At the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan has a cocktail of cultures drawing from its eastern and western influences. Steeped in mystery and history, you’ll uncover sacred temples, cave paintings and stories of myth and legend strewn throughout this ancient land. The capital of Baku has a historic core surrounded by a stylish shell, epitomised by its towering trio of skyscrapers, the Flame Towers. A cool breeze wades over the city from the Caspian Sea during colder months, while summers are hot and dry. The Old City (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is the city’s walled fortress, holding many treasures within. You can explore the area on foot in a day, stopping off at sights like the Palace of the Shirvan Shahs and Maiden’s Tower. Outside of Baku, the Gobustan National Park is a mystical site filled with giant boulders, and natural and manmade caves. As you descend into the age-old dens, you’ll observe thousands of rock engravings and art dating back 40,000 years. Many chain hotels can be found in Baku, but accommodations are harder to come by in the rest of the country.