Gilan province, with an area of ​​14042 km, is located in the northwest of Iran and on the southwest coast of the Caspian Sea. It is the 28th province of the country in terms of area. The Astara-Chai River separates the province from the Republic of Azerbaijan. Gilan neighbors the provinces of Ardebil, Zanjan, Qazvin, and Mazandaran. It has 16 counties and its center is Rasht. Most of the people in the province are Gilak and speak Gilaki with different dialects. In some section of the province people also speak Farsi. Gilan province receives the heaviest amount of rainfall in the country due to its proximity to the Caspian Sea; its weather is moderate and humid.

Greek historians in the historical documents have mentioned Gilan as Kados or Kadosyan. During the era of the Achaemenid and Sasanians, independent local government always governed this area. As the region was impassable, accessibility of the Islamic army was limited as well, but the Shiites of Zaidiyyah gradually scattered the Muslim faith through Tabarestan and Mazandaran. Ilkhan Uljeitu captured the region for a while, then, the Karkiya family dominated the Lahijan. When Abbas I of Safavid dynasty attacked the land of Gilan and conquered it, Gilan lost its independent position and officially became part of Iran. The land of Gilan in the past divided into the three districts of Talesh, Deylam and Gilan (Jilan). After Gilan’s capture by Safavid, the center of the Gilan area was transferred to Rasht. The Treaty of Golestan separated a part of the Talsh-in north of the Astara River- from Iran. During the constitutional movement, Aqabaala Khan, the ruler of Gilan, was killed in the garden of Modiriyeh in Rasht, then, the constitutionalists of Gilan moved to conquest Tehran. They first captured Qazvin and then arrived in Tehran. After three days, along with Bakhtiari constitutionalists, conquered the capital and Mohammad Ali Shah was dethroned from the monarchy.

When Abbas I of Safavid dynasty attacked the land of Gilan and conquered it, Gilan lost its independent position and officially became part of Iran. The land of Gilan in the past divided into the three districts of Talesh, Deylam and Gilan (Jilan). After Gilan’s capture by Safavid, the center of the Gilan area was transferred to Rasht.

The unspoiled and beautiful nature of the Gilan province and the Caspian shores are among of the most important attractions of the place and attracts many nature lover during the year. The dense forest of the northern slopes of Alborz especially in south of city of Sinalak and the Deilman forests, south of Lahijan, the areas around Shafte, Fouman, Masal, Talesh, Rezvanshahr and Astara, offer spectacular views. The Lahijan Tea Fields, Masouleh stepped village, Rudkhan Castle of Fuman, Tomb of Mirza Kuchak Khan and Herzwil’s millennia old cypress are just a few attractions of the province.

Variety of handicrafts of the province includes mat weaving and woodcraft, shawls, bamboo, pottery, Jajim, carpet and Kilim, Chador-shab, crocheting, felt and charooq.

Different kinds of cookies, especially Lahijan and Fouman’s ones, jam, pickles, tomato paste and various products of olive, various fish of the north, rice, citrus, local herbs, caviar and Reshteh khoshkar are other souvenirs of the trips to Gilan.

The diversity witnessed in the province, which is the result of variety of agricultural products, requires multiple kinds of stews to serve beside the rice. In December 2005, the city of Rasht was registered as a creative city in gastronomy by UNESCO and joined the Creative Cities Network. Morgh-Fesenjan or Laku Morgh(chicken and walnut), Mirzakasemi, Baghala ghatogh, Torsh Tare, Alumosama, Nazkhatun, Anarbich, Torsh Shami, Sirabij, Shirin Tare, Choghortmeh (Chicken Cutlets), Koli Ghorabij, Vavishka and Lungi are some native foods of the province. Fazlollah Reza, Anoushirvan Rouhani, Mohammad Moein and Mohammad Shams Langeroodi are among the celebrities of Gilan.