Semnan province including eight counties with an area of about 97,491 square kilometers and Semnan city as its center is the seventh-largest province of the country. Located in the northern margin of Kavir desert and on the southern side of the eastern Alborz Mountains, Semnan borders North Khorasan, Golestan, Mazandaran, Tehran, Qom, Isfahan, South Khorasan, and Razavi Khorasan provinces.
Most of its residents are of Fars race speaking Farsi language with a Daylami dialect that is also called Semnani. Although in the higher mountainous regions the weather is cold, in the lower altitude regions the temperature increases such that the hottest and driest section of the province refers to the Kavir desert.
Damghan is an ancient city of the province situated near the desert, where one of the oldest and earliest settlements in the Iranian plateau was established. For example, the mound of Hesar is one of the historical treasures of the country embracing archaeological founding from the Median (678-549 B.C.), Achaemenid (550-330 B.C.), Parthians (247 B.C.-224 A.D.), and Seleucid (312-63 B.C.) Empires. The Hecatompylos city (City of Hundred Gates) was one of the first capitals of the Parthian government, which its ruins were found around the present Damghan city.
There are plenty of tourist attractions in Semnan e.g., cobblestones of Shah Abbasi, serval caravanserais in the ancient Silk Road, national parks, waterfalls, caves, Bastam historical complex, the Arg (Gate) of Semnan, Soltani Mosque, Jam-e Mosque, Semnan market, Pahneh Bath Museum, Damghan Hesar Mound, Tarikhaneh Mosque, Pir Alamdar, Cheshmeh Ali, Zangule Dome, Bahar Palace, Qasr-e Bahram Caravanserai, and Abr (cloud) Jungle, and tombs of great mystics (such as Bayazid Bastami and Abu al-Hassan al-Kharaqani). Besides, a pleasant weather condition in summer is another factor attracting tourists.
The handicrafts of the province include different forms of printing on fabric, kilim, mosaic, wooden objects, and embroidered shoes. In addition to the handicrafts, the city presents a lot of eatable souvenirs including pistachio, traditional bread, melon, grape, pomegranate, sweets, walnut, and figs.
The most prevailing cuisine of the province is meat stew, vegetable rice, Tahchin (Persian baked rice cake) of raisin and yellow-split-peas, carrot and pistachio stew, and Kachi (a kind of sweet paste made of wheat powder and oil). The celebrities of this province include Manuchehri Damghani (poet) and two mystics i.e., Bayazid Bastami and Abu al-Hassan al-Kharaqani.