Little-Known, Stunning Spots in Iran

Little-Known, Stunning Spots
Little-Known, Stunning Spots

Globally, Iran is known for its ancient structures and cultural monuments that draw tourists from across the world every year. However, there is so much more to the Mideast country than what one might find on travel brochures.

Iran has a wealth of little-known destinations, offering those who want to get off the beaten track an experience they are unlikely to forget any time soon.

Five little-known destinations are briefly outlined as follows:

Shevi Falls

At 85 meters, Shevi Falls may not be one of the tallest waterfalls in Iran, but it certainly makes up for it by treating travelers to a landscape unseen by most. Cascading water pours into Dez River, which feeds into a dam.

Due to its peculiar geographical location, experts cannot agree on which province Shevi belongs in. The waterfall is located in Sartang Shevi Mountains of the Zagros Mountain Range, between the provinces of Khuzestan and Lorestan.

The lush vegetation surrounding the waterfall is bewitching in March.

Shevi was inscribed on the National Heritage List in January 2015.

The easiest way to access the waterfall is to travel from Dezful, Khuzestan Province, to Shahioun District, travel past the villages of Bish-e-Bezan, Bazargah and Pirchel, and hike for two hours to reach Shevi Falls.

The locals give precise directions, so do not hesitate to ask.

Roudkhan Castle

Although the historical Roudkhan Castle is well-known in Iran, few have heard of the place outside the country.

Hidden in the humid green forests of Gilan Province, Roudkhan Castle is a medieval military fortress that predates the advent of Islam in Iran.

Roudkhan Castle has 60 watchtowers located along a wall that stretches 1,600 meters. The well-built defensive structure posed a challenge to those planning to breach the fortification.

The castle is situated near two peaks of a lush mountain and the hike to Roudkhan takes about an hour, which has garnered it the name “Castle of a Thousand Steps.”

It was built during the reign of the Sassanid Empire (224–651 AD), and some believe the structure was restored during the late 11th century.

Roudkhan is situated 20 km southwest of Fouman, Gilan.

Shimbar Plain

Shimbar Plain is located 75 km northwest of Masjed Soleyman in Khuzestan Province and borders Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari Province.

The quiet plain is covered in green vegetation, including oaks and vines, and the famed Shimbar River flows through its center.

Shimbar is the perfect spot for those wanting to get away from the city and it is an excellent location for camping.

The region is accessible by car: Drive from Masjed Soleyman toward Shahr-e-Kord and follow the signs.


Mazichal Village

The scenic, old-world village of Mazichal in northern Iran is a top spot for anyone who has had enough of the modern life and is looking to “get away from it all”.

Located 20 km southeast of Kelardasht in Mazandaran Province, Mazichal’s verdant landscape and cool weather beckon every traveler with a keen eye for nature.

The village lacks modern amenities, such as electricity, telephone and tap water, which help provide travelers with a tranquil experience.

The village’s name reflects the topography of the region. In local dialect, “mazi” translates to chestnut and “chal” means valleys; a nod to the fact that the area is peppered with chestnut trees.

Mazichal is 2,600 meters above sea level and lack of asphalt roads means tourists have to trek up a gentle slope to reach the village.

Due to the village’s geographical location—presence of hills and mountains and located so far above sea level—when it rains, the village is engulfed in thick mist, giving outsiders the illusion that it is floating above clouds.

Kalpoush Plains

The abundance of red poppy in Kalpoush Plains gives the region a distinctive red look, for almost every corner of the region is covered in the blood-red flower.

Located in Mayami in Shahroud county, Semnan Province, the area hosts many tourists, especially in April and September. In April, Kalpoush is replete with red poppies, while in September sunflowers dominate the land.

Kalpoush is adjacent to the Golestan Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, so travelers get to see protected animals—from a distance!

The area is situated 140 km north of Mayami and has road access.