By Laman Ismayilova
When it comes to embracing the holiday spirit, there is nothing more magical than spending your winter vacation in Azerbaijan.
Whether you're looking to see the sparkling lights of Baku city or enjoy the ice-cold mountain air, the country offers an endless winter enjoyment.
On the eve of New Year, the City of Winds turns into a winder wonderland.
The city's historic setting blends harmoniously with stunning holiday decorations designed to enhance the town’s heritage.
The streets are lit up with the glittering decorations, dozens of light displays, craft fairs, and other fun festivities are awaiting the guests of the capital.
Some shopping centers offer mini concerts, children's activities and other winter fun.
Every year thousands of people gather in the city center to see a fabulous fireworks in the Baku Boulevard at midnight.
Cold hands, warm heart
Nothing is more likely to get you in the mood for the festive season than helping others.
So, winter charitable fair "Cold hands, warm heart", organized by Nargis Fund, is definitely a must-visit place.
A fairy-like charity fair is set in the middle of Fountain Square.
By tradition, all funds raised from the event are used for the treatment and surgery of children suffering from various diseases.
Here, you can get some holiday presents, have a few drinks and soak up the festive delights.
Holiday Theater Performances and Shows
From spectacular concerts to stunning shows, the country has everything to experience the magic of the winter holidays.
On New Year's Eve, the country's theaters, concert venues are getting ready for marvelous shows that won't left anyone indifferent. Thus, you can create fond memories by attending a holiday concert, ballet or music festival.
Full entertainment with glorious music are suitable for all tastes and ages.
Shahdag Tourism Complex offers its visitors incredible winter adventures. Year by year the number of tourists discovering this beautiful resort increases.
Azerbaijan’s first ski resort is located in 25km from Gusar, one of the country's most beautiful parts.
The variety of activities available here is what makes it one of the best winter vacations.
During the winter season there are many ski slopes available for skiers of all levels.
Other winter activities include snow mobiling, horse riding, snow sliding, tubing and a snow park for children.
If you're looking for another unique place to spend New Year's Eve, then visit a mountainous Gabala region.
Easily one of the most spectacular winter spots in Azerbaijan, Gabala is famous for its gorgeous Tufandag Mountain Resort.The choice of winter activities in resort is endless.
Here, sports enthusiasts have a chance to enjoy all kinds of winter sports, excursions and tours and other forms of active rest.
Frozen Beauty of Nature
Thrill seekers and nature lovers will be impressed by the breathtaking view of ice covered lakes.
The Nohur Lake in Gabala is beautiful in all seasons, but in winter it’s transformed into an icy spectacle.
Nohur is a manmade lake created after WWII to supply surrounding villages with water. Today it is a popular recreation spot consisting of a large tree-lined body of water reflecting the Greater Caucasus Mountains in its green-blue waters. Swimming is prohibited but fishing and hiking are popular here.
In winter, the lake is gradually covered by thick ice, starting with the end of December, and reset ice cover occurs somewhere in late March. Every year the lake freezing occurs at different times. Everything depends on the vagaries of the weather.
As you can see, there are countless reasons why you should visit Azerbaijan in winter. There are also so many another activities to do here so you'll never be at a loss for how to spend your time!
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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