Divers must obtain a permission to dive in the Caspian Sea from the coast guards. This can be eailsy obtained through a PADI dive center in the region.
The Caspian Sea is one of the world's most enigmatic lakes, once part of the Great Silk Road, it now offers a good variety of diving including wreck exploration and seal encounters. In more rural parts of the country you can dive in the unique mountain lakes of Goy-Gel and Maral-Gel which have the cleanest water and depths of up to 90 meters. You can even dive over the sunken villages of Mingechavir reservoir at 15-18 meter depth, or visit Nohur Lake close to the ski-resort of Gabala, as well as many other sites with interesting diving-opportunities.
Close to the Absheron Peninsula, at the east and south of Baku, you'll find a small archipelago of islands most of which are rocky and small with an average depth near from 5- to 12 meters. The waters surrounding them are filled with a small variety of different fish; among the big sea species you may see Caspian seals. Also, in some resort areas you may see an interesting type of black turtle. The Caspian Sea has no species that are dangerous to man. You are very likely to meet sea snakes, but they are harmless.
In the old times Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea around Baku were part of the old silk way, and so there are some shipwrecks to explore, and rumors of lost treasures. In reality, during Soviet times marine archaeologists invetigated old stories and legend, and tried to find something during the several expeditions, but any serious findings are still waiting to be discovered by treasure hunters.
After the Soviet era was over, Azerbaijan took over part of the old Soviet Caspian fleet, the remnants of which you may still see near Nargin Island. The wrecked ships are slowly disappearing, being cut by island administration, but some of them still remain. The wrecks rest at a depth of 5 meters and can be easily dived, even by newly certified open water divers.
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