Welcome to Urmia, also known as Orumiyeh, a vibrant city in West Azerbaijan Province of Iran. Situated at an altitude of 1,330 meters above sea level, Urmia is the largest city in the province and serves as its capital. This remarkable city offers a blend of stunning natural beauty, rich history, and a diverse cultural heritage. Join us as we explore the wonders of Urmia and reveal why it is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Urmia is blessed with a breathtaking location, nestled along the Shahar River on the Urmia Plain. To the east of the city lies Lake Urmia, one of the world’s largest salt lakes. The shimmering turquoise waters of the lake create a mesmerizing backdrop for the cityscape. On the western side, Urmia shares its border with Turkey, adding an element of cross-cultural exchange to its charm.
With a population of over 736,000 people, Urmia is a bustling city that embraces diversity. The majority of its residents are Azerbaijanis, adding a unique cultural flavor to the city’s ambiance. Kurds, Assyrians, Armenians, and Persian speakers also call Urmia home, creating a vibrant tapestry of cultures and traditions.
One of the highlights of Urmia is its rich Christian history, which is well-preserved and evident in the numerous churches and cathedrals scattered throughout the city. From ancient times, Urmia has been a melting pot of different ethnic groups and religions, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Bahá’ís, and Sufis. The city’s churches and cathedrals stand as a testament to its diverse past and serve as architectural gems.
Urmia is not only steeped in history but is also a thriving center of trade and agriculture. The city is the trading hub for a fertile agricultural region known for its bountiful fruit orchards, particularly apples and grapes. Tobacco cultivation is also prominent in the area. Exploring the local markets in Urmia is a feast for the senses, with colorful displays of fresh produce and aromatic spices.
For nature enthusiasts, Urmia offers a plethora of outdoor attractions. The city is surrounded by picturesque landscapes and scenic coastal villages along the shores of Lake Urmia. Explore the serene Urmia Lake Natural Park, where you can witness the stunning flora and fauna of the region. Hasanloo Lake and Marmisho Lake are also worth a visit, with their tranquil surroundings and peaceful ambiance.
When it comes to recreational activities, Urmia doesn’t disappoint. The city boasts several parks, each with its own unique charm. Park-e Saat, the oldest park in Urmia, is a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll