Lankoran, however, deserves another look. It is at the foot of the beautiful Talysh Mountains with ancient villages like Lerik and Yardimli, Ballabur Castle and amazing landscapes. One place is a Soviet-era dam and Xanbulan Lake that feels like it hasn't changed in 50 years, grown over with forest and surrounded by a forgotten town. The wettest part of Azerbaijan's many climates, just north is beautiful Qizil Agach bay with many flamingoes and a spit of land where Naimanabad village is slowly crumbling into the rising Capsian Sea.
South of the city, just miles from the Iranian border at Astara is an interesting phenomenon where you can see fire emerge from water (because gas is trapped in the same vein as a natural spring) - Yanar Bulaq, and the quaint villages like Pensar shelter ancient mosques with beautiful wooden stained glass windows and old fashioned Turkish bathhouses. The pace of life is relaxed and old men sit outside and watch the world pass by while sipping tea and playing backgammon.
Source: Mark Elliot's 'Azerbaijan' Guidebook, 4th Edition