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, this city is best remembered for spawning two great leaders: the Safavid patriarch and great dervish-Sufi mystic Sheikh Safi-od-Din (1253–۱۳۵۴), 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.
This city 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 but there’s a fair scattering of other minor sights and a truly superb teahouse restaurant. When the chilly smog clears, Mt Sabalan’s snow topped peak is dramatically visible from 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, and bitterly cold in winter.
Ardabil province has a common border of 285.5 km. with the Republic of Azarbayjan with two custom houses of Aslandooz and Bilehsavar in Moqan. The Aras and Balha Rivers occupy about 159 km. of this common border. The Nearest access of the province to central Iran is the Ardabil – Astara Road. One of the highest mountains of Iran named Sabalan is located in the Ardabil province. The summit of Sabalan, placed in northwest of the province, is 4,811 m. high.
Climate, Ardabil Province
Most of the province is mountainous with an average altitude of 3,000 m. above sea level. The province enjoys geographical and environmental diversity. As a result of which the climate is very cold in winter and mild in summers. Indeed, the city of Ardabil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities of the country in winters.