This 7-day adventure is perfect for the avid desert lovers. If you are mesmerized by the beauty and mystery found in the vast deserts, this tour has it all for you. You will visit two beautiful cities of Iran, Isfahan and Kerman, and all the natural and historic wonders that the desert climate provides between these two destinations. You’ll be able to camp in three different deserts, visit an amazing canyon, soak in the hot springs, and see many historic desert architecture, such as wind catchers and caravanserais.
Day 1: Start from Isfahan / Khara / Varzaneh
Day 2: Desert Village of Ashin / Rige Jinn Desert
Day 3: Khur / Choopanan / Mesr and Farahzad Village
Day 4: Drive to Azmiqan / Garmeh Oasis / Khur Salt Lake
Day 5: Kal Jenni Canyon / Nayband / Esfahak
Day 6: Drive to Kerman / Visit Dig-e Rostam hot spring and Abbasy caravanserais
Day 7: Shahdad / Kaluts / Qanat / Nepkas
Day 8: Kerman / Keshit / Mahan / Shazdeh Garden / Shah-Nematollah Vali Tomb / Ganjali Khan Complex
● Spectacular Iran Deserts: Rige Jinn Desert, Shahdad, Varzaneh
● Visiting a Salt Lake through High Sand Dunes
● Ashin Village; Desert Lover’s Dream
● Choopanan Village with its Chess-Like Aerial View
● Azmiqan; An Incredibly Green Patch of Land in the Desert
● Kal Jenni Canyon; A Turquoise Gem
● Rigestan Desert; Home of the Iranian Cheetah and Striped Hyena
● Huge Fresh Water Spring in the Middle of the Desert
● Shazdeh Garden (UNESCO World Heritage List)
Khara / Salt Lake / Varzaneh / Pigeon Tower / Camel Mill and Gav Chah / Desert Village of Ashin / Rige Jinn desert / Khur / Choopanan / Caravanserai in Anarak / Mesr Village / Farahzad Village / Azmiqan / Garmeh Oasis / Khur Salt Lake / Kal Jenni Canyon / Morteza Ali Spring / Abbasi Ancient Dam / Nayband / Ancient Village of Esfahak / Kerman / Dig-e Rostam Hot Spring / Abbasy caravanserais / Shahdad / Kaluts / Salty River / Qanat / Nepkas / Kerman / Shazdeh Garden (UNESCO World Heritage Site) / Shahnematollah Vali Tomb / Ganjali Khan Complex
Camping / Visiting Historical and Urban Sites
In the morning we start driving toward Khara, in the east of Isfahan between Isfahan and Yazd. and we will visit a salt lake through high sand dunes.We will go through a road that is surrounded on both sides by sand dunes, and this road will lead to a salt lake. Then we’ll drive to Varzaneh. En route, we’ll visit a fire temple belonging to the Sasanian era and a huge freshwater spring in the middle of the desert. When we get to Varzaneh we will visit the historic pigeon tower, camel mill, and Gav Chah (an ancient system of irrigation that uses cows in order to draw water from the well). Another attraction of Varzaneh is that its women dress in white Chador (as opposed to black). At night, we will stay at a beautiful traditional guesthouse in the desert where we can enjoy a heart-warming homemade dinner made by our hosts.
In the morning we will drive to the desert village of Ashin, a very historic village nestled at the edge of the mysterious haunted Rig-e-Jinn desert. This village dates back to before the arrival of Islam, 1400 years ago. Ashin village used to be a poor village and it had become almost completely deserted until 40 years ago when people started to live in it again. A young female architect who was originally from this village started to turn a few of the houses into beautiful ecolodges and now Ashin is every desert lover’s dream, where you will see endless sky and sand all around you and you’ll be engulfed in a special kind of peace and quiet. The hills surrounding this area are colorful and laden with all kinds of minerals. At night we will stay at a cozy local house and enjoy preparing a meal and socializing with the villagers.
We will drive toward the Khur village. On our way, we will visit a caravanserai at Anarak. We will visit Choopanan and its fascinating architecture. This village is so artfully built, that there are no dead ends and the aerial view of it resembles a chessboard. Almost all the houses in Choopanan have the traditional windcatcher architecture that helps regulate the temperature in the hot summers. After visiting Choopanan we’ll continue to Mesr village and Farahzad village surrounded by sand dunes. At night we will stay at a guesthouse in Farahzad village.
On our way to Azmiqan, we will visit Garmeh oasis, an incredibly idyllic desert village surrounded by date palm orchards and sand dunes that is guaranteed to charm any visitor and transport you back in time. On the back of this beautiful green palm orchard, there is a freshwater spring that has small fish in it that come nibble at your feet. We’ll visit Khur salt lake on the way and reach Azmiqan. Azmiqan is an incredibly green patch of land in the desert, so much so that people harvest rice in this region. We will stay in a guesthouse in Azmiqan for the night.
We’ll visit Kal Jenni canyon a turquoise gem in this desert landscape that got its name because locals used to believe it was haunted by spirits. ٌKal Jenni is made by thousands of years of sediments being washed up on each other. In some parts of this canyon, the depth of the canyon reaches 70 to 100 meters. we’ll get to dip our toes in the pleasantly warm waters of Morteza Ali spring, where two hot and cold streams collide to make a pleasant temperature for soaking. There is also a historic dam built on this spring that belongs to the Safavid era. After visiting Abbasi ancient dam we’ll drive to Nayband, and visit Esfahak village on our way. We will go for a walk in the deserted village of Esfahak, with its adobe houses. Nayband is also a very beautiful village surrounded by palm trees. The houses in this village resemble the kind of architecture you could see in Morroco. If we get lucky, we might even encounter wild goats roaming freely in the village. There is a very hard-to-cross desert next to this village called Rigestan desert. Nobody had crossed this desert until a few years ago because of how difficult it is to cross. This region also is the home of the Iranian cheetah and striped hyena. We’ll catch some much-needed sleep at the guesthouse in Nayband.
We’ll drive to Kerman and visit Dig-e Rostam hot spring and Abbasy caravanserais on the way. Chahkooran Caravanserai has a very distinct background of a red hill that sets it apart from other landmarks. At night we’ll stay at a 4-star Hotel in Kerman.
Drive toward Shahdad desert, on the way we will pass through the mountains of Seerch (you might even see snow) and visit the strange and magnificent Kaluts (sand formations), salty river, Qanat (a historic irrigation system), Nepkas, etc. Kaluts look like a deserted city from the distance. Kaluts used to be under water millions of years ago and this geological phenomenon is the result of high-velocity winds beating at the sand for millions of years. Rood-e-shoor (salty river) that leads to a lake. We will also see Nepkas, which are like natural vases made in the desert. This phenomenon happens when sand grains stick to the roots of trees and over time make up these vase-like structures as tall as 12 meters. We’ll also go to Gandom-Beryan region (toasted wheat) which is a region with many hot springs. We will enjoy a night spent in a guesthouse in the desert.
On the drive back toward Kerman, We’ll visit Keshit, which is a desert village that has a waterfall and a pond perfect for a summer dip. After Keshit, we’ll drive to Mahan, where we’ll visit Shazdeh garden (UNESCO world heritage list), which is a grand manor with a beautiful Persian-style fountain and lush garden right at the heart of the desert. Some of the places that we can visit in Kerman are Shah-Nematollah Vali Tomb and Ganjali Khan complex. At night you will sleep at a hotel in Kerman.
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