Zaqatala (Azerbaijani: Zaqatala rayonu) is a rayon of Azerbaijan. The capital and principal town is Zaqatala. The rayon is an appendix of Azerbaijan territory wedged between Georgia and Dagestan (Russian Federation). It is served by the A315 road coming from Mingachevir and leading to the Georgian border at Lagodekhi as well as by a small airfield.
The Zaqatala rayon has not suffered the intense environmental damage of other, nearby areas. Zaqatala is famous for its Hazelnuts and Walnuts. Mulberry trees are well adapted to the area, allowing Zaqatala to preserve the ancient tradition of silkworm breeding, brought with the hordes of Timur.
North of the town there is an important wildlife and nature preserve, the Zaqatala Nature Reserve, which is home to brown bears, boars and West Caucasian Tur. The Caucasus Mountains provide it with natural protection from the north winds. The wooded mountainsides, with frequent waterfalls offer great hiking opportunities. Due to its climate the town became a mountain health resort.
The Zaqatala rayon is also of historic interest, particularly around the main city, built in the 1830s by the Russians, which only became famous in the early-20th century. The villages of Aliabad and Mosul have interesting 19th century mosques. Ancient fortifications are to be found in the villages of Kebeloba, Matsekh, Ekhedi Chardakh, Shaitan-kala and Jar.
The economy of the Zaqatala rayon has an agricultural base - mainly cash-crops and sheep. There is a tea factory, a tobacco transformation plant, a large food combine and a silk cocoon drying plant. The local honey is known across Azerbaijan.
Zaqatala district is situated in the north-west of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Ganykh Ayrichay valley of the southern slopes of the Major Caucasus. It borders on Georgia in the south, Dagestan in the north and Balaken and Gakh districts in the west and east. Zaqatala city is the center of the district. The city is located at the height of 535 meters above sea level, 445 kilometers away from the capital of Azerbaijan
Zaqatala accounts for 31 municipalities. Zaqatala municipality embraces Zaqatala (city), Aliabad municipality covers Aliabad settlement. A number of municipalities embrace more than one village For example: Makov municipality includes Makov, Yolayrydj, Pashan, Vohtala, and Abaali villages;
The district accounted for 110,830 people as of January 1, 2004 including 83,297 people living in rural areas.
Azerbaijanis, Avars, Tsakhurs and Georgians inhabit both Zaqatala city and the surrounding rayon. In addition to the Azeri population, which is the majority here and the rest of Azerbaijan, communities of Dagestani peoples, including the Avars, Tsakhurs, and Lezgins, live in the area.
- Ashagi Tala
- Yukhari Cardakhlar
- Yeni Suvagil
- Ashagi Chardaklar
- Yukhari Tala
- Ali Bayramli
- Clifton, John M. (2005). "The Sociolinguistic Situation of the Tsakhur in Azerbaijan" (PDF). SIL International. Retrieved 2008-06-02.