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Geography and History

With 18050 Kilometres area, the province of Ardabil is located on the north-east of Iran . It includes the districts of Ardabil, Khalkhall, Meshkeen Shahr, Geirmi, Bilasavar and Pars Abad. The historic and Islamic city of Ardabil is the capital of the province.
The population of the province in 1996 was 1,168,000 from which 48.8% were registered as urban dwellers while 51.1% were villagers and the remaining 0.22% were registered as nomad tribes.
four districts of this province are located on the border with the Republic of Azarbaijan, with a total border line of 282.5 kilometres length . The river Aras and the river Balha consist 159 kilometres of the border length mentioned above. Throughout two checkpoints, named Aslandooz and Bilasavar, this province ic connected the Republic of Azarbaijan, while Ardabil-Astara road via Hayran, connects Ardabil to Rasht, Qazvin and Tehran .
Ardabil province enioys geographical and enviromental diversity. The district of Ardabil is consisted mainly of mountainous areas, including the famous mountain of Sabalan. the mountains Talesh and Bozghoosh which surround this district. Most of this district heights are above 3000 meters altitude, and the pake of Sabalan’s hight is 4811 meters, while is located on the north-west of the district and causes the temperate weather of the area. Generally speaking, the district of Ardabil is known as one of the coldest areas of Iran with a very cold weather for 5-8 months a year . Cold winters and temperate summers characterise the climate of the district.
Bilasavar District locates in a large plate, and it has a warm summer and a temperate winter.
Parsabad-Mughan districtis located in a large plate too, and its weather is temperate to warm. The plate of Mughan is recognized as one of the most important modern agriculture and animal husbandry of the country.
Germi District is located between two low-hight mountain chains, and it is warm in summer and temperate inwinter.
Khalkhall District is a mountainous area, so it has a very cold weather in winter and a temperate in summer. It is usually covered with heavy snow and ice for five months a year , which causes the road Asalem-Khalkhall, in the mountainous area of Talish to be closed during this period.
Mishkeen Shahr District is located on the western outskirts of the mountain Sabalan, and it is very cold in winter and mild in summer.
The history of the province of Ardabil is a part of the history of Azarbaijan. Most Iranian historians believe that the city was built by Firooz, the Sasanid king (457-489 AC), and the city has a 1500 year history. But even earlier, Ardabil was a very imporant city from the military and political points of view during the Achaemenid period, which was a military base on the northern border of the persian Empire. according to Avesta, the Iranian profit, Zoroaster was born near the river " Daei Yeat " which is now named "Aras" , and he had written his book in Sabalan area, while he began to propagate his religion in the city of Ardabil.
At the time of the moslem Arabs invasion of Iran, (year 22 AH) the city of Ardabil was the largest in Azarbaijan, which failed to the Muslims. Between 257-317 AH it was the headquarters of the local government of Bani Saj who changed their capital from Maragheh to Ardabil. And the city of Ardabil remained the capital of Azarbijan until the Moguls attack.
Shah Esmael, the Safavid king began his effort for establishment of an Iranian united empire, then he settled in Tabriz as his capital in 906 AH. During the Safavid era, Ardabil became the most impotant city of Iran from the political and economic points of view. The Significant location of Ardabil on the main trade road between Iran and Europe had increased her impotance for trading silk and other goods between Guilan in Iran and different parts of the Europe.
The city of Ardabil now is one of the most important cities of the province and Iran for its manr historical elements, specially the Safavid family’s shrines, its location near many mineral-warm spring, and location on the main access road to the Republic of Azarbijan. These have turned the city a tourism centre, which is visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Among main historical monument of this city, one can name its old bridges with their special architecture, its historical places, significant mosques, shrines, churches and other holy buildings, all with valuable architecture.The significant architecture of commercial unites, specially the traditional bazaar are attractive too.
Furthermore, the natural attraction of the region and the city, specially Sabalan marvellous outskirts, and the warm mineral springs of Sareain from an environment suitable for tourists in spring and summer . Moreover, Infact, environmental diversity of the province Helped the province to have. province’s beautiful valleys, attractive forests, wonderful lakes and many beautiful marshlands, and landscapes. The lakes of Shoorabil and Neor are well facilitated for tourism and are very attractive areas in summer, which can be upgraded to be one of the most attractive tourist areas in international level.
In addition to the tourism attraction of the province, its significant location on the strategic border area as a neighbor with the Republic of Azarbaijan, have well facilitated for the development process of the province and the whole region. the recent developmant of trade relations and communication between Iran and the Republic of Azarbaijan have been significant for the development of tourism and economy of the province of Ardabil,and more development is expected in the future.
Main historical, cultural and tourist characteristics of cities, towns and regions of the province are as followings:


Other Cities

Mishkeen Shahr
Dashte Mughan

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