Hidden Wonders of Iran

Posted by Crooked Compass

Iran is famed for its spectacular historic and religious sites, its parched plains and sparse deserts. It's fascinating Persian history and incredible structures of architecture are the usual draw cards for most travellers.

What most travellers do not realise, is the huge diversity this land of wonder has to offer. One example of this is the Zagros rivers which has been described as the wildest and most beautiful in the world.

We share with you some of Iran's hidden wonders to fuel you with inspiration to #FollowADifferentPath on your next adventure.

Turquoise waters of Lar Lake, Iran
Turquoise waters of Lar Lake, Iran

Search for the Asiatic Cheetah

The Asiatic Cheetah also known as the Iranian cheetah, is a critically endangered subspecies of theses charismatic cats with only 40 said to be left in the wild. Today the cheetah survives only in arid areas of east and central Iran in a number of protected zones. Cheetahs thrive in open land and semi desert areas.

Crooked Compass is acutely aware of the global environmental concerns and the need for sustainable protection of our fragile world. We passionately believe that responsible tourism can play a positive role in highlighting the plight of endangered species like Iran's beloved cheetahs. We are proud to be part of this movement in bringing together interested individuals and activists and helping forge alliances between global environmental organisations and their Iranian counterparts. Learn more.

Asiatic Cheetah Iran
Asiatic Cheetahs only found in Iran

Walking through Lar National Park

Explore Lar National Park on foot. This protected area of natural beauty is home to a spread of wildflowers and array of wildlife. Local nomads who still retain their time old traditions call this stunning region home as Mt Damavand towers overhead. Enjoy camping with nomads as you learn how they live off the land in a la naturale Iran. Make this experience yours.

Lar National Park
Lar National Park in bloom , Iran

Astro Tourism

Fancy yourself as a bit of a star-gazer? Check out a light pollution map of the world and you will find that Iran has some of the best locations in the world for minimum interference of man made light.

In December 2016, the Qeshm Star Party, a festival of star gazing on the island of Qeshm took place to coinside with the meteor shower event.

Star gazing in Iran. Photo credit: Land of Turquoise Domes.
Star gazing in Iran. Photo credit: Land of Turquoise Domes.

Hyrcanianforests of Caspian

Located in northern Iran along the south coast of the Caspian sea near the Azerbaijan border, these ancient broadleaf and mountain forests are home to many endemic and endangered flora and fauna. The region is blooming with biodiversity thanks to its rich soils, high rain fall and temperate climate.

Local families (7.3 million people) in this area, rely on timber and animal husbandry as their local source of income. A strong traditional knowledge of using forest products for medicinal use is also prevalent in this region.

Caspian Hyrcanian Forest. Image credit: Wikipedia
Caspian Hyrcanian Forest. Image credit: Wikipedia

Mega dunes of the Lut Desert

In central Iran, you will find two of the largest deserts of Iran which draw in botanists, zoologists, geologists and ornithologists who come in search of the wealth of secrets, wonders and alternate cures found in these sparse lands.

Dasht-e Lut is pure rugged wilderness and natural beauty. With epic sand dunes and vast salt plains, it is one of the hottest and driest places on earth.

To the east is Dasht-e Kavir with its blinding white sands and salt pans. Against the odds of desert life, blots of green oases punctuate this baron environment whilst somehow small village populations sustain freshwater wells and live in these harsh elements and have done so for centuries.

Dasht e Kavir, Iran
Dasht e Kavir, Iran

Many of the above experiences can be found in our small group tours which are accompanied by expert guides to ensure the safety of our travellers and the protection of the environment.

We have formulated our tours to enrich our travellers awareness of nature and the importance of the preservation of natural habitats. We also aim to create sustainable employment opportunities for local communities and at the same time draw upon their experiences, knowhow and their centuries old relationship with the natural world.

 

For more information on our small group tours in Iran, click here.