Top 10 Villages in Iran You Must Visit
Top 10 Villages in Iran You Must Visit
Tired of the usual tourist hot spots and seeking the soul of travel in less-known places?
When visiting Iran, most travelers plan to visit famous Iran destinations like Isfahan, Shiraz, Tehran, and Yazd, unaware that some of the country’s fantastic destinations are less-known villages in Iran off the tourist track; Locations that tourists might easily miss.
Although visiting usual tourist destinations and major cities on the Iran Classic Route is a must-do for every first-time visitor to Iran, many of its greatest charms can only be experienced in beautiful Iran villages.
Also, you can slip away from the crowds, and find the best cuisine, incredible festivals, and remote attractions in the rural areas of Iran. Besides, you can get an in-depth look at how the locals live.
On the other hand, some of the top villages in Iran date back hundreds or thousands of years ago. Thus, these spectacular places to visit in Iran combine natural beauty with authenticity enhanced by antiquity.
Fortunately, stunning Iran villages are scattered all over the county and most of them are within day-tripping distance of the major cities. Hence, whichever city you visit, you’re likely to be close enough to one of the quaint Iran villages.
Here, we’ve rounded up the top 10 villages in Iran. In addition, we have provided the distances and locations of these villages on the Iran map. So, consider including a few of these Iran villages on your itinerary along with the top tourist attractions.
Do not miss this incredible Iran travel experience.
Map of Best Villages in Iran
On this map, you can see how the top ten Iran villages are scattered all over the country. By knowing the location of these villages on the map, you can plan your Iran trip in such a way that you can include visits to some of these villages.
We are here to plan your Iran tour so that you can get the best out of your Iran trip. So, do not hesitate to contact us.
Distances between touristy cities and villages in Iran
In the table below you can see the distance between the top villages and the most popular Iran destinations in kilometers. This table helps you to find out how far are these top Iran villages to the cities that you want to visit. Also, you can sort this table to see which of these villages are the nearest to the city where you are staying.
|Village / City||Yazd||Shiraz||Isfahan||Tehran||Mashhad||Kashan||Tabriz||Kerman|
The Red Village of Abyaneh
On the classic tourist route of Iran, between Kashan and Tehran, lies Abyaneh, the Red Village of Iran. Situated on the slopes of Mount Karkas, the village of Abyaneh is one of the highest residential areas in Iran with a stair-type structure.
Besides, with over 1500-year antiquity, the village’s old buildings belong to the Sassanids, Seljuks, Safavids, and Qajar eras. In this ancient village, the houses are made of red clay and brick decorated with wooden doors and windows.
Moreover, the Abyaneh inhabitants have preserved their old customs, traditions, and language. Accordingly, they are the only Iranians who apply some characteristics of the language of the Sassanian Period. Also, Women in Abyaneh are wearing beautiful long white floral scarves and colorful skirts.
The inhabitants of Abyaneh mostly make a living by selling dried apples, chamomile, mint, and other herbs to tourists. Unfortunately, due to the new generation’s migration to the big cities, the number of village residents has decreased to a few hundred.
Finally, being on the tourist route of Iran and enjoying the pleasant climate and picturesque landscape, Abyaneh is one of the top Iran villages that attracts many tourists from all over the world. So, if you are eager to travel to Abyaneh, try to see the village from the other side of the river. That spot gives you the best view of Abyaneh.
Kandovan Rocky Village
Did you know that only four rocky villages have been identified worldwide? These villages include Cappadocia in Turkey, Dakota in the United States, and Meymand and Kandovan in Iran.
Among these villages, only Meymand and Kandovan in Iran are currently inhabited, and two other villages are uninhabited. Thus, it is now possible to travel to this village and get a sense of rural life in this area; before, Kandovan, too, would be relegated to only a tourist attraction like the other two sisters.
Due to years of volcanic eruption, wind, rain, snow, and human intervention, Kandovan in East Azerbaijan province has reached its current appearance.
It is famous for its houses that have been dug in the shape of beehives in the heart of rocky cliffs. This rocky settlement is about 800 years old and sits at an altitude of 2200 meters above sea level, 60 kilometers from Tabriz.
On the other hand, the Kandovan mineral water spring is one of Iran’s best mineral water for its healing properties and is available to the public through several taps. Interestingly, you can buy water from this spring in the city of Tabriz.
Rocky Village of Meymand (Maymand)
Meymand village is one of the four rocky villages in the world, along with Kandovan. This ancient rocky village is located in Shahre Babak in the Kerman Province in the southeast of Iran. In this village, the inhabitants live in caves carved into the rocks. In this type of architecture, the houses are called Kicheh. There are about 405 “Kicheh” s in Meymand village with 2560 rooms.
The historical evidence indicates that Meymand dates back o 10,000 years ago, and people have been living in this Iran village for 3000 years. Notably, “Cultural Landscape of Maymand” is one of the Iran UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Moreover, Meymand village is an ancient region that houses historical monuments such as temples, towers, and castles.
