Baku, March 26, AZERTAC
Lakes, wherever they are, always attract people who want to enjoy a serene rest in the bosom of nature. About 450 large and small lakes of various origins are known in Azerbaijan. Only a small number of them are accessible for tourists, because many lakes are located far from tourist places or in protected areas. That's why in our review we also included artificial lakes, around which are concentrated picturesque places for rest, attracting a lot of nature lovers in the season.
Sarisu and Aggol
Sarisu is the largest lake in Azerbaijan (not counting the Caspian Sea). This natural reservoir, with an area of about 65.7 square kilometers, a length of 22 km and a width of up to 3 km, is located on the territory of two districts - Imishli and Sabirabad. Places in which the lake is located, it is difficult to call tourist, but it is of great interest for wildlife lovers. The shoreline of Sarisu, consisting mainly of wetlands and swamps, attracts up to 350,000 migratory birds in winter. This is a real expanse for fans of bird watching. In addition, the lake is rich in various fish and is used for fishing.
Sarisu is a freshwater lake and it is fed from several sources, including the channel running from Lake Aggol - another beautiful lake, valuable from the point of view of nature conservation areas. This lake, with an area of 2.8 thousand hectares, is located on the territory of the Aggol National Park. Wetlands located here, in which waterfowl live, are included in the list of the Ramsar Convention and are considered a reserve of world significance.
Goy-Gol, Maral Gol and other mountain pearls
The natural mountain lake Goy-Gol, perhaps the most beautiful and famous of the natural reservoirs of Azerbaijan, is located in the Goygol district, 25 km south of Ganja city, on the northern slopes of Murovdag mountain, at an altitude of 1,576 meters above sea level. The lake was formed as a result of a devastating earthquake that occurred near Ganja on September 30, 1139, during which the top of the mountain Kapaz collapsed in the gorge of the Agsu river. The formed dam is the lake Goy-Gol. The area of the lake is 0.79 sq km, the length is 2.5 km, and the width is 0.6 km at the widest point. The coastline of the lake stretches for 6460 m, the average depth of the reservoir is 30 m, and in the deepest place reaches 93 m.
In order to preserve the rare nature, flora and fauna of these places in 1965, the Goy-Gol Nature Reserve was established. The northern shore of Lake Goy-Gol and its surroundings are a popular recreation area. It is believed that the air of these places is beneficial for people suffering from respiratory and nervous system diseases. Around the lake there is a resort zone Hajikend, - a favorite holiday destination for tourists in the summer, where there are various tourist centers and boarding houses. Several tourist routes also pass through these places.
Recreation zone Hajikent is located on the north-eastern slope of the Minor Caucasus mountain range, in the Kurekchay river basin. From the east, Hajikent is washed by the waters of the Gorancay River, on the west it borders the Ganjachai River, and from the south it is bordered by the mountain range Murovdag. The territory of Hajikent is located in the administrative department of the city of Ganja and Goygol district. In the resort zone of Gadzhikent at an altitude of 1450 m above sea level, natural mineral springs of Turshsu are also located. On the territory of the resort area of Hajikent, in addition to Lake Goy-Gol, there are several picturesque mountain lakes, among them Maral Gol, Gush Golu, Gara Gol, Ag Gol, Shamla Gol, etc. Most of these lakes were formed simultaneously with Goy-Gol, as a result of the earthquake in 1139.
By the way, if you go from the administrative center of Goygol district - the city of Goy-Gol to Hajikent, you can see the ancient temple of the times of Caucasian Albania, located on a hill just above the roadway. In addition, along the road to Hajikent, there are numerous bakeries in which traditional Azerbaijani bread is baked in tandyrs. Travelers like to buy this fragrant hot bread, with a crispy ruddy crust.
Another jewel in the collection of mountain lakes in Azerbaijan is Lake Batabat. This amazing blue topaz is located in the mountains of Shahbuz district in Nakhchivan, at an altitude of 2500 meters above sea level, at the headwaters of the Nakhchivan River. Picturesque pond in spring and summer is surrounded by greenery and flowers of alpine meadows. The lake is remarkable for its purest water and a floating peat island, which constantly moves along its mirror surface.
The climate in these places is subtropical, with mild snowy winters and dry summers. The resort area around the lake is also famous for its numerous mineral springs.
Not far from Lake Batabat there is an astrophysical observatory and another local lake - Ganlygol.
