Iran is a country for many different types of tourist destinations. Some visitors come to see historical places and want to become familiar with the ancient Empire that once ruled over the world. Some others want to have a taste of Iran’s unique nature, knowing Iran is a country with diverse climates. From cold mountains of the Zagros and Alborz in the north and west to central deserts, it’s a complete exhibition of Mother Nature’s unique power of creativity. While some prefer the old man winter’s territory of highlands, others find their true love in mesmerizing reflection of sunlight from the molten sands and infinite calm of Iran deserts. Iran is the home of the inimitable wilderness in many forms. with the subtropical climate dominating Iran, deserts have covered vast areas of the country. Some of the most-known deserts of Iran are the Dasht-e Lut, Maranjab, Dasht-e Kavir, Rig-e-Jen, Tabas, Bafgh, Shahdad, Mesr, Varzaneh. You are more than welcome to meet some of the most amazing and unique Deserts of Iran and the world.
Deserts of Iran you must visit:
The Dasht-E Lut was registered in UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2016. This desert is the hottest Iran deserts and one of the hottest places in the world. A dry, lifeless but calm ground with 51400 square kilometers of area located in the south-east of Iran. The Dasht-e Lut is not like any other desert of Iran. The secrets inside are visible only to the eyes of travelers. When the Dasth-E Lut is observed from above, we can witness its true magical characteristics. The desert consists of three different zones with different views. the eastern part of the desert is a low plateau with salt flats; the central part hosts series of parallel ridges and furrows (being sculpted by the wind); and the western part is covered in sands resembling the Great Desert (The Sahara).
The Maranjab desert is one of the most favorite Iran deserts for native and foreign visitors because of its rather easy access and high security. Mranjab desert is located in Isfahan Province, near the center of Iran. Being blessed with various vegetation and animal species, the Maranjab is considered as one of the most interesting natural attractions in Iran. The Maranajab desert not only has dunes but also a salt lake in short distance from its dunes. The salt lake converts to a regular lake given enough amount of rain. Although you may be tempted to swim in it, you must take caution as you may put your feet in a salt marsh.
Dasht-e Kavir is located in north of Dasht-e Lut. These deserts together cover up 360000 square kilometers of area. The two largest Iran deserts are stretched from the Alborz mountain range in the north, all the way down to the southeast where the Dasht-e lut reaches the edge of the Zagros mountain range. The Dasht-e Kavir is also called the Great Salt Desert. As the name suggests, the desert is heavily covered with salt in some areas. The salty ground is a heritage from millions of years ago, when central Iran was part of an ocean or a sea. The dried sea resulted in beautiful salt dome formation to wonder anyone who comes to visit.
The Rig-e-Jen is probably the most mysterious place in Iran. It’s part of the Dasht-e Kavir with lots of dunes. The Rig-e-Jen desert was believed to be a home to evil spirits (called Jen in Persian) so nobody dared to pass through the area; those who had the courage, mostly couldn’t make it alive because of its unknown routes. Rig-e-Jen actually remained untouched for many years, untill in 1997 the first man flew over the desert and the next year he managed to drive through the most mysterious Iran deserts.
The Tabas desert is located between the Dasht-e Lut and Dasth-e Kavir. For Iranian people, Tabas is linked with the U.S failed Eagle Claw operation in 1980. The desert has a lot to offer to its guests. The pristine nature of the Tabas desert is one of the best places to meet local cultures, palm groves, salt marsh, and the marvelous valley landscape of Kal-Jenni or valley of Jen. Kal- Jenni’s deep canyon, waterfalls, basins, narrow tunnels, and finally a surprising verdurous village in the middle of the desert guarantee that nobody will leave Tabas desert empty-handed.
The Bafgh desert, like other central deserts of Iran, has salty soil. It’s not a surprise not to see many plants in that area. In places with less salty soil, plants like Tamarisk and Seidlitzia Rosmarinus can persist the adverse conditions. In addition to the nature’s beauty, camel riding and traditional Iranian tea houses can bring joy to visitors. Some basic amenities like public toilets and restaurants are also available.
One of the rarest phenomena in Iran and the world can be seen in the Shahdad desert. Shahdad is part of the Dasht-e Lut with very unusual structures which extend from the central part of the Dasht-e Lut to the western part of it. The Shahdad desert is a narrow edge between the real world and fantasy, especially when visitors pass dunes to see the realm of fantasy created by Kalouts. These Kalouts are sculpted by extreme soil erosion as a result of strong winds and temperature. The unrealistic landscape gets even more interesting when you get closer to realize that Kalouts are more than a hundred meters high. The Shahdad is the hottest point among Iran deserts and one of the hottest in the world with the record-breaking temperature of 70.7 °C (159.3 °F) in 2005.
The Mesr desert, one of the numerous central Iran deserts, is located in Esfahan province. The Maranjab from the north and Mesr from the east have surrounded the city of Isfahan. Yellow sands under the feet in the day and a sky full of stars at night create an unrivaled atmosphere and an unforgettable memory for visitors. With camel riding available, heading into the desert in the traditional way can make the tour more convenient and memorable.
Driving 240km southeast from Esfahan takes you to another desert of many deserts of Iran. The Varzaneh desert is one of the most popular desserts because of its accessibility. Travelers find it easy to come and enjoy its beautiful landscape and sports like camel riding, horse riding, paragliding, motorcycling, etc. The Varzaneh desert is close to the city with only 15 km of distance which makes it one of the safest destinations for desert lovers.
In addition to all these fantastic deserts introduced, there are still lots of small and large deserts all over the country. Iran is part of the Desert Zones of Tropical Belts, stretched from West Africa to the east of China. That has created a lot of deserts in the central, eastern and southern parts of the country including all different types of deserts and astonishing scenes. If watching hypnotic sunsets in the horizon along with silence and calmness is what you like, Iran can be your best choice.
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