The city of Ardabil, as the capital of the province, is located at a distance of 639 kilometers from Tehran, west to the volcanic mountain of Sabalan. The weather of the province varies between extreme cold on the mountainous areas, to moderate on the plains. The name of Ardabil came from a Zoroastrian name of "Artavil" (mentioned in Avesta) which means a holy place.
Some historians attribute the foundation of Ardabil to "Bazan Firuz". Archaeologists have recently found some historical vestiges in Nameen, a nearby town, which belong to the 12th-16th centuries BC. Some Orartoie inscriptions belonging to the 7th-9th centuries BC. were found in Arasbaran which reveals that civilized people lived in the region.