A wild, remote adventure to tour Iran’s giant dunes

November 3, 2019

TEHRAN – Shahdad, a major part of the UNESCO-registered Lut desert, has long been a destination for adventurers, nature lovers, off-roaders and trekkers.

Situated in southeastern Kerman province, it is home to giant dunes (locally called kaluts), shifting sands, salt plains, meteorite fields and rocky terrain, which offers visitors a breathtaking vistas and unparalleled serenity of the intact nature and wilderness.

If you are interested to hit heart of the desert bear in mind that such expeditions are usually carried out by teams on foot, with support and water supply from 4WD vehicles.

Over 5,000 foreign sightseers visited the UNESCO-registered Lut Desert in the barren heartland of Iran during the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2019), as Europeans, including people from Germany, Italy, Spain and France, constituting the highest number of arrivals.

Back in April, about 10 tour operators and planners ecotourism reporters visited natural attractions in the desert and its nearby cities, mulling over them to become new destinations.

However, local officials are seeking to define new tourist routes in compliance with the criteria for safeguarding a World Heritage in order to facilitate visits to various parts of a UNESCO site

The scorching desert is also being considered as one of the top areas in the world for finding meteorites, thanks to its unique parameters. In recent years, significant finds have been made, with the efforts of national and international teams of researchers.

Seven years of satellite temperature data analyzed by NASA show that the Lut Desert is the hottest spot on Earth. Based on the research, it was hottest during 5 of the 7 years, and had the highest temperature overall: 70.7°C in 2005.

The scorching Lut is also considered as one of the top areas in the world for finding meteorites, thanks to its unique parameters. In recent years, significant finds have been made, with the efforts of national and international teams of researchers.

Meteorites, whether more iron-rich or “stony,” are generally silvery or black, and therefore stand out in two major environments – sandy deserts, or icy realms. According to experts, the dry conditions of a desert help to preserve the space rocks in as original as condition as possible.

The big and sprawling Kerman province has long been a destination for globetrotters. Kerman has been a cultural melting pot since antiquity, blending Persians with subcontinental tribe dwellers. It is home to myriad historical sites and scenic landscapes such as Bazaar-e Sartasari, Jabalieh Dome, Ganjali Khan Bathhouse, Malek Jameh Mosque and Shahdad Desert to name a few.

AFM/MG

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