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About Iran

cities

Mashhad “the city of spirituality”

Mashhad is Iran’s holiest and second biggest city. Its raison d’être and main sight is the beautiful, massive and ever-growing Haram (shrine complex) commemorating the AD 817 martyrdom of Shia Islam’s eighth Imam, Imam Reza. The pain of Imam Reza’s death is…
nature

Nature of Gilan

Gilan province offers great tourist potentials and receives hundreds of visitors from different parts of Iran and the world, each year. Covering an area of 438,000 km2, the Caspian Sea is the largest lake of the world and lies on the north of Gilan province.…
cities

Qeshm “the pearl of the Persian Gulf”

The largest island in the Persian Gulf at 1335 sq km, Qeshm boasts attractive beaches bounding an arid, sun-scorched interior of starkly beautiful hills and mountains. The coast is dotted with Bandari villages but the interior is largely deserted. Qeshm is a…
Iran

The language

Historically there are three major periods of development within the Persian language: Old Persian, the language of the Achaemenians (650 – 350 B.C.); Middle Persian (the Parthian period c. 350 B.C. – 230 A.D. and, immediately following that, the Sassanian…

Ardabil “the city of MT Sabalan”


Ardabil is a logical stopping point between Tabriz and the upper Caspian coast. Ardabil’s magnificent Sheikh Safi-od-Din Mausoleum is by far its greatest attraction. When the chilly smog clears, Mt Sabalan’s snow topped peak is dramatically visible from Ardabil’s Shurabil Lake. Driving to Alvares ski-slope from the nearby hot-springs resort of Sara’eyn gets you well up Sabalan’s slopes for some lovely summer trekking. Ardabil sits on a high plateau. The weather is pleasantly cool in summer, but terrifies brass monkeys in winter. Snow is probable   from November.



History


A military outpost for millennia, Ardabil was declared a city around AD 470. It was capital of the Sajid dynasty Azarbayjan from AD 871 to 929, and saw independence as a khanate from 1747 to 1808. However, Ardabil is best remembered for spawning two great leaders: the Safavid patriarch and great dervish-Sufi mystic Sheikh Safi-od-Din (1253–1354), plus his later descendant Ismail Safavi. The latter expanded the clan domains so successfully that by 1502 Ismail had become Shah of all Persia. His glorious Safavid dynasty was to rule Iran for over two centuries.