Varzaneh desert

Varzaneh Desert: Weather, Safari, Tourism, Animals

Desert trekking is definitely one of the most enjoyable tourism activities in Iran. Iran is known as the “land of four seasons” due to its unique geographical location, and deserts are among the most beautiful manifestations of nature in Iran, along with forests, waterfalls, seas, springs, and lakes. Varzaneh desert is one of the sights of Varzaneh and one of the natural tourist attractions of Isfahan province, which is not far from Tehran.

This tourist area has the largest desert recreation site in Iran, which recently opened its parts such as one-person and two-person quadricycles, zip line, safari, camel riding, restaurant, pantry, camping, and paraglider.

Varzaneh desert is a suitable place for desert climbing and walking on hot sands, having fun in the largest recreational site of Iran’s desert, visiting the natural and historical attractions of Varzaneh tourist city and Gavkhouni International Wetland, as well as watching the unique fauna and flora of the desert. Join us to provide you with comprehensive information about the Varzaneh desert.

Varzaneh Desert Tourism

Varzaneh Desert tourism is a unique experience that unveils the beauty of Iran’s natural wonders. Varzaneh Desert Tour allows visitors to enjoy the stunning scenery of golden sand dunes and experience the unique ecosystem of the desert.

From camel rides across the endless sands to witnessing the breathtaking sunset, every moment of the tour is filled with enchantment. Exploring the desert, tourists can encounter fascinating wildlife, including the charming fennec fox and various bird species.

varzaneh desert tourism
Varzaneh Desert Tourism

The Varzaneh Desert tour offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region, allowing travelers to interact with local communities and learn about their traditional way of life.

It is a journey that blends adventure, nature, and culture, providing an unforgettable experience for those seeking a taste of the Iranian desert.

Varzaneh Desert Safari

Varzaneh Desert Safari is an exciting adventure filled with vast golden sand dunes and a unique desert landscape. Visitors can experience the thrill of riding over the sandy terrain on camelback or in a 4×4 vehicle, exploring the enchanting beauty of the desert. The safari offers a chance to witness the stunning sunset over the dunes, creating a magical atmosphere.

As you traverse the Varzaneh Desert, you will encounter diverse wildlife, from fennec foxes to various bird species. The desert safari provides a memorable opportunity to connect with nature, experience the serenity of the vast desert, and enjoy the breathtaking scenery under the clear desert skies.

Varzaneh Desert Weather

The Varzaneh Desert, located in a region known for its warm and dry climate throughout the year, is an ideal destination for travel. However, due to the scorching heat during the summer and spring seasons, it can be challenging to endure, making the best time to visit the desert during the fall and winter.

varzaneh desert weather
Varzaneh Desert Safari

In the fall, the desert air is not too hot during the day, and nights are not too cold. On the other hand, winter nights in the desert can be accompanied by significant cold temperatures. So, if you are planning to travel to the desert in winter, be sure to dress appropriately and warmly to fully enjoy your experience (Varzaneh Desert weather)

Varzaneh Desert climate

Desert areas are suitable for travel throughout the year due to their warm and dry climate. However, the intense heat in summer and spring can be challenging to tolerate, making the best seasons for desert trips in the fall and winter.

In the fall, desert days are warm, and nights are not excessively cold. However, in winter, desert nights can be extremely cold, so it is advisable to dress warmly when traveling to the desert during this season.

Varzaneh Desert Animals

The unique nature of the Varzaneh Desert provides a suitable environment for various beautiful and fascinating animals.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the population of these animals, especially migratory birds, has faced a significant decline due to the drying of the Gavkhouni wetland and negative ecosystem changes in a vast area surrounding the wetland.

varzaneh desert animal
Varzaneh Desert Animals

Fennec Fox (Vulpes rueppelli)

The fennec fox has a smaller body compared to a common fox, and its long ears immediately capture your attention. The fox has very long hairs on its paws, facilitating easy movement in the sands. It is a nocturnal creature and resides in the central desert region, Fars, and Khuzestan provinces.

Jaculus (Pamsvaki)

Jaculus, a type of rodent with large eyes, a slender body, and large ears similar to the fennec fox, also has hairy paws for easy movement in the sands. It is a nocturnal creature, but sightings are less common during moonlit nights.

Long-legged Buzzard

The long-legged buzzard is a type of bird of prey whose call resembles that of a common buzzard but slightly softer. This native Iranian bird lives on a single tree or on the ground and is considered an environmentally protected species.

Other animals that inhabit this desert include jackals, hares, cats, falcons, blunt-nosed vipers, and the Persian horned viper (shoormaar). These diverse species contribute to the rich ecosystem of the Varzaneh Desert.

How to Visit the Varzaneh Desert in Iran

To reach the Varzaneh Desert from Tehran, you will start your journey from the Tehran-Qom freeway in the south of Tehran. After passing through the cities of Kashan and Ardestan, you will reach the entrance of Naeen city.

At this point, take the ring road towards Tangestan. Shortly after Tangestan, turn left onto the entrance of Varzaneh Road. Continuing on this route, you will first reach the village of Varzaneh, and the desert itself is just a short distance south of Varzaneh village.

varzaneh desert isfahan
Visit Varzaneh Desert

The distance from Isfahan to Varzaneh Desert is approximately 117 kilometers, and you can reach the desert in about two hours from the city center. To get there from the Isfahan-Shahreza freeway in the east of Isfahan, head towards the ring road and continue on the freeway towards Isfahan-Varzaneh. Enter the city from Azadi Square and go towards Baheshti Street.

Follow the street until the end to reach Dastjerd-Varzaneh Road. Turn right onto Dastjerd-Varzaneh Road, and after a few kilometers, you will arrive at Varzaneh Desert.

Where to Stay in Varzaneh Desert in Isfahan

If you wish to stay for a day or two in the historic city of Varzaneh but prefer not to camp or spend the night in a tent in nature, it is better to consider renting a suite in the Varzaneh Desert or staying at the Varzaneh Hotel.

Due to its commitment to preserving its traditional architecture, the city lacks fancy and luxurious hotels. Therefore, we recommend handling the reservation of the Varzaneh Hotel yourself and exploring other options for accommodation in the Varzaneh Desert.

varzaneh desert camp
Parig Eco-Camp

Renting a suite in Varzaneh or staying in the homes of local people is another option available to you. However, if you prefer to stay in traditional accommodations with local and traditional decorations, you can choose from the following options:

  • Varzaneh Traditional Residence: Varzaneh, Dr. Beheshti Street, Shahid Maqsoodi Alley.
  • Spanta Eco-lodge: Varzaneh, Dr. Beheshti Street, in front of Amin Fund, No. 9.
  • Chapakar Traditional Residence: Varzaneh, Sheikh Bahai Boulevard, Pigeon Tower, Shahid Baqeri Street, in front of Saadi High School, No. 53.
  • Negar Traditional Residence: Varzaneh, Mosque Alley, No. 28.
  • Hafez Traditional Residence: Varzaneh, Dr. Beheshti Street, Abu Zar Alley.

These traditional lodges offer a unique experience and allow you to get to know the local culture and enjoy the traditional charm of Varzaneh

Final Word

Traveling to the Varzaneh Desert is an extraordinary experience, highly recommended for families and diverse groups due to its proximity to the city and accessibility. The variety of exciting activities during the desert days, such as stargazing and photography at night, will satisfy every family member, regardless of age.

The entire route to Varzaneh Desert is asphalted, allowing for easy travel by private car. After exploring the recreational site of Varzaneh Desert, spend the night in nearby accommodations or set up a tent in a secluded area. Enjoy the magical silence, clean air, and the unique appearance of the desert at night.

Do not miss the chance to visit the tourist attractions of Varzaneh city near the desert. In conclusion, a journey to the Varzaneh Desert promises unforgettable moments and a blend of adventure and tranquility.

Are you planning to travel to Iran and looking for an Iran resort? Consider Matinabad eco resort.

persian trail mix

What is Persian Trail Mix? Ajil Ingredients & Where to Buy?

The art of crafting Persian Trail Mix (Ajil) in Iran is an ancient industry whose roots go back thousands of years and form an integral part of the agricultural life of this country. Iran proudly holds the first place in fruit cultivation and harvesting in the Middle East and North Africa. Iran’s agricultural products include a variety of pistachios, almonds, walnuts, raisins, pomegranates, watermelons, melons, citrus fruits, dates, cherries, and plums.

This rich agricultural tapestry has not only shaped Iran’s culinary landscape but also laid the foundation for the ancient tradition of creating Ajil.

The careful selection of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits reflects the richness of Iran’s agricultural scene, making Ajil not just a snack but a cultural hymn to the country’s bountiful harvests and the timeless art of hospitality. Join us in this article to learn more about this nutritious and traditional Iranian delicacy.

Ajil Persian Origins

According to historical studies on Ajil in Iran, dry fruits were traditionally produced and limited in quantity in ancient times. Over time, with the utilization of modern technologies, the production of dry fruits became mass-produced and widely accessible to the public.

Gradually, an industry known as “khoshkbar” (dry fruits) was established. Iran has succeeded in being a leading exporter and producer of dry fruits globally for many years.

persian ajil
Ajil Persian

It is important to note that, according to definitions, there is a distinction between dry fruits and Ajil. Ajil is a mixture of dry fruits and nuts, with various combinations based on each family’s taste preferences.

In the ancient culture of Iran, Ajil has earned a valuable place and has been present in most ancient Iranian ceremonies. Ajil has transformed into a cultural and authentic symbol of Iran to the extent that it holds meaning even in some of the country’s festivals and celebrations.

What are trail mix seeds?

Trail mix seeds refer to a nutritious and energy-boosting combination of various seeds commonly found in trail mixes. These mixes are designed to provide a convenient and healthy snack option for individuals on the go.

Trail mix seeds usually include pumpkin and sunflower seeds, known for their rich nutritional content. These tiny powerhouses are packed with essential nutrients, healthy fats, and proteins, making them a popular choice for those seeking a quick and satisfying snack during outdoor activities or busy days.

Trail mix seeds help to a crunchy and flavorful mix, adding both taste and nutritional value to the overall mix.

What is AJIL?

