A Journey Through the Land of Fire | 32 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Azerbaijan

© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography

A gallery of my favourite Azerbaijan photography to inspire you to visit the Land of Fire.

 

Azerbaijan might not be at the top of everyone’s bucket list, but the former Soviet Republic and ‘odd one out’ of the three Caucasus countries certainly has a lot to offer. Travelling overland through the Land of Fire might not be the smoothest of journeys, but it’s an unforgettable experience full of contrasts and contradictions. Of course, it helps that Azerbaijan is incredibly pretty and its smaller rural towns a street photographer’s dream.

 


Essential reading: 12 things you should know before visiting the Caucasus.

 

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the oil-rich metropolis of Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city, for Paris in the spring. Wide boulevards, perfectly manicured gardens, Belle Epoque architecture and gigantic fountains characterise downtown Baku. The iconic Flame Towers loom in the distance; a constant reminder of where you are and just how Baku’s fortunes were made. The Heydar Aliyev Center, a true architectural masterpiece, is one of the most incredible buildings you’ll ever see or have the privilege of photographing.

Baku’s Old City, Icherisheher, is a maze of ancient Zoroastrian towers, converted Silk Road caravanserais, mosques and carpet shops. It backs onto the Bulvar, a vast boulevard that’s counted among the largest parks in the world, which in turn unfolds onto the satiny Caspian Sea.

You don’t have to venture too far from Baku before the scenery changes dramatically. Oil rigs line the coast on the drive down to eerie Gobustan, a landscape of oozing mud volcanoes that is positively otherworldly. Beyond Baku, small towns like Quba—with their friendly locals, carpet workshops and Soviet relics—are a paradise for street photographers. I challenge you to come away with a shot that doesn’t feature either a Lada or a colourfully painted cigarette stand. Sheki—with its divine Summer and Winter palaces, caravanserai hotel, and charming backstreets—is the gem of Azerbaijan and a place that stole my heart.

 


Keep reading: The top things to see and do in Sheki, Azerbaijan.

 

Here are 32 of my favourite photographs to inspire you to visit Azerbaijan.

 

© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography

© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography

© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography

© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography
© Emily Lush 2018 | Azerbaijan photography

 


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6 Comments

  1. Perfect timing, now I’m looking forward to my trip to Azerbaijan even more! 🙂 Amazing pictures, as always 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Kami! That means a lot coming from you!

      I didn’t know you were heading to AZ! Have a wonderful trip, I’m sure you’re going to love it 🙂

      • Awww, thank you! I’m going there in 2 weeks actually 🙂 Pretty exciting!

  2. René De Meyer

    Hi Emily,
    I have just returned from a 4 weeks trip in Azerbaijan. It is a great country with incredible nice people .I had a fantastic time there.
    You beautiful pictures give a correct impression of the country . Love them !!
    Greets !
    René

    • Hello René!

      How wonderful! I’m so glad to hear that. Four weeks is a great amount of time to spend anywhere—lucky you! I suppose you made it to many corners of the country that I missed. I do hope I get to return some day.

      Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to leave a note!

      Kindest,
      Emily

  3. Olivia Green

    You guys just added Azerbaijan to my bucket list. Looking forward to seeing it soon.
    Thanks for the guide!

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