Enjoy Iran winter escapes


Unless you have come from cold countries such as Scandinavian ones, you enjoyably can bare traveling to Iran during freezing winters of the capital, western or northwestern parts of Iran. Surely winter would be pleasant while sipping a hot coffee in a café and looking at people who are rushing through the streets to reach home, or the times flexing your muscles in hot springs at northwestern city of Sareyn in Ardabil province where the weather is biting cold in winters.

However, do not worry if you are a hot freak as far as holidays are concerned. Iran is a four-season country which means you can definitely find a proper place to rest your legs under the shadow of a tree and enjoy a warm breeze on your skin or have a nice swim in a freshwater lake while the sun shines high and bright in the middle of the winter sky.

The southern and central parts of Iran are perfect for whom thinks the weather is always sunny in paradise. Walking on warm sands of Qeshm, having a Samosa (Sambuseh in Farsi) on the seashores of the Persian Gulf in Bandar Abbas, or even smoking shisha (Qeliyun in Farsi) in the southwestern city of Bushehr can call on every wanderer taking a trip around Iran in fall or winter.

An unforgettable chilling trip is camping on an uninhabited island encircled by Shahyun freshwater lake (or Dez Dam Lake), about 40 kilometers away from the city of Dezful in the Iranian most southwestern province of Khuzestan. The water temperature is perfect for swimming in November to February.

Plan to spend days in Khuzestan province where Zagros mountain range overlooks arable lands, farms, or lush valleys where rivers run through. Rest a night at a hotel or hostel in Dezful and prepare yourself to start your journey first in the early morning towards Pamenar village next to Shahyun lake, where you can ask locals to get you to the island.

To prepare yourself for a night on an empty island, an icebox filled with enough food, a camp or sleeping bags, swim suits are necessities. The local guide can provide you with some of them such as icebox, life vest, bread, or bottles of water but it is recommended to bring the requirements you think it may be hard to find in a small village. If you bring woods and iron sticks, you can start a fire in the island to kabob sliced raw chicken meats that you could have bought in Dezful and preferably marinated them with onions, salt, lemon juice, and saffron or even yogurt to serve it Iranian style.

Assuming you are well equipped and arrived at the small port where a boat and driver is waiting to take you on a 15-minute sail to the island. While you are sailing away, look behind to see the top of the mountain overlooking Pamenar and the lake where ancient natural defense of Castle Shaadab (Qal’e Shaadab in Farsi) stands tall for millennia, resting undisturbed on fables of magical spring which make you fall in love if you drink from it or kings who used the castle as a fortress in face of enemies or disasters. The castle also was a safe haven for numbers of locals who still have the key to its only door.


Once you arrived at the island, fetch some woods to provide resources for the arson fellow traveler who always sits in charge of the fire (never been my role). Unpack and get ready for a pleasant swim in the lake, where there is only you and a view of schooling fishes in crystal clear water under you. Thus lakes are only clear during fall and winter, you can have a short range of view in other seasons. It is also noteworthy to mention that the lake water is edible and locals are drinking it over the years. If you are interested in having a fish for dinner, bring a fishing rod and use jujube (Konar in Farsi) fruits growing on shady native trees of the island.

Believe me, it’s going to be one hell of an adventure, definitely without cellular network coverage.



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