Does adventure tickle your fancy? Here, we introduce you to Gabala, a charming city in Azerbaijan that is home to beautiful nature and the most unexpected outdoor thrills.

Introduction to Gabala

Straddling the borders of Dagestan and Georgia, at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, is the calm and picturesque city of Gabala. It is about 200 kilometres from the capital city, Baku. Harking back to 2000 years, Gabala (Qabala) was the former capital of the Caucasus Albanians who ruled for 600 years. Since then, the city has retained its civilised past, heritage and monuments even after being exposed to invasions.

But, is the city all about its 1000-year-old defence tower and a mausoleum from two centuries ago? Gabala takes you away from the concrete jungle and immerses you in the tranquillity of forests, waterfalls, forgotten highways, untamed wilderness, blue lakes, and rustic resorts.

Things to do in Gabala 2023

From skiing in winter to paragliding in summer to blooming chestnuts in spring, Gabala is a dream escape. To help you save hours musing on creating your itinerary, here is a handpicked list of adventurous things to do in Gabala 2023:

Relive the Tufandag Mountain Resort

Azerbaijan’s two ski resorts in the Caucasus Mountains are famous for skiing and snowboarding opportunities. If you want to switch from the traditional slopes, Tufandag Mountain Resort is your go-to destination. Tucked at just 4 kilometres from Gabala city centre, this winter summer resort offers 12 kilometres of slopes, varying from challenging to tame level. Both beginners and pro skiers can find their adrenaline rush; you can even learn to ski.

While the slopes and snowmobiles appeal the off-beaten travellers, the resort’s sheer beauty and peaceful ambience invite the casual holidaymakers. The network of cable cars allows you to gawk at the stunning views of magnificent views of mountains and wilds. With a range of luxurious and decent budget accommodations, one can plan to stay for a longer time and enjoy an impeccable vacation. If you are here in summer, take an open-air jeep tour, go hiking and revel in cycling.

Aim the target at Gabala Shooting Club

If shooting is right up your alley, head towards the well-facilitated Gabala Shooting Club. It is a part of Gabala Sports Club, which prepares the athletes for the national teams of Azerbaijan in shooting, boxing, soccer, karate, taekwondo and judo. Gabala Shooting Club is a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art complex that serves both recreational and training purposes. You can try your hand in your favourite sport and even practice it — against the gorgeous backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains.

Challenge your skills at eight sporting ranges, five combined ranges for stand shooting, three rifle halls, and an archery shooting pitch. After hitting the target, unwind in cottages and dine at an excellent onsite restaurant.

Live it up at Gabaland

Another destination to rejoice a classic time with family and friends, Gabaland brings a fun experience to the table. Attracting both tourists and locals alike, Gabaland is Azerbaijan’s largest open-air amusement park. Its mix of gigantic rides, challenging slides, and heart-pulsating rollercoasters offers an action-packed day for the visitors. Some of the best-rated names out of the 50 rides are Drop tower, Twister, Swinger, Mini coaster, and Technopop; which are filled with twists, turns and surprises.

It also hosts a wonderful array of festivals and events that add a dose of extravaganza with the power-packed performances. Celebrate the entertainment, hop on the roller coasters, kick back in a spacious garden overlooking the mountain views, and eat delicious food — enjoy all of these in the 16 acres of the park. To reminisce about the activities in Gabala back home, don’t forget to buy national souvenirs made by local masters. Plus, Gabaland is open the whole year — what more can you ask for!

Bedazzled by the Gabala Seven Beauty Waterfall

Gabala ’Seven Beauty’ Waterfall is a refreshing excursion followed by a short hike. The crystal-clear cascade falls from the highest peaks of the Caucasus Mountains and spellbinds its audience. This waterfall (Yeddi Gozel) takes its name from the 7 mountain roads that the tourists pass to reach the destination. Perched in a village that grows homemade cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and spices, the waterfall is a sight to behold.

Before you catch this jaw-dropping vista, there is a short, rejuvenating hike. It gets frozen in winter, but you can duck into a tea house nearby during summer and spring. Here, teas are prepared with the water from the cascade, bringing a unique flavour. Sit on the wooden mattress, sip at the tea, and get lost in the enchanting sound of the fall.

Fish, Meander and Ride at Nohurlake

Bask in the warm winter sun and breathe in the fresh air as you relax by the beautiful Nohurlake. Located about 5 km east of Gabala city, the lake is spread over 240 hectares and has a depth of 24 metres. With its postcard-picture scenery, the lake is hemmed in by the forests and high mountains called Yumru, Goydag and Gulluburun. In the south, there is a reservoir that meets the agricultural needs of neighbouring districts.

As the winter arrives, the turquoise lake converts itself into a sheet of ice as thick as 5 cm. Swimming may be prohibited in the lake, but you can partake in numerous other water activities that will win your heart. You can fish for hours, go for a catamaran ride, stroll along the shores, and marvel at the breathtaking landscape. There is a restaurant, souvenir shop and a hotel to make your dream stay come true.


Be it for its heart-pulsating activities, organised chaos of the metropolis, or the quiet getaway that you seek, Gabala is the place you need to begin with. It promises a holiday that will blow your mind with its unflawed charm. So, book the tickets, shrug off stress, and enjoy a fantastic trip in 2023.

A Country head and general manager CIS by profession, Himanshu has ventured into travel writing to be able to do two things he loves doing most – writing and hitting the road to explore new places.

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