The Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests, located in the North of Iran, are a unique blend of lush lowlands and mountain forests, with rich wildlife. Step into the protected area of Sarve-Lat and Qasem-Abad village, to be astonished by the diversity of trees and plants, and start an extraordinary hike. The rainbow of leaf colours at the foothills and the vast greeneries in spring and summer, create a singular landscape. Besides the beauties of this green oasis, this hiking is an opportunity to meet locals and observe their way of life. Rural women can be seen working in the terraced rice fields and tea farms in the traditional way which creates an unforgettable sight for any visitor.
Hiking in the lush sceneries of Gilan province
Exploring the Hyrcanian forest, the ancient species survived in ice age
Getting familiar with the traditions of northern people of Iran, from clothing to occupations
Visiting local and traditional cowsheds
Discovering tea farms
Climbing up to 830 meters and enjoying a foggy natural landscape
Get ready for an extraordinary hike into the "jungle" of northern Iran. Within the Hyrcanian Forest, the mother of the world forests, you're about to encounter a great diversity of endemic plants, migrating birds, and other wild animals, as this area is a vital eco-region.
This six-hour trek starts in the tea fields, where the most succulent Iranian tea is produced and into orange farms, filling the air with their delicate fragrance. Reaching the rushing waters of Siah-Lat River, you can observe little fishes called "Caspian vimba", making their way to the sea through these freshwaters.
Progress through the lush forest to discover the sweet hamlet of Chale-Sara. This picturesque place holds several cottages, built with wood and mud according to the traditional technique, as well as a small holy shrine, where locals come to celebrate special events and express their vows.
It's time to climb a bit and set sail for Fin-Deh. Before, you shall cross the protected area of Sarve-Lat and enter into a sanctuary of wildlife. This land overflows with gorgeous trees such as alder, maple, beech, hornbeam, honey locust, and wild persimmon, arousing all your senses. Pay attention to the singing of the birds around you, while bullfinches, woodpeckers, and cuckoos are playing hide-and-seek in the leaves.
Inside this nest of greenery are located two cowsheds, called "Sare" in the local Gilaki language. Visiting the cattle shelters is a unique chance to discover the traditional farming of northern Iran and meet locals. As you leave farm animals to their quiet life and get back to the forest, stay ready to catch sight of their wild counterparts, such as wild boars and Varza bulls, which might wander around.
Reaching the col of Fin-Deh, you can feel the cool winds caressing your skin while enjoying the horizon wrapped in magical foggy scenery. Continue your walk, to hear the deep sound of rushing water. It gives you some clues about the next discovery which is one of the beautiful waterfalls of Iran. Surrounded by a row of thick maple trees, discover the beautiful Afra waterfall, a four-meter-high cascade with large blue basins formed at its foot.
Enjoy the freshness of its water before getting back to your last destination, Plat-Kale Sar. This northern village is filled with beautiful tea farms. Women working in the fields with their colourful traditional clothes offer memorable scenes. The mind full of natural splendours, finally sit and relax to enjoy a well-deserved warm northern tea.
Reaching Gasem Abad village, 15 kilometres away from Ramsar on the evening of the first day you will have the opportunity to get familiar with Gilani culture, and nature and have a favourite green stay in the noble eco-lodge in Ghasemabad village with a savoury taste of Gilani dinner.
In the early morning after an organic breakfast, hiking starts in the company of your professional guide in landscapes of tea fields, orange farms, and rivers. After one hour and a half of easy hiking with a slight slope, you arrive in Chale-Sara, with its wooden and mud cottages. Observe the traditional habitations before visiting the small shrine.
Moving southwest, enter the protected area of Sarve-Lat with its lush environment of protected trees, migrating birds, and wild animals. On the way, you can visit two local cowsheds. Setting sail on Fin-Deh, it takes about an hour to reach its foggy col.
From there, move toward the four-metre-high Afra waterfall. Enjoy the crystal-clear waters of its basins and the thick maple trees around. Passing a large cowshed in the south of the waterfall, you continue walking toward Plat-Kale Sar, your final destination, a lovely village filled with tea farms.