Enjoying splendid natural beauty, a pleasant climate, lofty mountains covered with lush vegetation and luxuriant forests, this province attracts a large number of visitors each year. Situated to the south of the Caspian Sea (the largest land locked body of water in the world), Gilan covers an area of 14709 sq kms. This province is bounded on the north by the Caspian Sea, on the west by the Ardabil Province, on the coast by Mazandaran, and on the south by Zanjan. The high Alborz Mountains, scaling off the narrow Caspian strip, traps humidity and creates a mild humid region with luxuriant forests and swamps, and has caused it to be the most humid region in Iran. Along the coast of the Caspian Sea there are many swamps, the largest of which are the swamps of Anzali and Amir Kelayeh. The Anzali Swamp is in the south of the port of Anzali. It supports natural vegetation which is unique in its kind. There are recreational facilities for boating on the swamp. The people who inhabit Gilan province are called Gilak, speaking the language of Gilaki. Rasht is the capital city, while Astara, Masouleh, Astaneh-e Ashrafiyyeh, Anzali, Fuman, Langrud, Lahijan, Rudbar, Rudsar , Soumaeh Sara, and Talesh are the other towns of the province.
Located in the centre of the plateau of Gilan, Rasht is 323 kms from Tehran. It has a mild humid climate. Dating back to the pre-Islamic period, this city has been an important centre for trade and agricultural activities. While these continue to be of high importance in the economy of Rasht, the development of industries has changed it into a semi industrial city. Utilitarian and decorative articles in wood and crochet produced in Rasht have nation-wide fame.
Situated 40 kms northwest of Rasht, this town is the most important northern seaport of Iran. It is a peninsula, 33 kms long separating Anzali swamp from the Caspian Sea. Fishing, exporting caviar, and tourism are among the main sources of income in Anzali. Pol-e Ghazian, Shanbeh Bazaar (the Saturday market), the palace of Miyan Posht are among the interesting places to see. Anzali swamp, having a fascinating landscape, attracts many visitors.
This seaport links Iran with the Black Sea via the Volga-Don channel. The recreational ship, the Mirza Kuchek Khan, transports passengers from Anzali to the countries on the northern coast of the Caspian Sea.
Rudkhan Castle dates back to the Seljuk period (1038-1194) and is 20 kms away from Fuman. Built of bricks and stones, its entrance is flanked by two towers. In the past it was used for different purposes, e.g., as a fortified building for protection during the wars and battles, and as a storehouse for military supplies. Natural spectacular landscapes as well as pleasant weather and the impressive castle have great attraction for tourists.
The handicrafts of Gilan are rich in diversity. The most well-known of which are decorative and utilitarian articles in wood, Straw, gelims, jajims, earthen ware, ceramics, peasant’s shoes and felt carpets.
Olives, various kinds of regional jams and sweets (the most welt-known of which is Koluchcheh) produced in Gilan have nation-wide fame.