TEHRAN – For many Iranians, summer vacations are to be started as schools close. Some look to beat the heat at the beach, inside of an air-conditioned hotel or museum or at a water park, while others look to go to a cool rural destination to escape the rising temperatures and humidity altogether.

There are many countryside places across Iran where scorching heat disappears with Sarein in Ardebil province, amongst the most popular ones.

With pristine nature and cool climate, Sarein lies at the foot of Sabalan Mountains. It is a natural spa region with numerous hot mineral springs well-known for their therapeutic values, Mehr reported.

The spectacular northwest province, bordering the Republic of Azerbaijan, boasts vibrant nature, green plains, hot mineral spas and historical monuments. The province is divided into 10 counties: Ardebil, Bilasavar, Germi, Khalkhal, Kowsar, Meshginshahr, Namin, Sarein, Nir, and Parsabad.

Sarein or Sareyn is a small city in the west of Ardebil, the capital city, with an area of more than 1.28 square km. The city is famous for its numerous spa springs and one of the tourist areas in Ardebil province.

Sarein attracts more than five million tourists annually who travel to this region from different parts of Iran and the world because of climate and hot springs. It has nine hot springs which are very different in terms of composition and properties.

Tourist attractions

Hot springs physical therapy draws many to Sarein every year in summer. ‘Gavmesh Goli’ hot spring; one of the popular hot springs in Sarein is very useful for the treatment of general, women and heart diseases, as well as general strengthening of the body.

Sarein hot springs are: Qarah Soo (A’saab) Thermal Spring; Sari Soo Thermal Spring; Gavmesh Goli Thermal Spring; General Thermal Spring; Besh Bajilar Thermal Spring; Qahveh Suei Thermal Spring; and Pehenlu Thermal Spring.

Another attraction of the city is ‘Goorgoor Waterfall’ which is located 10 to 15 kilometer from Sarein. It is 12m high and it is located in the northern slopes of Sabalan Mountain. It attracts many nature lovers to the Ardebil province.

‘Kanzag’ is a historic village in the Central District of Sarein. It has historic caves related to the Parthian period which have been registered in Iran’s National Heritage.

‘Alvares’ is a ski resort located 24 kilometers away from the city of Sarein. Many tourists travel to this area to ski and also enjoy winter sports every year.

‘Anahita Hill’ in Sarein was once called Water Goddess, it has been discovered on the basis of excavated earthenware and historical documentation.

‘Gulistan Valley’ is one of the widest and most beautiful valleys in Ardebil  province. It is Sabalan’s east vally and habitat of partridge, goat and mouflon.

‘Vargehsaran waterfall’ is one of the most spectacular spots of Sabalan’s green slopes.

Best season to visit

The best season to visit Sarein is late spring and summer. It is not a favorite destination in autumn and winter since it gets so cold. The minimum temperature is -8° C and the maximum 25° C in Sarein.

Etymology

The word Sarein in the Persian dictionary means “cool place” and “headwater”.

Culture

To study the culture of Sarein’s people, we have to study the culture of the Azarbaijani culture. These people are the creator of one of the richest treasures of oral literature of the nations in the Middle East and Iran. The foundation of the Azarbaijani literature is based on folklore. The main language of Sarein is the Azari, however Persian is the official national language.

Traditional dishes

‘Ashe Doogh’, also known as ‘yogurt soup’ is one of the traditional soups in Sarein. It is a soup usually made from yogurt or doogh, as well as chickpeas and vegetables.

Local ‘Kebabs’ in this area are also very popular and delicious for tourists.

‘Doogh’ or ayran; a classic Iranian drink, is a combination of water, yogurt, mint and salt.

Souvenir

“Honey” which is produced locally by the bee keepers of the region is one of the famous things in Sarein. It is produced on the hyacinths, basil and vetches slops of Sabalan Mountains. It is renowned for its quality.

AFM/MQ/MG



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