Mud Volcanoes in Gobustan

Tours in Azerbaijan

Mud Volcanoes are the most popular destinations visited by tourists in Azerbaijan and in this article we will give you comprehensive information on this natural phenomenon and moreover how to get to them.

Azerbaijan — is one of the former republics of the USSR, familiar to us with the help of  Soviet movies, stamps emphasizing the culture, lifestyle and history of the Azerbaijani people, outstanding personalities and famous all over the Soviet Union and whole World (Muslim Magomayev, Lutfi Zade, Fikret Amirov and others) along with the natural wealth of the country. The Land of  Fire can really be considered as one of the most extraordinary countries in the world: the first oil pumping machine was founded in the village of Bibi Heybat (1848), one of the nine pink lakes on a planet is located in the vicinity of Baku (Masazir), the ever-burning mountain of Yanardag in Absheron peninsula and the famous mud volcanoes of Gobustan, about which will tell you this article.

The mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan are unique by their nature, number and origin. Hearing or seeing  the word “volcano” we imagine the real volcano with the boiled lava erupting from its crater, without thinking about existing of their smaller brothers, instead of the hot lava, from the crater of which mud is erupting. The stereotype of this term should be refreshed in a memory of humanity: a volcano is a geological formation that arises above canals and cracks in the earth’s crust, along which the molten rocks (lava), ash, hot gases, water vapors and rock fragments erupt on the earth’s surface.

Salsa (from Italian salsa, the same calling for the mud volcano) are spread in different parts of the World’s 25 counries: they are found in Romania (Berka, Buzau, Piklele Mari, Piklele Michi), Russia (Tizdar, Hephaestus, Akhtanizovskaya puke, Jau-Tepe), Japan (on the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido), Iran (within the Gorgan plain) and other countries. But Azerbaijan is the absolute champion among all mentioned countries — there are 357 mud volcanoes here, out of 800 totally! This is 44.6% of all number. Truly an impressive record!

Statistics of tourist visit to Azerbaijan once again proves the uniqueness of the Gobustan salsas. Azerbaijan Travel International — the leading travel company — making the investigations based on the experience working with tourists from all over the world,  received interesting outputs: more than 63% of all tours held is a tour called Gobustan + Absheron! 

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* In majority of cases they visit this tour in a warmer season, between spring and autumn, when the weather is affordable for venjoying the variety of bubbling “skyscrapers”. More than one hundred thousand tourists visit the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan annually, and the most “ardent fans” are guests from Russia, Kazakhstan, Great Britain, Germany, China, the USA and many others.

The given statistic is growing every year and prove the status and popularity of Azerbaijan in a tourism sphere: in 2019 Azerbaijan was nominated as the best Sightseeing destination in a contest “The Best Sightseeing Vocation”, ahead of Italy, Great Britain, Portugal, Belgium and Israel.

The mentioned facts, telling about the countless visits to the mud volcanoes of Gobustan, have a consequent explanation. Arriving to Baku, the guests of the largest city in the whole of Transcaucasia, after several days of research, crave for the neighborhood. And in 70% of cases, Gobustan becomes the solution. This region is located 60 km south of Baku, which easily allows travelers to visit and explore its wonders in one day. Tourists choose it for a reason: Martian landscape fascinates everyone who is stepping on a ground, full of gurgling gray horns.

Gobustan volcanoes are located in oil and gas fields of Absheron Peninsula: mud escaping outward , is concentrated with water, oil and natural gases. The length of the craters of mud volcanoes varies from 1 to 9 meters, and the vents themselves can reach the bowels of the earth and stretch deeper and deeper. Mud volcanoes operate with assistance of an earthquake system, which is accompanied by underground, tectonic plates’  movements. Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey share a common Eurasian tectonic plate. As the earthquake occur in one of the mentioned countries, waves reach the Absheron peninsula (Baku) Gobustan and Shamakhi. Absheron is considered as a hotspot area. According to the seismological organization of Azerbaijan, the peninsula undergoes through the shocks of 1 point (measurement system) daily.

Salsas of Gobustan, are smaller than the original volcanoes, but they are not inferior to their elder brothers and even, sometimes overcome them: seismologists and geologists can determine the processes occurring in the bowels of the earth with assistance of such volcanoes and discover some novelties in the field of geology and seismology. However, in 1998, the Lokbatan mud volcano was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting the the mud volcanoes, you can see how foreigners bask in the natural mud baths under the scorching sun. Naturally, when the reader sees this picture, two questions arise in his brain: is it safe to be in the crater of a volcano and can the mud really heal diseases?

In fact, the idea of ​​bathing in a crater, albeit a mud, but still a volcano, already sounds quite exotic and alarming therefore such action can turn into dangerous and undesirable. Rocks escaping outward consist of oil and chemical gases , among which a largest propotion comes on a gas methane , which pulls all this cocktail up. Interacting with atmospheric oxygen, methane forms a fire – in chemistry, this “mix” of methane and oxygen is called as – “explosive mixture”.

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ADVICE  No. 1: Based on the previously mentioned facts, it is strongly, not recommended to swim in the crater of a mud volcano: it can turn to disaster.

The mud itself, as shown by laboratory studies, has some chemical properties. This suggests that the chemical composition of the mud is very high in essential elements and such minerals as sulfur, boron, magnesium, iodine, fluorine, bromine. This type of mud is used for treating skin diseases (the mud has a rejuvenating effect).

ADVICE No. 2:  The mud from Azerbaijani mud volcanoes can be an ideal souvenir from this country. Bring a container for the collection of this therapeutic mud, and then use it for cosmetic purposes.

There is no secret that the place where everything around, literally, is full of mud will “delight” visitors with unexpected outbursts of its temperamental character. What to wear before visiting the Gobustan salsas?

ADVICE No.3: In order , rightly, to choose your clothes and enjoy unforgettable views of the mud volcanoes, you ought to dress as comfortable as possible: comfortable shoes with non-slip soles (the surface of the area is slippery enough and reminds icy hills) and such combinations that does not restrict movement.

* Do not forget that the weather is several degrees lower than in Baku, and the constant wind makes you feel like it’s only 10 degrees. It is also suggested to bring a hat and sunglasses with you!

As it was noted before, the area reminds the visitor the surface of the Red Planet: in this regard, on the expanses of social networks you can often see photos of tourists the background of which resembles the “Martian landscape”.

ADVICE No. 4: Be sure to bring a device , with which you can take original pictures and share all this joy in Instagram, arrange them among other pictures taken on unforgettable , for you,  dates.

One of the most important questions for a tourist who wants to visit the Gobustan mud volcanoes is the question about reaching this touristic destination: after all, there are no tourist routes or special vehicles

ADVICE No. 5: If you want to spend your holidays with joy and benefit, do not get confused in your own route search for and return home with good memories from Azerbaijan, we recommend you to contact and rely on only verified and registered travel agencies.

We are happy to be your faithful friend in reaching your target and offer you qualitative services of qualified workers! By following the link, you can gift an opportunity to make a trip to the famous mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan!

You may wish to visit our travel vlog on YouTube channel

Tags: Baku , Azerbaijan , Gobustan , Mud Volcanoes , USSR , Land of Fire , Azerbaijani People , Absheron , Bibi Heybat , Yanardag , Oil and Gas , UNESCO

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