A information to Golestan province in Iran

David Beckam

Golestan is likely one of the least visited provinces in Iran.

Then again, after spending a whole week wandering across the area, I got here to the belief that this might be my favourite position in Iran, very other from the remainder of the rustic and residential to a good looks which I had by no means anticipated.

I in point of fact need vacationers to find this magnificent hidden gem, in order that’s why I’ve compiled a information to visiting Golestan province, which contains issues to do, transportation and lodging pointers and, in fact, quite a few native insights and inspirational pictures.

golestan province

Why discuss with Golestan?

From epic teach trips to the greenest panorama within the nation, distinctive tradition and a world-class archaeological website online, Golestan is a fully underrated province in Iran.

The gorgeous surroundings, composed of remarkable inexperienced canyons and velvet-smooth rolling hills, and Khalid Nabi, the tomb of a pre-Islamic prophet whose location is way over exceptional, will have to be within the highlights of any trip information to Iran.

Upload to this a robust Central Asian tradition, which is nearer to Kazakhstan to Iran itself, and you are going to quickly notice that Golestan province is an unmissable vacation spot that would stay you busy for weeks.

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Golestan Iran
Epic panorama in Tamer-e Qarah Quzi

The folk: the Turkmens of Golestan in Iran

The panorama and the epic archaeological websites aren’t the one reason why for visiting Golestan however, from a cultural standpoint, this can be a very distinctive area.

And the reason being that, because it borders Turkmenistan, Golestan province has a big inhabitants of Turkmens.

Those humans, not like the remainder of Iran, are Sunni, Turkmen is their language and conventional girls get dressed in colourful attire, while, in the remainder of the rustic, they like the black chador.

Additionally, they have got a Central Asian tradition. As an example, they consume Central Asian meals, together with plov (oh guy, I in point of fact hate plov) and mantis. Additionally, there’s a very visual nomadic tradition and, like in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, in addition they reside in yurts.

However, in all probability, probably the most unexpected factor is that the Turkmens from Iran declare that they’re the unique ones, as the folks from precise Turkmenistan had been influenced through Russia an excessive amount of.

Getting a visa for Turkmenistan could be very sophisticated. I if truth be told as soon as attempted to use for one in Tashkent and, sadly, it were given rejected so, in case your visa were given denied as neatly, Golestan is the nearest position you’ll be to Turkmenistan.

Learn: Which nation in Central Asia will have to you discuss with?

Turkmen people Golestan
Turkmen humans all over a pageant in Gonvad e-Qavus

The right way to get in & out of Golestan province

Attending to Golestan through bus

Bus is at all times the perfect and quickest manner to trip round Iran.

Gorgan and Gonvad e-Kavus are the primary towns within the province, so there are day-to-day, direct buses from many different towns, together with Tehran, Esfahan, and Mashhad.

Attending to Golestan through teach

In case you have been coming from Tehran, you will have to know that the teach adventure is likely one of the maximum epic within the nation, because it is going during the magical panorama and over many ancient bridges.

It is important to ebook it upfront regardless that, as seats run out in no time.

In fact, I attempted to ebook it 24 hours upfront and it used to be already absolutely booked, so I took a teach to Sari as an alternative, which is a couple of hours sooner than Gorgan. The price ticket price 104,000IR and it used to be an 8-hour adventure.

train Iran
Te epic teach adventure, from Tehran to Sari

Issues to peer in Golestan

Learn: Absolute best books on Central Asian tradition, politics and historical past

I spent one week within the area and those are all of the puts I visited.

Via the best way, in case you best have a couple of days, I like to recommend visiting Gonvad e-Kavus and Khalid Nabi, a minimum of.

Day 1 – Gorgan

Gorgan used to be my first prevent within the area.

To be very truthful, it isn’t an overly thrilling town nevertheless it has a full of life bazaar, a couple of blue-tiled mosques price testing and this can be a nice base for exploring the encompassing Turkmen cities.

The town is most commonly Iranian, so that you received’t see many Turkmens right here both.

Additionally, Gorgan could be very on the subject of Zariah Valley, a well-liked getaway for the locals. It’s a fantastic wooded area with a couple of waterfalls and a few half-day trekking choices.

The place to stick in Gorgan

Pars Resort – Maximum foreigners will keep right here. The cheap lodge run through an area who used to reside in London. All through my keep, I used to be the one foreigner, however I had such a lot amusing with the few native visitors that have been additionally staying there.

Gorgan, Iran
A fish supplier, within the bazaar of Gorgan

Day 2 – Day day trip to Aghghala, Bandar e-Turkman and Ashuradeh

For an actual glimpse of Turkmen town lifestyles, just a little north of Gorgan, there are a couple of cities that are certainly price visiting and are simply available on an afternoon day trip.


Probably the most Turkmen the city in the entire Golestan province, Aghghala is a brilliant position to spend a couple of hours wandering across the many eating places serving Central Asian meals and simply performing some people-watching.

If conceivable, attempt to come right here on Thursday, the day the native marketplace takes position, when you are going to see all of the locals promoting conventional Turkmen materials, meals and extra. I used to be if truth be told very fortunate to peer it!

The right way to get to Aghghala from Gorgan – The bus terminal is true subsequent to the teach station. Minibuses run all through the day and best price 10,000IR.

Aghghala bazaar
Turkmen women performing some loopy buying groceries within the Thursday bazaar

Bandar e-Turkmen

Bandar e-Turkmen will certainly wonder you as a result of it’s, actually, fairly touristic.

