There are always health risks when traveling to a foreign land, including the ancient country of Azerbaijan in the Caucasus region. When visiting this beautiful former Soviet state for the first time, keep in mind that maintaining good health in Azerbaijan depends more on how you spend your holiday than how the local government takes care of its visitors. The country is slowly gaining popularity as a leading tourist destination.
There are three things to keep in mind when traveling to another country: the local weather, native dishes and known health risks.
Azerbaijan has one of the most unique and unpredictable climates in the world. The country is surrounded by mountain ranges, including the mighty Caucasus Mountains to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east. It is also home to several climatic zones such as forest, steppe, mountain, semi-desert, sub-alpine, and alpine. This means, Azerbaijan experiences the coldest of winter days and the hottest of summer days. There are also days of endless rains.
Stay healthy by bringing the most appropriate clothes and protective garments. It is also good to bring medicines or creams to fight the cold or the scorching sun. The best time to visit is from April to October when it is not too cold, too wet or too warm. Try to avoid the months of July or August, which are the hottest and most uncomfortable months of the year, although it is cold in the mountain areas throughout the year.
The second you should worry about is food and water. Water is always a health risk whenever you leave your own country. It is best to always carry bottled water and not drink from the tap. If you must drink tap water, make sure to boil first. Be watchful also of the water you use for brushing your teeth and making ice.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijani cuisine is one of the richest and most interesting in the world. Since it is near the Caspian Sea, the country is home to delicious sea foods such as the Caspian salmon, sardines, grey mullet, sturgeon and the famous black caviar. It is also rich in fresh greens and herbs such as coriander, leek, basil, parsley, and green onion among others.
The most common drink is warm black tea. It is usually served to welcome guests. The most common dish, on the other hand, is plov, which is rice mixed with meat (chicken, fish), greens and herbs. Also popular are bread with local white cheese, potatoes, root vegetables, and sour milk with herbs.
Based on these choices, there are no food-related health risks since these include healthy and even medicinal herbs that are good for everyone. However, you can never guess how your stomach might react when ingesting unfamiliar ingredients for the first time, especially for the fact that most foods are organic foods. It is important to take it slow at first and see how your digestive system would react.
Finally, take care of your health in Azerbaijan by learning more about any identified health risks. The most common diseases in the country are hepatitis B, tuberculosis, meningitis, and rabies. It is best to consult your physician before traveling and take the necessary vaccinations. It is always better to be safe than sorry.