Contrary to its name, the Mesr Desert is not located in Egypt but in Iran. It is an area between Khur and Biyabanak in Isfahan province, which is considered one of the most popular and attractive tourist destinations for nature lovers. The presence of numerous dunes near a village of the same name, as well as the presence of animals such as camels and, of course, numerous safari or desert exploration vehicles, has greatly enhanced the appeal of this region.
Mesr Desert attracts a large number of domestic and international tourists annually, and for the reasons mentioned, many people, both inside and outside of Iran, spend money to reach Mesr Desert. The village itself has a population of about 120 people and, due to its unique nature and breathtaking scenery, is considered one of the most attractive tourist destinations in Iran. Mesr Desert Tours are among the best-selling desert exploration tours in Iran. In this article from Eligasht we want to introduce you to this unique desert in Iran because No matter how much you may not be a fan of deserts, you cannot see Mesr Desert and not fall in love with it.
Mesr Desert and the Presence of Stars in the Earth’s Sky
Mesr Desert is one of the most magnificent tourist and natural sites in Iran, and until you see it with your own eyes, you won’t truly grasp its grandeur and splendor. This desert is located in Isfahan province and showcases an unparalleled and indescribable beauty of Iran, surrounded by mountain ranges from the southwest, south, and east. It is worth noting that a part of the Central Plateau mountains of Iran is also included. Interestingly, the Mesr Desert has natural pits located at the foothills of the surrounding mountains, which are filled with beautiful dunes.
In recent years, with the boom in tourism in the region, the residents of the village of Masr and the desert locals have chosen the occupation of accommodation and providing services to tourists and travelers, and they welcome them well. The fame of this desert has caused a significant change in the lifestyle of the area. However, it is interesting to know that the people living in this area were previously engaged in occupations such as animal husbandry, farming, camel breeding, and cultivating wheat and saffron.
Underground City of Nushabad: The Hidden Wonder in Kashan
Abuzeidabad Desert | A Captivating Oasis in the Heart of Kashan
Naming of Mesr Desert
Nearly 100 years ago, a man named Youssef, who was engaged in shepherding and night guarding, founded the village of Mesr. The age of this village is not more than a century, but everyone called and knew this area as Youssef’s farm. Until the canals of the village became low on water and dried up. It was at that time that Youssef, by digging wells with diesel and English engines, managed to save the area from water scarcity.
A few years later, the underground water tables dried up again, and Youssef had to dig deeper wells. That’s why the people of the surrounding villages call this village “Chah-e-Deraz” (Long Well). But Youssef did not like this name and asked all the people to call the village “Mesr” from now on, inspired by the story of the Prophet Joseph, which took place in the land of Egypt. Since the people of the region held Youssef in high regard and respected his words, they named this village “Mesr.”
Best Time to Travel to Mesr Desert
Undoubtedly, by now, you have realized that the Mesr Desert has a hot and extremely dry climate. For this reason, we do not recommend traveling to the desert during the first six months of the year. However, the second six months of the year offer a moderate climate in the Desert, allowing for desert exploration during the day. Nevertheless, be aware that as soon as the weather gets dark, a wave of coldness rushes towards you. It is better to escape this coldness by wearing warm clothing and staying in eco-lodges.
In any case, the best time to travel to the desert, especially the Mesr Desert, is from the beginning of November to mid-April. We also recommend that you make yourself a guest of the starry night sky in the desert on a cold autumn or winter night.
Geographical Location of Mesr Desert
In terms of geography and location, this Desert is located 55 kilometers away from Khur, next to the village of Mesr. This desert is right in the middle of the route from Damghan to Isfahan. The houses in the village of Mesr are all simple and built and designed by desert architecture. The walls are made of mud bricks, the roofs are dome-shaped, and all the wooden doors, along with the pristine nature of the desert, have created one of the most beautiful scenes in the world. Each house has a small corral next to it, where the locals keep camels, ostriches, and goats.
Distance from Mesr desert to Tehran
If you are planning to travel from Tehran to this desert, you should know that the distance from Tehran to Mesr desert is 642 kilometers, and it would take you approximately 9 to 10 hours to drive to reach the desert. Your route will start from Imam Reza Highway, then you need to continue your way towards Semnan and Damghan. From Damghan, you will go to Moaleman and Jandaq, and finally, through a dirt road, you will reach the village of Mesr. If your vehicle is specifically designed for desert and off-road driving or, in other words, it has high ground clearance, the dirt road from Semnan to Moaleman will be a shorter route to reach the Mesr desert.
Access Route 1: Tehran – Semnan – Damghan – Moaleman – Jandaq – Mesr Desert.
Access Route 2: Tehran – Qom – Kashan – Nain – Ardakan – Chupanan – Shah Malek – Farrokh – Mesr Desert.
Distance from the Mesr Desert to Isfahan
The distance between Isfahan and the Mesr Desert is 421 kilometers, and if you decide to travel this route by car, you will spend approximately 5 hours on the road. To travel this route, you need to go from Isfahan to Nain and then reach the village of Jandaq. The Mesr Desert will be in front of you, about 42 kilometers away from Jandaq.
Distance between the Mesr Desert and other cities in Iran
If you are planning to travel to this Desert from other cities in Iran, you should know that the distance from Mashhad is 748 kilometers, from Sari is 575 kilometers, from Tabas is 247 kilometers, and from Kashan is 616 kilometers.
