Alti Agach National Park is a perfect destination for a day trip away from Baku. Located about 120 km from the capital it offers excellent trekking and hiking opportunities as well as unique aesthetic experience as the last bit of the road leading to the park takes travelers through the picturesque Candy Cane Mountains. The mountains are famous for their unusual colours – a mix of pink and white stripes, an effect of iron oxidation of the rock. The area where the mountains are located is semidesert both in terms of the climate and the scarce human presence – Khizi Rayon is the least populated region of Azerbaijan.
Alti Agach National Park
In contrast to the Khizi mountains, the park is covered with lush forest and cut with wide rivers, which are almost completely dry in summer and autumn but fill up with water during springtime. The main road takes you to the little village of Alti Agach (literal meaning in Azerbaijani language: six trees), which gave the name to the park. Along the road there is also a small shelter for wild animals including a Caucasian bear. There is not much to see in the village apart from the pretty little houses with colorful shutters that still haven’t been replaced by modern buildings. If you continue driving after the village you will get to a large tourist resort with tennis courts, spa, a restaurant, hotel, a little zoo and more.
The advantage of Alti Agach over many other parks in Azerbaijan is that there are virtually no route limitations for tourists so you can go anywhere you like. The best idea is to set off from one of the restaurants by the river. Cross the river on foot or by car (there’s usually little water!) and explore the hills and pastures on the other side. Just in case, take some nibbles with you – this will buy you the kindness of the local shepherd dogs.
In the park there are some simple but good restaurants offering traditional Azerbaijani food (kebab, salads, raw vegetables etc.) and tea with varene. Unfortunately, people in the area don’t speak much Russian – not to mention English – so you will need to either prepare a few food-related words in Azeri or rely on their choice of dishes. In the latter case you’ll most likely end up with a delicious plate of assorted kebab. The restaurant at the tourist resort also serves tasty Azerbaijani food and pahlava.
Alti Agach is easily reachable by Quba road. At some point (Gilazi village) you will see an indication for Alti Agach (shortly before the Besh Barmag mountain). Take this road and continue driving for about 30 kilometers until the entrance to the Altyaghach National Park.