Khizi (Azerbaijan)

Khizi (Xızı) is the least-populous district of Azerbaijan. Its capital is the town of Xızı. The district has a remarkable variety of landscapes.


On the flat Caspian coast there are irrigated cattle and chicken-breeding lowlands around Shurabad. West of Giläzi, the Xızı road climbs gently through stripily coloured semi-desert landscapes known as the Candy Cane Mountains. Around 10 km west of Xızı town, the green, heavily forested hills around Alti Agach which has been declared an Altyaghach National Park. The national park is home to the rare East Caucasian Tur, a mountain dwelling goat antelope found only in the eastern half of the Caucasus Mountains.

The Candy Cane Mountains are shale mountains in Khizi Rayon and Siyazan Rayon of Azerbaijan, part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. The Candy Cane Mountains were originally dubbed so by travel writer Mark Elliott in his guidebook ‘Azerbaijan with Excursions to Georgia’. The mountains’ colours are produced by groundwater that have altered the oxidation state of the iron compounds in the earth. The Candy Cane Mountains contain numerous belemnites from the Cretaceous period.

Khizi also a great place to catch the stars, nebulae and galaxies. This is one of the few regions that can boast of the lack off light around.


Photographer: Dmitry Ryabchenko for “”


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