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10 Charming Villages In Iran You Must Visit

Explore Iran's charming villages: from Masuleh to Abyaneh

Iran is not just about well-known destinations; it harbors many stunning and pristine spots perfect for exploration and sightseeing. Among these, the villages stand out with their revitalizing climates, lush meadows, terraced houses, and unparalleled views, offering a retreat from urban life. While there are numerous villages in the country, have you ever wondered which are the most unique?

1. Meymand; A 12,000-Year-Old Village in Kerman

Meymand Village, Kerman
Meymand Village, Kerman

Meymand, Iran’s 19th World Heritage site located by UNESCO, lies 38 kilometers northeast of Shahrbabak in Kerman province. This village, with a history spanning over 12,000 years, is one of the earliest human settlements in Iran. Meymand is a rocky village that is an ideal destination for summer travels.

2. Sar Agha Seyed; The Masouleh of Zagros

Sar Agha Seyed Village
Sar Agha Seyed Village

One of Iran’s most pristine villages, Sar Agha Seyed is known for its terraced architecture. Urban life has yet to permeate this village, where residents wear entirely traditional clothing. With the first snowfall of winter, the village becomes inaccessible for six months, adding to its uniqueness. The best time to visit Sar Agha Seyed and enjoy its walnut trees and fruit gardens is from early spring to autumn.

3. Ab Ask; Unique Customs in Amol

Ab Ask Village, Mazandaran Province
Ab Ask Village, Mazandaran Province (photo by Wikipedia)

Another of Iran’s unique villages is Ab Ask, located in the Amol district, 87 kilometers from Mazandaran. The beautiful nature of Ab Ask, its hot springs for anemia treatment, and the Haraz River where tourists pitch their tents are just a few reasons to visit. However, what makes Ab Ask peculiar are its unique customs.

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On one day in spring, women reign supreme in a ceremony called “Queen’s Day,” and no men are present in the village. Another custom is “Snow Storage,” where men of the village store the last snow of winter on the mountains for their livestock to drink from in summer.

4. Makhunik; The Seventh Wonder Village in Birjand

Makhunik Village South Khorasan
Makhunik Village, South Khorasan

The houses in Makhunik are built one meter below ground level, necessitating stooping to enter. This unique architectural style and the seclusion from ordinary life have earned Makhunik its place as the seventh wonder village of the world. It is said that until about 50 years ago, the people of Makhunik did not drink tea, eat meat, or smoke, and watching television was considered consorting with the devil. Makhunik is located 130 kilometers from Birjand in South Khorasan and is also known as “the land of Lilliputians” due to the short stature of its native population.

5. Chahar Borj; The Village of the Blind in Esfarayen

Chahar Borj Village, North Khorasan
Chahar Borj Village, North Khorasan

Located 30 kilometers from Esfarayen in North Khorasan, Chahar Borj is notable for having a higher number of visually impaired individuals than other areas in Iran. In 2012, a local authority from the Social Welfare Department announced that this disorder had been controlled, and there were no individuals under the age of two with visual impairments in the village.

6. Ista; Where Time Stands Still in Taleqan

Ista Village, Taleqan
Ista Village, Taleqan

Ista, a village in the Taleqan area, seems as though time has stopped. There are no cars, no mourning or wedding ceremonies, and not even birthday celebrations. Many residents do not have identification, do not use government services, and lack access to gas and electricity. One of the aspects that makes Ista appear on the list of Iran’s unique villages is that women are not allowed to enter.

7. Zarqar; A Touch of Europe in Qazvin

Zarqar Village, Qazvin
Zarqar Village, Qazvin

Situated 100 kilometers from Tehran and near Qazvin, the village of Zarqar is famous for its unique language, Zarqari, which resembles Romanian. It is believed that during the wars between Iran and Rome, some Romanians were captured and settled near Qazvin.

8. Sirch; A Paradise in the Heart of Lut Desert

Sirch Village, Kerman Province
Sirch Village, Kerman Province

Although the Lut Desert occupies a large area of Kerman province, there are green and pleasant spots like Sirch village. Just 40 kilometers from the hottest spot in Iran, Gandom Beryan, Sirch has a cool mountain climate, hot springs, an ancient cypress tree, and a full-flowing river, making it an excellent choice for a different kind of trip.

9. Abyaneh; The Red Village of Natanz

Abyaneh Village Near Kashan, Iran
Abyaneh Village Near Kashan, Iran

Abyaneh is one of the most well-known villages in Iran, frequently visited by travelers heading to Kashan or Isfahan. Located on the slopes of Mount Karkas, Abyaneh is famous for its red houses and striking terraced architecture. It is about 40 kilometers from Natanz to Abyaneh.

10. Hajij; The Green Valley of Kermanshah

Hajij Village, Kermanshah
Hajij Village, Kermanshah

In the west of the country, 30 kilometers from the city of Paveh and 120 kilometers from Kermanshah, lies the terraced and verdant village of Hajij, one of Iran’s lesser-known villages. After navigating a winding path, you will reach the unique region of Uramanat Pavah with its extraordinary architecture and nature. Hajij is known as the “Stone Masouleh” and the cleanest village in Uramanat. Do not miss boating on the Sirvan River during your visit to Hajij.

Have you ever visited any of these unique villages in Iran? Do you know of any hidden gems in Iran? Share them with us and SURFIRAN‘s readers.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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