Passes, gorges and gorgeous scenery: the road from Asalem to Khalkhal
There are very many scenic, winding and amazing roads crisscrossing our beautiful country. From serene routes through the central desert, to never-a-dull-moment drives over jagged mountains, to dramatic roads skirting seas and valleys, Iran has it all.
One of the most celebrated of these roads takes the traveller from Asalem, nestled in the Talesh mountains of Gilan Province, to Khalkhal in Ardabil.
Leaving behind the distant views of the Caspian, the road winds its way through different terrains and scenery, changing all the time, with surprises at every bend. The wonders vary from season to season – the fiery colours of autumn are particularly spellbinding. At higher altitude, forests give way to grasslands, which have been exploited for millennia by local nomadic tribes. The traveller will enjoy their hospitality and wonder at their ancient way of life.
The drive from Asalem to Khalkhal takes about 2 hours via the main road. However, the adventurous visitor may choose local roads connecting villages and communities, or trek some of the journey, following in the footsteps of shepherds and farmers.
The route connects the very different geographical and environmental characters of the lush Talesh mountains and the more rugged mountains and valleys of Ardabil. Ardabil’s Mount Sabalan, some 4811m high, is a mountaineers’ favourite.