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Best Places to Visit in North of Iran

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IranAmaze > Blog > Best Places to Visit in North of Iran

Nestled between the lush Alborz Mountains and the Caspian Sea, northern Iran is a beautiful and diverse region. Known as the “Green Jewel” of Iran, it offers a variety of landscapes, from forests and tea plantations to beaches and busy markets. The provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan each have their own unique attractions. Whether you want to hike in the mountains, relax by the sea, or experience local culture and food, the north of Iran has something for everyone. This article will take you through some of the best places to visit in north of Iran, showcasing its top sights and unique experiences.

Mazandaran Province Attractions

Mazandaran, a stunning province along the Caspian Sea, is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. This region is renowned for its diverse landscapes, including lush forests, serene lakes, and majestic mountains. 

The area offers a mix of outdoor activities, from hiking and boating to riding cable cars for breathtaking views. Here are some of the best places to visit in north of Iran in Mazandaran: 

1. Badab-e Surt

Badab-e Surt 

Badab-e Surt is a unique natural wonder known for its terraced, mineral-rich springs that create stunning orange and red hues. These terraces, formed over thousands of years, offer a surreal landscape that attracts photographers and nature lovers alike. The best time to visit Badab-e Surt is during sunrise or sunset when the light enhances the vibrant colors of the terraces.

2. Ramsar City

Ramsar City

Ramsar, often called the “Bride of the Caspian,” is a charming town famous for its beautiful gardens, hot springs, and lush forests. The Ramsar Palace, a former royal residence, and the scenic Ramsar City Cable Car, which offers panoramic views of the Caspian Sea and the surrounding mountains, are must-see attractions. Ramsar’s mild climate and coastal beauty make it a popular destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.

3. Elimalat Lake

Elimalat Lake

Elimalat Lake is a serene and picturesque lake surrounded by dense forests. It’s one of the best places to visit in north of Iran and an ideal spot for picnicking, boating, and fishing. The tranquil atmosphere and natural beauty make it a perfect escape for those looking to unwind and enjoy the peacefulness of nature.

4. Namak Abroud City

Namak Abroud City

Namak Abroud is a popular tourist resort known for its lush greenery and modern amenities. The Namak Abroud Telecabin (cable car) takes visitors up to the Alborz Mountains, providing breathtaking views of the forest and the Caspian Sea. The resort also offers various recreational activities such as zip-lining, bungee jumping, and hiking.

5. Hyrcanian Forests

Hyrcanian Forests 

The Hyrcanian Forests, a UNESCO World Heritage site, are ancient and dense forests that stretch along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. These forests are home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. Exploring the Hyrcanian Forests offers a glimpse into a prehistoric natural world and an opportunity for trekking and wildlife observation.

6. Sisangan National Park

Sisangan National Park

Sisangan National Park is a protected area known for its rich biodiversity and scenic landscapes. The park’s diverse habitats include forests, wetlands, and coastal areas, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and bird watchers. The park offers various trails for hiking and spots for picnicking, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its natural beauty.

7. Kelardasht City

Kelardasht City

Kelardasht is a picturesque mountainous region known for its cool climate and beautiful landscapes. It’s one of the best places to visit in the north of Iran for hiking, climbing, and exploring traditional villages. The Kelardasht region’s natural beauty, with its forests, rivers, and peaks, provides a refreshing retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

8. Valasht Lake

Valasht Lake

Valasht Lake, nestled among the mountains, is a hidden gem with crystal-clear waters surrounded by lush greenery. The lake is perfect for boating, fishing, and camping. Its tranquil environment and scenic views make it an ideal spot for a relaxing getaway.

9. Do Hezar and Se Hezar Forests

Do Hezar and Se Hezar Forests

Do Hezar and Se Hezar Forests are two lush forested valleys known for their stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity. These forests offer numerous trails for hiking and exploring, with scenic views of rivers, waterfalls, and wildlife. The pristine environment and the opportunity to connect with nature make these forests a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts.

Gilan Province Attractions

Gilan, a beautiful province in northern Iran, is famous for its green landscapes, rich culture, and history. Visitors can enjoy its lush forests, peaceful coastlines, and charming mountain villages. The area is known for its friendly people, tasty food, and lively markets. Whether you like hiking in the forest, relaxing by the Caspian Sea, or experiencing local traditions and architecture, Gilan offers a variety of attractions that make it a wonderful place to visit. Here are some of the best places to visit in north of Iran in Gilan: 

1. Masuleh Village

Masuleh Village

Masuleh Village is a historic and picturesque village known for its unique stepped architecture, where the roofs of houses serve as the streets for the houses above. Located in the mountains, Masuleh village offers a charming blend of traditional Iranian life, misty mountain scenery, and vibrant local culture. Visitors can explore its narrow alleys, visit local shops and cafes, and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding forested hills.

2. Rudkhan Castle

Rudkhan Castle is an ancient fortress perched high in the lush forests of Gilan. This impressive structure, dating back to the medieval era, requires a scenic hike to reach its gates. Once there, visitors can explore the castle’s extensive walls and towers while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views of the dense forest and rolling hills. The journey to the Rudkhan Castle and the historical significance of the site make it a popular destination for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.

