Baku is the capital city, a sophisticated blend of old and new.

Visitors overlook the sparkling Caspian Sea at the 12th century Maiden Tower and find a deep history intertwined with Azeri oil and mystical Zoroastrian traditions. Savor fine Azeri wine and caviar, stroll through the narrow stone streets of the medieval walled city "Icheri Sheher" with its narrow alleyways, historic caravanserais, mosques and Shirvansha Palace complex. Spread over three terraces, its ornamented and engraved structures are crowned with domes, portals and a minaret. It is a fabulous example of Azerbaijan architecture. Touring Baku you will find imposing mansions of the oil barons from the turn of the last century and more modern Soviet structures. Shop in Baku for intricate Azeri carpets or silverwork, stay for tea and honey-drenched baklava.

Near Baku is the Absheron Peninsula where you can visit the Zoroastrian Fire Temple "Stashagakh". It was built on the spot of eternal fires; burning natural gas geysers and surrounded by the shrines of fire worshippers for centuries. There are lovely beaches at Asheron and you can dine at an historic caravansaray and enjoy the distinctly Persian traditional music.