Ajil is a traditional Iranian snack that contains a flavorful blend of nuts, dried fruits, and sometimes seeds. It is a lovely mixture, often customized to suit the taste preferences of different families.

ajil chaharshanbe suri
What is AJIL?

Ajil has deep cultural roots in Iran, playing a significant role in various ceremonies and celebrations. The combination of nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts, along with sweet dried fruits such as raisins and apricots, creates a delicious and nutritious snack.

Ajil is not just a treat; it is a symbol of Iranian hospitality and a delightful part of the country’s culinary heritage.

Persian Trail Mix Review

Ajil, the traditional Persian trail mix, has a deep place in the culture and religious traditions of Iranians. It has long been a symbol of authenticity and has played a significant role in various traditional ceremonies such as festivals, ancient New Year celebrations (Nowruz), and Yalda night gatherings.

These symbolic mixes, which have been decorated with various colors and coatings over the years, still maintain their valuable place among Iranian traditions, and their consumption has also increased. Historically, ajil even served medicinal purposes, with nuts like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts being recognized for their health benefits.

what is ajil?
Pistachio is the best component.

Among these, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts stand out as some of the most nutritious components. The consumption of ajil in Iran is distinctive because people often prefer to eat it raw and with natural flavor and aroma.

Despite recent economic fluctuations that have affected purchasing power, ajil remains an integral part of the Iranian diet. It not only enriches the nutritional profile of the people but also stands on Iranian tables, emphasizing its lasting importance in the face of changing economic landscapes.

The heritage of Ajil goes beyond culinary pleasure and reflects the cultural richness and historical depth of Iranian traditions.

Ajil Chaharshanbe Suri

Ajil Chaharshanbe Suri is a unique variation of Ajil, distinct for its sweet or unsalted flavor. Traditionally, it consists of a combination of seven different ingredients, often referred to as “haft maghz” or seven seeds.

This special Ajil is shared among family members and neighbors on the eve of Chaharshanbe Suri (Festival of Fire), the last Wednesday of the Iranian calendar year.

In Tehran, it was believed that Ajil Chaharshanbe Suri brings good fortune and blessings to homes. In the Khorasan region, people prepare this Ajil with ingredients like figs, raisins, dates, dried mulberries, pistachios, almonds, and raw hazelnuts, considering it an essential part of the festivities on this night.

The act of sharing and consuming Ajil Chaharshanbe Suri is associated with cultural traditions and is believed to bring prosperity and sweetness to the upcoming year.

Persian Trail Mix Ingredients

Persian Trail Mix, also known as Ajil, has a delightful blend of ingredients that captures the essence of Iranian flavors. This traditional mix usually includes a variety of nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts, each contributing its unique crunch and taste.

ajil nuts
Persian Trail Mix Ingredients

Seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds add an extra layer of texture, enhancing the overall experience. Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, and dates bring a natural sweetness, creating a perfect balance with the savory nuts.

The careful selection and combination of these ingredients not only make Persian Trail Mix a delicious and satisfying snack but also reflects Iran’s rich agricultural heritage.

Persian Trail Mix Where to Buy

In Iran, finding a place to buy Persian Trail Mix, known as Ajil, is a breeze, as almost every city has shops dedicated to selling these delightful snacks. However, there are specific cities that are famous for their high-quality Ajil.

One of these poles is the city of Faruj in the North Khorasan province, which is often known as the capital of Ajil in the country.

The city is lined with shops along its main street, offering a tempting array of Ajil varieties. Faruj’s local products include a range of dry fruits such as walnuts, almonds, local cheese, raisins, dried apricot leaves, Halva, dried plums, and, of course, Ajil, creating a flavorful tapestry of options.

ajil ingredients
Persian Trail Mix Where to Buy

Tabriz is another notable destination for Ajil lovers, which has the best quality nuts in Iran. The city is famous for its exceptional mix of pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, and other Ajil components that create a unique taste experience.

Ajil holds a special place in the hearts of Tabriz locals, becoming one of the most popular souvenirs. Its popularity extends beyond the city, as Tabriz exports Ajil to other countries, including Pakistan, India, Europe, and Turkey.

In Isfahan, the city offers a variety of souvenirs, including high-quality Ajil and dry fruits. Isfahan’s Ajil and dry fruits are celebrated for their exceptional quality and lasting flavors.

Many visitors seeking delicious souvenirs often head straight to Isfahan’s Ajil and dry fruit shops, ensuring a memorable and tasty experience during their trip.

Final Word

Ajil, the cherished Persian trail mix, is a cultural and culinary journey through the rich tapestry of Iranian traditions. From its historical origins to the diverse regional variations like Ajil Chaharshanbe Suri, this mix of nuts and dried fruits has become a symbol of hospitality, celebration, and the enduring spirit of the Iranian people. Each bite of Ajil reflects the warmth and flavors of Iran.

While you are on your culinary adventure in Iran, do not forget to enjoy the delightful taste of nuts – a true taste of the country’s rich harvests and the genuine spirit of its people.

So, when you are in Iran, be sure to experience the joy of nuts and taste nuts that have become an integral part of the nation’s cultural and edible identity.

Are you planning to travel to Iran and looking for an Iran resort? Consider Matinabad eco resort.

persian caevansarai

What Is Caravanserai?

Caravanserai are a symbol of the culture and history of the people of that country and are among the most popular tourist attractions of any country. Many foreign tourists visit these caravanserais when traveling to historical countries, including Iran. In the past, Iran’s caravanserais were often built by order of the kings to settle pilgrimage or commercial caravans on their journey in different regions of the country and often near big cities. If you are looking to discover the secrets behind the caravanserais, be sure to follow this article until the end so that we can provide you with interesting information about the caravanserais.

What Is Caravanserai?

Caravanserai is a term that refers to a place where travelers temporarily stay. Caravanserais in traditional Iranian architecture are significant from various aspects, including their typology, architectural elements, materials used, design, and construction timeframes, and they can be studied and analyzed.

These structures have played essential roles in trade, the distribution and sale of goods, cultural interactions, the dissemination of political news and economic information, and the residence of emirs and rulers during their travels.

matinabad carvansarai
Persian caravanserai

They are particularly important in military and strategic contexts, especially in border regions. Some urban caravanserais are considered hubs of commodity exchange, while the out-of-town caravanserais provide a haven for the protection and comfort of caravans.

In certain urban contexts, caravanserais have been referred to as centers of commodity exchange and a guesthouse in the East. In rural areas, they serve as secure locations for the protection and well-being of caravans.

Caravanserai Meaning

Caravanserai’s definition refers to large roadside inns or guesthouses for travelers. The term “Caravanserai” is derived from a combination of two words: “Caravan,” referring to a group of travelers, and “Sarai,” meaning a house or place.

Caravanserai is a word that signifies a specific type of resting place or inn for travelers. In addition to “Caravanserai,” several other words are used in various regions to describe similar structures, including “Caravankhana,” “Caravangah,” “Sara,” “Timcheh,” “Passage,” “Rabat,” “Sabbat,” and “Khan.”

However, it is important to note that not all of these terms share the same architectural features and characteristics as a traditional caravanserai.

Caravanserai Origin

The origin of caravanserais in Iran has a long and rich history. These structures were built along caravan routes to provide rest and shelter to travelers, with their construction dating back to various historical periods, especially during the Islamic era.

carvansarai origin
Caravanserai Origin

Many beautiful and fascinating examples of this type of architecture have survived, from the banks of the Aras River to the shores of the Persian Gulf.

These valuable buildings showcase the artistic taste and architectural skill of their builders, evolving and adapting over different historical periods to meet various needs.

Caravanserai Significance

Caravanserais hold great significance as they were vital hubs of trade, culture, and communication in ancient times. These historical structures provided shelter, safety, and sustenance to travelers and merchants along the Silk Road and other trade routes, fostering the exchange of goods and ideas between different regions and cultures.

Caravanserais facilitated economic growth, cultural diversity, and the spread of knowledge, making them essential in the development of a global economy.

Beyond their economic importance, caravanserais also served as meeting points where people from diverse backgrounds shared stories, traditions, and experiences, contributing to a rich tapestry of human history.

The Persian Caravanserai

The Persian Caravanserai served not only as a haven for travelers but also as a cradle of cultural exchange. These architectural marvels were strategically positioned along ancient trade routes, including the famed Silk Road, fostering not just trade but the transmission of ideas, languages, and traditions between East and West.

The caravanserai’s architectural features are awe-inspiring, with stunning decorative elements and courtyard layouts that offer a sense of community.

what is persian carvanserai?
The Persian Caravanserai

What sets them apart is their water supply systems, featuring canals, reservoirs, and underground channels, which kept both travelers and their animals hydrated in the arid landscapes.

Today, some caravanserais continue to operate as boutique hotels, allowing modern-day explorers to step back in time and experience the enchanting ambiance of these charming historic accommodations.

Caravanserai Time Period

Here are the periods:

Pre-Islamic Period

In the period before Islam, the first known form of roadside accommodations was called “Chapar Khaneh,” which eventually evolved into what we now recognize as caravanserais.

The primary function of these “Chapar Khaneh” was to provide a resting place for government messengers and to exchange tired horses with fresh ones.

Carvanserai silkroad
A Caravanserai in Iran

The history of these structures in Iran can be traced back to pre-Islamic times, including the Achaemenid era, when they were constructed primarily with raw bricks. Such buildings continued to exist until the Qajar period.

The earliest signs of caravanserai construction became evident during the Parthian period, particularly along the Silk Road, when these structures flourished.

During the Sassanian era, due to the economic prosperity in Iran, significant importance was placed on road construction and road security. Consequently, numerous caravanserais were built during this time, and a few remnants from this period still exist.

Post-Islamic Period

After the advent of Islam, the architectural styles and diversity of caravanserais gradually reached their zenith. Both out-of-town caravanserais and in-town caravanserais, known as “Robat,” were constructed along various routes, including city outskirts, rural areas, mountainous passages, and desert regions, each with distinct functional features.

With the arrival of Islam, two architectural styles from the Sassanian period blended. Caravanserais began to feature rooms for travelers around a central courtyard and wide stables were constructed behind to house four-legged animals. Each caravanserai typically had two or four iwans, which are large vaulted halls or chambers.

caravanserai in iran
Matinabad Eco Resort

The evolution of caravanserais in Iran reflects the dynamic changes in architecture and the various functions they served, adapting to the needs of travelers and traders and changing economic and cultural contexts.

