Aras Free ZoneJolfa
Between two ears of Iran’s cat, it is located one of the most attractive tourism regions of Iran(Aras Free Zone ). after about 130 kilometers driving toward the north, from Tabriz, you will be in Jolfa that has become the center of one of the free zones of Iran, namely Aras, since 1382 SH.
As approved by the parliament, the free zone of Aras was established in 1382 SH with the purpose of creating jobs, performing the building projects and creating infrastructures as soon as possible, on one hand, and an active presence in global and domestic market, production and export of industrial products, on the other hand. This zone is located in the northwest of Iran in the zero border point; where it shares land borders with the Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
The area of Aras Free Zone is more than 9700 hectares, including some parts of two cities of Jolfa and Kaeybar, and in three separated parts it encompasses a part of Kaleybar city with 24000 hectares, namely Qoli Beglou, the surrounding lands of Khoda Afarin county with 6100 hectares, the area of Nordooz costume (Iran-Armenia border) with 240 hectares; so that they make up totally 51000 hectares of Aras Free Zone.
This region is the host of one of the main attractions of Iran that has been internationally approved. Saint Stepanos Monastery that was inscribed by UNESCO as a general name of Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran and it is one of these three churches. Many natural and historical attractions are placed in this region that their being juxtaposed with the border river of Aras adds to their beauties.
Khawja Nazar caravanserai, chapel of Choopan, Asiab Kharabe waterfall, Ushtabin village, coast of Aras River, lake of Aras dam, St Marry Armenian church, the monument of Shahriver 1320’s martyrs close to the iron bridge, Kordasht bath and fort are among other interesting attractions of Aras Free Zone.
The inhabitants of Aras Free Zone are Azeri and they speak in Azerbaijani Turkish language. They are mostly occupied with agriculture and livestock. However, since Jolfa is the capital city, it has many administrations and offices in which some people are employed. And like in other border cities, some people are engaged with cross-border trade here.
Those who are interested in shopping should consider enough time for an excursion into the border market and other shopping centers in Jolfa.
It also may be interesting that the air taxi has been run for the first time in Iran, between Tabriz and Aras Free Zone. Therefore, if you prefer the air traveling you should know that the possibility of reaching passengers to this area within 40 minutes has been provided by this service. In addition, the electric train runs between Tabriz and Jolfa every day.