By Amina Nazarli
When taking any kind of trip, it’s important to know what the weather may bring. So it is necessary to pay attention to weather patterns and pack your clothing accordingly and to be aware of extreme weather conditions that may hinder your plans.
Azerbaijan, the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, is situated at the crossroads of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe. It is bound by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest and Iran to the south.
Although some foreigners may associate Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic with Russia, the country does not get as cold as one might imagine.
Azerbaijan is situated on the Western Caspian coast, in the South Caucasus’s east. It is an incredibly beautiful area of unique natural contrasts: 9 of 11 main climatic types of the Earth, from subtropics to alpine meadows, are represented there; the four seasons can be watched simultaneously.
Here, the climate is slightly continental, with relatively cold winters and hot summers; it's also arid in most of the low-lying areas, while it becomes colder and generally rainier in the mountains.
The Caucasus Mountains do get snow in winter, with temps as low as -20°C, but they also protect the rest of the country from full on Arctic conditions.
Pack for hot conditions in June to September, so loose baggy trousers and lots of sun scream, since summer in the country especially in the end of July and throughout August is sufficiently hot and mostly without precipitation.
The best time for hiking and culture to visit Azerbaijan is spring and autumn -- April to June and September to October, which will let you avoid the 40°C summers and sub zero winters - particularly in the mountains. The mountains turn into a wildflower frenzy when snows melt and, at the same time spring brings the biggest holiday -- Novruz Bayrami, around third week March.
Each season brings a beauty of its own, while with spring comes the beautiful flowers and plants. March marks the start of spring in Azerbaijan, and features rapidly rising temperatures. The weather turns pleasant during the day, but the nights are still a little chilly and there is the occasional rain shower.
The weather at this time is pleasant, especially for walking around Baku’s beautiful heritage sites. After the cold winter, the city wakes up from its winter sleep and starts receiving more and more tourists.
After the chill of winter, the entire country warms up with colorful festival – Novruz Bayrami, the most anticipated and favorite holiday solemnly celebrated with the arrival of spring.
Summer is hot and sunny. For swimming and sunbathing, the sea temperature is warm enough, exceeding 23 °C (73 °F), from July to September, while it is still cool in June.
The hottest days in the country is between mid-July and the end of August. The Caspian Sea keeps summer manageable, but it can hit 40°C. This is an opportune time to heat the beaches as the coolness of the sea is drawing everyone to refresh by its chillness. That’s why in summer most people flock to Baku's beaches hoping for cooling.
Regardless of the beach you choose, do not forget the dangers of water including contra flows, undertows, ridges, as well as sunstrokes. Sunbath and swim only at 9:00 - 12 a.m. and 4 - 7 p.m, the most comfortable time under the sun.
Autumn in Azerbaijan is looking like a quiet fall leaf and a “golden carpet”. Although, this season is not so severe in the Land of Fire -- trees begin to change their colors in late October.
The weather will have a mix of calm sunny days with rain meeting the sun on the same day. With such beauty, autumn makes for the perfect season to visit Azerbaijan. You can take an excursion to one of the most picturesque villages in the country’s regions, or stay in the city and enjoy the bounties of fall.
Moreover, in autumn, Azerbaijan will be rich with organic fruits like Quince, persimmon, loquat and pomegranates. This is besides, figs, dogwood, pears and apples that will be there to give you the vitamin abundance while you stay in the serenely beautiful country and enjoy the culture.
Winter in Azerbaijan is cold but not freezing, at least in the plains. The Caucasus Mountain Range partially protects inland areas from outbreaks of cold air from Russia, so that the north wind descending from the mountains is warm and dry. Anyway, in winter there may be some light snowfalls and frosts.
However, be prepared for very low temperatures and hazardous conditions in the mountainous areas in the winter, -30°C and lower. Wherever you go, take a sweater for cool evenings, the difference between maxima and minima can vary significantly.
Winter is ideal time for extreme lovers to relax in Shahdag complex located on the north of the country in 30 km from the town of Gusar region. It stands 2,500 meters above sea level and serves as an outstanding getaway with its rich nature, fresh air, and wonderful climate. The temperatures at Shahdag ranges from winter lows of -20°C to pleasant summer evenings of 20°C.
Tufandag complex in Gabala is other most attractive side for the local and foreign tourists in Azerbaijan during the winter season became the main directions for skiing vacation.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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