These structures not only provided shelter and safety but also contributed to the economic and cultural development of the regions they were located in.

What Is an Example of a Caravanserai?

One notable example of a caravanserai is the “Qasr-e Bahram Caravanserai,” located in Semnan province, Iran, within the area known as the Kavir National Park. It is considered one of the oldest and most beautiful caravanserais in Iran.

The history of this caravanserai is believed to date back to both the Sassanian era, during the reign of King Bahram, and the Safavid period.

The Caravanserai of Qasr Bahram has a rectangular shape, with a spacious eight-sided courtyard and over twenty chambers around its perimeter.

kashan caravanserai
What Is an Example of a Caravanserai?

Some of these chambers have platforms that serve as ovens, allowing travelers to prepare their meals. In the center of the courtyard, there is a beautiful pool into which water from the clay pipes used to flow.

The caravanserai has two entrances, one on the north side and the other on the south side. The courtyard features four iwans, one of which was used by the Shah, adorned with simple yet beautiful alcoves.

Behind the chambers, there were areas for the resting of the travelers’ animals, and the site included towers on all four sides that were used for guarding and protecting the caravanserai.

Today, the Caravanserai of Qasr Bahram serves as a guesthouse within the Kavir National Park. It attracts groups interested in environmental and astronomical observation who utilize its beautiful rooftop for stargazing in the mesmerizing desert sky.

What Would We Call Caravanserai Today?

Today, caravanserais have largely turned into different types of lodging and accommodation facilities to meet the needs of modern travelers.

Depending on the specific location and services provided, these establishments can be called by various names, including:

  • Hotels: In many urban and tourist areas, caravanserais have transformed into modern hotels that offer a range of amenities, from basic to luxury.
  • Motels: Along highways and in less urbanized regions, you might find motels, which serve as convenient resting places for travelers, often with parking facilities for vehicles.
  • Inns: Some traditional inns still exist, especially in rural areas, offering comfortable lodging and dining options for travelers.
  • Guesthouses: In remote or cultural heritage areas, former caravanserais may have been converted into guesthouses, providing a more local and authentic experience.


Caravanserai is considered a part of the history and civilization of historical countries, including Iran. Most Iranian caravanserais were built by order of the Safavid kings, especially Shah Abbas. In the past, caravanserais played an important role in Iran’s economic prosperity and were the place of many foreign merchants. Visiting these caravanserais and seeing the architecture of these valuable buildings is fascinating and informative for all history lovers. Visiting these historical residences is worth your time, so do not neglect to visit these magnificent historical places in your travels.

Iran is a good destination for Caravanserai lovers; for booking your Iran resort, Consider Matinabad Caravanserai at Kashan, Iran.

desert cycle

Desert Biking & Cycling Tips and Guide

With its vast and otherworldly landscapes and sense of limitless freedom, cycling in the desert provides a unique adventure for enthusiasts and adventurers. As you pedal across dry, sun-drenched terrain, the desert reveals its own set of challenges and rewards. Exploring the desert on two wheels is an opportunity to absorb the unique beauty of a seemingly harsh environment for both seasoned cyclists and newcomers to this sport. In this complete guide, we will equip you with the knowledge and tips you need to embark on a mountain bike or desert biking trip and make sure your trip becomes an unforgettable experience etched in the sands of time.

Desert Riding Basics

Desert riding basics revolve around understanding the unique challenges of cycling in arid environments. It is all about choosing the right bike, maintaining it for sandy conditions, dressing to shield yourself from the sun, and staying well-hydrated.

desert biking
Desert Riding Basics

Mastering basic riding techniques on sand and gravel is essential, as is respecting the desert’s fragile ecosystem and staying safe in the extreme heat.

With these principles in mind, desert riding can become a rewarding and adventurous experience, connecting you with the unique beauty of the desert while ensuring your well-being.

How to Ride in the Desert

Careful planning and preparation are critical to embarking on a successful desert biking trip. Selecting the right time of day to ride, staying well-hydrated, and wearing appropriate clothing to shield yourself from the sun’s intense rays are fundamental.

Additionally, ensuring your bike is in peak condition, packing essential supplies, and having a contingency plan for emergencies are all essential components of a successful desert ride.

Respecting the environment and prioritizing safety will allow you to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the wilderness while mitigating potential challenges.

Tips for Riding in the Desert

Here are the tips for riding in the desert:

Research Your Ride

Before starting a desert cycling adventure, do your homework. Use apps like TrailForks to gather essential information about the trail, including elevation gain, available water sources, total mileage, and the time of sunset. Knowing these details will help you plan your ride effectively.

Share Your Plans

Once you have chosen your route, it is crucial to inform someone about your ride plans. Let them know where you are heading and when you expect to return.

Stick to your schedule, as some desert areas may have limited or no cell service. This step ensures that you can be located in case of an emergency.

desert bikings tips for beginners
How to Ride in the Desert

Pack Salty Snacks

Desert riding can be sweat-inducing, and sodium supply is vital. Pack salty snacks like trail mix, pretzels, jerky, electrolyte chews, or chips in your pack or jersey pockets to help maintain your electrolyte balance.

Sunscreen Protection

The desert sun can be scorching. Do not forget to use sunscreen, and consider carrying extra for reapplication during prolonged rides. Sunscreen not only guards against sunburn but can also help prevent heat exhaustion and keep you feeling cooler.

Trailside Repair Tools

When cycling in the desert, be prepared for sharp rocks and cactus spines and the likelihood of limited assistance. Carrying a tubeless tire repair kit for small punctures and a tire boot for significant damage is advisable, especially if you have tubeless tires. Additionally, packing tweezers can help in case of an encounter with cactus spines.

Desert Biking and Cycling Tips and Guide for Beginners

For those just starting out on their cycling journey, the desert offers a unique and captivating backdrop, but it comes with its own set of challenges and considerations.

These tips are tailored to help beginners embrace the thrill of desert biking while ensuring their safety and enjoyment.

Start with Short Rides

If you are new to cycling, start with shorter rides in the desert to acclimatize to the conditions and gradually increase the distance as your stamina and confidence grow.

Tips for Riding in the Desert
Tips for Riding in the Desert

Choose Beginner-Friendly Trails

Look for well-marked and beginner-friendly trails. Many desert areas offer paths suitable for those new to off-road cycling, with less challenging terrain.

Learn Basic Bike Maintenance

Learn basic bike maintenance, such as fixing a flat tire and adjusting the saddle height. Being self-sufficient on the trail can save you from unexpected situations.

Ride with an Experienced Cyclist

If possible, ride with a more experienced cyclist who can offer guidance and help you navigate the desert terrain.

Carry More Water

As a beginner, you might not yet be used to the increased water needs of desert cycling. Ensure you have enough supply of water to stay hydrated.

Develop Proper Riding Techniques

Focus on developing good riding techniques, such as maintaining a balanced posture, using gears efficiently, and practicing controlled braking on sandy surfaces.

A Guide to Desert Bikepacking
A Guide to Desert Bikepacking

Get Comfortable with Your Bike

Spend time getting to know your bike. Learn about gear shifting, braking, and handling so that you feel in control during your rides.

Build Endurance Gradually

Building endurance takes time. Do not push yourself too hard at first. Focus on steady progress and enjoy the learning experience.

What Are the Do’s and Don’ts of Cycling?

Cycling is a fantastic way to stay fit, get around, and enjoy the outdoors, but it is essential to follow certain do’s and don’ts to ensure your safety and the safety of others.


  • Wear a Helmet: Always and always wear a proper fitting helmet to protect your head in case of a fall or accident.
  • Stay Visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing, especially when cycling at night, to ensure you are visible to others.
  • Maintain Your Bike: Check your tires, brakes, and gears regularly to make sure they are in good working condition.
  • Stay Alert: Keep an eye on your surroundings and be aware of potential dangers.
  • Use Lights at Night: Equip your bike with front and rear lights when cycling in low-light conditions to increase visibility.
  • Stay in Control: Maintain a firm grip on your handlebars, and practice safe braking to avoid sudden stops.


  • Don’t Ride Without a Helmet: Never ride without a helmet. This is a vital precaution that can prevent severe head injuries in an accident.
  • Don’t Use Electronic Devices: Avoid using your phone, headphones, or other electronic devices while cycling, as they can distract you from your surroundings.
  • Don’t Ride in the Dark Without Lights: Riding at night without proper lighting can make you almost invisible to others, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Don’t Neglect Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for bike safety. Ignoring it can lead to accidents caused by brake failure or flat tires.
Desert Riding Basics
Desert Biking and Cycling Tips and Guide for Beginners

Descente Cycling Clothing

Cycling in the desert poses unique challenges due to the extreme heat, intense sun, and sandy terrain. Descente, a brand known for its quality and performance-focused cycling clothing, offers a range of products suitable for desert cycling.

Lightweight and Breathable Fabrics

The desert’s scorching temperatures make it necessary to wear clothing that is lightweight and breathable. Look for Descente jerseys and shorts made from moisture-wicking materials that keep you cool and dry during your ride.

Sun Protection

The desert sun can be unforgiving. Choose Descente clothing that provides sun protection, such as built-in UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Long-sleeved jerseys and bib shorts can offer additional sun protection.


Proper ventilation is very important for staying comfortable in the desert’s heat. Look for cycling jerseys with strategically placed mesh panels and bib shorts that have breathable, well-ventilated fabric in critical areas.

desert biking clothes
Descente Cycling Clothing

Full-Length Zipper Jerseys

Full-length zipper jerseys allow you to easily regulate your body temperature by opening up the jersey for increased airflow when it gets particularly hot.

Lightweight Jackets

While the desert is typically known for its heat, temperatures can drop dramatically at night. Carrying a lightweight, packable Descente cycling jacket can be a lifesaver when the temperature cools down or in case of unexpected weather changes.

Cooling Accessories

Descente offers cooling accessories like arm sleeves or neck gaiters with cooling properties. These can be beneficial in the desert’s heat, allowing you to stay cooler during your ride.

