Azerbaijan is a land of contrasts, where ancient and modern cultures meet. This Eurasian country offers a variety of scuba diving experiences, from the Caspian Sea to the mountain lakes. Whether you are looking for shipwrecks, marine life, or crystal-clear waters, Azerbaijan has something for every diver. Azerbaijan is a destination that will surprise and delight you with its diversity and beauty. It is a perfect place for scuba divers who want to discover a new and exciting world.

The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world, and home to many historical and natural treasures. You can dive over sunken villages, see Caspian seals, and explore the archipelago of rocky islands near the Absheron Peninsula. The sea is also rich in oil and gas, which gives it a unique underwater landscape.

If you prefer freshwater diving, you can head to the mountain lakes of Azerbaijan, such as Goy-Gel and Maral-Gel. These lakes have the cleanest water and depths of up to 90 meters. You can enjoy the stunning scenery of the Caucasus Mountains, and see rare fish species and plants.



Nestled at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Azerbaijan offers a unique scuba diving experience in the landlocked Caspian Sea, the world’s largest inland body of water. The country’s diverse geography ranges from the lush, forested mountains of the Greater Caucasus in the north to the arid plains and semi-deserts of the central and southern regions. Azerbaijan’s coastline stretches over 800 kilometers along the western shore of the Caspian Sea, with diving sites primarily concentrated around the Absheron Peninsula, near the capital city of Baku. The underwater landscape here is intriguingly different, characterized by a mix of natural and artificial reefs, including shipwrecks and remnants of ancient settlements submerged over time due to the fluctuating sea levels. Divers exploring Azerbaijan’s waters can expect to encounter a variety of brackish water marine life, geological formations, and archaeological treasures, all while experiencing the rich cultural tapestry of this Eurasian nation.



Before planning your underwater adventure in Azerbaijan, it is crucial to understand the visa and entry requirements for this unique Caspian Sea destination. Most travelers will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival, which can typically be done through the Azerbaijan e-Visa system, also known as ASAN Visa. The e-Visa is valid for a single-entry visit up to 30 days and can be obtained easily online by citizens of many countries. Ensure your passport has at least six months of validity from the date of arrival and at least two blank pages for stamps. Upon arrival, you may be asked to present proof of onward travel, sufficient funds for your stay, and a confirmation of your accommodation, including the address of where you will be staying. It’s important to check the latest information from the Azerbaijani consulate or embassy in your country, as visa policies can change. Once your paperwork is in order, you can look forward to exploring the intriguing underwater landscapes and marine life that the largest lake in the world has to offer.


GETTING TO Azerbaijan

Getting to Azerbaijan for an underwater adventure is a journey that begins with a flight into Baku, the nation’s bustling capital, which is served by Heydar Aliyev International Airport. This airport welcomes a variety of international airlines, offering direct and connecting flights from major cities across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Once you’ve landed, you can opt for domestic flights to coastal regions if your scuba diving destination is beyond the capital. Alternatively, Azerbaijan’s relatively compact size allows for comfortable ground transportation options such as buses, trains, or car rentals to reach the Caspian Sea’s diving spots. Ensure you have the appropriate visa arrangements, as requirements vary depending on your nationality. With the logistical details sorted, you can look forward to exploring Azerbaijan’s unique underwater landscapes, including intriguing oil rig remains and a diverse array of marine life in the largest lake in the world, the Caspian Sea.



Azerbaijan, with its unique position by the Caspian Sea, offers a rather unconventional scuba diving experience, distinct from the tropical destinations divers often seek. The best time to scuba dive in Azerbaijan is generally from late spring through early autumn, roughly between May and October, when the weather is warm and the water temperatures are more comfortable for diving. During this period, the visibility in the Caspian Sea tends to be better, and the sea life is more active, providing a more enjoyable underwater experience. It’s important to note that the Caspian Sea can have variable conditions, and it is essential to check with local dive operators for the most current information on visibility and water temperatures. Additionally, diving in Azerbaijan may offer the unique opportunity to explore underwater mud volcanoes and a variety of endemic marine species, making any dive here a truly singular adventure.



