Are you planning a trip to Mazandaran but do not know what to do or see We’ve got you covered.
Sure, there are numerous long lists of all the spots one should go sightseeing in this area. But checking out every nook and cranny can be time-consuming and is not what most tourists and travelers are looking for. Continue reading to get the MOST ESSENTIAL information for a wonderful trip to Mazandaran.
It is hugging the Caspian Sea on the north and Alborz mountains on the south that has given Mazandaran its spectacular nature and lovely climate. This northern province enjoys two of the most significant and superb natural wonders of the world, the primeval Hyrcanian Mixed Forests and the Damavand volcano.
The active tourism industry in this area has developed many recreational facilities near Mazandaran’s natural sights and sunny beaches to double up the fun for those visiting. Every season puts on a beautiful coat on the nature of Mazandaran.
But summers can become fairly hot and humid. Traveler guides usually recommend spring and fall as the best time to visit Shomal cities in the north of Iran, including Mazandaran.
The roads that lead you from Tehran to Mazandaran pass through stunning sceneries, curve around mountains and cross the rivers. Therefore, many prefer to take a road trip or a train ride to Mazandaran, especially since the train has many stops there. However, if you plan to fly to the city, you may arrive at one of the airports in Sari, Ramsar, Babolsar, or Noshahr.
Must-Sees in Mazandaran
The Hyrcanian Mixed Forests
Sure, we all have been to forests, but how many of them are as ancient as the Hyrcanian forests? This great living thing dates back to 50 million years ago and is thus nearly as old as the Amazon.
The forests stretch out over a length of 900 kilometers and are shared by many towns. ‘Do Dangeh’, ‘Chahar Dangeh’, ‘Mian Kaleh’, and ‘Dashte Naz’ are those sanctuaries located in Mazandaran where you can explore the forests.
These universally valuable forests are called a living museum because of the rich variety of native plants and indigenous wildlife. Velvety green in spring and gold and auburn during fall, it is awe-inspiring and enchanting at any time of the year.
- Forest Parks: Commune with nature and its beauties in ‘Dalkhani’ in Ramsar. It is a pristine forest with mighty trees and misty mornings. Out of this world, this place is aptly named “the hallway to heaven”.
Fortunately, Dalkhani is one of those areas that have remained intact with only one main curving road which serves as a starting point for you. To take the other paths and hike in the jungle, having a local tour guide is a must.
- ‘Jangale Rash’ in Savadkuh is an exquisite beech forest where you can wander in for hours. A hazy sun shines through the tall trees and the sound of a streaming river caresses your soul.
After a fairly long hike, you are rewarded with a mossy waterfall (Oben) right at the heart of the forest. Maple and alder trees are also grown there and have made the forest famous for its colorful autumn leaves.
For a lovely picnic in a well-equipped park head to ‘Sisangan’ forest park and beach (in Noshahr). Not only can you do relaxing strolls, bike riding, and horseback riding, you can also find all kinds of amusements in Sisangan like jet skiing, boating, carting, etc. And, last but not least, ‘Noor’ makes another nice choice. It is a plain forest perfect for hiking and birdwatching.
- Damavand: This dormant volcano is Iran’s highest mountain and a recurring figure in Persian mythologies and stories. Even if you do not wish to climb the mountain, you can visit or camp in villages that present you with mind-blowing vistas: ‘Nava’ village, ‘Polur’ village and ‘Nandal’ village are points of departure for Damavand climbers.
- ‘Lar’ fields are also spread over the eastern outskirts of the mountain. It is not just a mountain pasture, Lar hosts a wildlife sanctuary, numerous water springs, a lake, and beautiful anemone fields.
- Badab-e-Surt: Nature’s overwhelmingly genius architecture in Sari captures you with colorful travertine terraces, shaped by the hot water that flows from two springs. Why are they colorful, you ask?
it is the presence of abundant minerals in the water that has created orange, yellow, and red pools and turned the place to a vibrant and dreamy natural wonder.
One of the hot springs has a salty taste and the other, orange in color is sour. Since it is believed that the water has healing properties, Badab-e-Surt is also a health resort.
- Villages: Are you looking forward to delving into the heart of nature and be inspired by the simplicity of rural country life? Waking up with the sound of chirping birds and tasting fresh and organic products, with a mesmerizing view in front of you, Amazing.
Mazandaran’s summer resorts are among the few areas in Iran that invite you to have this lovely adventurous experience.