Comfortable Chamois

A good quality chamois in your cycling shorts is essential for long rides in the desert.

desert cycling tour
Desert Biking Clothes

Reflective Elements

Safety is paramount, and reflective elements on your Descente clothing can enhance visibility in low-light conditions, which can be especially important if you are cycling in the early morning or late afternoon.

Well-Fitting Apparel

Make sure your Descente clothing fits well. It should be firm but not constricting while reducing wind resistance.

Final Word

“A Guide to Desert Bikepacking” acts as your compass, guiding you through the fascinating world of desert cycling. The desert, with its enchanting sand dunes, rugged canyons, and vast expanses, is an unparalleled canvas for adventure and self-discovery.

By following the advice provided in this comprehensive guide, you can maximize the enjoyment of your desert bikepacking experience, all while respecting the fragile ecosystems that make the desert such a unique environment.

As you enter this challenging yet rewarding terrain, remember that preparedness, safety, and environmental stewardship are your allies. So, saddle up, start your desert cycling odyssey, and let the timeless charm and wonder of the desert unfold before you, leaving tire tracks of your own in the sands of this ever-changing, magical landscape.

Are you a desert fan? Iran is a good destination for desert lovers; Check out Iran desert article for more information about deserts of Iran.

good photo of desert

Desert Photography Tips & Ideas For Beginners

Photography of the desert has many fans, and many photographers interested in this type of nature see photography in the desert as a pastime. The desert actually has a uniform nature and appearance, and in order to take different photos, you must look at it.

Look at the components and their appearance in a new and artistic way and use techniques to make the images more attractive. Photography in the desert requires sufficient science and knowledge as well as experience in this field.

You can take special photos from different elements and new angles. In this article, we will share with you all the Desert Photography Ideas and Tips that you need to know and follow when taking photos in the desert.

How to Photograph Deserts?

Photographing deserts can be a unique and rewarding experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. To capture the stunning beauty of these arid landscapes, here are a few key tips.

First, having the right equipment is crucial, including a sturdy tripod for stability during those golden hours and at night. Using a professional camera with a full-frame sensor ensures high-quality desert shots.

desert photography tips
How to Photograph Deserts?

Graduated filters are handy for increasing contrast and saturating the sky, while high-speed memory cards help with storage and image processing.

Do not forget to pack extra batteries, especially for long desert hikes. Also, when traveling into the desert, consider carrying a GPS, clear bags to protect your camera, suitable footwear, protective clothing (desert clothes), and ample water and snacks to keep yourself energized.

These preparations, along with a good eye for composition, will help you capture the unique and awe-inspiring landscapes of the desert.

Best Desert Photography Tips & Ideas

Here are the some tips:

Tell a Story

One key factor that makes your desert photographs stand out is storytelling. While vast desert landscapes might be the first thing that comes to mind, narrating a story within your photo will set it apart.

For example, including a nomad with their camels, footprints in the sand, a lone figure in the distance, or the shade of a tree can add depth and intrigue to your shot.

However, it all depends on choosing a well-thought-out location. So, think about your subjects, imagine a story, and then seek the perfect desert destination that complements your narrative.

Elevate Your Perspective

In most flat desert landscapes, changing your vantage point can offer a fresh and different view. Use hills, dunes, or even drones to gain a unique perspective. This not only allows you to explore your surroundings more effectively but also helps you discover distinctive subjects within the desert terrain.

Be Patient

It is common to hear desert explorers say, “It all looks the same here! How can I capture something special?” The reality is that extraordinary and unique desert photos are often not taken within the desert itself.

desert photography for beginners
Best Desert Photography Tips & Ideas

You might need to exercise patience and allow your mind to roam freely to discover your distinctive subject amidst seemingly similar vistas. For more inspiration, you can read about experienced desert photographers who have captured enduring and unique desert shots.

Protect Your Camera

Desert sands can be highly detrimental to your camera’s lens and body, so it is important to take special care of your equipment on desert trips. Even a gentle breeze can introduce sand particles into your camera’s body and lens.

Additionally, clear skies without clouds do not exempt your camera from risks. When not in use, always cover your camera with a cloth and avoid changing lenses in the desert. Using a camera cover during photography can be beneficial. Lastly, once you return to your accommodation, make sure to clean your camera carefully.

How Do You Take Good Desert Pictures?

In desert photography, you often encounter vast expanses with substantial depth. To capture sharp images with clarity, it is recommended to use the hyperfocal distance technique.

Hyperfocal distance varies depending on the lens and camera’s aperture settings. By calculating the hyperfocal distance for your specific lens and camera, you can ensure you maintain the right focus distance, thus achieving a greater depth of field.

how to take a good desert photo?
Take Good Desert Pictures

While the hyperfocal distance formula may seem complex, several websites offer this service for free. You can simply input your lens type, desired focal length, and camera, and they will quickly calculate and provide you with the hyperfocal distances. This technique is useful in achieving sharp and well-detailed desert photographs.

What is the best setting for desert photography?

Certainly, when it comes to desert photography, the settings you use can significantly impact the outcome. If you have no prior experience in desert photography, it is a good idea to consider these recommended settings:


Deserts often have abundant sunlight but minimal shade. Therefore, keep your camera’s ISO at the lowest possible setting to avoid excessive noise, especially during low light at sunrise and sunset. Using a tripod can be helpful during these times.

Relatively Closed Aperture

In desert photography, you will typically want to capture a wide range of details, so it is essential to maintain sharpness throughout the frame. To achieve this, select a relatively closed aperture, such as f/11, which allows for a broader depth of field and ensures most elements in your shot are sharp.

best tips for desert photography
Desert Photography Tips & Ideas

Disable Image Stabilization

If you are using a tripod for desert photography, it is important to disable your camera’s image stabilization or stabilizer system. Keeping it active can actually introduce unwanted vibrations and affect the quality of your images, particularly in long-exposure shots.

These settings provide a solid starting point for capturing the beauty of the desert, but remember that personal style and environmental conditions may require adjustments.

Experimenting with these settings while taking into account the unique characteristics of the desert landscape will help you refine your skills and produce outstanding desert photographs.

Desert Photography Tips & Ideas for Beginners

No matter how your photography skills are, deserts have many unique scenery you can take pictures of and capture stunning moments in frames.

Do not forget the Golden Hour

Whether you are a seasoned photographer or just starting out, the golden hours of sunrise and sunset are universally cherished for their warm, slanted light and the magical hues of orange and red they cast upon the landscape.

In desert photography, this holds true and offers unique advantages. The angled light creates captivating shadows, enhancing the texture of the sand and infusing the desert scenery with rich, alluring colors.

Planning your shots during these hours can make your desert photography come alive. Keep in mind that during midday, when the sun is directly overhead, the lack of shadows can impact your photos significantly.

Seek Variety and Uniqueness

A major challenge in desert photography is avoiding repetitive shots and seeking new compositions. While vast desert vistas are tempting, aim to diversify your subjects to maintain your photography’s allure.

Desert flowers, sand dunes, solitary desert plants, or even human elements can provide fresh perspectives and unique storytelling.

ideas for desert photograph
‎How to Shoot Perfect Desert Photo

Capture the Intricate Details

You might be surprised, but deserts are full of intricate details, from the patterns and textures of sand to the resident wildlife and thorny desert plants.

These details offer a world of opportunities to create compelling photographs. It is all about your creativity and how you choose to showcase the unique elements of the desert landscape. So, do not overlook the little things; they often hold the key to remarkable desert photography.

Desert Photography Prints

Desert photography prints capture the fascinating essence of arid landscapes in stunning detail and vivid color. These prints serve as exquisite pieces of art that bring the raw beauty of deserts into homes, offices, or galleries.

From the shifting sands of vast dunes to the rugged grandeur of desert canyons, these prints transport viewers to remote and often mystical landscapes, evoking a sense of wonder and awe.

Desert photography prints make for striking wall decor, offering a touch of the extraordinary and a connection to these unique, unforgiving terrains that continue to inspire both photographers and admirers of nature’s raw beauty.

Famous Desert Photographers

Famous desert photographers like Charles Harker, Ilyshev Dmitry, Tim Murphy, Bram Reusen, Johnny Coate, and Tom Tietz are artists who excel in capturing the breathtaking beauty and harsh, unforgiving landscapes of arid regions around the world.

desert photography
Desert Photography

These photographers have a unique talent for conveying the stark, otherworldly charm of deserts through their lens. With a keen eye for composition and an appreciation for the interplay of light and shadow, they create evocative images that transport viewers to these remote and often mystical landscapes.

Their work not only showcases the raw and haunting beauty of deserts but also serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving these delicate ecosystems in an ever-changing world.

Final Word

Capturing the essence of a desert’s unique beauty requires a combination of creative desert photography ideas and practical knowledge.

How to shoot perfect desert photo involves harnessing the storytelling potential of the arid landscape, experimenting with diverse angles and vantage points, exercising patience to uncover the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary, and protecting your camera from the harsh desert environment.

By embracing these tips and ideas, you can embark on a desert photography adventure that not only produces stunning images but also tells compelling stories through the lens.

Are you planning to do desert photography and looking for a destination? Iran is a good place for desert lovers. for booking your Iran resort, Consider Matinabad eco resort at Kashan, Iran. you will find more interesting Night Sky Photography.

things to do in desert

Things to Do in the Desert (Best Desert Activities)

The desert is a place full of calmness and extraordinary silence. Sometimes it’s only your steps that disturb the peace of the desert. Gazing at the vastness of the silent desert can be so enchanting that you never want it to end. While many may see the desert as a barren land devoid of water and vegetation, it has its own unique ecosystem.

Once you start the desert tour, the chance to see the natural beauty of the desert, from its sand dunes to the amazing sunrises and sunsets, will take only a few hours of your day. So, what do you do with the rest of your time to keep your desert tour interesting?

This is where special wilderness activities come into play. These activities are exclusive to the desert and you won’t find them anywhere else. Relaxing in these vast and peaceful landscapes may be just what you need. But what exactly are these wilderness activities? Join us to introduce you to the pleasures of desert recreation.

What Activities You Can Do in Desert?

The desert offers a unique landscape that presents travelers with a wide range of activities. From vast sand dunes to rugged terrain, deserts offer an array of experiences and recreation.

things to do in desert
What Activities You Can Do in Desert?

