Shorabil is a lake inside the city of Ardabil. It is located near the Ardabil University. This lake is the largest lake in Iran within a city. It is also one of the most important natural attractions of Ardabil. The surface of the lake is 640,000 m², and is covered with a thin white layer of minerals which are useful in healing skin diseases and rheumatism. Mineral-rich water of Shorabil Lake is believed to have healing impacts on some diseases, that's why many tourists visit the lake for medical reasons. This lake is definitely worth visiting and even camping for a night or two when you are on the North-East of Iran. Shorabil Lake boasts healing minerals and a picturesque landscape. It is a sightseeing site and the main habitat for migratory birds.
The lake's water was used to be salty, but the addition of fresh water has reduced its salinity. The
basin was covered with mud and high concentrations of salt and other minerals so that no fish could survive. In 1998, the government of Ardabil started diluting the lake water by linking riv
ers from the surrounding area. After almost 2 years they also started growing a kind of fish called "Qezel-aala" in the lake which is famous for having pink meat and wonderful taste. The originally salt rarely allowed any species grow in it. For that, some sweet-water rivers were linked to the lake and reduced the amount of salt. Now, lots of salmons are living in Shorabil Lake. The lake is also home to pelicans, crowned and golden eye ducks, gooses, storks, and herons in different times of the year.
The leisure complex of Shorabil is located near the lake. The lake is ringed by a scenic roadway offering views of the lake and the nearby Sabalan Mountain. You can also drive around it. The view of Sabalan Mountain during sunset from this lake is very fascinating. Fishing is allowed in this lake and there is a park at one side of it (playground for children). It gets very crowded at weekends (Thursday afternoon and Friday) when local people go there for picnic. There is a library and other buildings around the lake. One or two times driving around the lake and watching the view especially during the sunset is recommended. Many people run around the lake at mornings and during the day. It is totally 7 Km.
There are recreational and at the same time residential utilities around the basin. You can enjoy boarding the recreational boat and having a 30 minute tour around the basin and watch the fascinating view of Sabalan (Savalan) pick from the center of Shorabil. There are 2 economic (2 and 3 stars) hotels, a Luna park, and a number of restaurants at the coast of the Basin. You can also try fishing if you have your fishing stuff with you. Ardebil is located in highlands with a relatively cold weather. So the best season to visit Ardabil is between late May and late September. Even in summer time, you will enjoy a cold breeze and fresh air that is specific to Ardabil and when staying at Shorabil (hotel) you will find how breathing can be enjoyable! From this location you can find shuttle buses to Sarein (natural hot-water saunas), Alvars skiing site, and other touristic locations. Don't forget to have warm clothes with you "even in summer"! In 1999 a floating restaurant was built and placed in the middle of the lake which was transferred to the government but it was later shifted to the shore as they could not handle the maintenance and other technical difficulties.
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