3. Anzali Lagoon

Anzali Lagoon 

Anzali Lagoon is a large, scenic wetland on the Caspian Sea coast, known for its rich biodiversity and beautiful landscapes. The Anzali Lagoon is one of best places to visit in the north of Iran for bird watchers, with numerous species of migratory birds, as well as for nature lovers who can explore its lush vegetation and tranquil waters by boat. The lagoon also has floating houses and water lilies, adding to its unique charm.

4. Saravan Marsh

Saravan Marsh

Saravan Marsh, located near Rasht, is a serene and beautiful wetland area perfect for nature enthusiasts. The marsh is characterized by its lush greenery, calm waters, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can take peaceful boat rides through the marsh, enjoy bird watching, and experience the tranquility of this natural haven.

5. Lahijan City

Lahijan is a charming city known for its lush tea plantations and pleasant climate. The city’s green hills are dotted with tea farms, and visitors can learn about the tea production process, enjoy tea-tasting sessions, and relax in the beautiful surroundings. Lahijan also offers scenic viewpoints, historic sites, and delightful local cuisine, making it a favorite destination for those seeking both natural beauty and cultural experiences.

6. Subatan Village

Subatan Village 

Subatan Village is a remote and picturesque village located in the mountains of Gilan. Known for its stunning natural beauty, traditional wooden houses, and vibrant pastures, Subatan offers a glimpse into the pastoral life of the region. The village is a great place for hiking, horseback riding, and experiencing the simplicity and charm of rural life in northern Iran. Visitors can enjoy fresh mountain air, panoramic views, and the warm hospitality of the local people.

Golestan Province Attractions

As one of the best places to visit in the north of Iran, Golestan Province is known for its diverse natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The province boasts lush forests, stunning waterfalls, and expansive national parks that are perfect for hiking and wildlife spotting. Its coastal areas along the Caspian Sea offer serene beaches and unique ecosystems. Golestan is also home to historical sites and traditional villages that provide a glimpse into the region’s past and local culture. Visitors can enjoy the mix of natural beauty and cultural richness, making Golestan a captivating destination for travelers. Here are its top tourist attractions: 

1. Shirabad Waterfall

Shirabad Waterfall

Shirabad Waterfall is a series of stunning cascades located in the heart of Golestan’s lush forests. The waterfalls flow into crystal-clear pools, creating a serene and picturesque setting ideal for nature lovers and photographers. The area around the Shirabad Waterfall is perfect for hiking and picnicking, offering a peaceful retreat into nature.

2. Golestan National Park

Golestan National Park, the oldest national park in Iran, is a vast area renowned for its diverse ecosystems and rich wildlife. The park features a variety of landscapes, including dense forests, rolling hills, and open grasslands. Golestan National Park is home to numerous animal species, such as Persian leopards, red deer, and wild boar, making it a prime spot for wildlife enthusiasts and hikers who want to explore its scenic trails and observe its abundant flora and fauna.

3. Khalid Nabi Cemetery

Khalid Nabi Cemetery is a unique and mysterious historical site located in the hills of Golestan. The cemetery is known for its unusual stone gravestones that date back centuries and feature distinctive, human-like shapes. This is one of the best places to visit in north of Iran that offers a fascinating glimpse into ancient burial practices and local folklore, set against the backdrop of stunning, panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

4. Jangale Abr (Cloud Forest)

Jangale Abr

Jangale Abr, or the Cloud Forest, is a mystical and enchanting forest often enveloped in mist, giving it a dreamy, otherworldly atmosphere. This forest, situated at a high altitude, is rich with diverse plant and animal life. It provides a magical setting for hiking and exploring, with trails that lead through dense vegetation and offer breathtaking views of the fog-covered landscape.

5. Miankaleh Peninsula

Miankaleh Peninsula is a protected biosphere reserve located along the southeastern shore of the Caspian Sea. Known for its pristine natural beauty, the peninsula is a haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. Miankaleh Peninsula is home to a variety of migratory birds, wildlife, and unique plant species. Visitors can explore its serene beaches, wetlands, and diverse habitats, making it an ideal spot for ecotourism.

6. Qabus Dome

Qabus Dome, also known as Gonbad-e Qabus, is an impressive and ancient brick tower that stands as a testament to the architectural ingenuity of the early Islamic period. Built in the 11th century, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the tallest brick towers in the world. The dome’s striking design and historical significance make it a must-visit landmark, offering insight into the region’s rich cultural and architectural heritage.

Travel to North of Iran With IranAmaze

Now that you know all about the best places to visit in the north of Iran, let’s talk about how you can get there and enjoy the beauty of these natural and cultural sights. 

The best way to travel to Iran is with a travel agency that knows the area and can handle the visa process for you. IranAmaze, an Iran tour operator with more than a decade of experience, can do just that! The most unique option that IranAmaze offers you is Iran tailor made tours. With these tours, you can completely tailor your trip and decide where you want to visit and for how long. All you have to do is give us a list of the places you want to visit in the north of Iran, and we’ll take care of the rest!  


Northern Iran, with its stunning blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences. From the terraced springs of Badab-e Surt and the charming mountain village of Masouleh to the lush landscapes of Golestan National Park and the mystical Cloud Forest, this region offers a diverse array of attractions. The provinces of Mazandaran, Gilan, and Golestan each bring their unique charms, making northern Iran a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking to experience the true beauty and culture of this captivating country.

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