Ardabil is an important touristic city northwest of Iran. It is near Tabriz, the capital city of East Azerbaijan province and Zanjan a historic city south of Tabriz. There are weekly flights from Ardabil to Tehran and also to Mashhad, the most religious city and a major destination for Iranian tourists. The northwest of Iran is the complete opposite of the south when it comes to weather. When it is scorching hot in Bandar Abbas, a port city in north of the Persian Gulf, the weather is mild in Ardabil. And when humidity reaches sky-high in Kish, a city in an island of the same name in the Persian Gulf, dry cold winds blow in Tabriz and Ardabil and cause precipitation in the form of rain and snow. Ardabil is an ideal vacation spot with its stunning array of tourist attractions and superb lodging facilities.
Ardabil Hotels and Hostels
Some of the best of Ardabil’s hotels are established in the vicinity of its spa centers. The busiest time of the year for Ardabil’s hotels are during the summer when thousands of Iranians, frustrated by the heat of summer come to enjoy the cool weather of Ardabil. Shorabil and Sabalan are the best hotels in the city of Ardabil. However, if you are looking for the most luxurious accommodation in Ardabil province, you will find it in a small town called Sareyn. The town attracts thousands of tourists every year to its magical hot springs. Rezvan, Pedram and Laleh are three superb hotels in Sareyn offering their service all through the year to their Iranian and foreign guests. The huge number of visitors to the city during the high-season far surpasses the capacity of the hotels. But there is nothing to worry about since Ardabil’s accommodation isn’t limited to hotels. There is a miscellany of cheap hotels and hostels in Ardabil. And even if that option is no longer available, you will definitely find a room in one of Ardabil’s fabulous traditional guesthouses.
Iran tour operators always look for tourist spots with the highest standards and potential and Ardabil is undoubtedly such a spot! Ardabil tours are grouped into several categories. Some of the most popular of these are mountain tours (taking you to Mount Sabalan, the third highest mountain in Iran), nature tours, sightseeing tours and Sareyn tours (a region famous for its hot springs). The latter is the only one of its kind among Iran tours. We will introduce each of these fabulous tours but for now let’s talk about sightseeing tours.
Ardabil Sightseeing Tours
Iran sightseeing tours claim the biggest share of Iran’s tourism. Our group organizes these packages in all major cities in Iran and Ardabil’s sightseeing tours are one of our prime packages in the northwest of the country. Ardabil day tours are designed in a way to make the most of your time in the city. The most important spots in Ardabil visited in the course of our daily tours include Ardabil’s Anthropology Museum, Sheikh Safi Al-Din Shrine and Shahar Yeri Historical Site all of which we will introduce in the last paragraph of the current page. You can find the details of our sightseeing tour in Ardabil in the chart below:
Sarein Spa Tours
Sarein or Sareyn is a small town in Ardabil province near mount Sabalan. The town is immensely popular with Iranians specially during the summer due to its fantastic cool weather and also its world-famous hot springs. Sarein spas tours mainly happen around these springs. People believe that the high amount of Sulphur and minerals in these springs has healing effects on their bodies. There are nine springs in the region each having a separate and unique set of features. Those on a Sarein spa tour also relish the spectacular local cuisine of Sarein (great lamb kebabs and a tasty soup made from yoghurt called Ashe Doogh) and its organic products such as honey and cream.
Alvares Ski Tours
Despite the growing popularity of ski tours in Iran, still many tourists balk at the idea of a ski resort in the Middle-East, a region better known for its searing deserts. But the amazing truth is that there are more than twenty ski resorts in Iran some of which maintain the quality of the powder for more than four months which is incredible in a country with one of the hottest spots on the face of the earth (Lut Desert). Many people’s first experience of Iran ski tours usually happens in Dizin Ski Resort or Shemshak Ski Resort both of which are located around the capital. Tochal Ski Resort is another favorite of skiers famous for its superb cable cars. But not all snow entertainment is centered in the capital. Alvares Ski Resort is an ideal location for all kinds of winter sports. It lies 24 kilometers away from Sareyn in Ardabil province. The marvelous quality of powder and the high altitude of the ski fields has made the resort quite popular. As a consequence many tour operators have included Alvares ski tours in their annual program.