In desert tours, you can experience and enjoy exciting adventures such as hill climbing, camel riding, and sandboarding. In the following, we introduce some of the Top things to do in the desert.

Desert Off-Roading and Safaris

One of the most exciting desert activities is off-roading and safaris. You and your friends can get into an off-road vehicle and let the driver take you through the sandy dunes in the heart of the desert, where your adrenaline will rush through you.

The joy of desert climbing and off-roading is exactly that moment when you move at high speed in the air and experience weightlessness for a moment. Then, you experience a soft landing on the sand.

We recommend choosing a desert tour that includes off-roading and safaris in its list of services. The safari and off-road drivers should have special skills and experience in navigating the sandy hills.

Keep in mind that off-roading is both a recreational activity and a highly professional sport, so having a skilled and experienced driver is essential for an enjoyable experience.

Camel Riding

Is it even possible to visit the desert without experiencing the timeless charm of camel riding? Camel riding is one of the unique things to do in the desert that takes you on a journey through the sands. For centuries, people have crossed the heart of deserts atop camels, and today, camel riding has become an integral part of desert tours.

camel riding in desert
Camel Riding in the Desert

Camel riding in the desert offers an unforgettable pleasure. As you sit atop a camel, you will draw closer to the sun and the sky, the jingling sound of the caravan’s bells echoing in the background.

From this point onward, there’s nothing but the enchantment of the desert, and from here on, there is nothing but the wonder of the desert.

Sand Skiing

Yes, you heard that right, sand skiing! In the desert, where there is no snow in sight, you will find endless expanses of shifting sands and sandy dunes that act like the thrill of skiing on snow. While sand skiing differs from its snowy counterpart in many ways, your skills in snow skiing can certainly be put to use in this exciting desert sport.

It is essential to exercise caution, though, as you will have less protective gear compared to snow skiing, which means the risk of getting hurt is higher.

Try to start with low hills first, and after mastering, try higher hills to get the most out of this desert sport. Sand skiing in the desert adds another layer of adventure to the range of recreational activities that this unique environment has to offer.


Stargazing in the heart of the desert, under the incredibly starry desert nights, is undeniably one of the most unique desert activities. The desert offers amazing views that you simply will not find elsewhere.

One of these breathtaking sights is the desert night sky. Thanks to its pristine air, the desert sky is so filled with distant and nearby stars that you can lose hours in watching the stars.

Stargazing in desert
Stargazing in the Desert

Completing your desert night with stargazing is a perfect choice. Astronomy lovers and stargazers, wherever they are, eagerly set up their equipment in the desert.

Among the historical sites and caravanserais, they prepare their gear and look professionally at the beauty of the stars. The desert night sky reveals its heavenly glory and makes stargazing an unforgettable desert experience.

What Do You Experience in A Desert?

A trip to the desert is a unique and transformative experience that cannot be found anywhere else. When you enter these arid landscapes, you can expect to experience:

Sensory Overload

The desert engages your senses in ways you might not expect. During the day, you will feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, and as night falls, the desert cools down quickly, making you appreciate the contrast.

The feel of fine desert sand underfoot, the scent of dry earth and desert plants, and the sound of silence broken only by the wind or the occasional rustle of desert creatures all contribute to a sensory journey.

Vast Open Spaces

Endless horizons and open spaces in the desert are unlike any other landscape. The feeling of boundless freedom and isolation can be both exhilarating and humbling. This is a place where you can truly disconnect from the outside world and enjoy the moment.

Unpredictable Weather

Desert weather can be surprising. While often associated with extreme heat, deserts can also get surprisingly cold at night. You may experience temperature fluctuations that challenge your acclimatization.

desert weather
Unpredictable Weather of the Desert

Mirages and Illusions

Deserts are known for creating optical illusions, such as mirages that trick your eyes. These bright images on the horizon can create an otherworldly feeling as if you are in a dream state.

Serenity and Solitude

The stillness of the desert is unique. It is a place where you can find peace and solitude and reflect on yourself, providing an opportunity to disconnect from the noise and distractions of modern life.

Challenging Conditions

The harsh desert environment can be physically challenging and test your endurance and adaptability.

Moments of Awe

The stark beauty of the desert often creates moments of awe. Whether it is watching a brilliant desert sunset, exploring natural wonders like canyons and cliffs, or discovering ancient archaeological sites, these moments will leave a lasting impression on your memory.

What Makes the Desert Interesting to Visit?

The charm of the desert lies not only in its quietness but also in its unique natural wonders and new experiences. In the following, we review some of the attractions that make the desert an attractive and unforgettable destination to visit:

Stunning Landscapes

Deserts offer some of the most breathtaking landscapes on Earth. From rolling sand dunes to vast rocky terrains, the diversity of desert scenery is amazing. Each desert has its distinctive charm.

Starlit Nights

Desert nights are a heaven of stars. The absence of light pollution allows you to see unique views of the night sky. You can witness a celestial spectacle with countless stars, planets, and even meteor showers, making desert camping an otherworldly experience.

starry nights of desert
Starlit Nights of the Desert

Rich Cultural Heritage

Many deserts are home to ancient civilizations and nomadic cultures. Exploring these regions can provide insight into their history, traditions, and unique ways of life.

From the Bedouin culture in the Arabian Desert to the Native American tribes of the Southwest, the desert is an exquisite collection of cultural experiences.

Thrilling Adventure

Desert environments provide a playground for adventure lovers. You can participate in activities like dune bashing, sandboarding, rock climbing, and even hot air ballooning. These activities add an adrenaline rush to the relaxed environment.

Wildlife Encounters

Contrary to popular belief, deserts are teeming with life. The unique flora and fauna, often adapted to extreme conditions, make desert ecosystems truly fascinating. From elusive desert foxes to resilient cacti, there’s an abundance of life to discover.

Final Word

With its vast and diverse landscapes, the desert has something for every traveler, whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural enrichment.

The endless allure of the desert is sure to leave a lasting impression on your soul, and there is always more to discover in this enchanting world.

In this article, we introduced more than 10 things you can do in the desert, but the attractions of the desert are certainly not limited to these activities, so on your next trip, be sure to try the desert tour and discover its new experiences.

Are you planning to travel to Iran and looking for an Iran resort? Consider Matinabad eco resort.

best time to go to Iran

The Best Time to Visit Deserts + Tips

Desert adventures are always super exciting to experience, from riding bikes, cars, and camels to strolling on the dunes or singing by the campfire. But imagine going on a fun desert trip and awaiting the exhilarating activities, except you have decided to visit this magnificent spot at the wrong time of the year and making your time of visit unbearable. That is going to be a bummer. So, here we are going to inform you about the best time you can visit a desert and enjoy your thrilling excursion.

The Best Time to Go to a Desert

Before planning your desert trip, always ask yourself what is the best time to go to the desert? This will help you to be cautious of the weather and plan a safe and pleasurable trip.

In this article, we have made it much easier for you by providing recommendations about the best time to visit and some tips for an excellent adventure.

Deserts can have harsh weather conditions throughout the year, with sandstorms and excessive heat making you dehydrated and exhausted or freezing nights causing difficult sleep.

So, what is the best season in the desert? To avoid such conditions, the best time to visit a desert is around spring or autumn when the climate is moderate and there are no hot or cold temperatures.

best time to go to desert
Is It Worth Going to A Desert?

During summer, especially in certain regions of the desert, the temperature is too hot to tolerate and may be dangerous for any explorations. Likewise, during winter, the cool air may cause discomfort and make your trip unpleasant.

Traveling at the right time of the year is an important matter to keep in mind. You can also plan your outdoor activities during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning and late afternoon, to avoid the scorching midday heat.

Although many may recommend visiting deserts during winter since the weather is cooler and more bearable, it all depends on the temperature of the region you are planning to go to.

In the United States, tourists and travelers tend to visit the Grand Canyon National Park more often during winter, as the weather is much more enjoyable than the other months of the year.

Is It Worth Going to A Desert?

Deserts may be perilous locations with hundreds of things to be cautious about, but with all the exciting desert activities available for visitors to engage in, it is definitely worth going.

These arid lands filled with orange dunes can offer you a unique and mesmerizing landscape as well as an opportunity to connect with nature through your relaxing travel.

Here are a few reasons why it is worth visiting a desert:

Spectacular Landscapes

Deserts are famous for their breathtaking landscapes, from vast sand dunes to rugged canyons and otherworldly rock formations. The natural beauty and the feeling of solitude can be incredibly rewarding for those who appreciate it.

desert time
Tips for Traveling in the Desert


Deserts are a haven for photographers where they can play with light and shadows on desert terrain, which can result in fantastic images. Taking professional photos in a desert is one of the many activities photographers do while visiting this unique spot.

Biking and Cycling

Desert biking and cycling provide a thrilling way to explore the vast, open spaces on the dunes. Fat-tire bikes are often used to ride over the sandy terrain, while the more adventurous may choose the rugged desert trails. The warm, dry climate and wide-open spaces make it an ideal setting for long rides that take you across dunes and arid plains.


The desert’s lack of light pollution makes it an ideal destination for stargazing. The immense skies display an exhilarating panorama of stars and celestial objects. Many desert regions are home to astronomical observatories, where visitors can learn about the cosmos and even view distant galaxies through powerful telescopes.


Sandboarding allows thrill-seekers to glide down sand dunes at high speeds, an exciting activity that’s sure to get your heart racing.

best time to visit desert
Best time to visit desert


Desert hiking is a calm way to encounter the wilderness at a slower pace. You can explore rocky landscapes and discover unique flora, hidden oases, and ancient geological formations.


Desert regions often feature striking rock formations, perfect for rock climbing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a novice or a professional climber, the sandstone and granite formations are obtainable for bouldering and traditional climbing.

Tips for Traveling in the Desert

Traveling in the desert can be very fun and challenging, but it certainly requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some essential tips for a safe and enjoyable desert journey:

Hydration: Staying hydrated is crucial. Carry a sufficient supply of water and drink regularly to prevent dehydration. This is a serious concern in dry environments.

Navigation: To avoid getting lost in the desert, always have a reliable map, GPS device, or compass, and learn about the terrain and desert regions before your journey.

First Aid: Pack a well-equipped first-aid kit and familiarize yourself with basic medical procedures to address minor injuries or health issues.

