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Discover The Shadegan International Wetland

Iran's Natural Marvel: Shadegan Wetland, A Must-Visit

Shadegan Wetland, located just 50 kilometers away from Abadan, is often referred to as Iran’s Venice. This majestic wetland, the largest in Iran, encompasses the Shadegan, Hoor al-Azim, and Hoor al-Amaya lagoons, covering an area of approximately 400,000 hectares.

It thrives on the waters from the Karun and Jarrahi rivers, alongside the tidal effects of the Persian Gulf.

The wetland stretches from Shadegan and Hooraldorag in the north to the Bahmanshir River in the south, bordered by the Darakhwain road and Abadan to the west and the waters of Hoor al-Azim to the east, eventually flowing into the Persian Gulf.

Designated as a protected area by environmental authorities, it serves as an international wildlife refuge known as Shadegan Wildlife Refuge and was recognized by UNESCO in 1975.

The primary source of water for the wetland comes from the Jarrahi River, followed by the Bahrakan canal from the Karun River.

Despite its vast expanse, the wetland is shallow, with depths of only a few meters. Known by various names over the years, such as Khordorq, Dorq-e Fars, Falahiyeh, and also Estelahiyeh, it ultimately became known as Shadegan.


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Several villages lie along its perimeter, with two located within the wetland itself, including the village of Sorrakhieh.

A local dock near Sorrakhieh, on the route from Darakhwain to Shadegan, offers boat tours for visitors to explore the wetland.

Livelihoods in the area revolve around livestock, fishing, bird hunting, reed harvesting, and fodder collection.

Key Natural and Tourist Features

Shadegan Wetland
Shadegan Wetland (photo by Wikipedia)
  • Opportunities for boat tours in the wetland
  • Viewing of birds such as flamingos, pelicans, and Indian rollers
  • The wetland’s vast and untouched nature
  • Rich and diverse habitats
  • The crucial role of the wetland in the livelihoods of the Shadegan area’s residents
  • Presence of fresh, salty, and brackish water simultaneously

Why Visit Shadegan Wetland?

Visiting Shadegan Wetland in Khuzestan
Visiting Shadegan Wetland in Khuzestan (photo by Wikimedia Commons)

The breathtaking beauty and unique nature of Shadegan Wetland make it an exceptional travel destination. Visitors can look forward to seeing bottlenose dolphins, among the most important animal species in the area.

Fishing, bird hunting, and viewing water buffaloes near the wetland are activities that can enrich your experience in Shadegan.

Don’t miss out on the delicious local seafood, which offers a taste of the south. Local villagers await tourists in several huts built within the wetland, ready to serve.

Be sure to appreciate the local handicrafts displayed by the fishmongers, decorating the wetland, to avoid any regrets later.

How to Get to Shadegan Wetland?

Boat Tours in Shadegan Wetland
Boat Tours in Shadegan Wetland

To visit this wetland, one must travel to Khuzestan province. Then, enter the Ahvaz to Abadan highway. The Darakhwain junction is where you will need to take another road towards Shadegan Wetland. Near the wetland, you’ll find the village of Sorrakhieh.

Alternatively, you can approach Shadegan Wetland from Mahshahr. Given the warm climate of Khuzestan province, the best time to visit is from December to April. For online flight bookings to Mahshahr or Ahvaz, don’t forget to visit SURFIRAN.

Attractions Near Shadegan Wetland

Locals Near Shadegan Wetland
Locals Near Shadegan Wetland

The village of Sorrakhieh, known as the Venice of Iran, is uniquely situated among the waters of Shadegan Wetland.

This village is distinct from any other you may have seen! To explore, you can take a boat ride. The architecture here is different, with houses mostly covered in reeds and built with the simplest tools by the locals. The tranquility and simplicity of this village are palpable.

The tomb of Mulla Fazil Sekrani, also known as “Amid Abu Zeyd” and “Amir al-Shoara,” is another attraction near Shadegan Wetland.

Born in Shadegan in 1923 and passing away in 2013, he was a renowned poet known for his distinctive style in Arab countries.

Hotels and Accommodations Near Shadegan Wetland


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Unfortunately, overnight stays are not available for travelers. However, the warm-hearted people of the area offer their homes to visitors for rent. Should you wish to stay in a hotel, you will need to return to the cities of Ahvaz or Abadan.

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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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