Ramsar Sparkles in the Northern Green Strip

Ramsar Sparkles  in the Northern Green StripRamsar Sparkles  in the Northern Green Strip

Taking a trip to Mazandaran Province, through the serpentine road of Karaj-Chalus is a must for all. Other than the driver who should be alert at all times, looking out for the cars coming from the opposite direction, the passengers can enjoy the stunning views at each turn of the road. One should take it slow, and regard it as a leisurely ride, for its curvy path may end in the bottom of the valley otherwise.

  Chalus to Ramsar

The old city of Chalus is in close proximity to high, green mountains of Alborz Mountain Range like Alam-Kuh and Takht-Soleyman. As one takes the seaside road westward, after about 30 minutes, the mountains on the left noticeably edge closer to the Caspian Sea on the right. That is when one can say Ramsar is nearby.

Ramsar is the western-most city of Mazandaran Province, one of the three northern provinces of Iran. The city is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the northern green strip.

The magnificent scenery, coupled with historic sites, ancient ruins and a museum has turned Ramsar into one of the busiest places during the holiday season.

Ramsar is home to a number of reputed diners and restaurants, which serve Iranian cuisine, a variety of fish foods and of course local dishes.


  Heritage Hotel

Among the places to visit, or maybe to stay, is a 75-year-old hotel situated at the foot of the mountain. The old Hotel Ramsar, built in 1934 is a palace with 25 rooms and five royal suites and is more of a national heritage, according to Press TV.

Located next to Hotel Ramsar, is Caspian Museum, known by locals as ‘Tamashagah Khazar’. The museum was a recreational palace of former Pahlavi monarchs. It is ornamented with works by famous Iranian sculptors and painters.

Most of the antiques have been reportedly stolen over the years, but the few remaining articles, decorations, furniture, carpets and wall hangings are certainly worth the time.

  Javaher-Deh Village

A 20-minute ride through the southeastern mountains of Ramsar takes one to a village called Javaher-Deh ‘Jewel village’. The ever-foggy village is a summer resort with a famous waterfall at the uppermost part.

Javaher-Deh is situated at an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level. From three sides, the village is surrounded by mountains; the fourth side ends with a valley, where a spectacular landscape spreads.

Among Javaher-Deh’s tourist attractions, one can name Swan Lake, shrine of Fazl and Fazel, the Stone Cradle Mountain and the Stone Lion Mountain, and numerous natural springs.

The most historically important site in Javaher-Deh, however, is the Adineh ‘Friday’ Mosque built with wood and clay about 700 years ago.

Ramsar cable car is the only one of its kind in the Middle East, connecting the beach to the mountain forest 2 km away.

  Shelters for Hikers and Bandits

Gorgor-Luka, Yaghi-Luka, Bambameh and Shabpareh-Chal are among ancient caves situated in the heights surrounding Ramsar. In local dialect, luka is used to refer to small caverns.

Gorgor-Luka is located on Illmilli Mountain, where there are numerous historical monuments. The rocky cave shelters numerous mountaineers, who climb the Alborz Range from Ramsar.

The cave of Yaghi-Luka at the northwest of Ramsar has a steep entrance. It is believed to have sheltered outlaws, hence the name ‘yaghi’. The cave is deep-rooted in folklore and local songs.

Shabpareh-Chal ‘moth dungeon’ is famous for the bats it hosts. But the most famous cave of the four is Bambameh, which is situated on the mountain forest of Band. The ‘terrifying’ cave has a triangular entrance and is 40 meters deep. Rumor has it the bandits of old times hid their treasures down there.

There are a number of natural hot springs and spas in downtown Ramsar and on the southern heights of the city. They are perfect places to relax after a hard day of hiking.

  The Wild Tamed

The most exhilarating thing about Ramsar is its beaches of course. Ramsar which means ‘tamed place’ was previously known as Sakhtsar ‘wild place’. It had earned the name for its raging sea and the waves rising up to three meters. In order to “tame” the sea, huge rocks were delivered to Ramsar’s beaches where they can be used as wave breakers.

Nowadays, Ramsar has a combination of rocky and sandy beaches. One will find traditional Iranian tea-houses on places where the waves are literally breaking underneath.

Apart from tea and traditional local dishes, the tea-houses serve hookah, the traditional Iranian water pipe, which now comes in different fruit flavors apart from the original tobacco flavor.

To enjoy an all-nighter every now and then, one may stay at the tea houses until 2-3 am and enjoy the company of locals, who will tell stories of joy and pain.