Within 15 miles (25 km) of Baku there are beautiful places such as Yanar Dag, the Eternally Burning Mountain of Azerbaijan, and the XII century Ramana Castle. Yanar Dag is a 380 feet (116 meters) hill located on top of a pocket of natural gas that constantly erupts into flames. These flames can jet out at least 9.8 feet (three meters) into the air, through a porous layer of sandstone. Unlike the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan, Yanar Dag contains gas and oil but has no seepage of mud or liquid, so the fire always burns. The flames continue through the rain and snow and are believed to have been burning non-stop for 4,000 years.
Azerbaijan is a nation with enormous oil and gas reserves, much near the surface. Therefore, steady gas emissions from the underlying soils cause the surface of the land to sometimes erupt in flames.
Ramana Castle, a beautifully preserved old fortress that dates back to the 12th century is just minutes from Yanar Dag. Besides the castle there are many oil pumps in the surrounding area.
The Gobustan National Park, which is located about 40 miles (64 km) south of Baku, is another exceptional place to visit. It is known for the many large mud volcanoes in the area and home of the famous rock petroglyphs that are millennia old – one of the three the Stone Age’s. In 2007, UNESCO awarded Gobustan a World Heritage Site designation for its “rock art” engravings, as well as its prehistoric and Bronze Age sites, ancient sanctuaries, and associations with traditions, ideas and beliefs.