Ardabil province (Persian: استان اردبیل, [Ardabīl]) is in the northwest of Iran neighboring the Republic of Azerbaijan, the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan, and Gilan. Its administrative center is the city of Ardabil. Large parts of the province are green and forested. The climate conditions and fertile soil have caused most of its population to be involved in farming and husbandry.
To Iranian people, this province evokes the memories of sweet honey from Mount Sabalān, hot water springs of Sarāb and Sarein and the simplicity and freshness of its natives. Travel to Ardabīl to feel cool in the heart of summer, to listen to Āzarī music and to gain a deeper knowledge of its culture. The winters are bitterly cold, with temperatures plummeting to 25 °C. There are skiing slopes, with snow even in near-summer.
Mausoleum of Sheikh Safi ad-Din Ardabīlī
Sheikh Safi ad-Din Ardabīlī was a renowned Sufi teacher in the 8th century. He was the ancestor of Safavid royal family who ruled Iran from 1502 to 1736 C.E. King Ismail I of the Safavid dynasty adopted Sheikh Safi’s surname. His mausoleum is located in the city of Ardabīl. The mausoleum complex, was built and expanded over time by his children and followers. This attraction is a great masterpiece of the Persian architecture.
Lake of Mount Sabalān
Sabalān is Iran's second most famous dormant volcano, after Mount Damavand. With a height of 4811 meters above the sea level, Mount Sabalān is the highest peak of Ardabīl. Due to the volcanic eruptions in the past, a conical crater has been formed on the top of this mountain which is now a beautiful lake. Throughout the year, the lake is covered with ice and snow. It is also a natural habitat to local and migrating birds.
Sarein Hot Water Springs
Sarein is located 28 km west of Ardabīl. Thousands of people travel to this town every year to enjoy its hot water springs which are rich in silicate minerals, chloral and bicarbonate waters. Bathing in the springs is believed to have calming effects especially on nervous pains and rheumatism.
Khodā-Āfarīn bridges are two historical bridges have been built over the Aras River. They are 100 meters apart. The first bridge dates back to the Seljuk dynasty of the 12th century C.E. This bridge is 160 meters in length (120 meters of which belongs to Iran and 40 meters belongs to Azerbaijan) with 15 unequal arches under it. The bridges have been built using mostly stone and bricks.
Inscriptions of King Shāpūr II
Norūz garden is located in the east of the main square of Meshkīn Shahr town. In the west of this garden, there is a huge stone carving in Pahlavi language (Middle Persian language). The inscription dates back to the time of King Shāpūr II and Nārseh (Nārses) of the Sassanid dynasty in 3rd century C.E.