Lake Urmia located in the North-West of Iran and forms the borderline of two provinces of the West-Azarbayejan and the East-Azarbayejan in the North-South. The lake coordinate is between E44,59 to E45,57 and N37,05 to N38,07 and it is 1278 m above the sea level.
Lake Urmia is the greatest and the most important internal lake in Iran. It is 140 Km long and between 15 Km to 50 Km wide. It’s about 5000 square kilometers which gets bigger at the end of spring and in dry seasons it gets smaller in size. The average depth is about 6 meters and the deepest point is 13 meters in the North-West of the lake. The amount of the water of the lake is estimated about 37 billion cubic meters.
Lake Urmia weather is very cold in winter and mild or warm in the summer. It reaches into -35° C in winter and reaches into 35° C in the summer.
Lake Urmia is the second saltiest lake in the world after “Bahr-al-Meyet”. The lake is too salty that never gets frozen in winter and no fish can live there but just a special kind of algae live in there.
The lake has some special shrimp of the salty water, named “Artemia” which is important for the birds to feed on. On the islands and the shores, there are some bamboos and other salt-lover plants too.
The water of the lake is almost clear and bright. The silt of the lake is the mixture of organic materials and salts that are useful for some diseases, especially dermatologic problems.
Lake Urmia has 56 small and big islands. The biggest one is “Kaboudan”. The lake is a natural biosphere and one of the 59 important natural biosphere reservations of the world which is registered as a world biosphere reservation in UNESCO, as one of the most important international main ponds on the list of the international ponds in Switzerland and it is protected by the West-Azarbayejan organization of the protection of the environment.
The swamps in the South of the lake are used to breed buffaloes. Lots of birds live in or migrate to and from the lake that some are exotic. So it is a special place for birds watching.
The natural beauties of the shores and the islands, the mild and humid weather, salt stones on the shores, the beautiful sunset and various water sports and enjoyments have made the lake as one of the most important tourist attractions in Iran.
It is advised to visit this natural attraction in the summer and on your trip to the North-West of Iran. There are various accommodation facilities in the cities around the lake, specially the city of Urmia and Baari complex. It is also recommended to enjoy and use the culture, cuisine and the souvenirs of Azarbayejan.