The native Turkmens have advanced an overly touristic space, the place you’ll in finding such a lot of yurts, consume conventional merchandise corresponding to kurut (Central Asian cheese balls), purchase conventional garments and plenty of different issues.

The Iranians in finding their tradition very unique, so this a very talked-about town for home tourism.

Additionally, right here you’ll catch a ship to Ashuradeh Island.

The right way to get to Bandar e-Turkmen from Aghghala – There are native shared taxis that simply price 30,000IR.

Bandar e-Turkmen
The touristic yurts in Bandar e-Turkmen

Ashuradeh Island

That is not anything rather then a Caspian Sea island and this can be a 10-minute boat trip from Bandar e-Turkmen.

A round-trip boat trip prices 600,000IR however you’ll percentage it with others and also you usually are invited through different Iranians to enroll in. In fact, I didn’t even want to ask when a fantastic circle of relatives informed me to get within the boat with them.

To be very truthful, the island isn’t that great however considering that you’ve been on an island in the course of the Caspian Sea is lovely cool.

Ashuradeh Island, Caspian Sea
The island harbor

The island, regardless that, has the most efficient seafood eating place in Golestan, serving very distinctive Caspian fish. This can be a bit pricey, alternatively, with costs beginning at 400,000-500,000IR for only a primary direction.

I didn’t consume there since the circle of relatives didn’t wish to and I don’t love to put money into a pleasing meal if I will be able to’t percentage that second with any person.

The right way to get again Gorgan from Bandar e-Turkmen – Shared taxis run very ceaselessly and best price 30,000IR.

The stunning circle of relatives I went with

Day 3 – Gonvad e-Kavus

That is the biggest town in Golestan and a fantastic the city to spend one or two days in.

In Gonvad e-Kavus, you are going to discover a UNESCO Global Heritage website online, which is a 72-meter tower from the eleventh century. The interior of the tower accommodates probably the most oldest muqarnas, that are the Islamic geometric paperwork you’ll see in lots of mosques round Iran.

For foreigners, the doorway rate prices 200,000IR however you’ll see the tower from out of doors with out paying, no drawback.

Gonvad e-Qavus tower
The UNESCO Global Heritage tower

The town has quite a few stores promoting conventional Turkmen handicrafts, Central Asian eating places and it’s standard for containing probably the most well-known horse races in Iran.

Additionally, in case you are demise for some just right espresso and world meals, pass to Café Cadre, a Western-style café run through a Turkmen brother and sister. I spent many hours running at their café and they’re completely superior. Extremely really useful!

The place to stick in Gonvad e-Kavus

There isn’t great lodging on this the city and it sort of feels that the one respectable choice is Resort Ajam, which is an affordable, very moderate position. You’ll additionally do Couchsurfing, as there are fairly a couple of lively profiles.

The right way to get to Gonvad e-Kavus from Gorgan

Buses from Gorgan to Gonvad run frequently and best price 30,000IR.

Turkmens Iran
Turkmen women buying groceries

Day 4 – Tamer-e Qarah Quzi

Tamer is a village positioned between Gonvad e-Kavus and Khalid Nabi, simply 35km sooner than the cemetery, and surrounded through a in point of fact putting panorama.

In case you wanna revel in the actual Turkmen rural tradition, come right here and do a homestay with Naim and his circle of relatives, an actual Turkmen circle of relatives who take hospitality to the following stage. For little cash, they have got a yurt and a couple of rooms and all foods are integrated.

For this, you’ll touch Naim at +989120294409 or just message him on Instagram.

You’ll simply keep within the village and stroll round however, if you wish to have, Naim too can take you for some trekking (without or with a horse) or even discuss with some actual Turkmen nomads deep into the mountains.

I promise you are going to have an incredible time with him.

The right way to get to Tamer-e Qarah Quzi from Gonvad e-Kavus 

First, you wish to have to get a shared taxi to Kalaleh (40,000IR) and, from there, a 2d one to Tamer (40,000IR).

Epic landscapes 10 mins strolling from the village

Day 5 – Khalid Nabi

Khalid Nabi is fucking superior and a reason why on its own to return to Golestan province.

Principally, this can be a cemetery the place a pre-Islamic prophet and his fans are buried.

The website online is split into two puts: on one facet, you’ve Khalid’s tomb, positioned on the most sensible of the hill, from the place you notice surprising perspectives, the horizon being Turkmenistan. At the different facet, you’ve the fans’ cemetery, the place you in finding the well-known penis-shaped rocks.

Khalid Nabi cemetery
Khalid Nabi dicks

If you’re questioning, those penis-shaped rocks are tombs and sure, they are trying to mimic the form of a dick as it signifies that the individual buried is a person. Some penises are very tall, while others are fairly small.

And no, this doesn’t constitute the scale in their dicks nevertheless it has to do with their age. The taller the penis is, the older the person when he died.

Khalid Nabi is an overly bizarre, mystical position.

The right way to get to Khalid Nabi from Tamer-e Qarah Quzi 

Khalid Nabi is solely 35km away however the highway is in point of fact bumpy so it takes round 1.5h. A round-trip through taxi prices 400,000IR however you’ll hitchhike very simply.

Khalid Nabi
Fucking epic Khalid Nabi

Day 6 – Again to Gonvad e-Kavus and bus in your subsequent vacation spot

From Gonvad e-Kavus, there are direct buses to Tehran, Esfahan, Mashhad and plenty of different towns.

I for my part persisted my option to Mashhad, on an 8-hour night time bus.

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Additional information for visiting Golestan Province

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Visit Golestan Province

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