Deserts in Iran are considered among the most captivating tourist destinations in the country. The tranquility of desert nights, the shimmering stars in the sky, walking on soft and smooth sands, camel riding in the gray and brown wilderness, the thrill of off-road driving on dunes, and the amalgamation of fear and joy amidst the desert’s vastness—all contribute to the excitement and allure of desert exploration. If you are a nature enthusiast and wish to experience the serenity of the desert, Eligasht introduces you to the best deserts in Iran.
Introduction to the Best Deserts in Iran
Both domestic and international tourists have shown great interest in Iran’s deserts. The best time to travel to the heart of the desert is the second half of the year during the autumn and winter seasons. You might wonder which provinces house the best deserts in Iran. The provinces of South Khorasan, Isfahan, Kerman, Yazd, and Semnan boast the best deserts in Iran, attracting a significant number of desert enthusiasts. Each of Iran’s deserts possesses its unique beauty and charm. You can take a stroll among the dunes and salt flats of these deserts and fully enjoy the magnificence of creations. At Eligsht, we aim to introduce you to the best deserts in Iran so that you can gain a proper understanding of the various deserts in the country. Knowing the geographical locations and accessibility routes to these deserts will enable you to experience a more informed and enjoyable journey.
The Best Desert in Isfahan Province
Isfahan province, due to its central location in Iran, is relatively close to the Dasht-e Kavir desert, one of the largest deserts in Iran. Therefore, parts of Isfahan province are completely desertic. If you want to choose a suitable desert for tourism and camping, some of the best deserts are located in Isfahan province. The nearest desert to the city of Isfahan and the most famous one is the Varzaneh Desert. Varzaneh Desert is located 100 kilometers east of Isfahan and 150 kilometers west of Yazd. This desert is bordered by the city of Varzaneh and the Zayandehrud River to the north, Gavkhoni wetland to the east, Hasanabad to the south, and the Varzaneh-Hasanabad transportation axis to the west.
Do you know the best desert in Isfahan province? The Khara Salt Lake and Gavkhouni Wetland are notable attractions near the Varzaneh Desert that you can visit during your desert exploration. The dunes in the Varzaneh Desert are soft and smooth, and by staying in this desert, you will witness the movement of sand. Don’t worry about being alone in the heart of the desert, as the largest desert recreational site in Iran is located in the Varzaneh Desert. You can take advantage of the facilities of this desert site, such as quad biking, zip-lining, camel riding, and off-road desert driving. When visiting this desert, don’t miss the opportunity to walk on the warm sands.
Beautiful Desert in Yazd Province
You may have heard the name KaraKal Desert. It is interesting to know that KaraKal is a type of wildcat found in this very region. KaraKal Desert is one of the most beautiful deserts in Iran, located in Yazd Province. This beautiful desert is situated in the central desert plain of Iran, near the village of Sadegh Abad in the city of Bafgh. The dunes in this desert reach a height of 50 meters and cover an area of over 1,500 hectares.
KaraKal Desert in Yazd
Riding a camel amid the KaraKal Desert’s dunes offers a unique pleasure, and under the starry night sky, you will experience indescribable tranquility. Additionally, off-road enthusiasts can experience the height of excitement on the desert sands. It is important to note that each of the desert’s facilities and activities has separate costs, and if you plan to stay in the camps, you will need to pay a separate entrance fee. The Bafgh’s Wild House, which was the residence of the famous 10th-century Persian poet Shams-e Tabrizi, the Kakamir Water Reservoir with its circular brick dome, Bagh-e Titu (Titu Garden), Khan Square, Choghart Iron Mine, and the Baqerabad Fortress and Palm Grove are among the historical and notable attractions of Bafgh, located near the KaraKal Desert.
