Lake Urmia, Urmia

#2 of 6 in Things to do in West Azerbaijan Province
Lake Urmia is an endorheic salt lake in Iran. The lake is between the provinces of East Azerbaijan and West Azerbaijan in Iran, and west of the southern portion of the Caspian Sea. At its greatest extent, it was the largest lake in the Middle East and the sixth-largest saltwater lake on Earth, with a surface area of approximately 5200km², a length of 140km, a width of 55km, and a maximum depth of 16m. The lake has shrunk to 10% of its former size due to damming of the rivers that flow into it, and the pumping of groundwater from the surrounding area.Lake Urmia, along with its once approximately 102 islands, is protected as a national park by the Iranian Department of Environment.Names and etymologiesCurrently, the lake is named after the provincial capital city of Urmia, originally an Assyrian name meaning puddle of water. However, in the early 1930s, it was called Lake Rezaiyeh (دریاچه رضائیه) after Reza Shah Pahlavi. After the Iranian Revolution in the late 1970s the lake was renamed Urmia.Its Old Persian name was Chichast, meaning "glittering", a reference to the glittering mineral particles suspended in the water of the lake and found along its shores. In medieval times it came to be known as Lake Kabuda (Kabodan), from the word for "azure" in Persian, or 'կապույտ' (kapuyt) in Armenian. Its Latin name was Lacus Matianus, so it is referred to in some texts as Lake Matianus or Lake Matiene.
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Lake Urmia Reviews
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25 reviews
  • September 6, 2017
    Urmia Lake, the biggest salt lake of the Middle East and the sixth largest saltwater lake of the world, contains 102 islands. Its shore covered with white and shiny salt crystals, and its water is so ...  more »
  • September 5, 2017
    The main road from Tabriz to Urmia (Orumiyeh) crosses the Orumiyeh salt lake. The water surface of the lake is shrinking rapidly, once having a length of over 150km at boat traffic to/from to Urmia, n...  more »
  • August 31, 2017
    Abandoned and almost dried-up Salt Lake... A mystery of nature and a degree of salt in the impressive water. We put the feet in water and salt is impressive. Of the brave is bathed, but I advise against it in salt attack the skin. Good pictures to do this place with beautiful sunset.
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