Ardabil Tourist Attractions 17 Jun 2024 BY Maryam Mahmoudian

Shorabil Lake | Ardabil Must-See Attraction

Situated in Ardabil, northwestern Iran, Shorabil Lake is a popular natural attraction offering recreational activities for all ages.

Boasting a serene environment with the Shorabil river, green spaces, and amusement park, it's an ideal spot for leisurely walks, picnics, or romantic outings.

Shurabil Lake is a top recommendation for tourists exploring Ardabil, offering affordable opportunities to experience the city's charm and natural beauty.


Interested in visiting Shorabil Lake?

Check out our Adventure tour packages to find an itinerary that includes visiting the lake


Design your own tailor-made itinerary and include Shorabil Lake in it by yourself, today!


All About Shorabil Lake

All About Shorabil Lake

Shorabil Lake, also known as Shurabil Lake, is one of the most prominent urban lakes in Ardabil, Iran. Spanning approximately 180 hectares, this lake offers various facilities and attractions that make it a popular destination for both locals and tourists throughout the year.

Originally a large saltwater lagoon, Shorabil Lake has undergone significant changes over the years. While it used to have high salinity levels, these have decreased, allowing for the development of artificial forests around the lake. This shift has enhanced the area's biodiversity, making it a haven for various bird species.

Shorabil Lake boasts a wide array of amenities designed to cater to visitors. The health path surrounding the lake is a favorite among those who enjoy walking and taking in the scenic views. The lake's proximity to educational institutions and exhibitions adds to its appeal, making it a hub for both leisure and learning.

Situated at a high altitude, Shorabil Lake experiences a cooler climate for most of the year. Spring and summer offer a pleasant retreat from the heat, while the colder months provide a crisp, refreshing atmosphere. Its convenient location enhances its popularity, drawing in crowds who seek a quick escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

The lake is a sanctuary for various migratory and native bird species. Among the migratory birds, you can spot golden-eyed ducks, greylag geese, black storks, and spot-billed pelican. The native bird population includes herons, pheasants, and khotkas. While urban development has limited the presence of other wildlife, the diversity of bird species continues to be a significant draw for nature enthusiasts.

Shorabil Lake is a deep basin encircled by natural embankments, supplemented by artificial ones in certain sections. The depth increases as you move towards the center, reaching more than ten meters at its deepest point. Additionally, the water level fluctuates by approximately half a meter between the rainy and hot seasons.

Swimming is strictly prohibited and boating on Shorabil Lake necessitates observing safety measures due to its significant depth.

| Related: Iran’s Top 10 Seas and Lakes to Explore


Geological Evolution of Shorabil Lake

Geological Evolution of Shorabil Lake

Shorabil Lake, one of Iran's oldest water bodies, predates the renowned Urmia Lake. Geologists estimate its formation in the late third and early fourth geological eras. Historically, Shorabil was known as a lagoon, primarily fed by atmospheric rains and the Baliqlu Chay river.

The name "Shorabil" derives from the Persian word "Shor or Shur," meaning "salty." Historically, Shorabil Lake had significantly higher salinity levels, which influenced its naming. Over the years, the planned introduction of fresh water from the Baliqlu Chay river has drastically reduced the lake's salinity, making it forty times less salty than it once was.

In the past, Shorabil Lake's water supply came from a combination of atmospheric precipitation and the inflow from surrounding springs and rivers. The region’s substantial snowfall and rainfall contributed to the lake's periodic flooding. Over time, these factors, coupled with natural desalination processes, significantly increased the lake's water volume.

Originally, Shorabil Lake lacked an outlet to regulate its water level, relying solely on soil absorption and surface evaporation. In recent years, a drain valve has been installed to manage the water level more effectively. This intervention, along with the construction of the Yamchi Dam and the introduction of water from the Baliqlu Chay river, expanded the lake's area twice to 18 hectares.

In the past, the high salinity of Shorabil Lake supported the growth of medicinal plants with healing properties around its shores. These plants thrived in the salty environment, providing natural remedies for various ailments. Additionally, the lake's mud was known for its therapeutic benefits, particularly for patients with joint pain, who utilized the mineral-rich soil for its healing properties. However, with the decrease in salinity, these medicinal plants have disappeared, and the mud has lost its distinctive healing qualities.

The salinity of Shorabil Lake has dramatically decreased over time. This reduction has not only increased the lake's water volume fourteen times but has also enhanced the quality of its water, making it fresher and more suitable for supporting diverse plant and animal life like various types of fish such as rainbow trout, carp, and prawns.

| Read more: Neor Lake in Ardabil - A Wonder Within Iran's Northwestern Mountains


Things to Do at Shorabil Lake

Things to Do at Shorabil Lake

Shorabil Lake offers a diverse range of activities suitable for visitors of all ages, ensuring an enjoyable experience for everyone:


Andak Cruise Ship

Embark on the Andak cruise ship for a memorable journey along the tranquil shores of Shorabil Lake. From 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, this two-story vessel offers scenic views of Sablan and the city lights, providing an ideal setting for birthday celebrations, gatherings, or business meetings. Capture the beauty of the lake and create lasting memories aboard this stylish and modern ship.


Amusement Park

Visit the Shurabil outdoor amusement park for a day filled with excitement and fun. With a variety of recreational facilities including swings, slides, carousels, and more, the park offers entertainment for both children and adults, making it a popular destination for families in Ardabil.


