Late Summer and Autumn: The Best Seasons in Azerbaijan
This blog post is ironically appropriate, as I’m writing it while Lənkəran and a large swath of Azerbaijan is getting drenched in a steady three-day rainfall, not exactly the stuff of the best weather for tourism. But I do want to say that we are just setting into the best seasonal weather Azerbaijan sees all year. Spring comes in at a close second, but spring also feels like it’s come and gone in the space of a week. And then the unbearable heat sets in. Around here, the fall is where it’s at, starting in late August and early September, really settling in after a good rain (like the one we’re experiencing now).
Throughout the year, the southern region, including Lənkəran, Lerik, Astara, Masallı, and Cəlilabad, is a verdant reprieve from its neighbors to the north and west, where dry, desert-like conditions persist. Coming south on the Baku-Astara highway, you can feel the change as you come out of Salyan and Biləsuvar into Cəlilabad and watch as the Talysh mountains rise up and the land turns from a dusty sand-colored flatland to a green lawn stretching from the Caspian Sea to the foothills of the mountains. After these late summer rains, the effect will be magnified, the green grasses and leaves almost incomprehensibly vibrant. The mountain rivers that dried to a slow trickle will start rushing again, filling waterfalls and ravines with cold, fresh water cascading from mountain springs. After the dry summer, when the grasses dry brown and the streams slow to thin veins of water, the transformation bursts with freshness and life and vigor. This is the time to explore Azerbaijan. If ever there were a time to take advantages of the CBT Azerbaijan accommodations, this is it. Azerbaijan’s tourism services should take note: Azerbaijan’s natural beauty is a treasure that showcases itself in the perfect autumn weather. If there is going to be a high season in Azerbaijani tourism, this should be it.
With all of this in mind, we went on a hiking excursion this past weekend, up to the familiar passes of Lerik. Last time I did this, it was a mild December week, chilly through the nights and sunny during the days, hot in the sun and cool in the shade. This time, we followed a ravine up to a towering rock cliff bursting out from a mountainside, setting up camp right behind it, overlooking the valley stretching from the Lerik city and running out to the mountaintops bordering Iran. Breathtaking views as the clouds shrouded the tops and mist rolled through the valley, then clearing to reveal the jagged, rocky ridges above lush mountainsides. The landscapes speak for themselves: