In a series of articles provided by Iranviva Group, different parts of Iran, including mountainous areas, historic areas, plains, etc. have been introduced to you; now it is time to introduce the deserts of Iran.
Iran is a large country in the Middle East that is home to vast desert regions (in the central part), due to its hot and dry climate. In addition to its rich history, Iran is famous for its climate variability as one of the main tourist attractions that draw many tourists to this land every year.
In this article, Iranviva Group will make you familiar with a small number of the tourist attractions of central Iran and introduce you 10 most attractive desert regions in Iran as tourist destinations for tourists from around the world.
1. Mesr Desert
Mesr Desert is one of the most famous, popular and most-visited deserts of Iran. Mesr desert is located near Mesr village, in the suburbs of Biyabanak, in Isfahan Province. Mesr desert is situated 650 kilometers away from Tehran, through Semnan-Tehran Road, and 850 kilometers away from Tehran, through Qom-Tehran Road.
If you are traveling to this region on your private car, you will have two ways ahead of you.
On the first route, you will travel from Tehran to the city of Garmsar and Semnan, and then continue to Moalleman region. Then you will travel to Jandaq and then continue to Biyabanak Village. Considering the rest stops, it will take you up to 9 hours to travel from Tehran to Mesr Desert through this route.
On the other route, you should travel from Tehran to the cities of Qom and Kashan. Arriving in Kashan, you should take Yazd Road to go to Ardestān and Ardakan. You will change direction after Ardakan and continue traveling to Khur and then Mesr Desert.
Mesr Desert is one of the deserts of Iran that has been highly appreciated by the people who are interested in astronomy too, so, most of the days of the year, different astronomy groups come to the region for observation and study of stars.
Being very highly regarded by nature-lovers, Mesr Desert have good amenities for camping and overnight stays. In this region, there are a variety of desert-related entertainments and recreational facilities, including camel-riding, Safari, etc., and tourists who travel to Iran for enjoying the peace and tranquility of the desert, can experience a pleasant trip here.
Towering dunes of soft and golden undulating desert sands are among the beauties and attractions of this desert that will double your pleasure in the desert.
Given that visiting this beautiful desert have been widely welcomed and gained widespread attention among the nature-lovers, tourists, desert trekkers and astronomy lovers, many local desert houses and eco resorts have been provided for tourists in this village.
Apart from being such a beautiful and marvelous desert, Mesr Desert draws numerous tourists to Iran for its other attractions too, as follows:
Selkenoon Salt Lake
Selkenoon Salt Lake is located in the northeast of Mesr desert.
‘Chal’ is a low area of land that is lower than the surrounding area and therefore is like a hollow.
There is normally a wetland in the middle of Chal, and it is surrounded by a wall of pebbles. In the northern part, there are soft sands, and vegetation that grows well there in the sand. One of the features of this area is its rich wildlife that is because not many people can travel there.
This lake is accessible from the north of Mesr village after passing Farahzad village and continuing for about 5 km.
Khur Salt Lake
Another tourist attraction of this region is Khur Salt Lake that is the biggest seasonal salt lake in Iran. The ground is covered with salt pentagon shapes with different colors in different seasons. For example, they turn to black in winter mixing up with clay, and turn to white in summer. This salt lake has the oldest salt of all over the country.
Bayazeh Castle is another tourist attraction in Mesr Desert, remained from the Sasanian period.
Bayazeh Castle is a massive multi-storey castle built with mud brick. This complex is one of the best examples of desert castles with defensive structure in Iran. Bayazeh Castle is one of historical sites of Iran, name of which has been mentioned in many sources, including ‘Surat al-Arz’ by Ibn Hawqal, and ‘Safarnāma’ by Nasir Khusraw.
One of the important events occurred in this castle is when Nayeb Hossein Khan’s troops attacked the castle in 1948 and 1949. In these years, all the castles of the regions from Nain to Tabas were captured by the rebels and the only castle that could resist the attacks was Bayazeh Castle.
Services and Amenities in Mesr Desert
Mesr Desert is one of the most popular deserts of Iran that attracts plenty of enthusiasts, from desert trekkers, nature lovers, and photography enthusiasts, to astronomers. Tourists and visitors, who have chosen to pay a visit to this beautiful desert on their trip to Iran, can take part in different recreational activities, including safari, camel-riding, and motorcycling in desert, and spend the most beautiful and memorable moments in this beautiful desert.
Furthermore, the numerous hotels, eco resorts and local houses in the region have made the tourists and nature-lovers have no worries about accommodation.
2. Maranjab Desert
Maranjab Desert is one of the deserts of Iran, which is located 270 kilometers away from the city of Tehran. To reach this beautiful desert you need to travel from Tehran to the cities of Qom and Kashan and then to Aran va Bidgol County. Maranjab Desert is located 50 kilometers from Aran va Bidgol County.
Maranjab Desert is known as the heaven for off-road riders, and many off-road enthusiasts spend their holidays in this area.
If you plan to travel to this desert on your own car, after you arrive in Aran va Bidgol County, you should go toward Maranjab through Maranjab road. Since this road is located in the desert region and so it is not paved, you’d better use vehicles with double differential gears.
Since there are several crossroads on this road, some signs have been installed in distances of approximately 500 meters to make you sure you are taking the right way. If no sign is seen on the way, it means that is not the right way and you should go back the way you came.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai is located at the end of the Maranjab road. This caravanserai is one of the best accommodations that tourists can use in this desert.
Maranjab is one of the smallest deserts in Iran that is located in the central part of the country.