Ardabil’s Tourist Attractions
Every corner of Iran, this vast and ancient land is replete with attractions of all kind. From the snow-capped peaks of the northwest to the scorching deserts of the south, nature keeps revealing different shades from its arsenal of colors. Iran’s grandeur isn’t limited to its natural wonders though. As one of the cradles of civilization, Iran also boasts a long and rich history. Formidable structures from the ancient Persian empires and glorious instances of the art of Iranian architecture in the Islamic period all attest to the historic and cultural significance of the land.
The northwest of Iran has always had a turbulent history given its geopolitical significance. Neighboring two of the most formidable foreign forces of Iran’s history, namely the Ottoman empire and the Russian empire, cities like Tabriz and Ardabil had been always the center of attention and subjected to many wars. Both cities have once served as the capitals of Iran and as a result have many historic monuments from different periods of Iranian history. But history aside, another prime feature of East Azerbaijan and Ardabil’s tourism is a spectacular set of natural wonders. Lofty mountains with frozen lakes at top (Mount Sabalan’s crater lake), massive wild forests and natural springs with magical therapeutic effects (Sareyn) and even marvelous ski resorts (Alvares Ski Resort) can tempt any adventurous soul to head to Ardabil. Thus, Ardabil’s tourist attractions are a unique combination of historic and natural spots. Here we will introduce some of the most popular tourist spots of Ardabil.
Located in the beautiful Ali Qapu avenue, Ardabil’s Anthropology Museum displays many items each showing a particular aspect of life in the northwest of Iran. The precious items aside, the site of the museum is a magnificent historic public bathhouse. Known as Zahir-al-Islam Bath, the monument dates back to more than five centuries ago. A delicately embellished dome and excellent religious frescoes are the most prominent features of the building. The museum is near the most visited historic spot in Ardabil, Sheikh Safi Shrine.
Safi-ad-din Ardabili (1252–1334) was a great Sufi and the spiritual father of the Safavid dynasty (1501–1736). He served as the ruler of Ardabil for many years. Upon his death a majestic mausoleum was erected in the city to honor his memory. If you are a history buff you know that Safavids adored grand mosques. There is a glorious instance of such sublime mosques right next to the mausoleum. Both buildings are remarkable examples of Iranian architecture and interior decoration. Flawless forms of muqarnas, extraordinary tile-work and stunning works of calligraphy are some of the wonderful sights you will come across in this mesmerizing complex. A small courtyard, a library, a bakery, a school, a hospital and many other sections are also included in the massive area of the shrine.
Sheikh Safi Al-Din Mausoleum might be the most famous historic spot of Ardabil, but it isn’t the most historically significant one. That honor goes to Shahar Yeri Historical Site, an ancient historic compound 31 km east of Meshginshahr in Ardabil province. It is also flanked by the beautiful Qarasu river clothed in the heavenly natural wealth of the region. Scattered in an expansive area of over 400 hectares are a military fortress, a temple dating back to 1450 BC and an ancient hill known as Qosha Tappeh. You will encounter numerous bedazzling sights specially in the temple where hundreds of peculiarly-shaped statues are gathered. These mouthless figures are remnants of a time older than history itself. That might be the reason why they look so odd and otherworldly to us, modern men.
Among the many extraordinary natural sights in Ardabil province, one lies within the domain of the city of Ardabil. Shorabil is a lake located south of the city next to the University of Ardabil. With a total area of over 640000 square meters, the lake and its surrounding are an important hang-out area for the people of Ardabil. There are a lot of things you could do here beside enjoying the impressive view of the lake and also that of Mount Sabalan. There are special lanes for running and cycling around the lake as well as other facilities such as boat rentals and funfairs. A couple of quality hotels are established in the vicinity of the lake plus many restaurants and cafes. The area near the lake has a fantastic fresh weather and a thrilling nightlife. Mountain enthusiast who go up Sabalan to visit Mount Sabalan’s crater lake enjoy a bewitching view of Shorabil from a height of 4,811 meters.
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