Balakan mosqueBalakan is a border town located in the northern part of a finger of Azeri territory protruding between Georgia and Dagestan. Balakan is the capital of Azerbaijan's northernmost 'rayon'.
North of Balakan is the border village of Postbina, where you can cross into Georgia. Local buses run from Balakan to Kabali in Georgia.
The town's main attraction is its mosque, with a 40m tall 17th century minaret from which you can enjoy the best view in town. The large World War II monument is now in ruins and the eternal flame has been extinguished for quite a while. Balakan is the only area in the caucasus where persimmons are grown.
The town has a decrepit hotel, with shabby en suite facilities, located near the mosque and the bath house.
There are direct buses to Baku and Zaqatala and services to Tbilisi. The train station is about 5 km from the town.
Outside the town there is a small castle on the Mazim river, just on Georgian border, which may complicate access.
(450 km northwest of Baku)