NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Gobustan is around 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan
DATING FROM Around 8000 to 3000 BC
DAYTIME TEMPERATURES Jan: 40°F (4°C); Apr: 54°F (12°C); Jul: 79°F (26°C); Oct: 61°F (16°C)
The Gobustan (or Qobustan) State Reserve has an estimated 6,000 petroglyphs, scattered amidst the rocky outcrops and caves that dot the desert landscape southwest of Baku. Carvings include depictions of hunters, animals, battles, and dancers, as well as a famous image of a reed boat which led Norwegian ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl to suggest that Scandinavians might originally have come from this region.
Gobustan is also known for its belching cold mud volcanoes, and for curious musical stones, which produce strange sounds when struck with a smaller stone, often compared to the noise of a tambourine.
Getting There and Around
Fly to Baku, then continue by bus to Gobustan town, some 30 miles (50 km) away. Alternatively, arrange for a vehicle with a driver to take you to the site.
When to Go
From April to June the weather is pleasant but not too hot.