CultureIran TourismNature

Exploring Iran’s Wilderness with National Geographic

Read National Geographic's picks on destinations around Iran.

A list of the most remarkable landscapes in Iran chosen by National geographic.

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
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.


Mount Damavand

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.


Dasht E Lut
Dasht-e Lut

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.


Lake Urmia
Lake Urmia

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.


Turkmen Sahra
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
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.


Margoon Waterfall
Margoon Waterfall

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.

5/5 - (26 votes)

Parisa Bakhtiari

I am passionate about reading, writing, traveling and discovering new worlds. That's how I learn about life!

Related Articles


  1. Dear Parisa,
    during my previous post I visited IRI several times, Tehran was always the very first stop. Huge metropolis, nothing exciting except Darakeh village. But I still remember Sarcheshmeh Spring in Mahallat, Qom alley and Isfahan bazaars – truly authentic and unique. Women are beautiful, sounds from the mosques are stunning, pistachios sre the best. But above all, I would like to visit Iran once again, this time desert cities Yazd and Kashan.
    Best regards, Zoran Malic, Belgrade, Serbia.

    1. Dear Zoran,

      I’m truly glad to hear that you have experienced memorable moments in Iran and the impression was mostly positive! I’m sure you’ll have a great time if you plan a trip to visit Iran’s central cities; Kashan, Yazd, Kerman and all other cities in this part are really unique and have a lot to offer. Don’t forget to visit Shahdad and Kalouts on your next trip! Hope to see you soon once again here in Iran!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button