Winter festivals, a rich source of charm for freezing Sarein

February 3, 2021 - 17:55

TEHRAN – Winter festivals have long been a source of charm for drawing visitors to Sarein, the tourism chief of the northwestern Iranian city has said. 

“Furthermore, such festivals are [highly] expected to lead to tourism boom after the coronavirus crisis comes to an end eventually,” Yahya Najjar Qabel said on Monday.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of a festival dedicated to sking and snow, saying “The event is aimed at developing winter tourism in the region as well as promoting Sarein’s ski resorts.” 

The festival named “Awake Winter” was held in Alvares ski resort, which is well-known for its tough winters, “cool” summers, beautiful landscapes, the quality of its dairy products (butter, doogh, ash, honey…), and its numerous hot springs.

Holding festivals in this ski resort could attract winter sports enthusiasts to the region as well, the official added. 

Located in Ardebil provincial, the freezing city of Sarein is considered one of the top tourism hubs in northwest Iran in the wintertime. Last April tourism authorities of the province announced that they have developed extensive plans to draw more tourists during the winter season to the province and make it the winter tourism hub of the country.

The prosperity of winter tourism and the removal of the province from being a seasonal tourism destination is one of the most important programs for the balanced development of the tourism industry in Ardebil, provincial tourism chief Nader Fallahi said.

Sprawling on a high, windswept plateau, whose altitude averages 3,000 meters above sea level, Ardebil is well-known for having lush natural beauties, hospitable people, and its silk and carpet trade tradition, it is also home to the UNESCO-registered Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble. The province is very cold in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands every year. The capital city of Ardabil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.

Iran has long been an international destination for avid powder chasers during winter, while - in total contrast - its arid and semi-arid climate reaches sweltering levels in summer. Maybe not the first that comes to mind, snow-capped mountains above Tehran are home to some of the world’s best ski resorts where powder hounds can enjoy famous Iranian hospitality.

ABU/ AFM

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