Winter holidays are a great opportunity to visit the places we've been waiting for. Many people like to travel to tropical and waterfront areas during this vacation. Some people prefer to spend their holidays in the snowy mountains and ski resorts. However, can you imagine how many different activities you can experience in the Iran winter holiday? You can experience skiing in the best ski resorts of middle-east and also trying an exciting safari in the desert. And then head on to the Persian Gulf and spend your time swimming and diving in its pristine islands and relax at its picturesque beaches!
Winter vacation in Iran is so various! So keep up with us to introduce you the best winter experiences in Iran.
Hormozgan islands are one of the best destinations for winter holidays in Iran as each of them is a different land of wonders. With any taste, you can find a way to enjoy these islands. The colourful beaches, the deep blue sea of the Persian Gulf, nature made attractions, and the rich culture of southern Iran will take you to another world. Here are some stunning islands to introduce:
Qeshm Island: The largest Persian Gulf's island that offers many sights. Qeshm Island and the surrounding views are a natural treasure in the heart of the Persian Gulf that only by walking through its nature, you can discover its immense beauty. Chahkooh Canyon, the valley of stars, Mangrove forest, and salt cave are just some of its attractions.
Kish Island: This beautiful modern island with white coral beaches has been the Persian Gulf's favourite island for Iranians for the past two decades. It has various accommodation choices for different kind of travellers, marine hotels to hostels. Having many possibilities to entertain like diving, aqua park, jet skiing, submarine scooter, and many more is this island's advantage to absorb people for a holiday.
Hormuz Island: This marvellous island, very close to Qeshm, is the Persian Gulf's rainbow that Marco Polo put his footprint on its soil in 1299. This island is decorated with colourful beaches and sparkling sands. Besides, many natural attractions, like the red coast, silver coast, rainbow valley, make it a magnificent place to relax. You'd better visit Qeshm and Hormoz together.
Because of the Alborz, the Zagros and the Alvand mountain ranges, Iran has many snowy heights, most of these mountains are snow-covered from mid-autumn.
Iran ski resorts, that some of them are international resorts, with excellent facilities and world-class standards can be a great place to spend a winter vacation in. Also, the costs of skiing in Iran is much lower comparing to other countries.
If you are tired of visiting historical sites and urban environments in Tehran, Tabriz or northwestern Iran and want to spend a few days skiing in the mountains, ski tours are the best options. The ski resorts usually rent ski equipment, so you do not have to worry about having the necessary equipment.
Iran has two central desert and many smaller ones. So there are incredible desert national parks in Iran where you can experience the unique adventure. Visiting the desert and the rare wildlife found there, including Iranian ground jay, the national bird of Iran, as well as the various plant species of the desert is very inspiring. The Lut Desert, kaluts of Shahdad, the Varzaneh Desert, the Mesr Desert, and the Maranjab Desert are just some places where you can travel in the desert.
Also, there is the chance of enjoying the shining desert sky at night and participate in star observation programs. Visiting the historic aqueducts, a safari in the sand slopes and endless salt lakes are the other desert attractions' that give you a unique winter experience.
The coastline of Sistan and Baluchestan province is full of wonders, hard to find similar! The central city of this area, called Chabahar, is famous for having a spring climate in winter. So winter is one of the best seasons to surf this mysterious area. In a village called Darak, you will see the sea and the desert reaching each other, and on the other part, you will be surprised to see Mud Volcanoes. The beautiful port of Beris, where you can enjoy the sunset there and relax on the rocky beach of the sea of Oman, the miniature mountains (Mars Mountains) and Lake Lipar (Pink Lake) are among the uncountable attractions of this province. Because its proximity to Pakistan, you can sense the impact of Indian architecture, also enjoy its delicious spicy food and yummy tropical fruits!
Besides the history and tourist attraction of a country, the most important part that makes the main difference is culture. Iran has so many cultural festivals and events that have been held from ancients until nowadays. On the last winter days as people prepare for the start of spring and New Year, they celebrate the end of the cold and winter with a celebration called "Chaharshanbe Suri". This celebration is on the last Tuesday of the year. If you have the opportunity to spend the last days of winter in Iran, this holiday will be very exceptional for you.
One of the traditions of "Chaharshanbe Suri" named "Ghashogh Zani" is this way: children come to alleys with a bowl and spoon. They stop in front of every house they hit the spoon into the bowl when the owner hears the sound of the spoon hit gives them a gift upon his graciousness.
Setting fire in the streets and jumping over it, gathering the family together and eating "Reshteh Polo", singing folklore music are the other traditions of this celebration. Celebrating this night with locals and hearing old tales is one most special winter activities.
Iran is full of natural contrasts. You can watch the sea overhead a beautiful desert in Sistan and Baluchistan, and also cross the hot desert to reach the snowy mountains in Yazd.
Experience trekking in the desert and spending a different night under a bright sky full of stars, reaching the snowy summit of Shirkooh mountain, is an extraordinary experience in Iran. Located near the historical and ancient city of Yazd, this mountain is home to many rare species of wildlife in Iran and provides you with a memorable experience.
Living with Iran nomads is a remarkable experience. They move with all they have with their tribe to another place. The migration of human groups is a prominent feature of nomadic life.
Nomads move to Yeylaq (colder areas) in summer and back to Qeshlaq (warmer areas) in winter. That is why accompanying them and the experience of living with nomads is one of the winter experiences that is possible in Iran.
Experiencing the Qashqai nomad's life manner, with their handmade tools, hiking and enjoying the vast nature of Zagros Mountains, and the most exciting part, sleeping in nomad's woollen tents thrive a full adventure in an eco-friendly style.
By Reyhaneh Jafari