The beautiful country that has astonishing climate zones and fairytale villages

A former Soviet republic has garnered a reputation for its beautiful architecture and natural surroundings, making it a must-see for people interested in exploring Eastern Europe.

Azerbaijan is a medium-sized European nation with a total landmass of roughly 86,000km (53,437 miles) but a comparatively small population of just 10.14 million people – just over a million more than London’s.

The country’s weather is notably better than the UK’s capital, with hot summers and mild winters, despite its proximity to historically chilly nations like Russia and Georgia.

However, the natural climate goes beyond temperate conditions, as Azerbaijan is one of the most climatologically diverse nations in the world.

Climate scientists have discovered that the nation exhibits nine of the world’s 11 “climate zones”.

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Azerbaijan boasts temperate zones in its north, semi-arid zones in a central strip to the east coast – where the capital Baku is situated – continental zones to the west, and tundra zones.

Each zone has significant variations in average annual temperatures, precipitation, and more, meaning they also vary in their looks.

Thanks to a geographic quirk, tourists can enjoy basking on a sunkissed beach in one moment and, a few hours later, observe the highlands and mountains that border the nation.

Despite its landmass, Azerbaijan is 400km from north to south and 500km from west to east.

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In total, trips across the nation only take between two to three hours, giving people ample time to explore to their heart’s content, even during a short stay.

Architecture in the dozens of diverse locations – split across 69 districts and 11 cities – is equally unique, with a selection of Soviet-era and more traditional-looking communities.

Speaking to Euronews, Florian Sengstschmid, the CEO of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB), said some of the villages the country has to offer appear as if they have come from a “fairytale”.

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He said: “In the south, you have a subtropical climate and these fairytale villages with a permanent mist, moss-covered stones, waterfalls, small rivers, and lots of traditional homes.

“Then you move through these semi-desert, moon-like landscapes with a lot of mud volcanoes.

“Halfway you have Baku and the Caspian Sea and then you go up the mountains, 4,000 feet (1220 metres) and more.”

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