Iran is a country which embraces many historical attractions and also natural attractions as well. Gilan Provine, because of being located between Caspian Sea and Alborz Mountain Range in Northern Iran, is a beautiful lush and green land which has a wonderful nature. This province is one of Iran most beautiful regions. Its capital is the city of Rasht. Every spot of Gilan is beautiful and its breathtaking beauties and pleasant weather of this region will refresh your soul.
“Masuleh” is a lovely village which is located in lush highlands of Gilan. Its architecture is spectacular because the yard of the above building is the roof of the below building. Spending some time walking around its streets leads to admire beautiful Masuleh, no motor vehicle won’t disturb your peace since they aren’t allowed enter this place. The landscape surrounding Masuleh is lush and mountainous with frequent fog.
“Rudkhan Castle” is a castle which was built in Sassanid dynasty on top of a hill and near to the city of Fuman. Located its steep path and steps amongst foggy forest and green highlands makes this place one of the most beautiful spots of Gilan Province. It gets about one hour to climb up to the castle through a beautiful forest, but it is surely worth the climb and there are really breathtaking views from there.
“Visadar Waterfall”, with 15 m high, is an impressive place located in a mountainous area and along a lush road. The surrounding rock cliffs are also attractive. Adventurous visitors can swim downstream from the waterfall.
“Saqalaksar Lake” is a unique place having a beautiful and calm nature where you can get relaxed and enjoy the silent atmosphere of the forest around the lake. There is also a cozy café beside this lake. The route to this place is really nice and scenic as well.
“Gilan Rural Heritage Museum” is a place where you will get familiar more with the culture of the friendly and cheerful people of Northern Iran, their traditions, rural life style and how and where they live. You will see wood architecture which is unique in Iran. You could also record your memory from beautiful Gilan with taking photo wearing beautiful and colorful local clothes.
Gisum is another tourist attraction and an area with a really beautiful nature in Gilan Province, including forest and beach. You will depart from forest to the beach through a really amazing road in the heart of the dense Gisum Forest.
The city of Masal is a countryside in lush highlands of Gilan Province, it’s a relatively untouched spot in the nature of Northern Iran. It’s hard to express its beauty through words. There is a really picturesque village in this region which is called “Olasbelangah” with lovely wooden houses. It’s also possible for Visitors to stay in hotel or local homes there.
“Lahijan Lake” is an artificial lake at the foot of Sheitan Kooh in the city of Lahijan. It’s a green area with pleasant weather which is a great place for walking and family picnics and it has a friendly atmosphere. The mountain across from the lake (Sheitan Kooh) offers a great view of the lake and the whole city. There are also traditional cafés and restaurants around the lake.
Asalem-Khalkhal is a dreamlike forest road and one of Iran most beautiful roads in the midst of foggy forests which connects Gilan Province to Ardabil Province. It is about 20 hours of hiking in forests and mountains, but it should be accompanied by an experienced guide. Visitors can find hostels on this way. Best time for going to this area is summer.
Subatan Countryside is a dreamlike lush land amongst mountains. Although reaching to this hidden paradise is tough, it’s absolutely worth all the effort. There are lots of things to see and enjoy, including rural cottages and groups of horses. This place is also near to exquisite Neor Lake and Talesh Forests. It’s suggested not to go there in cold months.
Boujagh is a wetland (national park) by Sefidrud river. It is home to over 200 species of birds that come from different parts of the world to this place every autumn. Besides birds, there are groups of horses and fishermen in their boats. Visitors could see many stunning views there, especially in spring.
Laton is the highest waterfall in Iran (105 m high) near to the city of Astara. For reaching to this attractive waterfall, you should pass through beautiful dense forests in highlands which it takes you 4 hours.
Anzali Lagoon is a place where you have the chance to go on a boat ride on this beautiful lagoon to explore its flora and fauna and its beautiful Caspian Lotuses. It’s also known as a good place for bird watching. Many species of local and migrant birds are living in this area.
Heyran pass which connects Astara to Ardabil is the most beautiful road in Iran. This road passes among mountains, forests and green lands and you will be enchanted by its exquisite scenery. The gondola lift is 1,500 meters long through beautiful landscapes of Alborz mountain range, there are really wonderful views of foggy lush highlands.
The best beach of Caspian Coastline is the sandy “Chamkhaleh Beach” which is a great and peaceful place for swimming or sun tanning. You will also enjoy watching wonderful view of the sea, and unforgettable sunrise by the sea from this lovely beach.
Having a wide variety of traditional foods, Gilan cuisine ranks first among Iran provinces. You can also enjoy trying the local foods in its traditional restaurants and cafés with their cozy atmosphere.
Khoresht-e Fesenjan, Mirza Ghassemi, Baghala ghatogh and Caspian Kutum are just some of the mouthwatering traditional foods of this region. The original Fesenjan’s ingredients are sour local pomegranate paste, duck and walnut and it’s served with Kateh (a kind of rice). A major flavor in the regional foods is pomegranate paste. Besides main dishes, there are some popular side dishes in Gilan, including marinated olives, smoked fish, garlic pickle and roe (fish eggs). In this province, there are many good restaurants too; “Razeghi Restaurant”, “Shore Coli Restaurant” and “Moharam Restaurant” are the best ones in the city of Rasht and there is also a popular traditional restaurant, “Khavar Khanom” in the village of Sarvelat, it belongs to a lovely local woman. In this restaurant, you will enjoy the taste of her traditional foods and exquisite views too. She’s serving only for lunch. Unfortunately, it is overcrowded on holidays.
In Gilan Province, you could also try Skamo (a type of ice cream with sour cherry) and various jams. Another special thing to try is “Dalal” which is actually the combination of a large amount of salt and local vegetables and used as a flavor. Some sweets of Gilan Province are “Reshteh khoshkar” and special cookies of two cities: Fuman and Lahijan.
You can watch a documentary by BBC about this region here.
Like Gilan cuisine, there are a range of souvenirs which visitors could buy there, edible ones such as olive and olive oil (from the city of Rudbar), tea (from Lahijan) and cookies (from Fuman or Lahijan), and non-edible ones like wicker handicrafts. In different cities and villages of Gilan Province, there are lots of local markets with their lively atmosphere where visitors could buy all of these things, the most important one is “Rasht Bazaar”. Astara is another coastal city where you can visit its market and also purchase souvenirs from there.
Since Gilan is a popular tourist destination, there are excellent hotels in this Province. The best ones are:
1- “Kadus Grand Hotel” in Rasht
2- “Sefid Kenar Hotel” in the city of Bandar Anzali
3- “Moein Hotel” in Fuman
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