The ancient land of Persia offers fascinating natural landscapes for trekking and hiking, which seem to be fulfilling to tourists with a variety of tastes. There are great opportunities for hiking in Iran including hiking in the dense forests, mountains, and deserts; each of these lands offers its own advantages and captivating beauties. If you have a plan for hiking in Iran, this article introduces top trails for this amazing experience in nature.
Mountain hiking in Iran
With 1500 peaks over 3000m, Iran is a dream destination for mountain lovers. Alborz and Zagros are two significant mountain ranges extending from northeast to northwest and from northwest to southeast of Iran, respectively. There are also other mountains scattered mostly in the central parts of the country.
The mountain hiking in Alborz region include:
As the highest volcanic peak in the Middle East with an altitude of 5610m, Damavand appeals to many adventurers as a challenging destination for mountain hiking in Iran. You should be at the best level of physical condition to climb the mountain and it takes at least 2 to 3 days to reach the peak including the stops at the camps and depending on which side you plan to hike.
Alborz Mountains and surrounding
Climbing Mount Damavand would not be possible for every tourist since it is quite demanding. However, hiking in the Alborz region does not necessarily mean hiking Damavand. If you are not a professional climber, you can choose to enjoy the area surrounds Alborz Mountain, this includes Hiking in Lar national park, the ring of Damavand, and hiking in Talysh Mountains. All these options would be a memorable life-long experience for you.
Talysh (Talesh) Mountains are also located on the Alborz mountain range. Tourists who experience hiking in Talysh Mountains have the chance to get familiar with Talysh, Gilac, and Azeri-Turkish languages, their rich cultures, sometimes their nomadic lifestyle, and also the amazingly diverse local cuisine of the region which has been inscribed in the UNESCO worlds intangible heritage list.
Located close to Tehran metropolitan area, it is a preferred hiking trail for many residents lives in Tehran. On the weekends, here are usually many hikers in the area having fun. The height of Tochal is about 3900m, welcoming not only hikers but also avid skiers to the altitudes to experience Persian powder from October till June!
Turning to the Zagros Mountains, it also offers its own hiking trails for adventurers. While hiking in Zagros you will have the amazing experience of meeting Iranian nomads live and migrate in this area, especially in spring.
When it comes to the Zagros range region, there will be a long list of natural and cultural discoveries. The exciting experience of eating with nomads, camping in the hillsides, hiking in the valleys and oak forests and taking pictures of the salt lake, wildlife watching in the protected area, are all and all available if you plan to hike in Zagros region in Iran.
Forest hiking in Iran
Forests have covered about one-tenth of the area of Iran. It is interesting to know that more than 2000 plant species live in Iran, and some of them are endemic specious of this country.
Caspian Hyrcanian Forests
Known for its rich in biological diversity, the ancient Hyrcanian forests date back to the Tertiary period. It covers parts of five provinces of Iran including Ardabil, Gilan, Mazandaran, Golestan, and North Khorasan provinces. Hyrcanian forests embrace valuable threatened species and areas of unbelievable natural beauty extended on the north of Iran and on the south and southwest of the Caspian Sea. It would be one of the most amazing spots for hiking in Iran and a heaven for photographers, particularly during the colorful fall season.
Arasbaran forest is also an ecologically-rich region with rich flora and fauna. It is also considered as a Biosphere Reserve in East Azarbaijan province. The region enjoys wonderful plant diversity and is habitat to a variety of mammals, birds, and reptile populations. If you plan to hike through the Arasbaran forest, you will also have the chance to visit Shahsavand nomads living in that region. There are also impressive attractions such as Babak Castle in the area you would not want to miss.
The western part of Iran is often known for the picturesque oak forests. A variety of wildlife species and plants live in this region. Therefore, practical solutions are required to protect scenic scenery, wildlife, and plant diversity of beautiful Zagros forests. Zagros forests offer a good opportunity for adventurers interested in hiking and cycling.
Desert hiking in Iran
There are two main desserts in the central part of Iran, providing the opportunity for adventurous activities including. Desert hiking in more relaxing and fun compared to mountain hiking and offers a unique experience, particularly if you are among those who appreciate the endless silence and peacefulness of the desert.
Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the Lut desert is considered a valuable natural legacy in Iran. The mysterious nature and unique features of the region attract many adventurers for a variety of activities. According to NASA observations, Gandom Beryan in Lut Desert was recognized as the hottest place on Earth in 2004 and 2005. As the world’s 26th largest desert with incredible geological rock formations and salt plains, it has turned into many hikers’ dream.
There are many famous deserts in Dash-e Kavir providing various activities such as camel riding, sandboarding, desert safari, hiking, visiting astonishing landscapes for tourists who wish to experience hiking in Iran. Mesr, Maranjab, Shahdad, and Varzaneh are among the greatest and most well-known deserts you go for hiking.