By Afshin Majlesi

Badab-e Surt: The rolling hills and lush landscape

May 13, 2019 - 20:4

Sure, trips to Tehran, Isfahan or Shiraz are nice — but sometimes the best vacations come from traveling off the beaten path.

So an alternative suggestion may be to skip the crowds by heading to lesser-known destinations which Iran never falls short of.

Your itinerary may include Badab-e Surt in northern Iran, where a scenic landscape bargains its visitors with a striking panorama of rust-colored travertine terraces adjacent to the Alborz mountain range.

The trodden, limestone formations of Badab-e Surt have been shaped over the span of thousands years by the flowing and cooling of water from hot mineral springs.

“The Badab-e Surt travertine springs take some effort to get to and in real life they aren't as large as they appear in photos. However, look closely at the terraces and you'll see how delicate the layers are and the color of the water and rock is unique. It is very photogenic and if you are able to visit during a clear day and experience sunset/sunrise, the colors changing as they reflect in the water is beautiful… it is one of Iran’s natural wonders,” said Wakitsubo from Perth, Australia in a comment posted to TripAdvisor on January 26.

While travertine terraces are found in other places across the globe, for instance Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone and Pamukkale in Turkey, Badab-e Surt is associated with distinct coloring results. Some believe such characteristic is due to high concentration of iron oxide sediments.

Joscar form Stockholm, Sweden, says in a July 2018 comment, “We drove there by car and were foolish enough to try to drive all the way up to the top. Don’t do it, leave the car where the road still is ok and walk up. We got stuck... It’s not too far to walk, but it’s dusty and hot. Luckily they sell ice, cold water and soft drinks on the hill and the views are great… Kids sell bags of dried herbs and one boy sold clay figures he had made himself. Charming and very photogenic.”

“Badab-e Surt is a mysterious and beautiful place. You can see this place in the spring because it is greener. It's better to be there at sunset because the sunlight makes it more beautiful,” Monica A. from Spain said in July 2018.

The terraces are situated some 95 kilometers south of Sari, the capital of Mazandaran province, and 7 kilometers westward of Orost village. The site can be reached by conventional vehicles in bright weather, whoever a 4WD is needed after rain. It’s best to visit there with a local guide to take you.

Stretched along the Caspian Sea and Alborz mountain range, Mazandaran is a popular destination for domestic holidaymakers and it is home to over 70 eco-lodges, 3500 villages and rural areas. It hosted over 11 million Iranian travelers during the previous Noruz holidays from March 18 to 30.


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