Accommodation options for scuba divers in Azerbaijan cater to a range of preferences, from the budget-conscious to those seeking luxury. In the coastal town of Lankaran, near the Caspian Sea, divers can find modest guesthouses and B&Bs that offer a comfortable stay without breaking the bank. For a more upscale experience, the capital city of Baku, with its stunning waterfront promenade, boasts a selection of high-end hotels that often provide impressive amenities, including pools, spas, and fine dining—ideal for relaxing after a day exploring the underwater wonders. Some of these hotels may also assist with arranging diving excursions to the best spots in the Caspian Sea. Additionally, eco-lodges and private villas are emerging as attractive options for those looking to stay closer to nature and the diving sites. Regardless of where you choose to stay, ensure that your accommodation is within a reasonable distance from the dive centers to maximize your time under the waves of Azerbaijan’s unique marine environment.



Azerbaijan, with its unique position at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, offers a rather unconventional scuba diving experience, primarily in the Caspian Sea. Dive operators and shops in Azerbaijan are relatively few and far between, reflecting the niche status of the sport in the region. However, those in operation, predominantly located in Baku, the nation’s cosmopolitan capital, provide personalized services and are well-equipped to guide divers through the Caspian’s peculiar underwater landscapes. Divers can expect to explore a mix of natural and artificial reefs, with the occasional encounter of archaeological underwater artifacts and Soviet-era shipwrecks. The dive shops cater to a range of experience levels, offering PADI certification courses, equipment rentals, and guided dive excursions. Due to the unique environmental and geopolitical context of the Caspian Sea, it’s advisable to choose operators with robust knowledge of local conditions and regulations. Diving in Azerbaijan is a year-round activity, but the best visibility and conditions are typically from late spring to early autumn. Always ensure that the dive shop or operator you choose prioritizes safety and has a good track record, as the Caspian Sea can present unique challenges even to seasoned divers.



In Azerbaijan, transportation options to reach scuba diving sites are relatively convenient, given the country’s compact size and investment in infrastructure. The primary gateway for international travelers is the Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, from where you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use the well-connected public bus system to travel to coastal areas along the Caspian Sea, such as the Absheron Peninsula, where most diving activities are centered. For a more personalized experience, consider hiring a private driver or joining a guided tour that includes transportation to and from dive sites. While Azerbaijan may not be the first destination that comes to mind for underwater exploration, the Caspian Sea offers unique diving opportunities, including encounters with endemic marine life and exploration of submerged structures. Always ensure that your transportation provider is aware of your equipment requirements, as some dive gear can be bulky and may need special arrangements.



When traveling to Azerbaijan for scuba diving adventures, it’s important to be aware of the local currency and payment methods. The national currency is the Azerbaijani Manat (AZN), which is the most widely accepted form of payment throughout the country. While major hotels, dive shops, and tourist centers in cities like Baku may accept credit cards, it’s advisable to carry sufficient cash when visiting more remote diving locations, as electronic payment facilities can be limited. Currency exchange services are readily available at airports, banks, and major hotels, but it’s recommended to exchange money at official exchange points for the best rates. Traveler’s checks are not commonly used, so it’s best to rely on cash and cards. Always inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card transactions while abroad. Keep in mind that bargaining is not a common practice in Azerbaijan, so prices are generally considered fixed, especially in formal establishments.



When diving in Azerbaijan, particularly in the Caspian Sea, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of the local language, Azerbaijani, which is the official language of the country. While Russian is also widely spoken due to the country’s Soviet past, and younger generations and professionals in the tourism industry may speak English, communicating with local fishermen and some dive operators might require knowledge of Azerbaijani or the assistance of a translator. Familiarizing yourself with common diving terms and phrases in Azerbaijani can enhance your experience and ensure clear communication with your dive guides and fellow divers. It’s also advisable to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, as it is commonly used in Azerbaijan, which can be helpful for reading signs and navigating around dive sites. Hand signals used underwater are universal, but pre-dive briefings and emergency plans should be thoroughly discussed in a language that is understood by all members of the dive party to ensure safety and enjoyment for everyone.