Vehicle Maintenance: If traveling by vehicle, ensure it’s in excellent condition and carry spare tires, tools, and adequate fuel. Desert terrain can be tough on vehicles.

a car in desert
Tips for Traveling in the Desert

Emergency Communication: Bring a charged cell phone or satellite phone in case of emergencies. Let someone (a family member or a friend) know your travel plans and expected return date.

Wildlife Awareness: Be aware of the local wildlife and take precautions to avoid encounters with potentially dangerous creatures. Do not rest in caves or places that might be animal shelters. Check for wildlife footprints to prevent any possible dangers.

Respect the Environment: Leave no trace. Dispose of trash properly and respect the desert’s fragile ecosystem.

Local Knowledge: Seek advice from locals or tour guides who are familiar with the area. They can provide invaluable insights into the desert’s unique challenges and attractions.

By following these tips, you can have a safe and rewarding experience while exploring the captivating deserts in the world.

Best Time to Travel to the Deserts of Iran

The best time to travel to the deserts of Iran is during the shoulder seasons in late autumn (October to November) and early spring (March to April).

These months offer the most pleasant weather conditions for a perfect desert trip. With daytime temperatures being comfortably warm and the nights not too cold.

best time to visit Iran Desert
Best Time to Travel to the Deserts of Iran

Traveling during these periods allows you to explore Iran’s enchanting desert landscapes, such as the Dasht-e Kavir and the Dasht e Lut, without the boiling heat of summer or the low temperatures of winter.

Moreover, wildflowers often bloom during spring, adding vibrant colors to the dry terrain, making it a stunning time to visit the Iranian deserts.

Final Words

The desert, with its seemingly endless expanses of sand and harsh appearance, offers a unique and interesting environment for a variety of activities, from adrenaline-pumping adventures to serene and relaxing experiences.

With the information provided for you regarding the time of visit and tips, desert activities can be a lot more exciting once you step into these arid landscapes.

Whether you seek adventure, serenity, or the awe-inspiring beauty of the night sky, the desert has something to offer for everyone. Just remember to respect the fragile ecosystem and be ready for the challenges of this environment to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Are you planning to travel to Iran and looking for an Iran resort? Consider Matinabad eco resort.

what is yardang

What Is Yardang? (Yardang Landform Definition & more)

Nature’s art often takes the form of unique landscapes created over thousands of years by the relentless forces of wind and water. Among these remarkable natural wonders are yardangs, geological features that exhibit erosion, and the elements. In this article, we will step into the world of yardangs and explain their formation, unique features, and their importance in shaping the earth’s surface, so stay with us.

What Is the Simple Definition of Yardang?

A yardang is a long, narrow, and streamlined landform formed by the forces of wind and water erosion, typically found in dry or desert areas.

what is yardang
What is Yardang? | Photo by: Benny N. L (Flicker)

These features often resemble ridges or hills, with their smooth surfaces sculpted over time by abrasive particles carried by the wind. Yardangs are nature sculptures that reveal the powerful influence of natural elements on the earth’s surface.

What Is Yardang Also Known As?

A yardang, sometimes referred to as a “wind-eroded ridge” or just a “ridge,” is a distinctive geological feature shaped by forces such as wind and water erosion.

These long ridges often have smooth, streamlined shapes and usually align themselves with the prevailing wind direction.

Yardangs are commonly found in arid and semi-arid regions, especially in deserts, since in deserts, a combination of strong and constant winds and minimal vegetation allows them to form.

What Are Yardangs in Deserts?

In the vast and windy deserts, a wonderful phenomenon called yardang can be seen. A remarkable yardang example can be found in the Sahara Desert, where these sculpted wonders, such as the Aïr Mountains’ Ténéré Valley Yardangs, exemplify the creative forces of nature.

yardang desert
Yardangs in Deserts

Similarly, the Gobi Desert in Asia has stunning yardangs, where the Hongjian Nur Yardangs showcase the exquisite craftsmanship of wind and sand.

What Is the Process of Yardang?

The formation of yardangs is primarily a result of two main processes: abrasion and deflation. In arid or semi-arid regions, these processes work together to shape these distinctive desert landforms.


Wind carrying sand and other abrasive particles hits the surface of rocks repeatedly and loose sediment like sandpaper on wood.

Over time, this abrasive action removes exposed rock surfaces and gradually transforms them into smooth and flowing shapes. Think of it as nature’s sculptor turning toward the earth.


As strong winds blow across the landscape, they have the ability to lift and transport fine-grained particles such as sand and dust.

yardang park
Process of Yardang | Photo by: Thierry Hennet (Flicker)

This process, known as deflation, selectively removes loose material, leaving behind the more resistant and less erodible rocks. Over time, this preferential removal of material results in the long ridges or hills we know as yardangs.

These processes are continuous and can take thousands to millions of years to shape yardangs into their distinctive forms, making them amazing examples of the earth’s ever-evolving landscape.

Characteristics of Yardangs

Ridge-like Structures: Yardangs are usually in the form of long and parallel ridges aligned with the prevailing wind direction. The length of these ridges varies from several meters to several kilometers and may rise several meters above the surrounding land.

Smooth and Streamlined: Yardangs often exhibit a smooth and streamlined appearance due to the consistent action of wind-eroded. They may look like a boat hull or a teardrop.

Uniform Alignment: The ridges of yardangs align themselves with the dominant wind direction. This uniform orientation reflects the continuous effect of wind erosion force.

process of yardang
Characteristics of Yardangs

Long, Smooth Ridges: Yardangs are like elongated hills or ridges. They stretch and can be very long and usually look smooth and flowing.

Aligned with the Wind: They line up with the direction the wind usually blows. This shows how wind has been shaping them over time.

Found in Dry Places: Yardangs appear mostly in dry areas, especially deserts. This is because they are formed by the wind and do not need a lot of rain to shape them.

Where Are Yardangs Found?

Yardangs are found in various parts of the world, typically in arid or semi-arid regions where the forces of wind and water erosion have had a significant impact on the landscape. Some of the most famous locations for yardangs are:

Deserts: Yardangs are commonly found in deserts around the world. The Sahara Desert in Africa, the Atacama Desert in South America, and the Gobi Desert in Asia are all home to impressive yardang formations. The dry conditions and consistent winds in these areas provide the ideal environment for their creation.

Plateaus and Plains: Yardangs can also be found in areas with high plateaus or flat plains, especially if they experience strong and consistent winds. For example, the Colorado Plateau in the United States has notable yardang formations.

Where Are Yardangs Found?

Valley Floors: In some cases, yardangs can form in the floors of valleys, especially if the surrounding landscape is arid and the valley is prone to wind erosion

Coastal Regions: Coastal yardangs can be created when strong coastal winds shape the landscape. These formations often have a unique relationship with both wind and water erosion.

High Plateaus: In regions with high plateaus, such as the Tibetan Plateau, yardangs can be found at higher elevations, showing that these landforms are not limited to low-altitude areas.

The Importance of Yardangs

Yardangs play a significant role in shaping landscapes and ecosystems:

Indicator of Arid Climates: The presence of yardangs in an area is a strong indicator of a dry, arid, or semi-arid climate. These landforms help geologists and researchers better understand past climatic conditions on Earth.

Erosion Control: Yardangs protect their surroundings from further erosion. By acting as natural barriers, they shield the landscape from the erosive winds, preserving the soil and reducing soil erosion.

Unique Ecosystems: Despite their harsh, arid environments, yardangs often host unique ecosystems that have adapted to the challenging conditions. These areas may provide critical habitats for specialized plant and animal species.

The Biggest Yardang in the World

China has the widest distribution of yardang in the world, covering a staggering total area of approximately 20,000 square kilometers.

Among these remarkable geological formations, the most notable and expansive can be found in the basins of Xinjiang and the western regions of Gansu Province.

biggest yardang in the world
The Biggest Yardang in the World

The Qaidam Basin in Qinghai Province also hosts a significant concentration of these impressive ridges. These vast expanses of yardangs in China are situated in the heart of the Eurasian continent, where a very dry temperate continental climate prevails.

The combination of arid conditions and consistent winds has allowed nature to create some of the most impressive yardangs on Earth in this area.

Final Word

Yardangs stand as remarkable geological formations shaped by natural forces that are found all around the world. These natural sculptures are a unique travel destination for adventurous tourists.

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things to do in isfahan

Things to do in Isfahan (Photos, Address, Timing)

Isfahan is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran and one of the most important tourist destinations for Iranians and foreign tourists due to its tourist attractions and historical monuments left from various eras, especially the Safavid era. The historical city of Isfahan is a mixture of the art and architecture of ancient Iran and the Middle centuries. You will witness the splendor of Iranian art and taste in every part of the city. The city of Isfahan has special beauties, that is why this city is called Esfahan Nesf-e Jahan (half of the world). Isfahan, a city with blue tiles and fine arts, attracts everyone. If we want to write about the things to do Isfahan, several pages of the article will definitely not be enough, but in this article, we will introduce you to some of the most popular and famous sights of Isfahan, so stay with us until the end of this article.

things to do in isfahan
Isfahan Tourist Attractions

Why Visit Isfahan?

  • It is one of the top 5 tourist cities in Iran.
  • You can visit unique Isfahan historical places such as Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Chehel Sotoun Palace, Grand Bazaar Of Isfahan, Vank Cathedral, etc. in this city.
  • Some of the most important and beautiful bridges of Iran, such as Si-o-se-pol and Khaju Bridge, are located in this city.
  • Apart from the famous historical attractions, interesting sights such as the Music Museum, Isfahan Aquarium, Armenian Quarter, Chaharbagh Street, etc. make sightseeing in this city more enjoyable.
  • By traveling to Isfahan, you can have a memorable trip to one of the most important periods in Iran’s history, the Safavid period, by visiting the historical context and famous attractions of the city.
  • A trip to Isfahan is considered a trip to the handicraft capital of Iran. By choosing Isfahan as your travel destination, you can get to know this part of Iranian culture.

How Many Days Is Enough in Isfahan?

There are so many attractions and historical monuments in Isfahan that you may need several weeks to visit them completely! However, a full visit to this enchanting city usually requires at least three to four days.

