The Republic of Azerbaijan is located between the continents of Europe and Asia in the Caucasus, on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, to the north-west of the Persian plateau. The three main mountain ranges are the Greater and Lesser Caucasus and the Talysh mountains, which altogether cover about 40% of the country. Low-lying lands and plains account for the remaining 60%. The main sources of water in Azerbaijan are surface water, although only 24 of the country’s 8,350 rivers exceed 100 km in length. All the rivers drain into the Caspian Sea, to the east, through the three main river basins – the Caspian, Kur and Aras basins.
The natural climate conditions in Azerbaijan are unique because it comprises 9 to 11 climate zones. In low-lying areas, summers are hot and winters mild, but in mountainous areas, summers are cooler, with temperatures sometimes dropping below zero.