By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has laid the foundation of the Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex in Absheron's Gobustan village, Azertag reported on April 22.
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva accompanied the head of state during the groundbreaking ceremony.
Azerbaijan is known in the world as a region of rare and classical development of mud volcanoes. Of the 1,700 known mud volcanoes on Earth, 700 are in Azerbaijan– mainly in the Absheron Peninsula, Shamakhi-Gobustan, Southeast Shirvan, and the Baku archipelago. A total of 350 of them are active volcanoes.
During the ceremony, State Tourism Agency Chairman Fuad Naghiyev informed Ilham Aliyev and Mehriban Aliyeva about the complex.
Naghiyev said that the building of the complex will look like a crater from above. It will also have a workshop and classes will be held for children. There will also be an exhibition hall and a café here. He added that there are a number of advantages of creating a tourist complex at the site of “Gilinj” mud volcanoes.
Naghiyev stressed that factors such as proximity to one of the largest volcanoes in the world, “Toraghay”, the presence of three different groups of volcanoes in the area, and the nearby Gobustan reserve add to the tourist importance of the area.
The 12-hectare complex includes a quad bike path, footpaths, a zipline, and an observation tower, a parking lot, a souvenir shop, as well as therapeutic baths.
To build the road infrastructure to the area, there are plans to extend a 20-kilometer road from the Gobustan reserve to “Gilinj” and surrounding volcanoes and create the Baku-Gobustan-Mud volcanoes tourism cluster.
President Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva toured the areas that volcanoes are located.
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