KaraKal Desert, the beautiful desert in Yazd Province, is located 10 kilometers northeast of the city of Bafgh, making it easily accessible from the eastern and southeastern regions of the country. If you are traveling from Tehran to this desert, you have a 750-kilometer journey ahead of you. You should take the southern exit route from Tehran towards Qom Highway and pass through the cities of Kashan, Ardestan, Nain, and Meybod until you reach the city of Yazd. Once you reach Yazd, continue your route towards the city of Bafgh. The distance between Yazd and Bafgh is approximately 130 kilometers through the desert. When you reach the beginning of Bafgh Boulevard, take a left turn onto the diversionary route towards Sadegh Abad village, and after a distance of about 15 kilometers, you will reach the captivating KaraKal Desert.
Best Deserts in Iran for Autumn and Winter
The Dasht-e Kavir and Lut Desert are the largest deserts in Iran. Some of Iran’s beautiful deserts are also located within these vast desert regions. Desert enthusiasts often visit these areas, but for the second half of the year, specifically autumn and winter, we will introduce you to deserts that are more suitable during these seasons. Do you know the best deserts in Iran for autumn and winter? Let’s explore four deserts among the best deserts in Iran for autumn and winter located in the central and southwestern parts of the country, so you can choose the best option for your desert adventure.
– Mesr Desert in Isfahan
– Shahdad Desert in Kerman
– Rig-e Jenn Desert in Semnan
– Halvan Desert in South Khorasan
Mesr Desert in Isfahan – Deserts of Iran
Mesr Desert in Isfahan is one of the most famous deserts in Iran and has a stunning natural beauty. This dessert is also known as Khur and Biabanak, derived from the names of the Khur and Biabanak counties. Mesr Desert in Isfahan is located near the villages of Mesr, Amirabad, and Farahzad in the western part of Isfahan Province. With its amazing nature, soft and flowing sands, and scattered shrubs that cover its surroundings, the Mesr Desert attracts the attention of desert enthusiasts. In Mesr Desert, you can enjoy walking on the soft and flowing sands.
Lake Khur is one of the prominent attractions of the Mesr Desert, but this lake is not permanent and is considered the largest seasonal salt lake in Iran. The salt of this lake is the oldest salt extracted in Iran. When you reach this lake, you will see a unique appearance, and its floor is covered with pentagonal salt formations. In winter, these formations turn black due to the combination of black clay, and in summer, they turn white.
Attractions of Mesr Desert
Among the other attractions of Mesr Desert, there is Mesr Wetland, which is surrounded by beautiful reeds and is located among the flowing sands. This wetland is located 6 kilometers northeast of Mesr village, and the height of its reeds reaches up to four meters. The tall reeds have become a haven for the wildlife of this area. If you are also a lover of desert photography, you can capture memorable photos amidst the Mesr Wetland. One of the attractions of staying in the Mesr Desert is that you can use the reconstructed village houses and traditional accommodations of Mesr Village. Staying in these village houses and traditional accommodations will surely remind you of the lives of the ancient people and evoke a unique atmosphere for you.
Shahdad Desert, Kerman – Deserts of Iran
Shahdad Desert in Kerman is part of the Lut Desert in Kerman Province. It is interesting to know that Shahdad has experienced the highest air temperature in the world in the past two decades, which has made it famous worldwide. Shahdad has natural formations called kaluts, which have a smooth surface at their highest point but steep slopes on their sides. The age of Shahdad’s kaluts exceeds 20,000 years, and they extend over an area of about 145 kilometers in length and 70 kilometers in width. Precipitation and wind are influential factors in shaping the appearance of the kaluts.
The flowing dunes of Shahdad add a picturesque beauty to the towering kaluts. Shahdad Desert includes volcanic cones, high sand pyramids, vast plains, gray and brown sand ridges, wavy sandhills, and the tallest hills in Iran, attracting many tourists. Shahdad Desert in Kerman is divided into three sections with green, orange, and red colors by environmentalists. Visiting the green section does not pose any danger to visitors, but if you want to visit the red and orange sections, you must enter with a guide to avoid getting lost, as getting lost in the desert is very serious.
