The district of Gusar has four of the country’s nine climates. These favorable conditions make it possible to establish resorts, recreational zones, and tourism complexes there. With its rich flora and fauna, all conditions are right for ecotourism in Gusar.
Ecological Tourist Routes
The ecological routes can be divided into three directions.
In this area, there is a forest called Alistan Baba boasting seven square kilometers of greenery. In the villages situated along the road, you can buy embroidered cloth, wood engravings, and famous Sumakh carpets.
This route stretches along the Samur River. Here you can buy handicrafts, watch the national customs and traditions of the local population, as well as performances by wrestlers, and closely familiarize yourself with the lifestyle and folklore of the Lezgins. The Samur River is one of the boundaries between Russia and Azerbaijan. It is worth seeing some of the villages in this area such as:
Sudur - located 1,800 meters above sea level, at the foothills of Mount Shahdag offers fascinating scenery of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Hil - a village famous for its 19th-century mosque, is listed as a historical monument of national importance. The place-name is related to the word “Gil,” which means “clay” in English.
Hazra - an ancient village famous for the Mausoleum of Sheikh Juneyd, one of the most important historical-architectural monuments in Gusar. Sheikh Juneyd of Ardabil was the grandfather of Shah Ismail I (the founder of the Safavid dynasty). He perished in the battlefield with the Shirvanshah’s army in 1456. According to the inscription on the façade of the monument, the mausoleum was built in 1544.
The village of Hazra is also famed for its wrestlers. Local wrestling performances are amongst the most popular examples of Azerbaijani folklore. Sometimes one can see wrestlers practicing their skills in the village.
Yuxarı Tahircal - a mountain village with wonderful scenery and difficult roads. The population is engaged in beekeeping and the forests that surround the village are known for their fruit trees, especially wild apple trees.
The road along this route is covered by shells and stones. As you travel, you may come across many more places of interest, such as the following:
Anigh - The Anigh Castle Walls in Anigh village date back to the ninth century and were of strategic importance in the Middle Ages in defending the village from Arab raids. Still standing to this day, the walls of the fortress stand at 9.3 meters tall and 2 meters wide.
Mahalin Taji (or Taj Mahal of Gusar) – Anigh has a long-standing tradition of building luxurious and fashionable properties and this mosque, located in the village center, is no exception. It is believed that the person who built this mosque visited the Taj Mahal during his trip to India and liked it so much that he decided to build a similar mosque. It is believed that the mosque, which was built from raw bricks, is over 300 years old. On the walls are pictures drawn with paints made from natural vegetable roots and although the pictures on the walls have never been renewed, their colors still draw attention.
Laza - situated in a valley among the mountains and consists of two parts separated by a mountain between the Gusar and Gabala regions. The village is in the foothills of the Great Caucasus Ridge, on the slopes of Mount Shahdag (4.242 meters) and the Sah Yaylagi Peak, and can be found on caravan routes passing through the Main Caucasus. The most famous attractions in the village are a 300-year-old mosque, Haji Seyid Baba shrine, Tsar’s cave, and the old stone bridge Qonchi-Myux over the Qusarchay River.
Suvar - a place in a mountainous area within two kilometers from Laza, is the highest holiday destination and tourist base in Azerbaijan. Located at the foothills of Shahdag, Suvar is open all year round and is suitable for camping, picnics and winter activities. Tourists can visit the 3,000-meter-high Sakh plateau, the Shahnabat plateau, as well as climb the 3,751-meter-high Heydar Aliyev peak in the Qizilqaya area.