The disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh is internationally recognised as being part of Azerbaijan. Although, as a de facto independent state governed by the Republic of Artaskh, and also having an Armenia ethnic majority, the political situation there is somewhat shakey. Unsurprisingly, the geopolitically contentious nature of Nagorno-Karabakh is fascinating to the international community. Anyone who chooses to venture here can only do so via Armenia, but once you’re in there’s much to discover ranging from Shushi, the historical capital of the region, the ghost town of Agdam, and the ancient site of Azokh.
The history of Stepanakert, the region’s capital, go as far back as the 2nd or 3rd BCE. Surrounded by mountains and woods, this is a great base from which to explore Nagorno-Karabakh. The highlight of a visit to this city include the Memorial Park of Lost Soldiers which commemorates the lives of those who fought in WWII, as well as “Babig-Dadig” (Grandfather and Grandmother) monument which was created by a local sculpture and architect and almost seems reminiscent of a modern interpretation of the statues of Easter Island.
Once a popular mountain recreation resort in Soviet times, Shusha is worth exploring for its Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, mosque, museum and Jtrtuz – a famous lookout point in the town which has spectacular views of the Karkar Canyon.
Referred to as the Hiroshima of Azerbaijan, the village now lies totally abandoned with the mosque being in the historic heart of Agdam. If ghost towns and urban exploration interests you, then a visit to nearby Tigranakert would also be highly recommended.
A visa can be obtained on arrival. It is possible to not have this recorded in your passport so you may visit Azerbaijan in future.
In the northern hemisphere seasons with hot summers and snowy winters.
For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com
Two prong European style systems (types C and F).
Internet is poor, most accommodation will offer wifi, but it will not be of a good speed.
A combination of Azerbaijani and Armenian cuisine. Meat found in most dishes. Wide variety of fresh fruit, vegetables and bread. Food is not spicy.
Alcohol is permitted and is widely available
No special dress code.
SAFTEY & SECURITY
The FCO advises against travel to Nagorno-Karabakh. This is due it being a disputed territory. We take precautions in the areas we do travel. Contact us for information on where we do and do not guide in this region and how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff.