This wonderfully atmospheric semidesert region is separated from the main portion of Azerbaijan by Armenia. Facilities are very basic, and heating fuel is hard to find in the winter, but the arid mountains bordering Armenia and Iran are magnificent. As an autonomous republic within Azerbaijan, Naxcivan has its own parliament (President Aliyev is the former parliamentary speaker), and tourists need special permission to visit. The main city, also called Naxcivan, was an ancient trading center. According to Armenian legend, the city was founded by Noah.

Rail travel from Baku has been suspended, but there are several flights a day from the capital. Visitors to Naxcivan should try to pay for their tickets in local currency—the cost is quite reasonable. 200 mi/320 km southwest of Baku.

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