Iran is one of the largest countries in the world, and it has different types of climates, and various wildlife areas. Are you a nature lover who enjoys mountain biking, trekking, hiking, canyoning, and caving? Are you wondering where and how you could do some of these activities in Iran? If yes, just take a few minutes reading this article, as we are going to answer these questions and help you to add excitement to your trip to create an unforgettable experience. Here is the list of adventure activities in Iran:
If you are looking forward to plan an adventure trip in Iran, just check out our Iran Adventure Tours.
Mountain Biking in Iran
Iran encompasses a lot of mountains. To be exact, about 55% of Iran consists of mountains and mountain plateaus. These mountains include the Alburz, Zagros, Central Iran, and East of Iran. By mountain biking in Iran, you will definitely sense the beauty of these mountain ranges. Therefore, this activity is one of the most popular adventure activities in Iran. Read more about Iran mountains.
There are a number of routes and trails that you could pass when mountain biking in Iran. On some of the routes and trails, you will have an easy biking experience. However, on some other ones, biking will be more of a difficult activity and you will need to be a professional to pass those routes.
Here are some of the best routes to go mountain biking in Iran:
Eshtehrad in Alborz Province:
Starting from Eshtehrad and biking through Roodshour, you will see a spectacular desert route full of sand and salt. Never forget to have a big bottle of water with you. Also, be sure to keep yourself away from the rivers since the earth around them is swampy.
Mehraban in Eastern Azerbaijan Province:
Sabalan Peak is the third tallest mountain in Iran, and it serves as a most visited attraction in the Eastern Azerbaijan Province. The route to the mountaintop has a fantastic scenery and is known as one of the most popular mountain biking routes in Iran.
The Alborz Mountains:
This amazing mountain range in northern Iran stretches from the border of Azerbaijan along the western and entire southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The northern and southern sides of this mountain range are so different due to different weather conditions. The northern part is full of jungles, while the southern slopes are usually semiarid or arid with irregular and low precipitation.
At these wide mountain ranges, there are many attractions that need enough time for biking through. The 1000-year-old Masuleh Village, St. Stefano’s Monastery, and Soltaniyeh Dome in Zanjan are only a few of the attractions that you can explore when doing adventure activities in Iran.
The Zagros Mountains:
It is another magnificent mountain range in Iran in the western part of the country. When preparing your mountain biking places list, make sure to include Zard Kuh in it. Remember that spring is the best time for hiking this beautiful mountain. However, you can choose the winter if you are a ski lover.
Hezar Kuh, Kerman Province:
Kerman Province is almost in the central part of Iran with two different climates. The northern part is hot and encompasses dry deserts, and the southern one, in which is the Hezar-Kuh Mountain, has mild climate. Hezar-Kuh is actually the 5th highest mountain in Iran.
Trekking and Hiking in Iran
As Iran is grabbing the attention of tourists from all over the world, trekking and hiking in Iran’s vast landscapes are developed. There are lots of undiscovered valleys and stunning mountains where the native people will give you a warm welcome, and therefore, they are great places for trekking and hiking in Iran.
If you are looking for adventure activities in Iran, you are welcome to participate in one of our Iran adventure tours. You can choose the Alborz or Zagros mountain ranges for trekking. You can also just start an exciting hiking tour in the forests or beautiful deserts.
Mount Damavand is the highest volcano in Asia, and it is one of the trekking destinations of many international travelers in Iran. There are many stories and myths about this beautiful mountain. In Zoroastrian mythology, there was once a three-headed dragon named Azhi Dhaka. This evil figure was chained within the mountain until the end of the world. Mount Damavand also holds another significant meaning in another myth narrated by Ferdowsi in the Shahnameh. It is the story of Arash the Archer, who shoots an arrow into the sky to determine the border between Persia and Turan.
Check out Damavand Trekking Tour.
Other Popular Mountains Suitable for trekking in Iran
One of the other amazing places for trekking and hiking in Iran is the Talesh Mountains. The area is suitable for experienced trekkers who are willing to learn about Talysh, Gilak, and Azeri-Turkish cultures and languages.
Generally, deserts constitute 20% of Iran, so if you are a desert trekker, the Dasht-e-Kavir and Lut Deserts are amazing places for you. Besides, you can try small deserts as part of these two major ones, deserts such as the Maranjab, Shahdad, Varzaneh, and Matinabad during your trip to Iran.
Check out the best Desert Tours in Iran.
Forests are another most visited destinations for trekking and hiking lovers in Iran. To name a few, Hyrcanian Forests which trace back to Tertiary period, are extended to the north of Iran. These forests were listed as Natural World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2019.
Arasbaran is another beautiful forest with a diverse climate and fine tracks for trekking. Adventure activities in Iran are never completed without seeing a historical place. Here you can visit the historical Babak fort and meet Shasavand nomads there. If you are lucky enough, they may invite you to be with them for a couple of hours or days; what an interesting authentic experience it could be!
Canyoning and Caving in Iran
Among adventure activities in Iran, canyoning and caving have became more popular in the past few years. By participating in Iran adventure tours, you will definitely confirm that canyoning and caving are adrenaline-pumping activities.
Best of canyon in Iran:
Haygher Canyon (Tang-e Haygher):
Also known as the Grand Canyon of Iran. It is a unique natural attraction in Firozabad, Fars Province. This canyon runs up to 8 kilometers and is a proper choice for you if you are looking for a quiet, relaxing, and wonderful canyon. Ensure you have a professional guide and enough water with you.
Located in Rafsanjan, it is one of the must-see canyons in Kerman Province. Its length is more than 20 kilometers. This virgin canyon is near Rafsanjan Airport and is very safe for tourists.
It is the most beautiful canyon in Iran, which includes more than 60 waterfalls and 100 natural pools. The highest waterfall is Azarakhsh with more than 65 meters of height, and the deepest pool is Kabootar which is 20 meters deep. Reghez canyon is near Darab and 300 kilometers away from Shiraz. The best time to visit this canyon is from April to August.
This is another wonderful canyon in Iran, which is near Kuhdasht in Lorestan Province. Some of the ancient sites belonging to the Stone Age are in this canyon. The best time to travel to this area is spring or summer.
Best of caves in Iran:
To continue with caving and caves in Iran, it is good to know that there are more than 300 caves in Iran with different structures. Some of the most beautiful ones which are suitable for caving are:
Ali Sadr Cave:
It is the longest river cave in the world. The water is crystal clear. Stalactites and columns are in red, purple, brown, green, and blue. It is located at the foot of Zagros Mountain, near the city of Hamadan.
Ghoori Ghaleh Water Cave:
It is one of the astonishing tourist attractions in the western part of Iran. It is located about 90 Kilometers away from Kermanshah in the western part of the country. According to historical evidences, the cave is 65 million years old.
Katale Khor Cave:
It is located 120 kilometers south of Zanjan. So far, 13 kilometers of the cave is explored and only two kilometers is available for visitors. This cave is a great place for rock climbing.
These caves are located in Qeshm Island. It is believed that the caves were once a temple or a worshiping place for the followers of Mithraism. Some say that the caves formed naturally because of receding water levels around 2,800 years ago.