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Resorts of Azerbaijan



Healing factors of nature like mineral waters and various types of oil and volcanic muds are used for purposes of treatment from ancient times. For centuries the country was known as the land of healing oil exported like rare medicine via the Silk Road. Since the XIX century, the scientific study of treatment effects of natural resources in different parts of the country has begun. Results of studies carried out allowed calling the country as the land of the resorts.
Since XX century the organization of organized network of resorts has been carried out. Depending on the suitable climate, mineral waters, therapeutic mud and oil resources the classification of natural resorts having therapeutic and curing importance and located in different climatic zones has been established and relevant infrastructure was created.  
In 1936, with the organization of the Institute of balneology and physiotherapy a new stage started in the exploration natural resorts from the scientific point of view. 
In the second half of the XX century there were already formed a network of resorts. The sanatoriums, boarding houses and rest houses system created at the time, almost covered all the territory of Azerbaijan. In Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan, Absheron Peninsula, Ganja-Hajikend-Goygol, Sheki, Baku, Shusha-Turshsu, Guba-Khachmaz-Nabran, Lankaran-Astara and other regions, having rich facilities of spa-treatment, all necessary conditions for the organization of treatment and rest were created.
Since 1970, special attention was paid to the development of resorts in Azerbaijan. By the decision of the government of the USSR same year  the Absheron Peninsula, Naphthalene and Istisu resorts were included in the list of all-union resorts.
According to the decision of the government in the 1980, though the expansion of a network of resorts in Azerbaijan, including the implementation of large-scale projects in Nabran Khachmaz, was intended but the political processes of that time did not allow implementing this plan. 
After Azerbaijan gained its independence a stage in the development of the resort has began. Thus, in 2007, the President of Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed a decree on the state program Azerbaijani resorts. In addition, in 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted a decision on the approval of Provisions on exemplary resorts.
Azerbaijan is considered as suitable territory with natural medical resources that used for rehabilitation, prevention and treatment. The territory of Azerbaijan is rich in resorts. Treatment and providing recreational facilities (sanatoriums, rest homes, pensions, balneological and mud treatment centers, resort polyclinics, rehabilitation centers, etc.), sanitary protection zones and other resort infrastructure is organized in such areas.
Azerbaijani resorts are divided in balneological, climatic, treatment mud and Naphthalene oil resorts. Balneological resorts are the resorts used natural mineral waters. From curative properties of mineral water accepted in the world each of the eight groups are available in the territory of Azerbaijan. The climatic resorts are characterized by a climatic therapeutic effects The climatic resorts have the therapeutic factors (sea water, sun baths, hot sand baths, mountain climate, etc.), which are considered to be significant in terms of prevention and treatment of many diseases. In medical mud resorts clay, silt under the mud (and Zig and Masazir Lake mud) and hill (volcanic) muds are used for treatment. 
In Naphthalene oil resort the treatment is carried out with high-impact unique factor of Naphthalene oil. 
For geographical location Azerbaijan’s resort resources are divided into the following zones:
In the Greater Caucasus zone there are more than thirty mineral water fields, weakly mineralized and different thermal and cold concentrations of containing sulfur and organic substances.  The mud volcanoes widespread in Azerbaijan are located in this zone 
The Lesser Caucasus zone are distinguished with  balneological resorts rich in carbonic acid mineral waters. It has a pleasant climate. Naphthalene oil fields known as a factor in the rare treatment are located in this zone, too.
Coastal zone of the Caspian Sea to climatic and balneological features is divided into three resort fields. Khudat-Yalama strip (Nabran resort) is rich in sandy beaches, forests, iodine-bromine water. The Apsheron Peninsula covers Mardakan, Bilgah, Zugulba, Buzovna, Surakhani resorts. At that zone along with the sea water the treatment is done by Shikh thermal sulfide, iodine-bromine waters, in number of different mineral waters. Surakhani sulphurous waters, the muds of  Masazir and Zig are also used for treatment.
Subtropical Lankaran-Astara zone is rich in thermal mineral water springs.
In mineral-rich region (150 water springs), which is important for spa treatment resorts like Sirab, Badamli, Vaykhir, Batabat, Daridagh are situated in Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. 
Balneological resorts are located in the Kur-Araz River basin and existing metane, nitrogen, high and very high-mineralized, cilisium, iodine-bromine thermal water resources have healing effects, too. 

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