Azerbaijan, often referred to as the “Land of Fire,” offers a unique blend of Eastern European and Western Asian influences, making it a fascinating destination for scuba divers who are also cultural enthusiasts. After exploring the underwater marvels of the Caspian Sea, where sturgeon and seals may be encountered, divers can immerse themselves in the country’s rich heritage. In the capital city of Baku, the walled Inner City (Icherisheher) is a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcasing medieval architecture, such as the Maiden Tower and the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. The city’s modern skyline, crowned by the Flame Towers, reflects Azerbaijan’s oil wealth and contemporary spirit. Beyond Baku, the Gobustan National Park offers a glimpse into ancient times with its rock carvings dating back to 10,000 BC. Traditional Azerbaijani cuisine, with its flavorsome kebabs and hearty plov (rice pilaf), provides a delightful culinary experience, while the sounds of mugham music may enchant visitors during local performances. Engaging with the warm and hospitable Azerbaijani people, who are proud of their diverse culture, adds an enriching layer to the scuba diving adventure in this crossroad of civilizations.



When scuba diving in Azerbaijan, a nation at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it’s important to be mindful of local customs and cultural norms. Azerbaijanis are known for their warm hospitality, but as a predominantly Muslim country, conservative dress and behavior are appreciated, especially when visiting rural areas or interacting with older generations. While at the beach or on a dive boat, swimwear is acceptable, but it’s respectful to cover up when in public spaces or when interacting with locals. It’s also courteous to ask for permission before taking photos of people or their property. When engaging with your Azerbaijani hosts or dive operators, a few words in Azerbaijani, such as “Salam” (Hello) or “Təşəkkür edirəm” (Thank you), can go a long way in showing respect and building rapport. Additionally, be punctual for your diving appointments, as this is seen as a sign of respect for others’ time. Lastly, be environmentally conscious and adhere to the ‘Leave No Trace’ principles to respect the natural beauty of Azerbaijan’s underwater landscapes.



When planning a scuba diving trip to Azerbaijan, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations to ensure a safe and lawful experience. Azerbaijan, with its unique diving spots in the Caspian Sea, requires divers to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources. It is important to respect the ecological regulations, as the Caspian Sea is home to unique marine life, including the endangered Caspian seal. Diving within protected marine areas or near offshore installations is strictly regulated, and in some cases, prohibited. Tourists should also be aware that removing any historical artifacts or natural specimens from dive sites is illegal. Always dive with a certified local operator who is up-to-date with the latest regulations and can provide guidance on no-take zones and environmentally sensitive areas. Additionally, ensure that your travel insurance covers scuba diving activities, as personal safety and liability are taken seriously, and any incidents must be reported to local authorities promptly. By adhering to these regulations, divers can enjoy the underwater treasures of Azerbaijan responsibly and legally.



When planning a scuba diving trip to Azerbaijan, prioritizing safety is paramount. Always ensure that your diving equipment is in excellent condition and that you are diving within the limits of your certification and experience. It is advisable to dive with a reputable local dive operator who knows the specific conditions and potential hazards of the Caspian Sea, such as sudden changes in weather or visibility. Be aware of the risks of decompression sickness and avoid flying for at least 24 hours after your last dive. In case of an emergency, it is crucial to have the contact information for the nearest decompression chamber, which can be obtained from your dive operator. Additionally, keep the contact details of the local emergency services and the Azerbaijan State Maritime Administration (+994 12 404 37 00) readily available. Ensure you have appropriate insurance that covers scuba diving emergencies and medical evacuation if necessary. Remember to dive with a buddy, follow safe ascent practices, and always communicate your dive plan to someone onshore before departure.



When planning a scuba diving trip to Azerbaijan, a country with a burgeoning diving scene in the Caspian Sea, it is crucial to prioritize health and travel insurance. Given the inherent risks associated with scuba diving, such as decompression sickness or unexpected injuries, divers should ensure their insurance policy covers hyperbaric treatment and medical evacuation, if necessary. Additionally, as Azerbaijan’s healthcare facilities may not meet the standards divers are accustomed to, especially in remote diving locations, a comprehensive travel insurance plan that includes coverage for medical expenses and repatriation is strongly advised. It is also wise to check if your policy covers diving to the depths you are certified for and whether specific activities like night diving or wreck exploration require additional coverage. Before embarking on your journey, verify the details of your insurance coverage, keep emergency contact numbers handy, and be aware of the location of the nearest recompression chamber for peace of mind while enjoying Azerbaijan’s unique underwater landscapes.