As mentioned, Maymand is similar to the rocky village of Kandovan. However, there is a difference between Kandovan and Meymand; the chambers in Kandovan are more vertical while “Kicheh” s in Meymand are more horizontal.
Finally, visiting Meymand village can be an extraordinary experience. In this region, village life is very primitive, and it seems like time stopped years ago. Besides, you can observe the interaction between humans and nature and the preserved ancient traditions.
You can also enjoy trekking, meeting locals, tasting delicious local Persian food, and sleeping on a rocky bed in a rocky room.
Masouleh Rooftop Village
About 2 hours from Rasht, in Alborz’s skirts and in the Hyrcanian Forests, lies Masouleh, one of the top villages in Iran. Located in the north of Iran, this village enjoys pleasant summers and snowy winters in a lush mountainous area that offers scenic sceneries.
On the other hand, Masouleh, with about 1000-year antiquity, is famous for its stair-stepped structure that creates stunning landscapes. Accordingly, the height difference between the lowest and the highest points of Masouleh is up to 120 meters. Its architecture is somehow that the roof of one house is the courtyard of the one above. These roofs and courtyards also play a role as sidewalks, and no vehicles are permitted to enter this village.
Interestingly, its unique architecture, along with its beautiful scenery, has made this area the heaven of photographers.
Besides the beauty of nature and architecture, there are three museums in Masouleh, including Cultural Heritage, Natural History, and Religious Beliefs. Also, you can enjoy walking in the traditional bazaar of Masouleh, meeting cheerful locals, and buying colorful Iran souvenirs.
Palangan, A Paradise in Uraman Region
Palangan village is one of the most spectacular Iran villages in the Uramanat region of Kurdistan province.
This village, with its unique stepped architecture and beautiful and pristine nature, has the titles of “The Lost Paradise” and “Masuleh of Kurdistan.” The origins of this Kurdish region may be rooted in the Samanid Empire and the Islamic era.
To reach the village of Palangan, you will drive along the roads with stunning scenery. After passing a dirt road, you will face a unique view of oak trees and agricultural lands. It feels like entering another world; That is why the dirt road is famous as the gateway to the hidden paradise.
Inside the village, you will see houses on both sides of the valley. The houses’ architecture is somehow that one house’s roof is the yard of its above house. In these porches and courtyards, you will see women and girls in their colorful local costumes talking to each other.
Alternatively, this village is inhabited by lovely Kurds who hold various ceremonies and festivals throughout the year, especially in the spring. One of these ceremonies is the Nowruz Festival (Persian new year), usually held in the last week of February. Lighting a fire, performing Kurdish dance, and distributing traditional sweets and cookies are some of this event’s rituals.
Furthermore, tourists flock to the region during the nomadic migration in spring for fascinating traditional ceremonies, such as the performance of folkloric music and dance.
The Mysterious Village of Kharanagh
Located at the foot of a mountain range in the middle of the Iran desert, where you would think nothing could endure the arid and hot climate, you come across a historic village. Kharanagh or Kharanaq, home to the sun’s birthplace, is a pure example of an ancient Persian village dating to 4500 years ago.
The historical village of Kharanagh is in the north of Yazd, 50 km from Ardakan city. In this Iran village, houses are built with mud-brick, and most of them are abandoned. Some travelers believe that being half-abandoned and the exotic architecture of passageways and tunnels make Kharanagh mysterious and a little scary.
Its oldest monument is an adobe castle with two- and three-story houses that are unique to this village. Also, there is a large caravanserai near Kharanagh Castle, another historical and spectacular monument of this village. Besides, the historical bath of Kharanagh is in this caravanserai, which had easy access to the aqueduct water. Other historical monuments of this village include Kharanagh Reservoir, Kharanagh Bridge, and Menar Jonban (shaking minarets).
Kharanaq, like many other Iran villages, gives you a peaceful feeling that you can hardly find in the cities. Finally, we suggest visiting the beautiful Kharanagh before it disappears entirely.
Garmeh, a Spectacular Oasis
The ancient Silk Road had been a principal trade road for hundreds of years and had passed through many oases. One of these oases is the village of Garmeh, where the sandy dunes dance with the wind.
Garmeh village is precisely located in the middle of Iran, in Isfahan province, in Iran’s central desert. Being in the desert, the climate of Garmeh is generally hot and dry but enjoys pleasant weather in the colder seasons. This beautiful and spectacular village has countless attractions that attract many tourists from all over the world to this area.
Historically, Garmeh is several thousand years old and houses an ancient four-story castle, which belongs to the Sassanid era.
Narrow and winding alleys, mineral water springs full of fish, beautiful farms and trees, herds of camels roaming around the village are different attractions in Garmeh Village. Besides, Garmeh ponds are full of ducks in winter and spring, and its surrounding hills are the home to different kinds of birds.
