Traveling to Iran is not all about visiting historical monuments, strolling magnificent bazaars or dining in Tehran’s luxurious restaurants. Although these can all come together to make up for an exciting trip to the country, you must not forget about the small yet gorgeous villages of Iran. Visiting these villages means interesting road trips, getting astonished by the diverse nature and mingling with welcoming locals who will be pleased to host you in their cozy homes. Not to mention that there are lots of unique handmade souvenirs to buy from villagers of Iran in order to remember the trip. Here’s a list of the most beautiful villages that you must add to your Iran trip bucket list.
Masouleh: A Stair-stepped Village in the North of Iran
Masouleh is one of the most famous villages of Iran for sure. It’s located in the beautiful province of Gilan which is mostly known for its green nature and lovely weather. But Masouleh is predominantly admired for its architectural characteristics. In fact, what attracts tons of tourists to this village is the way that local houses have been built here. Not only does rooftop of each house serve as the courtyard of the house built on top of it, but also the roofs and courtyards of each house are used as passageways of the village.
Masouleh is a must-see attraction for nature lovers who travel northern Iran. By the way, having lunch in the cozy restaurants of this village will make for one of the best parts of your trip.
Ghale RoodKhan: A Village with a Magnificent Medieval Fortress
This astonishing village in Gilan province is known as one of the most admired natural attractions of Iran. It’s an all green small town with a medieval fortress that attracts a lot of Iranian and non-Iranian tourists every year. The scene of a great fortress proudly standing under a layer of mist is so awe-inspiring that you would want to spend at least a few hours in that place. Since this brick and stone fortress has 935 stair steps, it has become famous as the Castle of 1000 Stairs. Climbing the stairs while breathing a cool and freshening air is an experience that you don’t want to miss when visiting Ghale Roodkhan village. You will take tons of pictures from the misty scenery and drinking brewed tea of Northern Iran – which is one of the best tea types in the world – in the heart of green nature will add to the unforgettable adventure of climbing a historic and magnificent castle.
Abyaneh: the Red Village
An adorable village with 2000 years of history, Abyaneh is mostly famous for its red houses that have made it a distinguished small historic town. Abyaneh is the perfect destination for any traveler who enjoys long walks along old alleys, watching locals in their traditional clothes and taking pictures from red houses that seem so cozy.
Interestingly, local people of Abyaneh speak a language very different from what you hear from Iranians in other Farsi speaking cities such as Tehran, Isafahn or Shiraz. In fact, the language spoken by people of Abyaneh dates back to the Sassanid era. In addition to their interestingly historical language and beautiful traditional clothes, the hospitality of these people will make you fall in love with the lovely red village of Iran.
Kandovan: Rocky Chambers from Centuries Ago
A 700 year old village in south west of Tabriz, Kandovan is one of the most spectacular villages of Iran. This lovely place features rock houses that are still home to locals who are one of the most welcoming people of Iran. Once here, make sure you spend at least a few hours wandering among chambers of the village that are actually carved volcanic rocks. While taking pictures from the breathtaking scenes of the village, think about the fact that some of these chambers are thousands of years old!
For a unique experience, choose Laleh Kandovan International Hotel as your accommodation in Kandovan since it’s one of the three rocky hotels of the world and is very popular among tourists.
Meymand Village: Caves to Live in
A UNESCO world heritage site, Meyman village is one of the universally known villages of Iran. It’s located near to Kerman province in southeastern Iran and is one of the best destinations for tourists who are interested in learning about cultural attractions.
Like Kandovan village, Meymand features chambers carved in mountains. These chambers are still home to local people and have a great historical value due to the 1000 years of history that lays behind their walls.
Palangan: A Village on Highlands of Kurdistan
Looking for a destination to enjoy natural attractions with a cultural twist? Palangan is the right place to learn about all aspects of Iranian Kurdistan. Besides being a splendid stair-stepped village – similar to Masouleh in Gilan province – it provides you with a chance to try delicious Kurdish food, enjoy Kurdish live music and even practice Kurdish dance with the friendly locals who will never let you feel like an outsider!
Varkaneh: Renaissance Architecture in an Iranian Village
A 400 year old village near Hamedan province in northwest of Iran, Varkaneh is very different to other famous villages of Iran for its unique architectural characteristics. It’s mostly known for the entirely stone-made houses that remind us of European houses of the Renaissance era. If you plan to go to Varkaneh while traveling Iran, don’t forget to visit the fortress known as “Ghal’e-ye-Mehri Khanoom” which means “the Castle of Mrs. Mehri”. Apparantly, Mrs. Mehri was the ruler of the village in the old time and her fortress is one of the historical attractions of the village. As Mrs. Mehri was fond of horses, she owned a stable that used to be an important center for horse breeding. This old stable is also worth a visit.
Darak: Where Sea and Desert Join Together
What could seem more romantic than this? Darak is the only spot in Iran that sea and desert join together. This bewildering scene is so striking that seems like a dream. Just imagine golden dunes, turquoise water, majestic cliff and beaches beautified by corals all in the same place. The camels wandering on the sand and the smooth breeze that touches your skin make your trip to Darak an unrivaled experience. If you’re planning to visit southern provinces of the country and spend time in the most picturesque villages of Iran, Darak Village must be your next destination!
Ready for an offbeat trip to Iran?
If exploring villages of Iran sounds exciting to you, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on our tours and itineraries. Here at land of Turquoise Domes, we do our best to make your trip to Iran an unforgettable memory.