Makran coast holds potential to gain UNESCO tag

September 5, 2020 - 20:30

TEHRAN – The natural and historical attractions of the Makran coastal strip in southern Iran hold the potential to be registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Being home to some unique attractions such as Darak village, Martian Mountains, pristine beaches of Chabahar and sacred fig trees makes Makran coast a top tourist destination for domestic and foreign travelers, said Seyyed Hadi Ahmadi Ruini the director of the ministry’s office for preservation and restoration of historic buildings, textures and sites, IRNA reported on Saturday. 

Inviting tourists to travel to the region and enjoy its noteworthy attractions, he also noted that Makran coast is unique not only in the country but also in the world, however, its tourism infrastructure needs to be provided to attract more travelers.

To get to that point, historical buildings in the region are to be restored, and some of them will be ceded to the private sector for better maintenance and preservation, he added.

Located in the southern part of the Sistan-Balouchestan province, Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip along the coast of the Gulf of Oman.

The narrow coastal plain rises rapidly into several mountain ranges. Of the 1,000 kilometers coastline, around 750 kilometers is in Pakistan. Makran is very sparsely inhabited, with much of the population concentrated in a string of small ports including Chabahar, Gwatar, Jiwani, Jask, Sirik, Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara, and many smaller fishing villages.

Shahid Beheshti Port, which is Iran’s only oceanic port, is the main port of the country on the Makran coast.

Darak village and Martian Mountains, commonly known as Miniature Mountains, which are located on the Makran coast, are also among the top tourist destinations in the region that eye to gain a UNESCO tag as well.

Located between the two important port cities of Chabahar and Bandar Abbas, Darak is one of the few places in the world where the sea and the desert meet. Darak or Darag in the local language means settling along the sea.

The beach and the amazing village, along with the Oman Sea, are tourist destinations where sand dunes, palm trees, and blue sea in a frame together create fantastic scenery.

Hiking, swimming, and photography are among the best activities tourists could enjoy while traveling to Darak Beach. It is known for its extraordinary beaches and has a pristine shoreline.

Mars or Martian Mountains, also known as “Koohaye Merikhi” in Persian, are a type of badlands stretched out parallel to the Gulf of Oman. Their current shape results from millions of years of erosion by wind and water. The height of the mountains varies between five to over 100 meters.

Locals named them Martian Mountains since it seemed as if aliens – in this case, people from Mars – built them; with almost no vegetation, their curvy scenery stands in strong contrast with the landscape around.

For decades, Sistan-Baluchestan used to be shunned by potential foreign travelers though it is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites of Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut Desert, shared with Kerman Province.