On the edge of the Varzaneh desert southeast of Isfahan, there is a Utopia with thousand years of history. High sand dunes, significant lava mount, international Wetland of Gavkhooni and vast mirror land of the salt lake are landmarks of this ancient, yet accessible desert oasis. This tour is a blend of actions when the city gradually awakes. Take part to the sunrise surprise tour in Varzaneh to make your remarkable memory out of Iran's nature and local experience.
Watch the sunrise from the rooftop of one of the oldest Carvanserai acropolis built during Safavid era
Enjoy an organic breakfast served at the rooftop
Hike a volcano mountain (Black Mountain) and enjoy the magnificent landscape of Gavkhooni wetland and Varzaneh salt lake from atop
Visit an ancient water reservoir amidst of the desert
Visit Gavkhooni wetland and enjoy the spectacular wildlife depending on the time of the year
Explore Gavchah in the city and observe the singing ox-mill complex
If you thrive on being an early riser to watch a breathtaking sunrise from the rooftop of an abandoned 400 years old Caravanserai, this tour is designed for you. Ride on through the tarmac road goes to absolute no-where admits the gravels to see a mirage of an imposing silent structure.
Imagine being on the rooftop of an abandoned building in the middle of bare land and waiting for the sun to rise up and steer your emotions and speed up the shutter tapping of your camera; this is what you should expect from the first part of the tour.
After feeding your eyes with the gorgeous landscape of sunrise, enjoy a complimentary homemade organic breakfast, while listening to the peaceful melody of nature on the spectacular rooftop and then discover the intact caravanserai whose architecture still takes visitors awe-inspiring. The masterpiece of Safavid architecture looks like the location of fiction movies, the sun flames that glitters on brick-vaulted walls and the mysterious spa still which still saves water in the centre of the Caravanserai in the middle of nowhere surrounded by mountains and gravels, portrays an otherworldly small city.
On the bed of salty gravel land, a black mount rose up over the flat horizon. Why not try a hike up to the summit for a15 minutes. Once atop of the mountain, you can spot the Gavkhooni wetland and the salt lake together make one of the rich swamps of Iran somewhere in front of the black mount. The view is simply breathtaking. Black mountain is composed of light black rocks that are remainders of black magmas. Take an avant-garde posture at the top and create the memoir of Varzaneh land.
At the end of Zayandehrud river's long way, in front of Black Mountain, lies Gavkhouni wetland (swamp). This wetland is a preserved ecosystem, about 25 kilometres from the sand dunes in Varzaneh desert. It is home to migratory birds such as flamingos and depending on the season you can benefit from the wildlife of migrant birds. The sound of running water being dropped over the remains of an ancient barrage delights your sense but what will catch your eyes severely is the scarce contrast between the stream of the river and sand dunes of the desert at the background. This age-old barrage has made a cascade which has water flowing all year long even if Gavkhooni swamp becomes dry.
Gavchah (ox-well complex) is a type of an efficiently nomadic agricultural method to pump water to the fields without causing air pollution. It consists of an ox, a well, rope, pulley and bucket. The ox starts working and taking water from the well when the owner starts singing. The sound of the song establishes a connection between the ox and the farmer; hence water will be pumped to the surface without the need to waste fuel water pumping machines.
Witness how this sustainable system works while listening to the local singing of Haj Ibrahim whom the ox moves and takes the rope out of the well only with his voice.
In the early morning an hour before the sunrise you will be picked up from your accommodation in Varzaneh to start the tour. It takes around 30 minutes to reach the caravanserai in the heart of desert land. After watching the sunrise and enjoying a delectable breakfast on top of the caravanserai's roof you can explore the construction and its water spring which has water. Then we hit the road toward a water reservoir which is remained from hundred years ago in the vicinity of natural water spring which is used by shepherds of the region. Hike the famous lava Black mountain and watch over the vast white ground of salt lakes the white colour of salty gravel combines with the black colour of magma rocks of the mount. Explore the Gavkhooni wetland and witness the rich local wildlife of the international wetland. Visiting an ancient barrage and cascade erected over Zayandehrud river and enjoy the landscape of the river and sand dunes it the background, the last chapter of the morning tour comes to an end with visiting the ox-well complex. Witness the 600 years old efficient system of milling water at the sound of hearing folklore music sung to the ox by the ox owner.
Note: In winter and autumn (mid-Nov.- end of Feb.) this tour is being organized from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. because of the weather condition as it is cold!