People traveling to a foreign country often schedule visits to its major cities or main tourist attractions. However, if you want to discover the real Iranian culture at its most authentic, take the time to tour some of its impressive villages. Some of them are truly unique and you’ll be making the kind of memories that last for a lifetime.
Just have a look at what these 5 most amazing villages in Iran have to offer.
1- Makhunik Village
Remember Gulliver’s Travels? Well, going to Makhunik is like stepping into the land of Lilliput and the diminutive houses tell the story of a dwarfish population that used to inhabit the area. The village is located in the Central District of Sarbisheh County, in the South Khorasan province. Recent estimates put the total of the actual population at roughly 700 people. They are all of normal stature now, but their ancestors were not.
Most of the houses built on the slopes of the hills are no more than 1.5 – 2 meters tall. Experts believe those who built these incredible houses with thatched roofs were a full 50 cm shorter than the average population of Iran. And, no, they did not suffer from dwarfism. Their short stature was explained by malnourishment as this is a very inhospitable land. Obviously, modern visitors are welcomed with various delicacies of the local cuisine.
2- Bandar Kong Village
Often referred to as the Iranian Santorini due to the bright white summer house that helped reflect the sunlight and cool down the indoors temperatures. Badar Kong or Bandar-e Gong, is a village tucked in the Central District of Bandar Lengeh County, in the Hormozgan Province.
The local population is a little under 15,000 people, but you will find lots of tourists there. And there’s plenty to see in this small village, like an old sailor’s house transformed into a museum or the replica of an old sail ship, like you’ve only seen in pirate movies. Also, don’t miss the local Museum of Anthropology for a quick course in the region’s fascinating history.
3- Qalat Village, Shiraz
Deep in the province of Shiraz, lies the village of Qalat, surrounded by picturesque gardens. Qalat is one of the oldest villages in Iran, with some of the houses dating back 2,000 years. You’ll see plenty of impressive ruins, but, fortunately, many of the stone dwellings in the historical part of the village still stand.
A walk down the stone-paved main street of the ancient village is like a walk back in time. Stone paved paths and cottages with stone facades remind you of the Sicilian villages. You can also see an old mosque and take a rest besides the Qalat waterfall.
4- Palangan village, Kurdistan
If you want to see something really amazing, take a trip to Palangan, a very small village in the Central District of Kamyaran, in the Kurdistan province. The village dates back some 2,000 years and the houses here were built one on top of the other.
Literally, the roof of the lower house is the courtyard of the one built on top of it. You can make your way through the convoluted streets to the top of the stone village. And wait till you see the view from up there!
Nowruz is the biggest and most important celebration for the residents of Palangan the same as other Iranian people. In this celebration, along with folkloric music and dancing, a large torch is lit. Hence, it is recommended to visit this eye-catching village, especially in Nowruz (in the middle of March)
5- Nayband Village, Tabas
Nayband or Nay Band is a tiny village of less than 500 souls in the South Khorasan province, along the Tabas – Ravar route. Just like other ancient Iranian villages Nayband was built in the Pelekani or staircase style, one on top of the other. And it was a tremendous work as the village is built on a huge megalith at the feet of Nayband mountain. Also, check out the 300-old towers of the fortress of Nayband, built to protect the area.
Nayband Village, which according to historical documents traced back to thousand years ago, is located one thousand and one hundred meters higher than the sea level. Local texts declare that at the time of the attack of the Afghans to Iran, Neder Shah Afshar camped in the land of Naybandan, while he tried to drive the enemy out if Iran. The local people of Naybandan, this heaven-like land in the heart of the desert, talk in Persian with Khorasani dialect.