Maranjab Desert has many attractions, including the Salt Lake, Sargardan (Wandering) Island and Shah Abbasi Caravanserai. In this article we will introduce each of these tourist attractions to those who travel to Iran or choose nature tours in Iran.
So keep reading to get more information about Maranjab Desert.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai
This caravanserai was built on the Silk Road in 1604, by order of Shah Abbas.
Such a caravanserai in the heart of the desert makes you both enjoy the beauties of desert and experience staying in a caravanserai that merchants used on the Silk Road.
Shah Abbasi Caravanserai has been made in an area of 3,500 square meters and has about 30 rooms. Among the attractions of this historic caravanserai are salt marshes and fresh water supply of qanat in the heart of desert.
Tourists in this desert can either stay in Shah Abbasi Caravanserai or, if they are interested in camping in the heart of nature, they can camp beside the caravanserai in complete safety.
Aran-Bidgol Salt Lake, a triangular-shaped lake with an area of over 647 square kilometers, is one of the main sources of salt in Iran.
To get to the lake, you need to take the way to the lake on the crossroad 5 km before the caravanserai on Maranjab road. Large trucks carrying salt can be seen riding on the road.
The Salt Lake in Maranjab desert does not have water all year round, and it loses part of its water in seasons when the air temperature is high in the area. With the evaporation of water in the lake, salt crystals, known as polygons, are formed.
The beautiful polygons of this lake are one of the main attractions of the region, which draw many enthusiasts to visit this natural phenomenon every year.
Maranjab Wandering Island
Another natural attraction in Maranjab region is the Wandering Island. The enthusiasts and nature-lovers have only two months to see this beautiful phenomenon because in other months, an increase in air temperature and evaporation of lake water, the island turns to a salt marsh, which has its own great beauty.
3. Caracal Desert
Caracal Desert is a desert in Iran that is located 750 kilometers from Tehran in Sadeqabad Village, in the city of Bafq. The first question that comes to your mind might be about the name ‘Caracal’ and why this desert is named so.
The answer to this question is that ‘Caracal’ is the name of a cat that lives in this region and in fact, this region is the habitat of this species, and that is why this area is known as ‘Caracal Desert’.
To get to this beautiful desert in Yazd Province, you need to travel from Tehran to the cities of Qom, Kashan, Yazd and then Bafq, and finally go to the village of Sadeqabad.
The first thing that will catch the eyes of any visitor after entering Sadeqabad Village is Bagherabad Castle, built in Qajar period by order of Abd al-Rahim Khan Bafqi. The castle used to be a citadel used for defending Sadeqabad Village in a period.
Caracal Desert is the most beautiful desert in Yazd province. Yazd is a desert province in Iran that is home to several deserts. If one of your destinations is Yazd Province with its unique and beautiful historic attractions, Iranviva Group recommends you visit the beautiful Caracal Desert in addition to enjoying the area’s ancient history.
4. Rig-e Jenn Desert
You may not have heard the name of ‘Rig-e Jenn Desert’, but you have definitely heard the name of the Bermuda Triangle!
Rig-e Jenn Desert is one of deserts in Iran that is known as Iran’s Bermuda Triangle. Stay with Iranviva in the following article in which the mystery of this beautiful desert will be explained to you.
Iranviva Group’s advice to tourists: at first it is necessary to remind you that if you are not professional or you do not have needed skills in desert trekking, never travel in this area on your own without an experienced guide. Traveling to this area without having the necessary expertise in this region can be like a suicide.
Rig-e Jenn desert, with an area of over 4,500 square kilometer (the third big sandy region in Iran) is located in the south of Semnan and in the southeast of Garmsar city.
At first, the public and local people believed that this region was cursed and haunted, and traveling to this region means a journey of no return. Although people did not know the exact reason in the past, their consideration was absolutely right. There are so many local myths and stories about strange events or creatures in this region. While, now, it is clear that the large number of swamps in this area is the reason of no return trips to the region, and there were so many people and animals that have disappeared in this area and their body have never been found.
As mentioned before, if you plan to take an adventure expedition in this mysterious region, do not travel there on your own without an expert guide.
Now traveling to Rig-e Jenn region that used to be an unattainable dream has come to reality, and today numerous groups and tours travel to the region with their vehicle and enough equipment and capture unforgettable memories, passing through this wonderful region.
If you are interested in desert trekking and hiking in this region and you’d like to naturally experience the adrenaline rush, Iranviva Group recommends you use Iranviva guides on your trip.
To do so, just let Iranviva Group know, and we will make necessary arrangements for this exciting tour as soon as possible.
5. Varzaneh Desert
Varzaneh Desert is another famous desert in Iran that is one of the main destinations for desert lovers and desert-hiking enthusiasts in Iran. To get to this wonderful desert, you need to travel from Tehran to Qom, Kashan and Isfahan and then take a distance of over 110 km to Varzaneh.
Another route to this beautiful desert starts from Tehran to Qom and Kashan. Then it continues towards Nain and after arriving in Nain go ahead to Varzaneh.
Varzaneh Desert is a part of a larger desert named ‘Khara Desert’. But today, these two are considered as separate regions by most people who are interested in desert hiking and trekking.
Due to its very soft sands, Khara Desert is not suitable for desert recreational activities, so most enthusiasts enjoy the beauty of Varzaneh Desert.
This desert is a vast area totally covered with running sands and sand dunes. What distinguish this desert from the other deserts in Iran, are the beautiful sand dunes formed like pyramids by winds blowing in the region.