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This lovely forested area of the Greater Caucasus Mountains is rich in raptors and passerines and easily accessible from Guba and Baku.
Altiaghaj National Park is visited by a rich variety of raptors and passerines. The road through the Khizi Mountains is one of the most scenic in the country, passing through steppe and semi-desert and culminating in the pristine oak forests of the Altiaghaj National Park, located at 1,200 m. Among the birds you can encounter are Egyptian Vulture, Golden Eagle, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Eurasian Green Woodpecker, Green Warbler, Hawfinch, Rock Bunting, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Black-headed Bunting.
Located in the Khizi and Siyazan regions, Altiaghaj National Park covers 11,035 hectares of the eastern part of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, about 120km from Baku. When to visit: April-June.
About 90% of the park is made up of beautiful broad-leaved forests consisting of Caucasian oak, Oriental beech, European hornbeam, and many other tree species. The park is home to the East Caucasian tur, a mountain goat-antelope endemic to these mountains, as well as lynx, brown bear, wild boar, wolf, golden jackal, red fox, roe deer and other mammals. Birders can look forward to a rich variety of raptors and passerines.
Where to stay: The luxury Qalaalti Hotel & Spa is about a 1.5 hour drive to the north. The cities of Baku and Guba, both with a wide range of accommodation to choose from, are also just a couple of hours’ drive away.