While Azerbaijan isn’t known for its beach breaks, a selection of soft-sanded spots on the Caspian Sea can provide a bit of fun in the sun on your travels here.
The water around Baku is famously filled with oil rigs and industry pipes, so you’ll have to travel a little further outside of the capital to find somewhere to set your towel down. Here are some of our favourite options for a day spent at the beach in Azerbaijan.
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In the north of the Baku Peninsula, Bilgah Beach is dominated by the rocket-ship-like Bilgah Beach Hotel. The golden sand is a popular place for families to gather at the weekend to escape the city and spend the day paddling in the sea. A collection of beachside cafes provides a little sustenance, and there are changing facilities, too.
In the Baku suburb of Shikh, Crescent Beach is a family-friendly spot on the shore of the Caspian Sea. The slow drop-off into the sea makes it a safe paddling spot – and a play park and plenty of dining options make it a popular place for families. The silhouette of an oil rig looms in the distance, which may be a blot on the landscape to some – but there’s a modern beauty to it floating out there in the sea.
Sprawling day beds and loungers lining the sand are the order of the day at Amburan Beach Club. This private slice of Baku Beach comes with an entrance fee, but it’s worth it for the pristine sand and array of amenities. There are several beach bars and a restaurant – and a huge swimming pool is an option if you like your water calm and a little less saline.
North of Baku, the suburb of Nardaran has a stretch of Capsian Sea beach perfect for a day trip from the city. Palm-frond parasols dot the sand, offering some shade, and freshwater outdoor showers to freshen up after a dip in the sea. At SeaZone Beach, you’ll find sun loungers that can be rented and a couple of fresh seafood restaurants, where the catch of the day is served up street-food-style at wooden bench tables.
On the Absheron Peninsula, Dalga Beach is one of the cleanest beaches within easy reach of Baku. Terracotta sand slips into the Caspian Sea, and there are plenty of changing huts, parasols and places to lay your towel. It’s also home to the biggest water park in Azerbaijan, and you can try your hand at every kind of water sport, from parasailing to banana boating.
There’s a reason that Novkhani Beach has attracted a handful of resort hotels and aqua parks to its shores – it’s one of the prettiest beaches on the Absheron Peninsula. Away from the oil rigs and industry pipelines of Central Baku, it’s a long stretch of sand where seafood restaurants have set up shop and you’ll see nothing but water for miles. There are lots of facilities here, too, such as changing huts, outdoor showers and water sports vendors in abundance.
Up in the north of Azerbaijan, Nabran is a little beach resort town that attracts locals to spend the weekend by the sea. The Caspian Sea is cleaner up here than around Baku and the Absheron Peninsula, so this is the opportunity to fully submerge yourself in the sea. A couple of rustic-style beach clubs have been set up on the sand, offering a place to lie on a lounger and enjoy a drink.
Down in Azerbaijan’s south, Lankaran is another resort town – though it’s a little livelier here. The beach is all shingle, made for morning strolls rather than an all-day event. The ancient town itself is a charming spot to visit if only to try the local lemons and tea – or perhaps tea with a slice of lemon in it – and explore local museums. For a more surreal experience, head south to Yanar Bulag Fire Spring to watch water ignite.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Sam Bedford.
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