By Amina Nazarli
Two Azerbaijan’s ski resorts - Shahdag and Tufandag-- were included in the Top 10 popular tourist destinations among Russians for this winter.
Shahdag Winter-Summer Tourism Complex, one of the most advanced travel spots in the world, is among the Top 3 best winter resorts in the CIS countries.
The analytical Agency Turstat has named the Shahdag Complex among the most popular mountain resorts in the upcoming winter.
Azerbaijan’s first ski resort differs from similar facilities in the world for its uniqueness and diversity. Located in 30 km north of the town of Gusar, stands 2,500 meters above sea level and serves as an outstanding getaway with its rich nature, fresh air, and wonderful climate, with temperatures ranging between minus 20-22 degrees Celsius in winter and 20 degrees in summer.
Year by year the number of tourists discovering this beautiful resort increases. Despite Shahdag was opened only in December 2012, it could attract hundred thousands of people.
The rating is based on the analysis of the online booking systems of hotels for 2017-2018.
Another ski resort of the country Tufandag operating in Gabala region has been also include in the Top 10.
Tufandag complex provides visitors with skiing slopes and cable roads with a total length of 17 km with red, black and blue stripes. Ski pass for the day costs 20 manats (about $12), and a training lesson of ski riding is 35 manats (about $20). Similar prices are applied for services in Shahdag, which offers 12 lifts and 14 trails of varying difficulty - five "green" and "blue" and four "red".
The uniqueness of the both ski resorts in Azerbaijan is that they receive visitors both in winter and summer. In hot weather mainly extreme sports are popular, while with the onset of winter skiers and snowboarders flock here.
The complexes repeatedly entered different rankings for tourists. So, since 2013, Shahdag has been visited by over 310,000 tourists and the highest peak was reached last year. The majority of visitors were from the UAE, followed by Russia.
Winter holidays at the ski resorts of the CIS countries are planned to last from 7 to 10 days, according to Turstat.
The cheapest winter recreation will be in Chimgan, and the most expensive in Chimbulak.
The tourist budget for recreation, including accommodation and meals, will make $90 per day on Shahdag and Tufandag, and more than $100 per day in Chimbulak.
Ten best ski resorts in the CIS for winter recreation according to Turstat are the following: Chimbulak (Kazakhstan), Shahdag (Azerbaijan), Silichi (Belarus), Tsakhkadzor (Armenia), Chimgan (Uzbekistan), Karakol (Kyrgyzstan), Logoisk (Belarus), Tufandag (Azerbaijan), Altaic Alps (Kazakhstan) and the Yakut mountains (Belarus) are among the Top ten winter resorts of CIS countries for skiing and snowboarding, popular among Russian tourists.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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