Long Zip Line

Experience an adrenaline rush on the long zip line at Shorabil Lake, the first round-trip zip line in the country. Stretching over 930 meters, this exhilarating ride provides a unique and thrilling experience for tourists seeking adventure.


Sailing and Jet Skiing

Take to the waters of Shorabil Lake for a refreshing boating experience during the spring and summer months. While the Andak cruise ship offers a leisurely tour of the lake, thrill-seekers can rent jet skis or motorboats for an exhilarating ride across its expansive waters.


Karting Track

Thrill-seekers can test their skills at Hani's karting track, located within a 6-kilometer radius around the lake. Compete with friends in a captivating and well-maintained environment suitable for families and young people. The track operates daily from 10:30 am to 10 pm.


Lake View

Find a tranquil spot along the shores of Shorabil Lake to admire its azure expanse and breathtaking scenery. Capture stunning selfies against the backdrop of rocky cliffs, immersing yourself in the beauty of nature.


Lakeside Stroll

Explore the picturesque surroundings of Shorabil Lake with a leisurely walk or bike ride along its scenic paths. The well-maintained tracks offer one of the longest walking trails in the country, providing a serene setting for visitors to enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the lake.


Events and Wildlife

Shorabil Lake hosts various exhibitions, festivals, and programs throughout the year, providing entertainment and cultural experiences for visitors. Additionally, the lake is home to diverse species of migratory birds, offering opportunities for birdwatching and nature enthusiasts to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

| Related: Iran's Wildlife - A Nature Lover's Guide + Pics


Welfare Amenities

  1. Handicraft Market (All kinds of Kilims and rugs, carpets, nomadic handwovens, and local clothes)
  2. Artificial grass field, Ideal for sports and recreational activities
  3. Children's Playground
  4. Sports equipment, available for rent
  5. Gazebos
  6. Hotels and accommodation options for those wishing to stay overnight.
  7. Cafe and Restaurant (Zafaranieh Vegetarian Restaurant, Amata Italian Restaurant, Khaqan Grill, Ana Pizza, Perperook Turkish Restaurant)
  8. Ample parking space for vehicles
  9. Restrooms

| Also read about: Why Explore Iran's Ecotourism Wonders


Explore the Sights Around Shorabil Lake

Explore the Sights Around Shorabil Lake

Discover the rich history and natural beauty surrounding Shorabil Lake by visiting these nearby attractions:


Ardabil Wildlife Museum

Located on the edge of Shorabil Lake, the Ardabil Wildlife Museum showcases a variety of native animals from the surrounding areas. Explore six different exhibition sections across two floors, and marvel at rare species displayed as taxidermy. Enjoy a beautiful view of Shorabil Lake and Sablan Mountain from the museum's top floor.


Baliqlu Chay River

Experience the scenic beauty of the Baliqlu Chay River as it winds through Ardabil. This picturesque river, also known as Baliqlu Chay and Balikhlu Chay, offers stunning views and is a popular resort area for tourists and locals alike. Admire historic bridges along the river, including the Safavid-era Haft Cheshme bridge.


Sheikh Safi Al-Din Ardabili's Shrine

Visit the shrine of Sheikh Safi Al-Din Ardabili, a mystic and the founder of the first Safavid monastery in Ardabil. Explore the tomb of Shah Ismail I and other relatives, and admire the architectural marvels of the complex. Discover historical works by renowned Iranian artists such as Mir Emad and Mohammad Ismail. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located near Shorabil Lake, in Ali Qapu Square.


Bolaglar Resort

Venture 40 kilometers from Shorabil Lake to Bolaglar Resort, near the city of Nir. Explore the region's bubbling springs, raging rivers, and vibrant wildflowers during the spring and summer seasons. Bolaglar is renowned for its picturesque villas and hosts various local ceremonies throughout the year, offering a unique cultural experience.

| Read more: Top 10 Forests and Jungles of Iran


The Best Time to Visit Shorabil Lake

The Best Time to Visit Shorabil Lake

Ardabil, located among the mountainous regions of northwestern Iran, offers a unique experience for visitors throughout the year. Here's a guide to the best times to visit Shorabil Lake:

  1. Winter: Despite Ardabil's cold and rainy winters, many tourists are drawn to Shorabil Lake to witness the breathtaking sight of the vast frozen lake. The snow-capped mountains of Sablan add to the enchanting scenery, making winter a popular time for travelers seeking a cozy retreat amidst nature's wintry embrace.
  2. Spring: As spring arrives, the weather gradually warms near Shorabil Lake, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. Although early spring days in April may still be chilly, the season offers a promising transition towards milder temperatures, perfect for leisurely strolls and enjoying the lake's amenities.
  3. Summer: From May to August, Shorabil Lake beckons visitors with its cool and pleasant weather, making it the peak season for tourism. The summer months offer ideal conditions for exploring the lake, indulging in water sports, and relishing the abundance of entertainment and amenities available.
  4. Autumn: The autumn season transforms Shorabil Lake into a spectacle of beauty, as the surrounding nature showcases vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold. Fall is a picturesque time to visit the lake, offering stunning scenery that captivates the eyes of visitors seeking nature's grandeur.


Final Takeaway

Shorabil Lake in Ardabil, Iran, invites travelers to discover its tranquil beauty and diverse recreational offerings. With serene surroundings and a variety of activities, it offers memorable experiences for all.

Consider joining group tours to Iran and explore the wonders of Shurabil Lake and beyond. Start planning your adventure today for an unforgettable journey through this enchanting destination.

Share your story!

Comment below and let us know about your Experience.

Your story inspires others!


Leave a Comment