Iran is a beautiful country in the Middle East, bordered by Iraq, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan on three sides. It has a small coastline too facing the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
Iran’s ancient name is Persia whose history and wealth we have all read during our school days. Persia is known to the world since sixth century B.C.
Persia was known to possess extraordinary wealth in ancient times. I think much of their riches were spent in waging a long, pretty long war with Iraq.
Now, this is peacetime. Worldwide, tourists have started exploring Iran’s palaces, natural wilderness, marble mosques, jungles, lakes and their beaches. In addition, the Persian carpets are great attractions. The Iranians are generally well-built, tall and fair. It applies to the Iranian women too whose beauty is well recorded in the books of history.
Let us go over the list of places a tourist to Iran should not fail to see.
I think you are not impressed at the first sight of the extraordinary natural geological phenomenon but nevertheless, it is Iran’s top attraction for nature lovers.
It is situated above 6000 feet from the sea level. By road, you should travel for a little more than an hour from Sari, a city that is 95 km away. From Tehran, the capital of Iran, the travertine terraces are 370 km away.
This natural terrace is aptly called “travertine terrace” in Iran’s Mazandaran Province.
To me, it looks like a scale of mineral salt. I think the terrace formation is still a live process. The tinge of red color on the deposits indicates the presence of iron as one of the minerals. The naturally stepped limestone formations were created over thousands of years ago. The hot springs at the site is said to possess healing properties because of the minerals present in the water.
After witnessing a rare geological wonder, you can turn your attention on the tall pine forests and other greeneries on the mountain.
Mount Damavand, Iran.
Terrific sight-isn’t it?
Do you love tall mountains? Then, you will also like the 360-degree views from the top of a mountain, the cliffs and gorges, the trekking trail into the new vegetation that are alien to you-right?
At a short distance of only 65 km from Tehran, you can climb to about 18,000 feet to reach the summit of Mount Damavand which is also the highest mountain in the Middle East.
Like the Himalayan Everest, the majestic Damavand Mountain is snow-capped throughout the year and is part of the Alborz Mountain range. It is not a one day visit folks but it will take two full days of travel.
Now, hold your breath! On the top of the Damavand Mountain, there is a dormant volcano whose age is said to be a staggering 1.8 million years!
Mount Damavand is a UNESCO protected site and there are as many as 16 routes to see the crated at the peak. The shortest route takes 2 days while the longest but less strenuous takes 5 days.
From the image of Caspian Sea above, it is clear that it is a sea but in reality, it is not. Caspian sea is a lake! Five countries that include Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan share the Caspian sea.
It is fed by 3 well-known rivers that are Volga, Ural, and Terek, plus several tributaries of the big three rivers.
As the number of tourists to the other four countries are lesser when compared t Iran, Caspian sea is listed as tourist attraction mostly in Iran.
Imagine the size of the lake by reading the Caspian’s metrics.
Length: 1200 km
Width: 480 km at its widest
Surface area: 370,000 square kilometers
A unique aspect of Caspian Sea that attracts every tourist to Iran is its location related to the s`1ea level. Caspian sea lies at 92 feet below sea level.
Thought the Caspian Sea is fed by freshwater rivers, its water is salty and that’s why the Romans called it a sea.
The Caspian sea’s beaches are studded with sea-front resorts and hotels.
The Caviar fish sturgeon is found in large numbers in Caspian sea.
To know about the Caspian Sea at great lengths, please visit our other pages
Maharloo Lake (Pink Lake)
It’s an aerial view of the lake shot from a plane. The striking pink color water is clear even from well above the water surface. The pink color is due to the presence of algae in pink color.
The water is salty of course and not potable. To see this lake, first head to Shiraz and from there, the pink lake is only about 25 km.
However, the pink lake must attract very less number of tourists as it is too far away (700 km) from Tehran, Iran’s capital.
Margoon Waterfall, Iran.
This not too tall waterfall is near Sepidan city, in the Fars province of Iran. However, it is still a waterfall and for desert-surrounded Iran, any water body is a welcome attraction. The waterfall looks imposing from the ground and the water looks fresh and clean as it falls into the lagoon.
Gahar Lakes, Iran
Wow! The lake water looks pristine bluish green and is home to trout and other fish species. It’s a twin lake actually, the upper and lower Gahar lakes.
To visit these lakes, you must go to the Lorestan Province and then climb 7740 feet to reach the exact location of the twin Gahar lakes in Mount Oshtoran in the Zagros range.
Some more beautiful lakes in Iran that a tourist can see are:
- Neor Lake
- Lake Urmia
- The Lake Zerivar
- Lake Valasht
So, Iran is not only all of mosques, tombs, and deserts; it too offers its share of naturally beautiful places.