The distance from Tehran to this desert is about 1,100 kilometers. Additionally, the Shahdad Desert is located 118 kilometers northeast of Kerman. To reach this desert, you can travel from the east of Kerman on the Sirch Road to the village of Sirch and then head north from this village towards the village of Shahdad.
Rig-e Jenn Desert in Semnan
The name Rig-e Jenn Desert in Semnan may sound terrifying to you, and it should be said that the reality is just that. This desert is one of the most impassable areas in the world, where no signs of living organisms can be seen. Rig-e Jenn Desert extends from the east and northeast to the Desert Plains, from the north to the city of Semnan, from the west and northwest to Garmsar and the protected desert area, and from the south to Anarak. Rig-e Jenn Desert in Semnan has an area of nearly 3,800 square kilometers, and its marshes are very dangerous.
In previous years, this area was not well known, but when travelers traveled to this area, they got stuck in mud and clay, which caused concern among the travelers. Interestingly, the lack of access to certain parts of this desert due to the absence of water sources, salt marshes, and high dunes that are difficult to cross had led people in that area to believe that the control of this desert is in the hands of extraterrestrial forces. Rumors such as the excessive heat of the desert and the eerie sound of the wind had caused people to believe more in the existence of supernaturals in this desert.
One of the scariest parts of Rig-e Jenn Desert is the significant temperature difference between day and night, which causes rocks to crack and creates a terrifying sound in the desert, referred to as “crying rocks.” Therefore, if you lack experience in desert navigation, do not choose Rig-e Jenn Desert for your first trip. This desert is 450 kilometers away from Tehran and is near the Mesr Desert in Isfahan.
Halvan Desert in South Khorasan – Deserts of Iran
Halvan Desert is one of the most beautiful deserts in Iran located in South Khorasan Province. This desert is bordered by the Central Desert and the Pirhajat Mountains to the north, the Ashghan Mountains to the east, the transportation road from Khur to Tabas to the south, and the salt lake in the Central Desert to the west. The sandy hills in this desert increase in height from west to east, reaching up to 80 meters.
Since this desert is located in an industrial area, there are several access routes and secondary roads in the vicinity, making it easily accessible by car. When visiting the Halvan Desert, it is recommended to visit the nearby village, as Halvan village is famous for its high production of various types of dates. The architectural beauty of the desert regions is also captivating in this village.
The distance from the Halvan Desert to Tehran is approximately 780 kilometers. To reach the desert, you should head southeast from Tehran towards Semnan Province, then continue southeast on the Semnan-Sarkooh Road until you reach Hosseiniyan village. After reaching Hosseiniyan village, continue south towards Khur city. After 54 kilometers from Tabas city, enter the Hoodar secondary road and after traveling 30 kilometers, you will reach the intersection of the village and Halvan Desert.
A significant portion of the country’s area is covered by Dasht-e Kavir and Lut Desert in the central and southeastern parts of the country, which showcase the best deserts of Iran. When you enter the desert, the entire landscape before your eyes will be gray and brown, but as you walk through the desert, you will witness a wide range of indescribably beautiful colors. During sunset, you will see a unique and mesmerizing view of the sun. The clarity of the scenery is such that it feels like you can hold the sun in your hands. The desert sky is filled with shining stars that create a captivating sight at night. If you want to learn more about the tourist attractions of Iran’s beautiful provinces, be sure to follow Eligasht.
Frequently Asked Questions about Iran’s Deserts
What is the reason behind naming Rig-e Jenn Desert?
Inaccessibility to certain parts of this desert, lack of water sources, salt marshes, difficult-to-cross sandy hills, excessive heat, the loud sound of the wind, and the eerie sound of rocks breaking have led people in that area to believe that the supernatural exists there.
Which desert is closer to Tehran?
Rig-e Jenn Desert in Semnan.
Which desert houses Iran’s largest seasonal salt lake?
Mesr Desert in Isfahan.