East Azerbijan is located in the northwest of Iran and covers an area of approximately 47,830 sq. km. According to the latest divisions of the country in 1996 the various townships of this province are: ahar, Bostan Abad, bonab, Tabriz, jolfa, sarab, shabestar, kalibar, maragheh, marand, malekan, mianeh, haris, and hashtrood.The historical city of Tabriz is the reputed city of this province culturally and politically, even in the economic and commercial fields. The said province has common borders
with the Republics of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Nakhjavan. East Azarbaijan can be accounted for being interesting in the fields of topography and so to speak the relief of the land. The highest peak of the Sahand Mountain is 3,722 m. in altitude lies to the south of Tabriz; whereas low lying areas can be said to be around Garmadooz (Ahar). Summits and heights of this province are in three sectors in the north namely, the Qara Daq Mountains, the Sahand and Bozqoosh Mountains and the Qaflan Kooh Mountains
Generally, the East Azarbaijan Province enjoys a cold and dry climate, being mainly a mountainous region. But the gentle vapors of the Caspian Sea have some influence on the climate of the low-lying areas. Temperatures run up to 8.9° C in Tabriz, till 20° C in maragheh and in winters drops to -1° C. The ideal seasons to visit this province are in spring and summer months
East Azarbaijan holds its own as being one of the archaic territories in the country. During the reign of Alexander the Macedonian in Iran that is 331 BC, one of the warriors, known as Attorpat revolted in this area then a territory of the Medes. There by naming it Attorpatkan. Since then this vicinity has been known as Azarabadegan, Azarbadgan and Azarbaijan.
Islamic researchers proclaim that the birth of the Zoroaster Messenger was in this area, in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh (Chichest), Konzak city. Needless to say, this province was subject to political and economical upheavals bringing about lasting evidences of interest to outsiders. The most outstanding features from the cultural point of view are the language and folklore. The former is Azari Turkish. Apart from this the province boast of numerous learned scholars, Gnostics, 7 poets namely Mowlana Baba Mazeed, Khajeh Abdol Raheem Aj Abadi, Sheikh Hassan Bolqari, Abdolqader Nakhjavani to name a few and the contemporary poet Ostad Mohammad Hossein Shahriyar
The township of Shabestar is northwest of Tabriz and its capital city Shabestar is 60 km. northwest of Tabriz. It is en route on the railway line running between the city of Tabriz and Turkey, and is a part of the hilly region of Mishoo and northwest of the Lake Orumieh. It experiences hot temperate summers and cold, moderate winters. During the Safavid era the famous passage of Tabriz - Tarabuzan passed through this city. Shabestar is noted to be one of the oldest cities of the province of East Azarbaijan. Reputed personalities such as Sheikh Mahmood Shabestari, Sheikh Mohammad Khiyabani and Mirza Ali Akbar Mojez Shabestari are from this area
Lake Orumieh is one of the largest and permanent lakes of Iran and has characteristics of its own. This lake is located to the northwest of the province and stretches from north to south, thereby dividing this territory into two that is East Azarbaijan and West Azarbaijan. It is one of the most magnificent lakes of the world. It is saturated with salt which is said to help in treatment of some kinds of remedies. Regarding the size, depth, chemical composition, sedimentation, ecology, water currents and wild species, this lake bears special characteristics. This lake has been recorded as a National Park by the Department of the Environment as well as internationally as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
A number of ports have been set up along the coasts of the Lake Orumieh in order to transport passengers and cargo. The most important of these is the port of Sharaf Khaneh. The said is on the eastern coast of the lake within the limits of Shabestar. It has full port facilities including large warehouses. In the summer months the place swarms with visitors who come for leisure and therapeutic purposes, both by mineral springs and the "sludge" present in the region. The port of Aq Gonbad is also another important port. The others namely, Rahmanloo, Danaloo, Qobadloo and Zeenatloo ports are on the eastern coast of the lake.
The Orumieh Lake has about 102 islands both large and small. Five of these islands can be noted here such as the Islands of Islami (Shahi), Kaboodan, (Qoyoon Daqi), Ashk Daqi, Espir and Arezoo. The said come under the political and commercial sectors of the province.
Islami (Shahi) Island: This island is the only habitable island in the vicinity of Lake Orumieh. It spans over an area of 27 sq. km. Its lush beauty, together with fresh water which is a wonder of wonders in the midst of this lake is saturated with salt. Species of birds such as flamingos and pelicans can be noted in the swampy areas. The remnants of the castle and prison of Hollakoo Khan can be observed on one of the heights of the Islands, a sight seeing spot for tourists.
Kaboodan (Qoyoon Daqi) Island: This is one of the most beautiful islands which stretches over an area of 36 sq. km. This island is on the eastern coast of the lake and is 12 km. far from the port of Sharaf Khaneh. A variety of water fowls can be obscured on this island. Moreover species of wildlife, i.e., wild sheep and wild goat are also present which further enhances the characteristics of this Island. There is also another unique and rare wild species, i.e., Iranian follow deer.
As it was mentioned the three Islands of Ashk Daqi, Espeer and Arezoo of Lake Orumieh are also in the vicinity of the province of East Azarbaijan.
In Misho mountainous region the highest peak is 2,855 m. high, standing to the north of the Orumieh Lake and south of the plains of Marand. Its famous peaks are Falak Daqi, Ali Alamdar, Kusababa and Ozun Boel. At northeast of this region, is the Yal pass a ski resort is present and the region is used as a recreational areas in all seasons.