Traveling to the Mesr Desert with a Private Vehicle
If you have decided to use a private vehicle for traveling to this desert, it is better to have the necessary camping equipment and gear for the desert. Your tires should be suitable for desert driving to avoid punctures. Inflate all four tires properly, fill up the fuel tank, and do a final check on the spare tire before embarking on this adventurous journey. Make sure to carry an adequate amount of water with you. Carbureted vehicles may overheat and break down quickly. Therefore, if your vehicle is not specifically designed for desert driving, it is better to reconsider the trip.
However, the desert has its beauty, but it can be harsh, unforgiving, and unpredictable. The risks of snake bites, scorpion stings, shifting sands, thirst, getting lost, and other such dangers are associated with traveling to the desert. For this reason, we recommend that you never travel to the desert alone and individually. It is better to take advantage of Mesr Desert tours, which include visiting attractions, booking eco-lodges, professional guides, and other amenities.
Accommodations in the Mesr Desert
If you are a desert enthusiast and traveler, undoubtedly, the Mesr Desert will be one of the most attractive and dreamy destinations for you. If you are not interested in spending the night in the heart of the desert, you can also make use of the accommodations available in the desert. Here are some of the accommodations that exist in this desert.
Bali Desert Hotel
Bali Desert Hotel is an attractive 3-star desert hotel located near Isfahan and has 40 accommodation units. Room service, billiards hall, free parking, internet access, housekeeping services, and recreational facilities such as indoor football are among the attractions of this hotel. In addition to room facilities such as a refrigerator, television, bathroom, and minibar, this hotel also has a cafe, an Iranian restaurant, and a traditional tea house.
Traditional and Desert Hotel “Tida”
The next fascinating accommodation in the Mesr Desert is the 3-star hotel Tida, which offers 40 units in the cities of Khour and Isfahan. The hotel provides amenities such as free parking, internet access, room service, and entertaining activities like handball or billiards. Additionally, the hotel offers the best services through its housekeeping staff. All rooms are equipped with a television, minibar, bathroom, and refrigerator, while the Iranian restaurant, traditional tea house, and café in the hotel allow you to indulge in delicious meals, beverages, and snacks.
Maziar Traditional Residence
This traditional and indigenous accommodation, known as the “Maziar Al-e Davood” eco-lodge, is the third accommodation in the vicinity of the Mesr desert. It is a mid-range 3-star hotel equipped with a restaurant, café, and internet access, with all rooms having access to the courtyard. The architecture of the building is entirely traditional and adorned with local elements. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a delightful and delicious meal in the Maziar Traditional Residence.
Diverse Activities in the Mesr Desert
Similar to other tourist attractions in Iran, the Mesr Desert offers its unique recreational activities.
The first activity is camel riding, which allows you to enjoy this exciting experience in the desert for a small fee. The second challenge is off-road four-wheelers that offer fast-paced rides on sandy hills, a must-try in this desert. Moreover, you can rent off-road vehicles to experience the thrilling and terrifying adventure of traversing the pristine areas of the desert. The next thrilling activity is sandboarding, a sport full of excitement and adrenaline.
Lastly, we come to photography, which holds a different charm and pleasure in the heart of the desert. With just a mobile phone or a camera, you can easily capture and record the best moments of your journey in this desert.
Essentials for Traveling to the Mesr Desert
When traveling to this desert, like any other desert exploration, you need to have the necessary equipment and supplies that can assist you in critical moments.
For example, it is essential to have suitable clothing for desert exploration. The clothes should be resistant to dust, water, and wind, and have colors that blend with the natural surroundings.
Note that short-sleeved clothes can expose your skin to sunburn or insect bites. It is better to wear cool and breathable fabrics like cotton.
Additionally, you need to have equipment such as a water bottle, tent, first aid kit, warm clothing, insect repellent cream or wristbands, a lightweight blanket, walking shoes, a pocket power bank, sunscreen lotion, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses.
Other essential items include a map, GPS, and compass, which are considered crucial for desert travel. For instance, if you get lost in the desert, you can easily reflect sunlight using a mirror and use it to make others aware of your location. Also, avoid wearing sandals, city shoes, slippers, formal attire, and jeans when traveling to the desert.
Animal Species in the Mesr Desert
In this desert, there are various animal species such as the Egyptian cobra, hare, sand fox, cat, kangaroo, and other animals. There are also diverse birds and reptiles like falcons, scorpions, lizards, and snakes. Please note that these animals are not harmful, and you should not encounter any issues with them.
Interesting Attractions around
Without a doubt, this desert has numerous fascinating attractions in its surroundings. If you travel to this desert, make sure to also visit the nearby attractions. The sand dunes made of shifting sands, which you can observe behind the rural houses, Farahzad Village, Rig Kaleh, Neyzar-e Mesr, Takht-e Arus, the old structure of Bayazeh, Garme Village, Mohammadabad Kureh Gaz Village, Takht-e Abbasi, Ebrahim Zahra Off-Road, Lake Khor-e Namak, Aroos Bideshtan Road, Lake Selkenoon, and Chal-e Selkenoon are all sights and attractions that you should not miss during your trip to the beautiful Egyptian desert.
We hope that our explanations in this article have encouraged you to experience a close and unforgettable encounter with the Mesr Desert as soon as possible. Of course, the attractions and landmarks of Iran are so abundant that undoubtedly you can experience an unexplored and captivating journey to the pristine and diverse regions of Iran every year. Deserts, forests, plains and meadows, seas and coasts, mountains, and cities, each have their own stories and charm to captivate and enthrall you.