Fast facts about country
- Area 86,600 sq km
- Capital Baku (Bakı)
- Famous for Oil, saffron, caviar
- Official Name Azərbaycan Respublikasi
- Phrases Salam (hello), sağol (thank you)
- Population 8,500,000
- Ubiquitous face Heydar Әliyev
Area: 86.600 sq km. 11,5% of area covered by forests, 1,6% water, 50% agricultural lands, 27% of which are pastures, 36.9% other lands. The country is situated in 44o and 52o of East longitude, and in the latitude of 38o and 42o North, Baku is situated in 40o parallel
Major languages: Azerbaijani is an official language. Other languages: Russian, Georgian, Lezghi Russian and Turkish are widely spoken
Religion: Majority of the population is Muslim. Other religions include Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism
Zone time: GMT + 4 hours
Azerbaijan currency: 1 manat = 100 qapik. As of summer 2012 one manat (AZN) roughly equals one euro.
Domain zone: .az
International dialing code: +994
Entry formalities: The valid passport is required. Entry visas required by all. All visas have to be obtained prior travel in Azeri embassies abroad. As of summer 2012 no visas could be obtained upon arrival to Airport.
Electric current: Voltage is usually 220,50 Hz.
National currency of Azerbaijan is Azerbaijan manat (AZN). Foreign currency and traveling cheques can be exchanged for Azerbaijan manats in all banks. Besides, currency exchange can be made at all official exchange points that you can find everywhere. It is necessary to keep a receipt of exchange until departure from the country. Those who change currency at private person take a risk of being a victim of trickery and carry the responsibility for possible abuses.
As a rule it is possible to pay by credit cards in hotels. But it is recommended to clear up in advance about acceptance of credit cards. You can get some cash from cash machines in the most important business centres, big shops and underground stations. In hotels cash payment recommended, this might allow you to avoid 18% VAT.
Azerbaijan is situated on the western coast of the Caspian Sea, in the eastern part of the South Caucasus. The northern frontier of the country with Russia (Dagestan) stretches from the coast of the Caspian Sea to the Greater Caucasus Mountains; the northwestern boundary with Georgia is formed by complicated configuration of mountains; the boundary with the Islamic Republic of Iran to south runs alongside the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the river Araz to the Caspian coast with its humid subtropical climate. Azerbaijan is bordered by Turkey to the southwest and by Armenia to the west.
The territory of the country as a whole can be pictured as a giant tray tilted towards the Caspian Sea. This causes all the rivers of Azerbaijan to flow into the sea. Some of them join the major river Kura, and some flow into river Araz, the largest tributary of the river Kura.
There are about 250 lakes in Azerbaijan. Gey Gel Lake, a pearl of exceptional beauty framed by wooded mountains, is located in the foothills of the Kapaz Mountains at a height of 1,556 meters above sea level.
Caspian Sea, the largest lake in the world (378 400 sq. km water surface), is unique at its origins and has a rich biodiversity. Its fauna comprises 1,332 species. 111 fish species live in the Caspian including sturgeon, salmon, Danube bleak, bream, herring and other fish. There are many seals near the Azerbaijan coastland, which, being the only mammal in the Caspian, are under protection of the Absheron Reserve.
Azerbaijan is rich in ores, non-metallic deposits and fuels. The largest oil and gas reserves have been in the Absheron Peninsula. The well known therapeutic naphthalene hydrocarbon is used to treat various diseases.
Mineral waters of Istisu spring in the Kalbajar region are superior to the renowned waters of Karlovy Vary in some of their characteristics. The mineral waters of Badamly, Sirab and Vaikhyr springs of Nakhchivan have become popular far outside the region.
12 reserves and 17 protected areas have been created to protect endangered species. The Gyzylagach State Reserve comprises a part of Mugan steppe lying beside the Caspian Sea. Flamingo, crane, bald-coot, duck, cormorant, goose, swan and heron are most notable species among thousands birds that go there to winter. Persian gazelle inhabits the Shirvan Reserve. The Zagatala Reserve protects mountain animals: deer, mountain goat, mouflon, roe deer, bear and various species of birds. Many species in Azerbaijan are included in the Red Book database.