Lake of artificial origin - Nohurgol, surrounded by wooded hills - a popular recreation area in Gabala. This pond is famous for its clear water and magnificent views. In the vicinity of Nohurgol is well-developed tourist infrastructure. Here you can rent boats and catamarans to ride on the lake. Or make a walk along the shore on horseback accompanied by an instructor.
Nearby there are many cafes and restaurants offering dishes of national cuisine. You can also spend the night in guest houses. There is also the hotel of the famous world network Chenot Palace Health Wellness Hotel.
Leaving Gabala, do not forget to buy local canned food and jam, in a large assortment of products sold on improvised counters throughout the district.
Another picturesque pond of artificial origin - the largest in Azerbaijan, due to its size is often called the Mingachevir Sea. Its appearance is connected with the main town-forming enterprise and the symbol of the city of Mingachevir - a hydroelectric power station on the Kura River - the largest hydroelectric power station in Azerbaijan.
In the old days, the unruly Kur was bursting out of the gorge of the eastern range of Bozdag and flowing over the Kura-Araks lowland. The hydroelectric power plant was able to curb the wayward river. The decision to build it was made in July 1945. Mingachevir HPS was built for 9 years and was put into operation in 1954. The dam of the Mingachevir HPS is one of the largest in the world. Its height is 81 m, the length is 1,550 m, and the volume is 15.6 million m3.
The dam of the Mingachevir Hydroelectric Power Station has become an Obstacle to the natural course of the Kura River, forcing it to spill and flood many miles of land around: underwater, even left a few villages whose population was previously relocated to a new place of residence. So Mingachevir reservoir was formed, with an area of 605 sq. km, located 3 km north-west of the city. Its length is more than 70 km, the greatest width is 18 km, the average depth is 27 m, and the maximum is 83 m.
In addition to the fact that water from the reservoir is used for the development of energy and agriculture, the Mingachevir Sea has become a favorite vacation spot for locals and tourists. In Soviet times, there was a boarding health resort of Union importance, which gathered many thousands of tourists from all over the country during the season.
And today, on numerous beaches of the reservoir (there are about 10 of them, along the bays of the left coast) is always crowded. The beach season in Mingachevir begins in May, and lasts until the end of September, the average temperature of the water is 23-30 degrees.
Immediately upon arrival, vacationers find themselves on the public city beach. There is a well developed recreation infrastructure, water rescue services. In 2013, the city authorities carried out a thorough reconstruction of the coast: soft soil was brought, couches, shower cabins and changing rooms were equipped. On the beach operates a cafe, a volleyball court, as well as a service for renting motor boats and catamarans. Those who wish can ride a water scooter under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
Attention is also attracted by a beautiful overpass, built on the water, from which it is convenient to contemplate the local surroundings and the smooth surface of the lake that extends far beyond the horizon. Along the coast, where it is shallow, the water acquires a turquoise hue, gradually thickening the colors to the azure to the middle of the reservoir, which makes the general panorama of the bay reminiscent of the French Riviera or even tropical beaches. For completeness, the picture is missing only coconut palms scattered here and there.
The bay is chosen by waterfowl. From the overpass are clearly visible colonies of cormorants, located on rocks, over the water flies flock of gulls, somewhere at a distance ducks dive for fish. It should be noted that the fish in Kura are abundant. It is home to pike perch, catfish, vobla, bream and other species. If you take the gear with you, then you can have a lot of fishing here.
Here is another example of how a popular tourist site has appeared thanks to a hydroelectric power station. This reservoir is located in the Shamkir region of Azerbaijan.
Shamkir HPS cascade intended for power supply of the Western region of the republic includes Shamkir and Yenikend hydroelectric power stations. The first unit of the Shamkir HPS was put into operation in 1982, and the Yenikend station was put into operation in 2000. During the construction of the first hydroelectric power station, a working village called Kur was established here; today it is a densely populated residential area with 10 thousand inhabitants.
As usual, the artificial reservoir, formed as a result of construction of a dam on the Kur River, quickly became a popular holiday destination for residents and guests of Shamkir. Around this picturesque pond is always lively. On the slopes of the reservoir there are many cafes and restaurants serving visitors, where you can taste fresh Kur fish, various dishes of national cuisine, drink tea with sweets and, if desired, enjoy the performance of representatives of the popular ashug and khanende folk art here. For a small fee, local talents are ready to give you a personal concert.
From the terrace of the restaurants you can see a beautiful view of the reservoir, and even the dams of the hydroelectric power station on the opposite side of the reservoir, which look quite intriguing on the background of orange sandy hills, somewhat resembling an ancient temple in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
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