I have experienced one of the best Nowruz (Persian new year) of my life in 1397 for two main reasons: First, because it was Nika’s first ever Nowruz; and second because this year we have the chance to be on vacation for fourteen days, unlike previous years which were only five. Officially, Nowruz holidays are five days but some privately held companies extend this to fourteen depends on company policies. I’ve also heard from some of my friends who are working for companies like Snapp and Alibaba that they were EIGHTEEN days off this Nowruz!
Iranian people are usually visiting each other in Nowruz holidays. However, we spend most of our time traveling around Iran and visit new places. We’ve visited two places this holiday so far!
According to UNESCO:
The City of Yazd is located in the middle of the Iranian plateau, 270 km southeast of Isfahan, close to the Spice and Silk Roads. It bears living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert. Water is supplied to the city through a qanat system developed to draw underground water. The earthen architecture of Yazd has escaped the modernization that destroyed many traditional earthen towns, retaining its traditional districts, the qanat system, traditional houses, bazars, hammams, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples and the historic garden of Dolat-abad.
We started our trip to Yazd on Thursday Farvardin’s 2nd 11 PM. It takes about 8.5 hours for us to arrive (although Google Maps said it takes 7 hours) and I think it was a smart decision to go by night because the route is nothing but deserts. We arrived in Ardakan (The biggest city before getting to Yazd) at 6 AM when the sun was about to rise.
We arrived at Yazd at about 8 AM and it took about another hour to find a place to stay. There are two options for finding a place to stay at Yard. There are plenty of hotels in Yazd from 2 to 5 grades available for booking; but, there are also people who offer places (Something like Airbnb) which are more affordable. Nearly all hotel rooms were booked at the time we arrived at Yazd and available rooms were too expensive; so, we decided to find a home to mortgage.
Yazd fire temple was the first place we’ve visited during this trip. It is one of the most popular tourist attraction of Yard. According to a document, they’ve claimed that the fire hasn’t been shut down since 1545 years ago!
The Yazd Atash Behram, also known as Atashkadeh-e Yazd), is a temple in Yazd, Yazd province, Iran. It was built in 1934 and enshrines the Atash Bahram, meaning “Victorious Fire”, dated to 470 AD. It is one of the nine Atash Behrams, the only one of the highest grade fire in Iran where Zoroastrians have practiced their religion since 400 BC; the other eight Atash Behrams are in India. According to Aga Rustam Noshiravan Belivani, of Sharifabad, the Anjuman-i Nasiri (elected Zoroastrian officials) opened the Yazd Atash Behram in the 1960s to non-Zoroastrian visitors.
Although the outdoor view of the temple was awesome the inside is not as good as expected. It was just a flame with someone taking care of it.
At the first night of visiting Yazd, we visited Amir Chakhmaq complex and square. This square is very similar to Naqsh-e Jahan Square of Isfahan but a little smaller. It was a square with lots of traditional shops in it alongside Amir Chakhmaq mosque in one side of it.
The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is a prominent structure in Yazd, Iran, noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves. It is a mosque located on a square of the same name. It also contains a caravanserai, a tekyeh, a bathhouse, a cold water well, and a confectionery. At night, the building is lit up after twilight hours after sun set with orange lighting in the arched alcoves which makes it a spectacle. During the Iran–Iraq War and the Iraq wars with the United States and Afghanistan, many Iraqis and Afghanis have come to inhabit the Amir Chakhmaq Square.
After visiting Amir Chakhmaq square, we’ve decided to have dinner. By searching a lot of restaurants and places on the internet, we found out that Dad hotel has a very good restaurant. Dad hotel was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Actually, we’ve impressed by the appearance and architecture of this hotel at the first glance.
And then the great restaurant experience! Gheyme Yazdi is one of the most desirable foods in Yazd. It’s actually standard Gheyme but cooked with pea instead of the split peas but I think it was more delicious than standard Gheyme.
We started the second day of our trip by visiting the Dolat-Abad garden and I think it’s the most beautiful tourist attraction of Yazd. It’s an amazing garden with a long pool with some great wind towers which is what Yazd is known for! Here’s a good description from Oruj website:
Dolat Abad Garden, built around 1750, is a Persian architecture jewel which annually attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists visiting Iran. This beautiful garden consists of a pavilion that was built according to the original Iranian architectural style and a large garden and some other buildings.
Long pool in the shade of the tall cypress trees leads to the main entrance. On the way to the mansion, there are beautiful grape and pomegranate trees behind those tall trees.
The tallest wind tower of the pavilion inside the garden is conceivable from miles away. This traditional air-conditioning system of local houses around the desert in Iran is the essential elements at the residential structures. However, the exaggerated grand size of this wind catcher functioned perfectly well. Actually, the Dolat Abad garden is also renowned for having Iran’s tallest badgir (the wind tower), that is standing over 33 meters; though this one was rebuilt after it collapsed in the 1960s.
The most significant characteristics of the design of Dolat Abad Garden is believed to be the attempt of the architect in selecting tactful angles for providing the best views and landscape internally.
The second night of Yazd was dedicated to Jameh Mosque of Yazd. It’s the biggest mosque of Yazd and one of the biggest tourist attractions. It is located in the middle of historical texture part of Yazd province. I also realized that these traditional houses are also registered in UNESCO as well!
Yazd Jame’ Mosque is one of the most marvelous historical monuments. The mosque, which dates back to the 14th century, is located in the heart of Yazd. It is surrounded by bazaars, libraries, bath houses and other urban institutions. According to historians, the original building was a Zoroastrian fire temple during the Sassanid era which was converted into a mosque during the Seljuk reign.
These were some of the most famous places we’ve visited during our trip to Yard. There are a lot of other attractions in Yazd which we couldn’t visit because of time limits and Nika. You can check out Yazd on Tripadvisor for more information.
Important tip: I believe spring is the best time of the year to visit Yazd. Because Yazd is located in the middle of Iran and surrounded by deserts, the weather could get very hot in summers and very cold in winters.
North of Iran (Royan)
We stayed in Yazd for 3 days and get back to Tehran on Farvardin 6th. So, we have enough time for another trip with our siblings and parents. We decided to head to the north of Iran to my sister’s place located in Royan, Mazandaran, Iran. Unlike Yazd which was about 30C, it was too cold in the north. I can remember that the weather was about 3C! Therefore, we stayed indoors most of the times.
Most Iranian people eat seafood when they visit north cities. So we decided to move to the bazaar to buy some fish for launch.We also bought some veggies for other meals as well. As you can see in the picture above, the Bazaar was traditional and crowded.
Cooking fish is also a challenging process. You may want to fry it in a pan using oil or maybe you want to grill it on fire! We surely went on with the second one 🙂
We stayed 3 days at the north of Iran as well and then returned back to Tehran on Farvardin 12th.
This was a recap of what we have done and places we visited on 1397 Nowruz holidays. Where did you go this spring?