You might have not imagined how beautiful and fun the deserts can be. Living in Iran, a country covered by the deserts for two-thirds, I didn’t know it. Yes, I for one, whenever heard even the name could only see a mercilessly burning sun and endlessly stretching golden sand dunes. But once there, you don’t even mind the sun and the sand dunes become one of the most enchanting natural phenomena you have ever seen.
Iran is a vast country, spanning over an area of 1,648,195 square kilometers. Deserts spread over two third of the country, in an area of about 33 million hectares! The deserts start from the eastern edges of the capital Tehran and stretch all the way down to the south-eastern borders of the country. The northern section of the desert is called the Central Desert, and the southern section is called Lut Desert. These two in turn consist of a number of barren plain lands such as Maranjab, Rig-e Jen, Khoor and Biabanak, Yazd and Tabas. The highest land surface temperatures on the Earth have been recorded in Lut Desert, in Kalut-e Shahdad.
Iran desert tours have become a recent tourism attraction in the country. The best time to go on a desert tour in Iran is in the winter or early spring as the extreme heat has not broken in yet.
As you might not know where to start your trip and what to do in the desert, here we have prepared a list of Iran’s deserts and the activities you can do there.
Located in Isfahan, Mesr Desert is one of the most popular destinations for desert lovers. You can walk on the sand heat up by the warmth of the sun, ride camels or ride bikes. But what makes the wonder of the deserts more pleasant is the night when the silence and darkness kick in and let the stars shine above. You can go camping in the desert or stay at an ecolodge in the Mesr village.
You can’t miss the Maranjab Desert if you want to enjoy the beauty of the nature at the same time that you learn about the dynamics of living in a country of deserts. Here you can hike up the sand dunes, see the caravanserai built 400 years ago to protect the traders along the Silk Road, walk across the Salt Lake to the Sargardan (wandering) island in the middle of the desert. Not to mention that you can stay overnight at the caravanserai or put up a tent.
At a distance of only 111 kilometers from Isfahan, Varzaneh is one of the most visited deserts of Iran as well. In addition to the high-rising sand dunes of the desert, where you can walk, you can enjoy entertainment such as off road, safari, zip-line, sandboarding, paint-ball and camel riding or watch the stars in the observatory. You can set up a camp or stay at the accommodation provided for the tourists in Varzaneh.
Ever wondered where the hottest spot on the earth is? Wonder no more, as the hottest surface temperatures have been reported in Shahdad Desert in Lut Desert in Kerman Province. It has been reported to get as hot as 70.7 c. The mesmerizing nature of the desert is made ever more enchanting by the corrugated ridges called the aeolian yardang landforms, stony deserts and dune fields you can see everywhere in the desert. The desert tends to get really hot during the day, but visitors can stay over the night at special camps and accommodations in the vicinity of the desert.
Matin Abad Desert
A camp is set up at Matin Abad desert near Isfahan, where travelers can stay and enjoy the experience of life in the desert in camps or mudbrick lodges. Visitors can ride camels or bicycles in the desert, watch the stars or watch animal husbandry in the farms nearby.
Notorious for the myth of being haunted by jinns and spirits, Rig-e Jen desert in Semnan Province is one of the Iran deserts which is popular. Rumors have it that no one can provide an explanation for the accidents happening there or the sounds that one may here from time to time. You can enjoy thus mysterious desert by walking or star-gazing there.
The desert is living creature, a living and breathing entity. It looks into your eyes and dares you to challenge it, it takes your enchanted soul in and drenches you into the moments of being, almost stopped under the mercilessly shining sun. Take our Maranjab Desert Tour for a unique experience of Iran’s deserts.