The Absheron Peninsula is a peninsula in Azerbaijan. It is the area where Baku, the biggest and the most populous city of the country along with its satellite cities Sumqayit and Khyrdalan is located. On world map, Azerbaijan looks like a flying eagle towards the Caspian sea. The Absheron Peninsula is its beak on the east edge side. It stretches 60 km eastward into the Caspian Sea. It reaches a maximum width of 30 km. Though technically the easternmost extension of the Caucasus Mountains, the landscape is only mildly hilly plain area. It ends in a long spit of sand dunes known as Shah Dili, and now declared as the Absheron National Park. In this part, there are several salty lakes spread along the territory.
Absheron is a cultural center of Azerbaijan
The name “Absheron” consists of a few words. The word “Ab” means water while shour means “salty”. The suffix (ending) makes nouns plural in Persian. So, the word “Absheron” comes out to mean “place of salty water”. This was due to the salty lakes spread the Peninsula. Despite the unpleasant climate of the region, the area was historically very important. Unfortunately, due to its natural resources and strategical location, it attracted foreign invaders very often. Therefore, there are still several fortresses and castles in Absheron. They are linked together as a complex defence system. Besides, Zoroastrianism and other ancient cultures have built strong deeps in Absheron Peninsula. As an example, Ateshgakh- fire temple still preserves its value. The temple attracts thousands of tourists each year.
The peninsula is the country’s most religious area with dozens of older mosques, churches and temples. You can witness curious, folk-rituals in Nardaran, Mardakan, Mashtaga and Shuvelan villages of Absheron.
If you’re planning a trip to Azerbaijan you may be interested in our Absheron Peninsula tour.