Sources of the name of the country Azerbaijan - go back to ancient times. The earliest of known written sources which mention the name is the
Syrian composition of the 6th century, The Chronicle of Karki De Bet Seloh. However, there is the reference to a much earlier source of the 8th century BC about Azerbaijan. It is said in the chronicle: "...Arbak had built the fortification wall that is Adubad in the Median Empire which named after him the Adorbaigan land". "Ador Bad Agan" means "a place protected by a deity of fire". Arabs, who came in the region to conquer and to spread Islam, named the country "Azer-Baigan". The further genesis of the word is clear. Azerbaijan is a region with unique geographical, climatic and geopolitical characteristics. The present Republic of Azerbaijan has rather small territory (86, 600 thousand sq.km) but it is possible to encounter here 9 of 11 basic climate zones existing. For example, on droughty and hot Absheron the climate was improved by parks and gardens planted for centuries, but the natural landscape consists of prickles, rocks, saline soils and steppes that are covered by grass only in spring. In other areas of the Republic, you can meet numerous sources of spring water ("bulag"), and the pure underground waters that are brought on a surface by construction of special systems kagreze. There are Alpine zones, and woods with relic breeds of trees, where the climate is rainy even in the summer. There are vast steppes and high mountain ranges with the tops attracting climbers, tourists and those interested in wild nature. In Azerbaijan one can meet plenty of curative, mineral and thermal waters, mud and oil for medical treatment. They are spread throughout Guba, Shamakhi - Ismayilli, Balakan - Gabala, Sheki - Zagatala, Nakhchivan and Ganjabasar regions. There are 6 national parks, 12 reserves and 17 protected areas occupying 2,4% of country’s total area, they cover all basic climatic landscapes in Azerbaijan. Today, the plans for extension of area of protected nature territories up to 10 % of the total area of the republic are in progress. 5 national parks (Shirvan, Hirkan, Altyagaj, Ordubad, Ag-gel), 21 nature reserves and over two thousand trees (aged 100 to 400 years) are included in the state list of "The Natural Reserves of Azerbaijan" (as of 2004). The document also includes 37 geological and paleontological objects and more than 15000 ha of forests with endemic and relict flora. The list of relict flora includes eastern plane trees (aged 100 -500 years), dzelqua tree (aged 250 - 400 years), pistachio (aged 250 -400 years), karkas tree (aged 300 - 600 years), box tree (aged 200 -300 years), black nut (aged 200 - 300 years). The natural reserves with the objects of palaeontology include nine caves such as the Azykh Cave, where a Paleolithic site of primitive man was once discovered, the asphalt lake in Binagadi is the richest site with remains of relict flora and fauna (approximately 260 species). There are also many unique geological formations such as Tengi marble gorge, the Afurdja falls on the River Velvelichai and many others.
The 1st of June is usually considered as the beginning of tourist season in Azerbaijan. The first days of June also coincide with a magnificent musical event held annually - the International Jazz Festival, which usually includes the participation of the world's most prominent jazz performers, as well as the most talented jazzmen of Azerbaijan. Tourists can also come in the end of May, as it is really worthy to see spring in Azerbaijan, especially the way it reaches its real beauty in the regions. The tourist season continues up to the end of August -beginning of September.