Qusar is a hidden treasure that embodies all that Azerbaijan has to offer in terms of environment and culture.

It is important to keep in mind all of the different treasures that Azerbaijan has to offer. The country is home to 9 of 11 different climate zones, which offers visitors the chance to get out of the city and enjoy nature. If you appreciate the outdoors, Qusar (also spelled Gusar), is one place that should be included in one's itinerary. A three-hour car journey from Baku, Qusar provides an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of modern city life.

Immensely photogenic, Qusar has idyllic mountainous scenery that is seldom seen anywhere in the world. Located in the northeastern region of Azerbaijan, Qusar is close to the border with Russia. It is known in the winter for its freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, while its summers are mild and enjoyable, especially compared to the sapping heat that invades Baku in the summertime. As a cultural destination, many of the people in Qusar are ethnic Lezgins. Lezgins have a long history in the Caucasus' mountain region and have centuries old traditions and culture. Lezgins also have their own language, Lezgi, which they speak in addition to Azeri. The old traditions of carpet weaving and many other handicraft specialties are commonly practiced in the region.

Unsurprisingly, the Qusar region is known for its great hiking both in the summer and winter months. Covered with vegetation, Qusar has oak and beech trees, as well as gooseberry bushes, hawthorn, and forest grapes. A popular attraction for tourists in Qusar is the beautiful waterfalls in Laza and Shaknabaz, which can completely freeze in the wintertime (pictured). Hikers are rewarded for venturing so high above sea level with fantastic views of mountains and vegetation extending in every direction as far as the eye can see. Qusar is also famous for being home to the highest mountain peak in the country, Mount Bazarduzu, which comes in at 4,466 meters.

In addition to its bountiful visual gems, Qusar is also known for its historical attractions. The region has many ancient mosques, the ruins of a 13th century fortress, and even a mausoleum. The city is also famous for hosting Russia's great poet Mikhail Lermontov, who came to Qusar during his exile in the Caucuses and you can even visit the house where he stayed. As well as travelling by car, there are inexpensive, regular buses from Baku to Qusar, so waste no time when you're in the country.