LonelyPlanet.com is pretty darned sure you’ll have an enriching travel experience in the Southern Caucasus. Stay away from the areas in active conflict, maintain a good sense of humor and an open mind, and each of the three nations in the Southern Caucases will offer different pleasures. In Azerbaijan you’ll no doubt visit Baku, an oil-rich, Western-paced boomtown layered upon “a picturesque Unesco-listed ancient core.” At the same time, while its rural “rest-zones” are mainly built to accommodate locals, a creative and persistent traveler who leaves Baku will find culturally satisfying fun. (If you want a real adventure, and there doesn’t happen to be an active war, venture to functionally inaccessible Nagorno-Karabakh.) Georgia is “outrageously beautiful” and charms a traveler with its ancient cathedrals and mountain views. If you want to go to Armenia–and if you’re in the neighborhood anyway, why not drop by?–and you can
shear yourself away from the overdeveloped tourist infrastructure that caters to diaspora Armenians on a visit to their homeland, you’ll find Armenians to be “gracious, humble and easygoing people,” who will invite you to dinner, then toast you, feed you and revel in your company until you emerge from the evening lifelong friends.