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Gilan Province


Gilan is one of the northern provinces of Iran with Rasht as the capital. This province is connected to the Caspian Sea from the north, has a water border with the coastal countries of the Caspian Sea, and has a land border with the Republic of Azerbaijan through Astara. It can be said that the dominant ethnic group in Gilan is Gilak. Talesh, Turk, Kurd and Lor constitute the largest population in Gilan province respectively.


Gilan has borders with Ardabil province in the west, Zanjan and Qazvin provinces in the south and Mazandaran province in the east. Gilan has an area of 14,044 square kilometers, and its population is 2,350,686 people according to the 2016 census. Gilan is divided into 16 cities called Astara, Astane Ashrafieh, Amlash, Bandar Anzali, Talesh, Siahkal, Shaft, Rasht, Rudbar, Rudsar, Rezvanshahr, Soomehsara, Fooman, Lahijan, Langrud, and Masal.


The customs and traditions of Gilan depict an interesting complex interrelation between pre-Islamic and Islamic ones; for instance, the combination of trees, bulls and eggs in holy places such as shrines, and the importance of natural elements in the performance of religious ceremonies have attracted much attention. The importance of trees among the Gilani is quite palpable, sometimes these same trees are considered as the survivors of the Imams, so they are called noble or elderly. The juice of these trees is considered as a sign the Imams’ blood due to their red color. Pilgrims beg, make vows, and ask God to heal the sick people under these trees. With the child's first teeth, the traditional ceremony of Dandan fashoon is held in which they spread a tablecloth with mirror, scissors, Quran, gold coins, books, pens, and needles; the first thing the child grabs indicates his fate. If he takes Qur'an, he will become a clergy, and if scissors, he will become a hairdresser. Weddings also have a special hierarchy. Even the ceremony of rice planting and harvesting is so important that it is still held during certain times of the year.


Handicrafts produced in Gilan province embrace a wide range including wood carving, joinery, mosaic work, mat weaving, bamboo weaving, pearl weaving, pottery, ceramics, pumpkin painting, felt weaving, silk weaving, Jajim weaving, kilim weaving, chamush embroidery, crochet, Chadrshab weaving, carpet weaving. Tea, rice, Rudbar olives, fresh fish, smoked and salted fish, peanuts, citrus fruits, Fooman cookies, dried noodles and honey are some of the souvenirs of this province. Gilan has a long list of special foods due to its fish, olives and a variety of local vegetables. Among the most important local dishes of Gilan, we can mention Mirza Ghasemi, Baqlaqatagh, Torshtereh, Anarij, Kal Kabab, Fesenjan chicken or Lako chicken, Vavishka, Torshshami, Sheshandaz, Sirabij, Sirqliyeh and Borani eggplant.

Tourist Attractions

The nature of Gilan province, with temperate climate, has dense forests and beautiful landscapes such as sea, waterfalls, forested mountains, flowing rivers, and lush gardens. Anzali Wetland, Rudkhan Castle, Visadar Waterfall, Saqalaksar Lake, Rural Heritage Museum, Mirza Kuchak Khan Tomb, Municipality Building, Sheikh Zahed Tomb, Latoon Waterfall, Divrash Forest, Sheytan Kuh, Tea Museum, Masouleh Village, Darband Cave, Subatan summer resort, Matash, Gisum forest and beach, etc. are among the tourist attractions of this province.

Salsaal Castle

Although Talesh is the city of forests and waterfalls, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't expect historical monuments in this city. Salsaal Castle of Lisar is one of the unique places of this region and Gilan province.

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Estil Lagoon

Estil international protected Lagoon, located on the border between Talash-Astara road, is one of those tourism destinations that, in addition to its recreational importance, is considered as one of the most important factors in maintaining the balance of the region's ecosystem.

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Zomorrod Waterfall

Gilan, on the shore of the Caspian Sea, has hosted a number of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iran, one of which is Zomorrod(emerald)Waterfall(also known as Havigh); a waterfall in the heart of the mountain forest of the Zomorrod city of Talesh, which doubles the excitement of crossing the path and the pleasure of reaching it. Zomorrod Waterfall is considered to be the shining manifestation of Talesh city.

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Dalfak Forest

If you like to have a summer picnic, you had better try Dalfak (Darfak) forest in Gilan province, a forest fraught with moss-covered trees, thick fog, cool air, the scent of rain-soaked soil, the noise from villagers' cattle herds and the charming view of local people's wooden huts.

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Laton Waterfall

Just in the middle of the infinite greenery of Gilan province forests and in the coolness of the flowing rivers, the highest waterfall in Iran flows with a height of 105 meters.

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Pisason is one of the most pristine jungles located in Gilan province. Picturesque nature, cool weather, absolute peace and beautiful clouds here and there are the distinct features of this fascinating jungle. Oak, hornbeam, alder and boxwood trees are parts of this jungle's vegetation.

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