The beauties of the mysterious Iran are not solely limited to its gorgeous monuments made by human and its ancient culture manifested in every detail. The vast land of this country, which compared to a country like United Kingdom, is about 7 times bigger, has been located in an exceptional geographical situation in the Middle East and therefore, is home to many natural wonders as well.
Iran, with its 4-season climate and awe inspiring landscapes, is among the most suitable destinations for travelers who seek enjoying the coldness of snow on a mountain peak alongside the sunny beaches in the warm islands on a single journey. In other words, you will be pleased with experiencing different natural attractions in Iran just by taking a short domestic trip.
During the centuries, geologic formations have created some unbelievable sceneries in different parts of Iran which assuredly will astonish nature lovers.
Below is a list of the most remarkable landscapes in Iran chosen by National geographic as “the breathtaking landscapes that make up this captivating nation.”
Badab-e Surt, Mazandaran
In this natural site, located in northern part of Iran in Mazandaran province, the stream of two different mineral springs have formed a natural stepped travertine terrace over thousands of years. What makes this natural phenomenon unique among the other similar places on earth is the reddish orange color of these terraces due to the existence of a large amount of iron carbonate in the water of one of the springs. Moreover, the salty water of the other spring is considered to have therapeutic characteristics.
The breathtaking view of Damavand peak along with the gorgeous landscapes and villages around it has always attracted many mountain climbers from all around the world. The highest peak of Iran and the second highest volcano of Asia, has been mentioned in Iranian mythology and literature at all times and as a result, has been the subject of many Persian poems and legends during the centuries.
For instance, Bahar- an Iranian famous poet- has beautifully described it as “the white demon with feet in chains”. By hiking up this 1.8 million-year-old volcano, you will be amazed by its amazing flora and fauna and the views of the surrounding lands.
Iran’s first and only natural UNESCO World Heritage site is definitely among the most important must-sees of natural attractions in the country. This unique region, which holds the record for the hottest spot on the earth in 2005, offers mesmerizing views caused by wind erosion during summer and autumn. The enormous rock formations beside some of the tallest sand dunes in the world create spectral scenery which is compared to the landscapes of other planets like Mars.
As UNESCO describes it, Dasht-e lut is “an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes”. Another highlight of Dasht-e Lut is the broad stony deserts which have created unbelievable views, especially during sunrise and sunset. Adventurous travelers must definitely consider visiting this natural attraction on their trip to Iran.
One of the most famous lakes of Iran, which unfortunately in the last few years is disappearing rapidly, is located in north-western part of Iran and around 30 years ago was the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. In the past, the lake was home to many migratory birds like flamingos and pelicans. However, today, it only contains less than 10 percent of its original volume and by evaporating the water, it is now turning to a salty ground. The shores of the lake are now the habitat of a special kind of algae which has caused the changes in the color of the lake from green to wine-red. Yet still, the views are breathtaking and are well worth a visit.
Khaled Nabi, Turkmen Sahra
The scenery created by the endless rolling emerald-green hills in Turkmen Sahra district, especially during April and May, truly seems unreal and otherworldly. Located in Golestan Province in the northern part of the country, this region has still remained fairly intact and tricky to access. As well as the incredible natural attractions of this region and other landmarks such as Khalid Nabi cemetery and its strange tombstones, Turkaman people who reside here are extremely hospitable and friendly. Traveling to this district would be a joyful experience created by the combination of the taste of culture and nature.
Qeshm – Photo by Brave Lemming @ Flickr
One of the most popular recent destinations among domestic and foreign travelers of Iran, Qeshm is truly a treasure hidden in the south of Iran. The beauties of this island are countless: Hara marine forests grown under water, the salt cave and dome, the surreal views of star valleys and the amazing deserts and shores. In addition, other small islands around Qeshm like Hengam Island are incredibly beautiful and attractive. The local food, the people and traditional music are very unique and let you embrace the warm culture of southern people of Iran entirely.
The highest waterfall of Iran, with a height more than 70 meters and 100 meter width, has been compared to the shape of snake in Persian language. True to its name, the white, beautiful streams of water, along with the surrounding wildlife, have created an astonishing scenery which is visited by thousands of travelers each year. Located 3 hours away from Shiraz in Fars province, the temperature of water is less than 10 degrees even in the warmest seasons of the year. It would be better to visit the waterfall during the spring, but the frozen image of Margoon waterfall in some seasons is also appreciable among nature lovers.