Iran is located on mountain belts so you can see many beautiful mountains in any area of this land. The northern and northwestern regions of Iran are no exception. And they have their own high peaks. Permenantly-white Sabalan Mountain or Savalan (in Azerbaijani Turkish) is one of them with its outstanding beauty like what you can find in Switzerland. Today we are going on a short trip to this glorious mountain to learn about its one-of-a-kind charm.
But before we start Let’s see why should you visit Sabalan Mountain? First of all, Sabalan is the third highest peak in the country. Second, it has natural spas. Third, its nature is uniquely beautiful and superb. Forth, its glaciers and permanent snow make it a great spot for skiing. Alvarez Ski Resort is one of the most important attractions in this area. Fifth, it is an inactive volcano with an exquisite lake at the top.
Want to Know More About Sabalan Mountain?
After Damavand and Alam Kooh, Sabalan with 4811 meters is the third highest peak in Iran which has many tourist attractions. From the ski resort to the natural spas and the possibility of mountaineering. Mount Sabalan used to be a volcano, but it has been inactive for years now. This mountain has cool air and lush plains. That’s why many people go there on hot days of the year.
Sabalan has a total of 3 famous peaks. The biggest peak is Sultan Savalan. The other two peaks are Heram and Kasra. Sabalan is a dormant volcanic mountain that starts from Qarahsoo valley in the northwest of Ardabil and extends in the east-west to Qushadagh mountain. Sabalan stratified volcanic cone is occupied by surface lavas with an area of 1200 square kilometers.
The interesting thing about this mountain is the lake at the top of it, which attracts many tourists to this area. The symbol of Sabalan Mountain is an eagle-shaped stone. It is an eagle looking east. This eagle stone is located in the west of Sultan Savalan peak.
It is said that Sabalan is the holiest mountain in Iran. The locals believe that Zarathustra is resting under a big stone at the top of Sabalan Mountain, next to the Lake. The ancient writings about Sabalan have introduced it as the place where Zoroaster sought solitude. Even in the book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” the famous work of Friedrich Nietzsche, he mentions that Zarathustra descends from Sabalan mountain. For the same reason, this place has a special sanctity among the people of the region, especially the natives and nomads.
The Amazing Features of Sabalan
The Spectacular Lake
Sabalan Lake is located at the crater of the mountain. If you climb the mountain slope to the top, you will encounter one of the most beautiful features of nature. The volcanic lake is oval and its water is 25 meters below the edges of the volcanic cone. The like is 40meters deep.
The clear water of Sabalan Lake is greenish-blue and is supplied by snowfall. The temperature of this spectacular lake is icy in most months of the year due to the ambient temperature. And it melts only in August and September. So it’s a good place to escape the heat but not that easy to climb up due to lower air pressure.
Algae and crustaceans are the main organisms of this lake.
In summer, you can walk on the slopes of Mount Sabalan. If you are a mountain climber and have full equipment, you can climb up to the peak. Sabalan Peak is also on Iran’s National Heritage List.
Natural Hot Water Springs
In addition to Sabalan Mountain Lake, there are several hot springs at the foot of the mountain. One of the most famous of them is Shabeel Spring. Shabeel Hot Water Complex is located in the same area, which has the possibility of using hydrotherapy, parking, and restaurant. Shabeel Spa is located on the road from Ardabil to Meshkinshahr, south of Lahroud.
Another famous hot water in the Sabalan region is Sarein.
One of the best pastures in Iran is the slopes of Sabalan, which has fertile soil, as well. Plants such as barberry, garlic, clove, rose, Rubia tinctorum, Viper’s-buglosses, Buttercup, Irises, and tulip grow in the foothills of Sabalan.
Eleven wildlife habitats have been identified in the area, where animals such as brown bears, mink, foxes, jackals, rabbits, vultures, owls, hooded owls, swallows, Barn swallows, Larks, crows, golden eagles, and boars live.
Alvarez Ski Resort
Sabalan is covered with snow most of the year. Such a place is considered a paradise for skiers. Alvarez Ski Resort is located 12 km from Alvarez village and has a lift and a cable car. If you are a skier, consider the Alvarez ski resort, which is covered with snow for about eight months of the year.
Alvarez ski resort Alvarez is one of the most attractive sights of Sarein, which is only 24 km away from the city. There are lots of pleasant waterfalls, rivers, green plains, on the way that refreshes your soul and body.
The Best Season to Travel to Sabalan Mountain
Naturally, winter is the best time to visit Sabalan for ski lovers. Otherwise, go to Sabalan in the summer. You can also make use of natural hot water to relax. You can hike in the beautiful nature of the slopes and climb to the summit if you want. The best time to climb Sabalan is from about June and July to the end of September. These times of the year, the temperature is higher and the weather conditions are more suitable.
What Equipment Should You Bring?
The equipment you need to travel to Sabalan region depends on the entertainment you want. Suitable hiking shoes, extra warm clothing, hats, goggles, sunscreen, hiking poles, first aid kit, water, and snacks. If you want to climb up, bring complete mountaineering equipment, tents, and sleeping bags.
How to Get There?
Sabalan Mountain is located 35 km to Ardabil and 25 km southeast of Meshginshahr. Sabalan is very big. Its length is about 60 km, its width is 45 km and its height, as mentioned, is 4811 meters.
The route from Tehran to Sabalan Mountain starts from Tehran-Karaj highway and then Karaj-Qazvin highway. Then you have to enter the Qazvin-Zanjan highway and take the Ardabil route. All you have to do is reach Lahroud and choose the Shabil route. The distance from Tehran to Sablan is 703 km and takes about 9 hours.
The Climbing Routes to the Peak
The route that most climbers prefer is the northeastern route that starts from Shabil spa. This route is a car road up to the shelter. And you can ride in a car to the shelter. Most of the route is completely clean and has traffic lights. Even if you are not a professional mountaineer, in summer you can reach the summit in half a day.
The second route is the western route that starts from Qarahgol Lake and passes through the Heram Chaal and the Great Glacier. You will find the western Shelter on the way.
The most difficult way to reach the summit of Sabalan is the southern route that passes through the Alvarez Ski Resort and the eastern ridge. There is no shelter on this route, so you have to plan your stay so that you can spend the night next to the nomadic tents.
Close Attraction Sights
Atgoli Lake in Shirvan Darreh and Qinarjeh hot spring are other attractions near Sabalan.
Meshgin Shahr Suspended Bridge at a distance of 58 km from Sabalan mountain is another attraction you should not miss.
This bridge is the longest suspended bridge in the Middle East. It is located at a height of 80 meters.
Have you ever been to Sabalan Region?
Have you climbed up Sabalan Mountain?
If yes, we would be glad to hear about your experience in the comments.
And finally, thank you for joining us on this short trip to one of the most amazing sceneries of Iran, Sabalan Mountain. We hope you have enjoyed reading the article. If so please let us know in the comments. Your words are worth the world to us. In case you need more information or you would like to book a tour to Sabalan with Tap Persia you just need to reach us via the contact information below the same page. Our experienced guides are available, anytime, to help you plan your trip.
Hope to see you soon in Iran!
Last Edited: Jun 7, 2021
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