Azerbaijan is a former Soviet republic in the Caucasus , at the crossing between Europe and Asia. The country lies on the Caspian Sea between Russia and Iran and is bordered to the west by Georgia and Armenia. It is nicknamed the Land of Fire.
Azerbaijan is home to a vast variety of landscapes. Over half of Azerbaijan's land mass consists of mountain ridges, crests and plateaus. The rest of Azerbaijan's terrain consists of plains and lowlands. There are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country: The walled city of Baku with the Shirvanshah's Palace and Maiden Tower, as well as the Rock Art Cultural Landscape of Gokustan. You should also go see Neft Daşları, a city above the sea, the first operating offshore oil platform in the world, located 55 km from the nearest shore in the Caspian Sea. Across 300 locations in the country, mud volcanoes erupt, making up more than half the total throughput globally. Caspian Hyrcanian forests can be found near the Iranian border. And finally, Tears of Kyapaz, a string of seven idyllic mountain lakes, are accessible near Mount Kyapaz and Nagorno-Karabakh. (Picture © Credits to istock/saiko3p)