of Caspian sea – with population of more than 3 million people and metro area of over 4 million. Its nickname is City of Winds , and it is one of the 2 capital cities in the world that lies below sea level at -28m., (the other one is Amsterdam -2m.)!

Territory of modern day Baku has been inhabited since probably more than 5 thousand years – and has very rich culture and history – old town Walled City of Baku with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden tower from the 12th century are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage.

Territory of modern-day Azerbaijan has been inhabited by people since 1.5 million years. First Kingdom that was established here is the Manna Kingdom – 9th century B.C. It was followed by the stronger and more famous Media Kingdom, whose official religion – Zoroastrianism – was worshipping the Fire, that was a symbol of purity – pure thoughts, pure mind and actions. Even in the old language, “azer” means fire.

Following the destruction of the Persian Empire, the southern part of Media Kingdom became Atropatena, what later the Arabs renamed to Azerbaijan, while the state of Caucausian Albania appeared in the north. In the 4th century, Christianity started to spread in Caucasian Albania. Exactly between 4th and 7th century is the time when Azerbaijans nation started its ethnical formation . In the next centuries, these lands were territories of conflicts and wars – between Roman Empire and Persia, and later – in the 8th century – they were conquered by the Arabic Caliphate and main religion was changed to Islam.

In the next centuries many small states appeared – Shirvanshahs, Shaddadids, Ravvadids.
11th- 13th centuries count for the peak of Azeris culture, until the invasion of the Mongols, when prosperous cities were destroyed.

Later in the 16th century, state of Sefevids, under the rule of Shah Ismayil, united all the Azeris and the became a powerful empire – stretching all the way between the rivers Syr-Darya and Euphrates.
Next 200 years, the great empire was divided into numerous independent states – Khanates – like Baku, Ganja, Nakhchivan, Sheki.

Wars and conflict followed, Azeri nation was split in 2 – the north was controlled by the Russians, while the south – by Iran. 

19th century was the beginning of the industrialization of Azerbaijan, when the first big oil enterprises started operating.

With the fall of the Tsarist Regime in Russia in 1917, political situation in the region changed – on may 28th , 1918 Northern Azerbaijan proclaimed sovereignity, but it didn’t last long – country was occupied by 11th Red Army , so in 1920 became part of the Soviet Union.

71 years later – country got its independence again – 1991 returned to republic government, by the leader Heydar Aliev. Now, country is developing the modern market economy, is very rich in oil- and gas reserves, and the main issue remains the corruption.


Azerbaijan - Land of Fire

Best of Kenya 1415 , 8 Days

Best of Kenya

Witness one of the greatest natural spectacles in the world - the Great Wildebeest...
Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization 1890 , 9 Days

Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization

After years of political turmoil and military crisis, Iraq is slowly rising from the ashes. The...
Scenic Oman 1200 , 8 Days

Scenic Oman

Discover the magic of the Sultanate of Oman - history, desert and sea. From high mountains and...

View all» What people say about us

Gunnar Svensson

Tour: Caucasus Explorer
Interesting trip in a different part of the world. with a possibility to learn a lot. Visit to spectacular churches and monastries, museums, wine producers, nature and beautiful cities. This tour is recommended.


Tour: Saudi Arabia
Fantastic trip with Penguin Travel! Loved all the sights we got to see in Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz and Lyuben were very helpful, kind, and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend for solo and group travelers, especially those wanting an "off the beaten path" experience. Can't wait to travel with Penguin again!

Milosh Kitchovitch

Tour: Balkan Kaleidoscope
Amazing tour! A great overview of eight Balkan countries with the perfect balance of organized activities and free time. Our guide Anton was the best - organized, calm and has great sense of humor. I highly recommend it. This was my first tour with Penguin and I will definitely be booking more tours with Penguin.

View all»


10.12.2022 15:21

Saudi Arabia - the birthplace of Islam (tips for visiting the country)

It took really long for Saudi Arabia to decide to open for tourists, but now it is finally a fact and Penguin Travel immediately put the destination on its belt. The Kingdom – known as the spiritual birthplace of Islam, now has a new approach to attract visitors and that's why the visa requirements are changed. The changes are so big, compared to the past that they look almost like a...

06.08.2021 17:00

7 Things to do in South Sudan

It’s the newest country in the world and one that a lot of people haven’t even heard of. Those who have, usually associate it with the military conflict that has been tearing up the region for decades. But behind all of that, lies a country of ancient cultural rituals, a myriad of colorful local tribes and raw natural beauty. It is still the most challenging destinations for the...

05.08.2021 08:55

The Little - Known Pyramids of Sudan

Can you name the country with the most pyramids in the world? Nope, it’s not Egypt. The country which holds this record with more than 200 pyramids is actually Egypt’s southern neighbor – Sudan. Though not as big as the Egyptian ones, they are just as impressive and have just as intriguing history, dating back to 8th century BC, to the kingdom of Kush. Since the Sudanese...

01.10.2020 11:45

11 Interesting Facts about Rwanda

  Rwanda is a small African country, whose name is often mostly associated with the horrific genocide that happened here in 1994. It was one of the most tragic events in the history not only of Rwanda, but the world. However, it was also a turning point in the country's history. It has since then embarked on a new path of social, economic and ecological development and deserves to be known...