Top things to do in Abşeron Peninsula

Archaeological Site in Qobustan

Qobustan Petroglyph Reserve

The Unesco-listed Qobustan Petroglyph Reserve protects thousands of stick-figure stone engravings dating back up to 12,000 years. Themes include livestock, wild animals and shamen. They were carved into what were pr…
Temple in Abşeron Peninsula

Suraxanı Fire Temple

The unique Ateşgah Məbədi is an 18th-century fire temple whose centrepiece is a flaming hearth above which arches a pillared stone dome with four side flues. These flues also spit dragon breath…but only on special o…
Museum in Qala

Qala Ethnographic Museum Complex

Historic little Qala is dominated by a faux fortress monument opposite which is an impressive Ethnographic Museum Complex. This open-air park features several furnished traditional-style Abşeron buildings (house, sm…
Volcano in Qobustan

Mud Volcanoes

On top of utterly unpromising little Daşgil Hill is a weird collection of baby mud volcanoes, a whole family of ‘geologically flatulent’ little conical mounds that gurgle, ooze, spit and sometimes erupt with thick, …
Natural Feature in Abşeron Peninsula

Yanar Dağ

In the 13th century Marco Polo mentioned numerous natural-gas flames spurting spontaneously from the Abşeron Peninsula. The only one burning today is Yanar Dağ, a 10m-long sliver of heat-blackened hillside where ton…
Islamic Shrine in Mәrdәkәn & Şüvәlan

Mir Mövsöm Ziyarətgah

One of Azerbaijan’s most impressive new Muslim shrines, this complex is topped with a beautifully patterned Central Asian–style dome and has an interior spangled with polished mirror mosaic facets. Most Azeris firml…
Shrine in Mәrdәkәn & Şüvәlan

Pir Həsən

Pir Həsən is a shrine area where superstitious locals queue up to have bottles smashed over their heads. Honestly. It’s considered a cure for nervousness of spirit. The smashing occurs at the back of a pretty view-g…
Fortress in Mәrdәkәn & Şüvәlan

Mardakan Castle

This 22m square-plan tower is the more interesting of Mərdəkan's two crenellated fortress keeps. If you want to get in and up the five flights of unlit steps to the rooftop, seek out key-holder, Vidadi, who lives in…
Castle in Abşeron Peninsula

Ramana Fortress

On a rocky outcrop at Ramana, this fortress tower is one of the Abşeron's most dramatic castles, but adding to the interest of the visit is the view of many grungy old oil workings, nodding donkeys and run-off pools…