No matter how many guides you have looked into, ‘Filband’ is mentioned everywhere. This heavenly resort has come to be known as the roof of Mazandaran.
You are so much above the sea level that clouds are literally beneath your steps. In these awe-aspiring heights, you can admire the picturesque view and embrace the sublime grace of mother nature.
Reminder: the village becomes freezingly cold during winter that even the few local inhabitants move out. From mid-spring until mid-autumn, however, the place attracts visitors, campers, photographers, and vacationers.
- ‘Lavij’ village is a popular spa resort in Noor. Since the livelihood of people in Lavij depends on beekeeping, fresh local honey is the village’s number one product.
The natural scenery is as sweet as its honey. Plus, Lavij is also a site of historical heritage. It hosts a local church called the St. Antoin’s Church, as well as the poet Nima Yushij’s house. Nima is a renowned and beloved figure in Persian literature who pioneered blank verse in modern Persian poetry.
- ‘Kandelous’, ‘Javaher Deh’, and ‘Kelardasht’ are other lovely countrysides of Mazandaran where you can escape the city and experience a tranquil setting. How about a modern resort? ‘Namak Abrood’ is a spectacular and well-equipped village with amazing leisure activities and recreational facilities.
- Lakes: Mazandaran’s lakes are perfect spots for having a picnic, fishing, and boating.
At the center of alder woods in Savadkuh lies the peaceful ‘Shur mast’ lake. After crossing the famous Veresk bridge and following a meandering road, you will find yourself in an amazing spot. Lie down and take in the calming view of the lake. You can also go fishing, horseback riding, and camp for the night.
- ‘Valasht’ lake in Kelardasht is a freshwater lake fed by many springs. Although it is not as easily accessible as Shurmast, the chill vibe of the lake and its relaxing environs attract travelers especially in summer and late spring. Sports courts, camping sites, a dock restaurant, and other entertainments are provided for the passengers.
- ‘Avidar’ or ‘Abidar’ lake is mostly known for the small green island that lies in the middle of the lake. Avidar is in Nowshahr near Sisangan forest park. The wonderful ‘Churat’ lake in Kiasar offers you another lovely spot for excursion and exploration in nature.
Must-Do’s in Mazandaran
Check out the Bazaars and local Markets, most especially if you are looking for souvenirs and gifts. Beautiful silk work textiles and woodwork are the top handicrafts of Mazandaran. That’s not all though. Mazandaran’s tradition of carpet weaving dates back to hundreds of years ago. Kilim and Jajim (patterned flatweaves) of the area have always been refined decorative objects.
If you want to grab some snack, get dried fruits, or fruit rolls and leathers. In addition, salty olive, stuffed olive, and olive dips of all kinds are to be had in every big and small market.
Taste the Delicious Local Mazandaran Cuisine:
Food lovers love Mazandaran! There are many local and traditional dishes that everyone should try. ‘Baghala Ghatogh’ (cooked with fava beans, dill, and garlic), ‘Kaee Pala’ (Pumpkin Pilaf), and ‘Ash Kadu’ (Pumpkin Soup) are amazing vegetarian foods of Mazandaran.
Whereas ‘Mala Bij’ (stuffed fish), ‘Ghaliye’ (beef stew with walnuts and fava beans) and ‘Aghuz Bij’ (Duck stew) are tasty treats for meat-eaters.
‘Aghuz nun’ and ‘Abe Dandun’ are Mazandaran’s sweets. ‘Reshteh Bereshteh” (fried strings) somehow looks like cotton candy but is crispier with cardamom flavor.
Cookies of varying flavors and pickled dishes (torshi) of almost every vegetable are other specialties of Mazandaran. ‘Haft Bijar Torshi’ and ‘Sir Torshi’ are favorite side dishes in Mazandaran.
Accommodation: Mazandaran, being the number one tourist attraction in Iran, offers a variety of accommodation: from private villas and bed and breakfast to ecolodges and elegant hotels.
During the high season, the cities swarm with passengers which causes the prices to go up and makes it harder to find a fair board and lodging. So, it is highly recommended that you book your accommodation in advance.
Generally, prices start at 1,000,000 Rials for hostels and cottages and shoot up to around 7,000,000 Rials per night in Mazandaran’s luxurious hotels like ‘Venus Plus’, ‘Parsian Azadie Khazar’, and ‘Morvaride Khazar’.