Shahdag or Gabala? Which one is better?

Shahdag or Gabala? Which one is better?

                                                Which one is better ? Shahdag or Gabala ?
Most of the people who visit Azerbaijan also wish to go to some of the regions. Specially GCC visitors, while they have limited time to cover the country, they struggle to make the choice. Therefore, we are happy to compare both destinations with different criteria’s.

1      Shahdag is known for its mountainous terrain and is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding in the winter months. Gabala, on the other hand, is characterized by its lush green landscapes, forests, and rivers, making it a popular spot for hiking, picnicking, and other outdoor activities in the warmer months

1)      Distance

While the distance in between Baku to Gabala vs Baku to Shahdagis close to each other, the driving time is different. As new road opened to Shahdag it’s mainly not mountainous road, it takes less than 3 hours’ drive to reach to Shahdag while its more than 4 hours to go to Gabala. Early summer 2023, reconstruction project started on the road to Gabala which makes it more annoying. During the year of 2023 and 2024, more complains are received for road conditions. 

2)      Accommodation options

Shahdag is mainly a ski resort, while the name itself is called as “Shahdag Winter Summer TourismComplex”. There are 4 main hotels in shahdag, which are, Pik Palace, Park Chalet, Shahdag Hotel and Spa and Zirve hotel. During winter period, all of them are accepting clients are mostly they are full. All hotels are quite expensive during winter period.

In summer period, only Shahdag hotel and spa works. Still, you can book other hotels close to the Shadag Area.

In Gabala, several hotels are available on different price range. While Tufandag Mountainresorthotel and gabala tufandag hotel are on high class with more expensive rates, Gabala Garden hotel is mid-class 5 star hotel. You can also book Gabala Thermal hotel or Nohoor Hotel, which are a bit far from city centre but good enough for mid segments. For those having less budget Gabala is also offerin 7 gozel hotel. Many homes and small boutique hotels are also available across the touristic city of Gabala.


3) Attractions and touristic spots

• While going to Gabala, you have the chance of using different roads. Currently, visitors can have the following stops on the way to Gabala:

Diri Baba Mousaleum

• Shamakhi Juma Mosque

• Nohoor Lake

If you book your tours with us, we can make it significantly interesting by adding Lahij Village and Shamakhi Safari Park to your tour. Visit our tours for more info.

You will also have the chance of visiting top attractions of Gabala including:

• Gabala Ropeline (Gabala Teleferik)

• Gabaland Amusement Park

• Gabala Shooting Club

• Hiking at Gabala Forest

You have Candy Mountain and Gachrash forest while going to Shahdag. While you are in Shahdag area, you can also visit Laza Waterfall. Although hiking in the mountainous areas of Shahdag is also very good activity, in reality, you may find it more boring. You should also note that Shahdag ski resort offering various number of activities during winter and summer times. You can find list of activites from our Shahdag Ski Resort activities blog.


4) Weather Conditions

The answer to this question is mainly based on your travel time.

If you are visiting Azerbaijan in winter period, you are probably wishing to use ski resort activities. Both Gabala and Shahdag are having winter resort with very interesting activities. Due to weather conditions, sometimes Gabala Ski Resort activities are having technical problems, while Shahdag Ski resort not. In winter period, in general, Shahdag is colder than Gabala. You can experience up to -20 degree at Shahdag during night time.

In summer period, again, weather conditions are better in Shahdag comparing to Gabala. The average temperature in Shahdag is always less than Gabala. In General, the north park of Greater Caucasus Mountains are having more fresh air comparing to south parts. In this terms, most visitors are happy with the fresh air and weather conditions of Shahdag comparing to Gabala

5) Restaurants

Some of the visitors from UAE are those who are vegeterians or sticked to Indian food. There are several indian restaurants in Gabala and people who are vegeterians are not having any trouble with the restaurant choice. In general, the number of restaurants in Gabala is more than Shahdag Area.

In Shahdag, however, ski resort are having several restaurants- all are working during winter period, with very good service and enormously good taste. Meanwhile, in summer period, some of the restaurants are closed due to less demand.

Still, if you have having a private car or tour, you can go down to Gusar area, where several good restaurants available.