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„Czech“ trail marking in the Şahdağ and Hirkan National Parks

In early April 2019, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Baku organised a week-long visit of two professional Czech tourist trail markers to Azerbaijan. During their visit which took place in cooperation with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan State Tourism Agency and İsmayıllı Regional Culture Department, Mr Ivo Dokoupil and Ms Jana Kočařová trained 26 Azerbaijani tourist guides and National Park Service employees in the Czech-based practice of trail marking. As a part of practical training in the field, Czech-Azerbaijani groups marked 14 km of trails at the territory of Şahdağ and Hirkan National Parks using „Czech“ markers in Azerbaijani national colours – blue, red and green.

The Czech Republic welcomes the process of Azerbaijan's opening to foreign visitors. In cooperation with local partners, the Czech Embassy in Baku supports the development of tourism in forms which minimise the negative impact on Azerbaijan's natural and cultural diversity while promoting sustainable development of the most attractive and hospitable regions.

By promoting the Czech system of trail marking which dates back to the late 19th century and is intrinsically linked with Czech nature and culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with its network of Czech Embassies abroad supports environmentally responsible tourism in countries around the world. Over the years, the Czech Republic has been successfully „exporting“ the Czech trail marking system to countries including the Philippines, Brazil, Georgia and, most notably, Ukraine where about 1500 km of trails have been marked by teams coordinated by Mr. Ivo Dokoupil. Drawing upon this experience, the Czech Embassy in Baku initated a similar initiative ahead of the 2019 tourist season in Azerbaijan and is ready to help its development in the upcoming years, in cooperation with local partners.

As of April 2019, you can follow the first Czech-Azerbaijani blue, red and green marked trails to explore parts of two national parks. In the Şahdağ National Park, a red marked trail, with a blue marked scenic detour, leads from Talıstan to the Qaranohur mountain lake near İsmayıllı while at the territory of the Hirkan National Park, a green marked circuit surrounds the Park office (currently under restoration) near Lankaran and a red marked trail leads through oak, hornbeam and ironwood forest to the Xanbulan lake: ask National Park employees for details.

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Trail marking