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Ancient And Affordable: This Vastly Underrated Country Is Surging With International Tourists

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The travel industry has come roaring back to the far ends of the Earth. The latest report about yet another surging country proves it.

While many travelers are being basic and following the crowds, there's another breed of traveler chopping at the bit, ready to try somewhere new.

Skipping the Olympics madness of Paris, the lack of elbow room in Cancun, and many other countries crying foul with overtourism concerns opens up doors to the lesser known.

Tourists in Baku, Azerbaijan

Set along the gorgeous Caspian Sea lies a country seeing an influx of international tourists as much as forty percent, yet somehow still flies under the radar.

Azerbaijan is treated as if it's a far-flung destination unworthy of highlighting your travel plans, but that narrative couldn't be further from the truth.

This vastly underrated country is easier to reach than you think, jam-packed with intriguing historical sites and nice beaches, and perhaps best of all, it won't break the bank.

Where In The World Is Azerbaijan?

Happy tourist overlooking Baku

To the ‘Average Joe' or ‘Jane', finding Azerbaijan on a map might be like playing a game of Where's Waldo.

Without taking a long, winding dive into the history of how Azerbaijan came to be, we'll give the CliffsNotes version…

Azerbaijan is tucked away along the Caspian Sea with a mix of neighbors you'd love to visit, like Georgia, and some, well, let's just say maybe another time.

What you should know, given the current state of the world, is that Azerbaijan is no longer a Soviet nation, yet by the same token, one of the main draws is the country's fascinating history.

Historic ruins among skyscrapers in Baku

What you'll find today across the nation is a mix of very, very old and very, very new. Think modern architectural marvels overlooking UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Azerbaijan dates back ages. The official government website proudly boasts, “The population of Azerbaijan, one of the most ancient cradles of humanity, created a high culture since the Paleolithic Age.”

Modern-day Azerbaijan is actually quite young. At least, that's what I'm telling myself since I'm only 1 year older.

Formed in 1991 as the Republic of Azerbaijan, this amazing country filled with wonder is finally much easier to reach and being recognized by more and more travelers.

Mosque and mirrored reflection in Baku

Baku Is A Diamond In The Rough

Odds are if you visit Azerbaijan, your first stop will be the marvelous city of Baku, the nation's capital.

This seaside city is at the very least an excellent gateway into Azerbaijan's culture and scenic coastline with stunning sites like the Walled City and picturesque beachfront stays.

Despite seeming like it's a hassle to reach as if you're going to other Caspian destinations like Turkmenistan, for example, Baku has more flight options than ever.

Many iconic European cities, such as London, Paris, Athens, Istanbul, and many more, fly nonstop here.

Say you take a nonstop flight to Paris, Baku is easily reachable with only one layover.

Female tourist on stone street in Baku

It is well worth a visit and very affordable, even for high-end hotels.

Despite their Soviet past, those days are behind them, so you will find Western brands like Marriott, Radisson, and even more luxury brands.

Should you visit Baku this summer, you can ball out on a budget with luxurious stays under $250 at the JW Marriott, Intercontinental, and Ritz Carlton.

Stays at the Radisson Blue, Hyatt Regency, and Marriott are slightly over $100 and less.

Is Azerbaijan Safe?

Have you ever had some sketchy neighbors? We all have, right?

Beach umbrellas on Azerbaijan beach

Wondering if Azerbaijan is safe is a valid concern.

Having Georgia and Armenia on one side shouldn't be a worry at all, but the others have definitely raised some red flags.

Visiting the coastline of the Caspian Sea is a must when visiting with many nice resorts to choose from.

Here, you will definitely be safe and feel as if you're at any other notable beach getaway.

The concern lies being connected to both Russia and Iran – a double whammy! Neither country has presented themselves all too well, but Azerbaijan is indeed safe to visit.

In fact, the country is on a marketing spree trying to lure in more tourists this summer.

Azerbaijan flag with skyline as backdrop

For what it's worth, the U.S. State Department classifies Azerbaijan as ‘Level 2' with mentions of terrorism concerns but nothing about arbitrary enforcement of laws or wrongfully targeting Americans.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.