This time frame allows you to explore the most important historical and cultural places, including Imam Square, stunning mosques, the Grand Bazaar, and beautiful bridges.

Chaharbagh School
Chaharbagh School

It also provides the flexibility to get to know the local atmosphere, sample delicious Iranian cuisine, and interact with warm and friendly locals.

If you have more time, extending your stay to five or six days can help you explore more deeply the culture and beauty of Isfahan and nearby attractions, such as Abyaneh village and Kashan.

Finally, the more time you spend in Isfahan, the more you will understand its history and beauty and guarantee a truly unforgettable experience.

Free Things to Do in Isfahan

Exploring the beautiful city of Isfahan does not need to cost a fortune, as there are several free activities and attractions that allow visitors to experience the city’s charm without spending a fortune.

Begin your day with a leisurely stroll around the iconic Imam Square (Naghsh-e Jahan), admiring its grandeur, historic significance, and the stunning mosques that surround it.

You can also enjoy the architectural wonders of the city’s many bridges, such as Si-o-se-pol and Khaju Bridge while enjoying the peaceful views of the Zayandeh River.

tour to isfahan
Isfahan half of the world!

Do not miss the chance to explore the charming Armenian Quarter, known for its unique red mud-brick houses and beautiful streets.

Additionally, exploring the local bazaars and markets, like the Grand Bazaar, offers an opportunity to experience the vibrant atmosphere and observe daily life, all without spending a single dollar.

Lastly, visiting the city’s parks and gardens, like Mount Soffeh and Nazhan Park, provides a relaxing escape into nature, ideal for picnics or walks, making Isfahan an attractive destination for travelers on a budget.

Naghsh-e Jahan Square (Imam Square)

Naghsh-e Jahan Square is one of the largest squares in the world and one of the most important tourist places in Isfahan.

Around this square, there are traditional markets and historical buildings such as Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque, and Qeysarie Bazaar. Enjoyable horse-drawn carriage rides are available here, allowing you to experience them alongside visits to historical sites and shopping in the traditional market of Naghsh-e Jahan Square.

Additionally, gaining familiarity with the souvenirs and handicrafts of Isfahan province can serve as your guide in your shopping ventures.

Visiting hours for Naghsh-e Jahan Square: It is open day and night.

Address: Isfahan, north of Isfahan city, west of Hafez Street

Si-o-Se Pol Bridge of Isfahan

The “Si-o-Se Pol” is one of the iconic symbols of Isfahan and among its most important landmarks. This historical bridge, whose foundations are slowly deteriorating, has lost some of its grandeur over time but remains a stunning and fascinating sight.

This bridge was built during the reign of Shah Abbas. The Si-o-Se Pol Bridge was intended to be an eternal symbol of Isfahan.

Throughout history, this bridge has hosted numerous celebrations and important events, including the Ab-Pashan (water festival), Nowruz (Persian New Year), and Khaj Shoyan gatherings, which have brought people together for camaraderie and joy.

isfahan tourist
Si-o-Se Pol Bridge of Isfahan

With 33 arches, a length of 295 meters, and a width of 14 meters, the Si-o-Se Pol Bridge is an architectural marvel of their time, sparking various opinions and discussions.

This structure is registered as a national monument of Iran. Visit the Si-o-Se Pol Bridge and witness its beauty, especially at night when the illuminations add to their grandeur and make an unforgettable memory.

Address: Located 1800 meters away from Khaju Bridge.

Visiting Hours: Open day and night.

Khaju Bridge

This beautiful bridge was built during the reign of Shah Abbas II and is considered one of the architectural wonders of its time.

Khaju Bridge features a symmetrical design and spans across the Zayanderud River. It served practical purposes, such as damming and regulating the river’s flow, and has remained stable throughout history.

khaju bridge isfahan
Khaju Bridge

In the middle of this bridge, a small building with simple yet regal decorations was constructed for the royal family to use. The view of the Zayanderud River from the top of the bridge is peaceful and delightful, and the reflection of the sky and the bridge in the heart of the river is truly unique.

If you visit this place, especially during sunset, you can witness one of the most beautiful sights in Isfahan.

Address: Southern end of Chaharbagh-e Khaju and the eastern end of Kamal al-Din Isfahani Street.

Visiting Hours: Open day and night.

Things to Do in Isfahan

Here are the list of Isfahan tourist Attractions:

Aali Qapu Palace

Aali Qapu Palace is a six-story building standing 48 meters high, with its floors interconnected by spiral staircases.

Constructed during the Safavid era on the western side of Imam Square, it was initially commissioned by Shah Abbas I and later completed during the reigns of Shah Abbas II and Shah Suleiman.

aali qapu palace
Aali Qapu Palace

An interesting aspect of this Isfahan attraction, Aali Qapu, is that the number of floors appears different from various angles. When viewed from the front, it seems to have two floors, from the side, three floors, and from behind, five floors. However, in reality, Aali Qapu has six floors.

Aali Qapu Palace Address: Imam Square, Western side, Isfahan

Visiting Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Imam Mosque

The Shah Mosque or Imam Mosque, was built during the Safavid era under the orders of Shah Abbas I. This mosque is one of Isfahan’s top attractions and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside Naghsh-e Jahan Square.

Its breathtaking beauty is mainly attributed to the extraordinary architecture, tilework, and exceptional woodwork that was employed in its construction.

The Jameh Mosque is a unique example of Iranian-Islamic architecture, adorned with Islamic patterns and calligraphy crafted by renowned calligraphers such as Alireza Abbasi.

isfahan things to do
Imam Mosque Architecture

An interesting fact about this mosque is that if you stand in the center of the mosque’s dome chamber and speak, your voice can be heard throughout the entire mosque courtyard.

Address: Isfahan, south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square.

Visiting Hours: In the first half of the year, from 9 AM to 12 PM, and in the second half of the year, from 2 PM to 5 PM.

Entrance Fee: 50,000 Iranian rials for domestic tourists and 500,000 Iranian rials for foreign tourists.

The Jameh Mosque

The Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, also known as the Atiq Jame Mosque, covers an area of approximately 21,000 square meters.

Its historical origins date back to the Seljuk period. This mosque is listed as both a national monument of Iran and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The complex boasts 484 domes, both large and small, each adorned with distinct designs. Among the various sections of the mosque, you can find the Shabestan (prayer hall), the Taj al-Molk Dome, the Nezam al-Molk Dome, as well as the chambers of Dervishes, Sahib, Ustaad, Shagird, and Omar.

There are also the mosques and the Mehrab al-Jayto, the winter Shabestan of Bit al-Shata, and the Khajeh Nezam al-Molk Library.

Address: Isfahan, Qiyam Square, Allameh Majlesi Street.

Visiting Hours: from 9 AM to 11 AM and 1 PM to 4 PM.

Entrance Fee: 50,000 Iranian rials for domestic tourists and 500,000 Iranian rials for foreign tourists.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is adorned with exquisite tilework and has exceptional architecture. This beautiful mosque, constructed during the Safavid period, shines with its distinctive turquoise dome on Naghsh-e Jahan Square. Other notable features of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque include its impressive 28-meter-long entrance corridor, the Mehrab (prayer niche), an underground corridor, special lighting, the main Shabestan (prayer hall), the magnificent dome, inscriptions and calligraphy within the mosque, and a unique sevenfold echo phenomenon. What sets this mosque apart from others in Iran is its lack of minarets and its four-iwan courtyard.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Address: Isfahan, the eastern side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square.

Visiting Hours: In the first half of the year, open from 9 AM to 12:30 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM. In the second half of the year, open from 9 AM to 11:30 AM and 1 PM to 4:30 PM.

Entrance Fee: 50,000 Iranian rials.

Sheikh Bahai Bathhouse (Shaykh Bahai Hammam)

We arrive at another mysterious place in Isfahan – the Sheikh Bahai Bathhouse. This large and mysterious bathhouse used to heat all its water with just one flame. Sadly, that flame has now gone out.

During the Safavid era, this bathhouse was designed by the great scholar Sheikh Bahai. Some attribute the extinguishing of the flame to carelessness during experiments.

The architecture of this bathhouse is typical of public bathhouses in Iran, with its unique feature being the method of heating the bath.

Address: Abdul Razzaq Street, Isfahan, Sheikh Bahai Alley.

Vank Cathedral

Vank Cathedral is one of the must-visit places in Isfahan, intertwined with the city’s history. Built during the reign of Shah Abbas II to accommodate the Armenian community, it is the heart of the Jolfa neighborhood.

Vank Cathedral is a blend of Armenian and Islamic architectural styles, with a striking dome that stands proudly above it. The entire church is full of breathtaking beauties that will make your eyes sparkle when you see each of them.

This building, which is still active and is a center for worship and performing religious acts, has a magnificent museum next to it.

vank cathedral
Vank Cathedral

The Vank Cathedral Museum preserves valuable artifacts, each with a rich history. One of the most famous pieces is an intricately detailed tilework that features a passage from the Torah, which you can view through a microscope.

Words fall short of describing the beauty of this complex. You must visit Isfahan and experience Vank Cathedral up close. Do not forget to explore the famous and special cafes in the Jolfa neighborhood during your tour.

Address: Jolfa neighborhood, Eastern Nazar Street, Vank Cathedral Alley.

Visiting Hours: Daily from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM and from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

Entrance Fee: 150,000 Iranian rials for domestic tourists and 500,000 Iranian rials for foreign tourists.

Manar Jonban

Many tourists are familiar with the historic and ancient structure known as Manar Jonban. Manar Jonban is another attraction in the city of Isfahan, built in the year 716 AH. It is the resting place of a revered mystic named “Amoo Abdullah Karladani.”

One unique feature of this historic site is its name, which means “shaking minarets” in Persian. If you push one minaret, the other minaret starts swaying as well, giving it the name “Manar Jonban.”

monar jonban
Monar Jonban

Another interesting fact is that each minaret has a width of 9 meters and a height of 17 meters. When you visit Isfahan, be sure to make a stop at this special and strange structure!

Address: 6 kilometers on the road from Isfahan to Najafabad.

Visiting Hours: 9 AM to 6 PM.

Entrance Fee: 50,000 Iranian rials.

