The geographical position, unique climate, fauna and flora, and the ancient cultural monuments of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic lead the auspicious development of tourism. The natural and historical monuments of the memory of centuries - Momina Khatun, Garabaghlar, Yusif ibn Kuseyir, Gulustan tombs, the 800-year Eastern plane tree preserved for centuries, farrier and mulberry trees, and the first historic settlement of the ancient people - Gamigaya, Kilit cave, the Alinja castle as a symbol of grandeur and invincibility of these territories, the grandiose Ilandagh, Babek castle with unexampled natural monuments, Goy-gol, Ashabi-Kahf and other hundreds of works of arts make the unique tourism potential for Nakhchivan. Also, more than 250 mineral water resources entail great opportunities for the development of tourism.
Nevertheless, as a strategic region of former Soviet Union the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic bordering with Turkey and Iran was not allowed to develop its tourism. Just because of this reason this important sector is newly being developed. As the economic and political obstacles of the initial period of independence are overcome, the tourism potential and its development have turned out to be urgent issue. In recent years, many have done to improve the infrastructure facilities. To this end, resort parks laid out with national and modern architectural methods and spring-monument complexes were opened for public, the modern hotels were constructed, new monuments were erected and ancient architectural monuments were restored. Furthermore, unique Duzdagh and Badamli physiotherapy hospitals and Daridagh arsenic water dispensary were modernly reestablished. Simultaneously, all facilities for diagnosis, treatment and rest were established in Duzdagh Sanatorium Complex which was given into usage after ceremonial opening in June 2008.
In 2006, an international conference entitled "Tourism, Development and Perspectives" was held in Nakhchivan. It was a successful pace for the development of tourism sector in the autonomous republic and contributed to the workout of new projects.
International conference on "Religious and Health Tourism: Organization of Spiritual and Physical Rest" held in May 2008 with participation of the representatives from member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference was of special importance to propagate tourism potential and facilities of the autonomous republic.
In Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic the historical monuments reflecting the religious and national features, motley scenes of nature, fresh climate, mineral waters and relevant sanatorium dispensaries pave the way for not only ecotourism but also ethnic and religious tourism.
The Autonomous Republic is also famous for its places of religious worship. Thus, there are holy places, sanctuaries and others. The most important from them is Ashabi-Kahf sanctuary, which was mentioned in “Al-Kahf” surah of the holy Qur’an. There are all facilities available for pilgrims’ visiting the “Ashabi-Kahf Worship” religious-cultural monument complex. Another place most visited by tourists is the Prophet Noah’s grave tomb in Nakhchivan.
Touristic routes are prepared with the consideration of touristic advantages of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and factors the visitors are mostly interested in. For instance, there are Nakhchivan city tour, touristic routes like Nakhchivan-Khanegah (including Alinja Mountain), Nakhchivan-Garabaglar, Nakhchivan-Ashabi-Kahf, Nakhchivan-Ordubad, Nakhchivan-Batabat, Zangazur National Park named after Hasan Aliyev and others.
Situation of the Nakhchivan city in the centre of the autonomous republic and availability of rout buses and taxis, as well as trains, to all districts and villages, and comfortable roads make the communication even with the very distinct village is very easy. Buses to Baku depart from Nakhchivan city and Sherur district passing via Iran Islamic Republic. There are flights to Baku and Ganja, Moscow and Istanbul from Nakhchivan International Airport.
Measures on creating tourist facilities meeting modern requirements are being consistently implemented in the Autonomous Republic. Launching of Agbulag Resort in Shahbuz region in 2013 and other undertalings in this field provide for improvement of this realm. In 2013 the Autonomous Republic was visited by 370 thousand 638 tourists thus exceeding those by 3,3% or 11 thousand 675 people compared to 2012.