The seaside town of Lankaran in the very south of Azerbaijan is one of the most colorful parts of the country, with a humid subtropical climate. If you like black volcanic sand and black Azerbaijani tea, you should definitely come here.
Lankaran, a city located 250 km southeast of Baku, nestles between the Caspian Sea and the majestic Talysh Mountains. As it is situated in the subtropical climate zone, it experiences up to 1,800 mm of rainfall per year, making it the country's most humid region. Almost on the border with Iran, this port city on the Caspian Sea is one of the most vibrant and colorful places in Azerbaijan, with its natural diversity delighting every visitor.

A Subtropical Paradise in Azerbaijan

Lankaran's beaches, known for their black volcanic sand, are a must-visit. The city's vicinity is dotted with numerous thermal springs ("Istisu" in Azerbaijani), making it a popular medical tourism destination since Soviet times. In 1958, a large sanatorium was opened in the village of Haftoni, providing therapeutic healing baths. In 2019, it was replaced by the modern Lankaran Springs Wellness Resort.
Nature reserves are within easy reach. The Gizilagaj Wildlife Sanctuary's marshes are a haven for water birds, including flamingos. In Girkan National Park, you can find ironwood trees that survived the Ice Age. Hiking trails cater not only to trekkers but also to birdwatching enthusiasts. The Talysh Mountains are home to a vast variety of bird species, some of which are rare and endemic.
The warm subtropical climate of Lankaran makes it ideal for growing citrus fruits and tea. All types of Azerbaijani tea are grown and harvested here. This is symbolized by the huge monument of a samovar with an armudi (“pear-shaped”) glass that greets guests at the town's entrance. A tour of the tea plantations, offering a chance to learn more about tea and taste this aromatic beverage, is a must!

Things to Do

Lankaran boasts many historical sites from the 8th to 19th centuries. The 18th-century Lankaran Fortress was one of the primary defensive structures of the Talysh Khanate. Khanegi, a pilgrimage site for millions of Muslims, is also a beautiful temple complex on the bank of the Pirsagat River, housing the mosque and the tomb of Pir Hussein with a 13th-century minaret. The mihrab, with its exquisite gyazha carving, Kufic inscriptions, and ornamentation, holds special artistic value.
On the culinary side, Lankaran is famed for its local dish, lavyangi, a delicacy of chicken or fish stuffed with nuts, onions, and sumac, traditionally baked in a tandyr, a clay oven also used to bake delicious bread. Other specialties worth trying include pilaf with pumpkin and lentils, and turshu kebab.

Sights and Tastes to Experience

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