Chehel Sotoon Palace

The Chehel Sotoon Palace is a perfect example of a royal and magnificent garden that dates back to the Safavid era. The interesting thing to note about this garden is that it once had a direct connection to other gardens, leading to the heart of the city, Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

Inside this garden, you will discover a museum filled with amazing paintings, each of which tells a story of one of the historical events of that time.

Chehel Sotoon Palace
Chehel Sotoon Palace

To go to Chehelston Garden, we suggest spring or summer to enjoy nature and also the beauty of the building’s architecture in the cool and comfortable air.

Address: East of Chaharbagh Paeen Street, South of Sepah Street, and West of Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

Visiting Hours: from 9 AM to 5 PM, except on special holidays.

Entrance Fee: 500,000 Iranian rials for foreign tourists.

Chaharbagh School

Chaharbagh School, named after its four iwans (vaulted halls), is one of the most amazing attractions in Isfahan. Also known as Madrese-ye Madar-e Shah, it is the last structure built during the Safavid era.

This building has complete beauty with all its impressive features, from its intricate tilework and mosaics to the detailed designs adorning both its exterior and interior, creating a lasting impression.

After renovations, Chaharbagh School reopened in September 1941, and in 1946, it was transformed into the Cultural Library.

Address: Chaharbagh Street – Chaharbagh School.

Visiting Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

Final Word

Isfahan is undoubtedly a city that will fascinate you, and besides exploring its ancient wonders, you will also be enchanted by its beautiful and green natural scenery. To make your trip to Isfahan an unforgettable memory, it is highly recommended to plan a few days stay in this charming city.

Whether you are a history enthusiast, an admirer of architectural marvels, a nature lover, or simply seeking relaxation, Isfahan tourism has something to offer for everyone. So be sure to include Isfahan in your itinerary and experience the diverse aspects of this stunning city, where every corner reveals its rich heritage.

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Nowruz, Persian New Year: Meaning, History, Celebration

Nowruz, also spelled as “Norooz” or “Nawruz,” is actually the Persian New Year, celebrated by millions of people worldwide. The holiday usually falls on or around March 20th or 21st, coinciding with the arrival of spring, and it represents a time of renewal and fresh beginnings.

The word “Nowruz” itself means “New Day” in Persian, and this festival is deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of Iran, with its origins dating back more than 3,000 years. While Iran is the center of Nowruz celebrations, the festivities have spread to various countries with Persian influence and Iranian diaspora communities globally.

It is a time of joy when families come together, homes are cleaned and decorated, and symbolic rituals are performed to welcome the New Year. Now, let’s delve deeper into the magic of Nowruz and discover the customs, traditions, and the significance of this vibrant celebration.

What Is Nowruz?

Nowruz is an important celebration in Iran and several other countries. It marks the beginning of the new year and coincides with the arrival of spring.

Nowruz is a long-standing tradition rooted in Iranian culture and history. It is officially recognized as a holiday in various nations, including Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Iraq, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Albania, China, and Uzbekistan.

Persian new year
Persian new year

The essence of Nowruz lies in the idea of renewal and rebirth, mirroring the rejuvenation of nature as winter gives way to spring. People celebrate by performing various customs and traditions, including cleaning and decorating their homes, visiting friends and family, wearing new clothes, and preparing traditional dishes.

Nowruz begins with the vernal equinox, symbolizing the moment when day and night are of equal length, emphasizing the balance in the universe. According to the solar calendar, this equinox marks the transition to the new year, which falls on the first day of the month of Farvardin.

Nowruz Festival History

The history of the Nowruz festival can be traced back to different periods in Iranian history, including the times of the Achaemenids and the Sassanians.

During the Sassanian era, the New Year celebration was particularly significant. It was divided into two parts: Nowruz Kuchak (Small Nowruz) and Nowruz Bozorg (Grand Nowruz). Nowruz Kuchak, also known as Nowruz Ameh, spanned for five days, from the first to the fifth day of Farvardin, the first month of the Persian calendar.

The sixth day, known as Khordad-Rooz (Day of Khordad), was celebrated as Nowruz Bozorg or Nowruz Khaseh (Special Nowruz).

nowruz festival
Nowruz celebration

Each day of the festival was marked by special rituals and customs. People would visit the royal court to meet the king, who would listen to their concerns and issue commands to resolve their issues.

On the sixth day, only those close to the king were granted an audience. The importance of Nowruz was more than a mere celebration; it served as a time for communication between the people and their ruler and strengthened a sense of unity and cooperation within the society.

Nowruz Meaning

The word “Nowruz” has its origins in the Middle Persian language, specifically from the term “nōgrōz,” which in turn traces its roots to the Avestan language. Historians have speculated that the Avestan equivalent might have been “navaka raocah.”

In contemporary Persian, the term “Nowruz” carries two distinct meanings:

  • Nowruz Ameh: This refers to the day of the vernal equinox, marking the beginning of spring and the start of the new year.
  • Nowruz Khaseh: This signifies the sixth day of the Persian month of Farvardin, known as “Ruz-e Khordad,” which is celebrated as a special day.

Ancient Iranians referred to Nowruz as “Nawasarda,” meaning the “New Year.” During different periods, such as the Sogdian and Khwarezmian eras in Central Asia, Nowruz was referred to as “Nawruz” or “Nawsardji,” signifying the New Year.

How Is Nowruz Celebrated?

Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is celebrated with an array of customs and traditions that last for several days. The festivities begin with thorough spring cleaning, symbolizing the removal of negativity and the preparation for a fresh start.

Families come together to decorate their homes and set up the Haft-Seen table, an essential centerpiece adorned with seven symbolic items, all starting with the Persian letter “S.”

haft seen table
Haft-Seen Table

These items carry deep meaning and include sprouted wheat, sweet pudding, dried oleaster fruit, garlic cloves, apples, sumac berries, and vinegar.

People dress in new clothes and visit friends and family, exchanging gifts as a symbol of blessings and good wishes. Jumping over bonfires during Chaharshanbe Suri, the fire-jumping ritual, is a lively start to Nowruz, where participants cast away misfortunes.

On the day of Nowruz itself, the vernal equinox, families gather for a special meal, often serving traditional dishes. Music, dance, and cultural exhibitions further enrich the celebrations, creating a vibrant atmosphere of joy and unity.

Which Religion Celebrates Nowruz?

Nowruz is mainly celebrated by people of Zoroastrian, Baha’i, and Muslims, especially among Shia Muslims. However, it is important to note that Nowruz has transcended its religious origins and is now celebrated by different communities and people from various religious and cultural backgrounds.

It has become a secular celebration of the arrival of spring and the start of the new year in many parts of the world, and people of different religions often join in the festivities.

Thus, while it has strong historical ties to Zoroastrianism, Nowruz is a celebration that has evolved to embrace a wide range of cultural and religious perspectives.

Nowruz Haft-Seen Table

The Nowruz Haft-Seen table is a special and symbolic centerpiece of the Nowruz celebration. It is traditionally decorated with seven items that begin with the Persian letter “S,” hence its name, Haft-Seen. These items hold deep symbolic meaning, representing various aspects of life and renewal.

Some of the symbolic items include “seer” for garlic, which symbolizes medicine and good health, “sekke” for coins, which symbolizes prosperity, “samanu” for sweet pudding, which symbolizes power and strength, “sabzeh” for sprouted wheat or barley, symbolizes rebirth and growth, and the “Quran” for wisdom and spirituality.

haft seen nowruz
Photo by: Azadeh Alizadeh

Additionally, the Haft-Seen table includes other elements with both symbolic and hospitality aspects. These may include various types of nuts and sweets, mirrors, candles, and a bowl of water with goldfish.

The Haft-Seen table is a reflection of the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of Nowruz, and its preparation is an essential part of the festive traditions.

In the past, people used to cook a special dish called “polo” on the night of Nowruz, which was shared with the less fortunate, neighbors, and religious leaders as an act of generosity and goodwill.

The Haft-Seen table is not only a beautiful centerpiece but also a powerful symbol of hope, renewal, and the unity of families during Nowruz.

The Seven Items of the Haft-Seen Table

The Haft-Seen table features seven symbolic items, each carrying its own profound meaning. These items serve as a reminder of important aspects of life and renewal:

  • Sabzeh: Sabzeh is sprouted wheat, barley, or lentils and symbolizes rebirth and the renewal of nature as the new year begins.
  • Samanu: Samanu is a sweet pudding made from germinated wheat, representing the sweetness and joy in life’s moments.
  • Seeb: The red apple signifies beauty and the blossoming of life, much like the vibrant colors of spring.
  • Senjed: Senjed is a sweet, dried oleaster fruit similar in size to a white mulberry. It represents love and compassion.
  • Seer: Garlic cloves, known as “seer,” are a symbol of good health and well-being.
  • Somāq: Sumac berries, a popular Iranian spice, symbolize the sunrise, the victory of light over darkness, and patience.
  • Serkeh: Serkeh, or vinegar, represents wisdom, maturity, and the ability to endure life’s challenges with patience.

Facts about Nowruz

One interesting Nowruz fact is its global recognition by the United Nations. On March 21st, which coincides with the first day of Farvardin, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution designating March 21st as the “International Day of Nowruz” within the framework of the culture of peace.

This historic decision marked the first time the UN formally acknowledged Nowruz as an international occasion.

Nowruz facts

In recent decades, Iranian communities outside of Iran, especially in Europe, the Americas, and Canada, have been hosting group celebrations of Nowruz, including the lively Chaharshanbe Suri, marking the eve of Nowruz with bonfire jumping and festive activities.

In Iran, the celebration of Nowruz is not just a day but extends to a 13-day official holiday. The first four days of Farvardin, which coincide with the start of Nowruz, are designated as official holidays.

Schools remain closed during this period, allowing families to come together, visit loved ones, and engage in various customs and festivities.

Final Word

Nowruz is a magnificent celebration that brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate the arrival of spring and the promise of a new beginning.

This ancient tradition, rooted in Iran but celebrated around the world, shows the enduring power of culture, unity, and hope. As families gather around the Haft-Seen table, as children leap over Chaharshanbe Suri fires, and as communities come alive with music, dance, and joy, Nowruz reminds us of the beauty in diversity and the importance of cherishing our heritage.

So remember that this celebration is not just about a new year; it is about the timeless bonds that connect us all in our shared journey through life.

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