Iran has many stunning natural sites. Anything from luscious forests to turquoise beaches, deep canyons and barren deserts is to be found in its border. And just like its antiquities and architectural wonders, no visitor should miss the chance to visit at least a few of its natural wonders. Many call Iran, the four season country, as it has a great variety of climates in different parts of the country. From the very cold climates filled with snow to the warm and dry climates of the deserts, you can enjoy the most novel experiences on your visit to Iran.
#1 Badab-e Surt
Badab-e Surt is a travertine terrace in Mazandaran province, in northern Iran. The source of this site were two main mineral springs. For thousands of years, the water has made many pools in different altitudes, just like a staircase. Due to different chemicals, the water of each spring was different in taste and color, which made colorful pools from red to yellow and even green.
There are only a few places like Badab-e Surt around the globe. The perfect time to visit this breathtaking site is in the middle of spring.
#2 Ali-Sadr cave
Ali-Sadr, in Hamedan province, is one of the biggest water caves in the world and the only cave in which you can travel by boat.
The cave originated in the Jurassic period and is currently an active cave. A part of the cave is designed for walking. Some parts of it need a boat as it is very deep and one can’t walk.
If you plan to visit the stunning stalagmites and stalactites of Ali-Sadr cave, remember to bring warm clothes, because it’s very cool inside the cave.
#3 Tash-Kooh (the firing mount)
Tash is short form of Atash which is Persian for fire and Kooh means mountain. Therefore Tash- kooh simply means the fire mountain.
Tash-kooh is located in southwest Iran, in Khuzestan province. Because of the chemicals present, mainly sulfur, this mountain is always in flames. You can’t stop the fire, because once you harness one flame, a new one appears in the nearest place possible. This is because of the vaporized chemicals coming to the surface and being exposed to the air.
#4 Gel-Afshan (the mud volcano)
Gel-Afshan is a mud volcano located in Chabahar, in the southeast of Iran. Because of the pressure from inside of the earth, a cool flow of mud explodes from the surface and makes hills in different shapes and sizes.
Although these mud volcanoes are active all along the year, you can see the most activity in the summer.
#5 Hara forests (mangrove forests)
Forests of Hara are mangrove forests located in the Persian Gulf, mostly near Qeshm Island. Mangroves are plants that grow in salty waters. Due to the tides, these forests spend the nights under the water and rise again as the water level decreases.
You can move between the trees with a boat and enjoy the cool breeze from the ocean.
#6 Hormoz Island
Hormoz is an island in the Persian Gulf and is famous for its colorful soil. There are big hills in different colors such as red and yellow. The soil of these hills is edible and the native residents use it as spices for cooking.
There is also a valley on the Island known as the valley of the rainbow which is made of more than 70 colors. The stones are either from volcanic activities or sedimentary.
You can also see dolphins and a special species of sharks in the Persian Gulf, near Hormoz and Qeshm Island.
#7 Abr forest (the cloud forest)
Abr is Persian for cloud. This forest is from the Jurassic period and has a wide variety of vegetation. But what makes this forest worth visiting is the amount of clouds existing at a low altitude, just between the trees. The clouds are present from noon until midnight and give the forest an amazing view.
#8 Valasht lake
In the mountains of Alborz, at an altitude of approximately 1000 meters, there is a sweet water lake called Valasht. Because of the hills and mountains around it, the lake can’t be seen unless you are very close. Valasht lake is one of the beautiful, quiet sites you can enjoy on your visit to the north or Iran. It is best to go there in spring and summer, as you will have the opportunity to enjoy the cool weather and the chance of heavy rains and floods are very low.
#9 Kaluts of Shahdad
Central and eastern parts of Iran mainly have a hot and dry climate. This has led to the creation of many beautiful deserts in this parts of the country. One of the most famous deserts in Iran is
Shahdad Kalouts in Kerman province. Shahdad owns the biggest natural clod structures which have been made over the centuries under the influence of wind and water flow.
#10 Iran ski resorts
Few people know that Iran is home to some of the most high quality snow in the world making it a great spot for skiers.
Iran has two ranges of mountains, Alborz and Zagros. Some parts of these regions are always snowy in the winter. As a result there are many resorts in which you can enjoy snow sports. Some of the most popular snow resorts are Shemshak and Dizin which are very close to Tehran.