New advances put Hir on tourist map in northwest Iran

The ancient city of Hir in the northwestern province of Ardebil has become one of the tourism hubs of the country, the provincial tourism chief has said.


With the development of tourism infrastructure and practical measures in the field of cultural heritage, the city has emerged as a major tourist destination, Nader Fallahi announced on Monday.

The tourism sector of Hir entered a new chapter following the inauguration of a curved-glass suspension bridge in January 2020, the official explained.

Made of curved sheets of glass, the bridge measures 220 meters in length and connects two hills in the Hir district. The bridge’s all-glass parts and metal cables have been constructed by domestic engineers using high-quality materials and are said to be the first of their kind in the world.

The official also noted that some of the historical structures and aging buildings across the city have been added to the national heritage list, and budget and funds have been allocated to their restoration projects.

Hir is well-known for having lush natural beauties, cultural heritage sites, and hospitable people, he said.

In July 2020, Fallahi noted that Ardebil could be named the province of suspension bridges, pointing to Meshginshahr suspension bridge and Hir curved glass suspension bridge as well as Azna suspension bridge.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said in February that Ardebil province has immense potential to become the next tourism hub of the country.

The development of infrastructures, which is currently taking place in Ardebil, could facilitate this region’s transformation into a new tourism hub, he mentioned.

The implementation of tourism-related projects worth 40 trillion rials ($952 million at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) shows the decisive decision of the province’s tourism officials for the development in this field, he explained.

The completion of the mentioned projects will add capacity to the tourism sector of the country, the minister noted.

He also expressed hope that the province would become a duly deserving host of the 2023 Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) tourism capital program.

Last April, tourism authorities of the province announced that they had developed extensive plans to draw more tourists during the winter season to the province and make it the winter tourism hub of the country.

Sprawling on a high, windswept plateau, 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 freezing in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands every year. The capital city of Ardebil is usually recorded as one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.