On the other hand, the people of Garmeh are very friendly. They speak the Pahlavi language, the oldest language of the Iranians, and has their traditional music. So, you can enjoy being in their houses, tasting their food, and listening to the accompaniment of the daf.
You can also spend the night in Garmeh and enjoy its beautiful and starry night, pleasant peacefulness, the sound of waterfalls, and the wind passing through palm leaves. On the other hand, Garmeh handicrafts, all made from date leaves, are favorite tourists’ favorite souvenirs.
Around Garmeh, there is a village called Mesr, whose deserts with flowing sand have made it one of the incredible deserts in Iran.
Finally, in Garmeh village, like other villages in Iran, you can stay in villagers’ houses or ecolodges. Meanwhile, Atashooni Guesthouse is a 400-year-old house that has hosted many foreign and Iranian tourists in recent years.
Mazichal Village, the Paradise of Nature Lovers
How does it seem to be in a place where the lovely clouds are flowing beneath you? And when the clouds go away, the spectacular landscape of a UNESCO forest and the world’s largest lake appears. In the Kelardasht region of Mazandaran Province, there is a beautiful village called Mazichal, one of the top villages in Iran for nature lovers; A summer village where kind people live seasonally. Accordingly, about 50 to 60 families live in this village from late June to late September.
Mazichal Village is at an altitude of 2600 meters above sea level, where you will see a vast and spectacular view of the Hyrcanian forests and the Caspian Sea.
The presence of dense forests, lovely white clouds, and villagers’ summer cottages create a relaxing and dreamy image for tourists. Besides, in Mazichal you can enjoy the clouds’ spectacular movement, a unique phenomenon called the ocean of clouds or the sea of clouds.
Furthermore, the forest road that leads to the summer village of Mazichal is full of oak trees, and sometimes thick fog covers it. In that situation, you have to get help from the locals to reach the village. Also, along the route, there are old and abandoned cemeteries surrounded by trees and forest plants that create a mysterious atmosphere.
Along with the beauties and attractions of this village, you can enjoy the beautiful forests of Abbasabad located in this area.
Notably, Mazichal is a summer village, and its cottages can be inhabited only in summer and are empty pg inhabitants in other seasons.
Generally, you will not find a room or a house to stay in this village. So, most tourists arrange a day trip to this village and usually do not stay in Mazighal. However, if you are interested in staying in nature, you can spend the night in a camp or go to Kelardasht and use its accommodation complexes.
Makhunik Village, Iran's Lilliput
Imagine Lilliput village in the real world, a town with tiny houses where small people live. Makhunik is a mysterious village in the South Khorasan province of Iran. This village is one of the seven amazing villages in the world and is known as Iran’s Lilliput. The village of Makhunik is near the Afghanistan border, and its inhabitants are originally Afghans.
One of the most remarkable symbols of this village is its houses. They are compactly built in the ground somehow that their floors are about one meter underground. The houses do not have a distinctive geometric shape; they are tiny and have only one room of ten or twelve meters. Besides, the houses are built of stone and mud, and the foliages cover their roofs. Mostly, they have no openings to the outside except their short entrance doors.
As mentioned above, Makhunik village is known as Lilliput village in Iran. Because its inhabitants are relatively short, and they are about 140 cm tall. Besides, their houses have small and narrow doors. Therefore, to enter the house, you must bend your neck.
On the other hand, the villagers have not remarkable interaction with the outside world. It is interesting to know that the villagers did not drink tea, eat meat, or smoke until 50 years ago. Watching television was not allowed, and it was called the devil.
Nay Band Village, a Miracle in the Desert
Imagine a green island with palm trees in the middle of the desert. Nay Band Village is a miracle in the Lut desert in southern Khorasan province where the green farms and beautiful palm trees have created pristine landscapes. This wonderful Iran village dates back to the early centuries of Islamic history.
Nay Band village in Tabas is one of the stepped villages in Iran, where each house’s roof is the yard of another house. In the lower parts, there are gardens and houses located at the top of the mountain. One of the essential features of this village is its organic structure, which means that it does not have a particular texture, and there are narrow and winding alleys between the houses. Besides, most of the homes are two-story, and from a distance, they are like the legos of various shapes put irregularly on top of each other.
The triangular congresses in the facades and walls of buildings are unique features of this village, a particular form of windcatcher. These windcatchers act as natural coolers and filters against sandy winds.
Due to aqueducts and springs in this village, the inhabitants cultivate various crops such as citrus, palms, wheat, barley, vegetables, and legumes. Besides, some of the villagers are engaged in animal husbandry.
In this beautiful village, you can enjoy trekking, hiking, star observing, and camping. Also, you can stay in one of the ecolodges in this village.
Finally, the best time to visit Nay Band is autumn, winter, and early spring due to the hot desert climate.
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