Lake Masazir near Baku in Azerbaijan is rumoured to be one of only 8 “pink lakes” in the world. Pink? Yes, the water has a pink and red colour to it, but understand as interesting as it sounds, Azerbaijan is a rather off the beaten track place, so visiting Lake Masazir isn’t actually the easiest thing to do but worth seeing for its uniqueness.
Lake Masazir is known locally as Masazir Gol by the way (useful to know as locals won’t speak much English). Masazirgol (Azerbaijani: Masazır gölü), or Masazir Lake is a salty lake in Qaradag raion. The overall area of the lake is 10 kilometers and has large volumes of chloride and sulphate are concentrated in ion composition of the water. A new salt making plant was built in 2010 for production of 2 Azeri brands of salt. The estimated amount of recoverable salt is 1,735 million tons and it is available in liquid (water) and clay forms.
They call this a “red lake” not a pink lake, but it’s very beautiful too. It’s located in the town of Masazirgol in Azerbaijan, and is also a local source of salt — you can see a pile of it as harvested in the top photograph. You can buy some of the salt from the lake in the village.
Beyond the fence above is a shot of the lake, where you can see this natural pink tinted lake in Azerbaijan, which you can get there by renting a car or taking a taxi which will only cost you 10 Manat.
I understand there are 8 of these, including Laguna Colorada in Bolivia and the Torrevieja pink lake in Spain, which are both worth visiting. The Azerbaijan government now man Lake Masazir 24 hours a day yet there are no guided tours, no entrance fee, no other backpackers and certainly no adverts for it.
Once you get there, you will see that the entire lake is fenced off, protected and has security guards around it. Our driver spoke to the security guard o let us go inside. However we didn’t take any liberties with them. I was tempted to go in for a swim of course, or a dip, but it wasn’t really an option.
Our driver left us here by the fence at the side of the lake.
The reason the lake is protected is because it’s used to extract salt. Azerbaijan is a wonderful country to travel in, but it just does’t have a real tourism infrastructure just yet. It doesn’t need one to be honest and this makes it a joy to backpack round (we also visited Quba, Xineleq, Qobustan, Mud Volcanoes, Baku and Seki).
Go to the lake – marvel at the slight pink tint, take your photos and that’s it. No fridge magnets, no postcards, no tourists etc.
Salt and pink tinted lake, Masazir, Azerbaijan.
Top photo credit only: Findery. com.