kami

Can't live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Yazd, Iran – the most beautiful desert town I’ve seen

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I must admit in the first few days Iran didn’t really blow me away. It was fine, I enjoyed all the places I’ve visited as well as the incredible hospitality that I’ve experienced but I was still kind of missing something. I couldn’t really tell what, maybe my expectation were too high or maybe I prepared myself way too well for this trip. I knew that at the beginning Iran was just normal, it didn’t surprise me in any way. But then I went to Yazd, and it was love at (almost) first sight!

Yazd, Iran

After the stressful beginning of the trip, with uncertain visa situation, uncertain accommodation in Shiraz and uncertain accommodation in Yazd, I needed some relaxing time more than ever. And I found it in Yazd. I listened to Lonely Planet’s advice (the guide book that probably every traveler to Iran uses) and tried to book a place in the Silk Road Hotel. Sadly all the private rooms were already taken and they could only offer me a place in the dorm but this couldn’t be reserved, it’s first come first served basis. So as soon as I arrived to Yazd (with few other travelers in my bus) I almost run to the taxi and then stormed into the hotel to see if they have a place for me. Luckily they did! The dormitory was in the dark basement, the toilet and bathroom was on the other side of the hotel (and so when I took a shower I had to walk in my pajama, manteau and a headscarf through the common area) and I was the only girl staying there in the very international company (talking about Iranian morality and standards…) But the price was unbeatable – 6$ / 5€ / 20zł for a night, including big breakfast and wifi. Also the place was just the prettiest and I simply wanted to stay there. The hotel was located in the traditional house, in the heart of old Yazd, few steps away from the major attractions. From the outside it looks like nothing really special, just a random structure with a small door but once you stepped inside you were transformed into a different world. An open air patio with a pond in the middle, surrounded by beds with cushions. I couldn’t ask for a better place to relax! When I travel I never spend so much time in the hotel as I did in Yazd but lying there, with the book in my hand and looking to the stars was just too perfect to skip it! At that time I didn’t know that during my trip to Iran I will stay in an even better place than Silk Road Hotel in Yazd! Anyway, to make everything even better there was also food served all day long in the hotel (for a really good price) as well as sold bus/train tickets to further destinations and organized tours. Basically everything a tourist might need could be solved in the hotel! In a very challenging place like Iran it was life saving that finally I wouldn’t need to worry about everything! The downside – the hotel was occupied by tourists (obviously), even if they didn’t stay there they still came for dinner. But that’s what you get after following Lonely Planet recommendations.

I started my time in Yazd, Iran in an unusual way. Since I was slowly running out of money I had to find an exchange point and it was located fairly far away from the hotel, a solid half an hour walk at least. But that was fine, I like exploring random areas and see how the real face of the city looks like. It was late afternoon, the bazaar I was passing by was slowly shutting, people were quickly bustling around, it was just a typical market atmosphere I knew from other Middle East countries, very similar to what I’ve experienced in Shiraz the previous days. Luckily for me the exchange money point was directly opposite Atashkades, the Zoroastrian fire temple. It is believed that the fire burning inside has been there nonstop since the year 470. The temple was such a nice site, small yet interesting, hidden behind the wall from the busy street. When entering the place I had no idea about Zoroastrianism so I really enjoyed learning more about the religion and seeing people getting excited about the fire. I can’t say Atashkades was the highlight of Yazd but if you happen to be around (most likely to exchange money) it’s worth to stop by!

On my way back to the hotel and the old town I took a different route and saw a raw face of Yazd. I passed the area with collapsing, abandoned houses, surely remembering the great past of Yazd. On some of them I even spotted Faravahar – the Zoroastrian sign. Soon I found myself in front of Amir Chakhmaq Complex, one of the most beautiful places in the city. It consists of a mosque, a caravanserai, a tekyeh, a bathhouse, a well and a confectionery. The whole structure comes from the 15th century. Since it’s located not in the old town itself it seems like it’s mostly popular among locals who gather on the square to have picnics and celebrate the time together. It was a lovely view to see all these people just enjoying each other’s company over food, that was a view that we don’t see much of in the Western world. The complex really is a stunning site, it is often showed on the pictures promoting Iran and it really is there for a reason!

The next day was spent discovering the old part of Jazd. Just few steps away from the hotel I had Masjid-e Jame, one of the greatest mosques you can see in Iran! It is known especially for its minarets – the highest one in the country. But the building is pretty spectacular inside as well, the mosaics are breathtaking! When I visited the place, around noon, it was full of tour groups from Europe and few Iranian girls painting. But then I came back in the evening, around 9p.m. and I had a place just to myself! It was amazing, one of my best moments in Iran! I wandered around, focused on every single detail I could see and eventually spent good half an hour just sitting there, staring at the mosque and contemplating the silence. It was a pure magic!

Lonely Planet has a walking tour around the old town in Yazd and I was willing to take it. But it took me maybe two minutes before I got lost in the maze of narrow street with arches. They were extremely picturesque and charming but still, most of them look just the same. I accidentally came across some nice corners (like a miniature of Amir Chakhmaq Complex), found my route from the guide, then lost it again. Wandering aimlessly around was a bliss, definitely the best thing to do in Yazd! And the funniest was – I hardly met any tourists, only few locals! I’m a huge fan of narrow lanes and Yazd lived up to my expectations, big time!

In this labyrinth I somehow managed to find a hotel, recommended by LP, where it’s possible to stop by for a tea and go up to the roof to see the old town from above. And so I did! The place looked even prettier, with copulas of mosques, minarets and wind catchers. Especially those last ones are an interesting construction, created to cool off the house from the desert heat! I stood below one and I must say it really works!

I was getting lost and found myself in the old town for few hours and even if I really enjoyed it I knew that the relaxing courtyard at the hotel is calling my name! So the rest of the day (with a break for the evening walk to the mosque) and the next morning, before catching my noon bus to the next destination, was spent there. And I had the best time! Even if Yazd was the most touristy place I’ve visited in the country (especially among foreigners), it also turned out to be my highlight of Iran, the best place I’ve visited there! It could be the charming old town, the easy going vibe or just me finally finding serenity but the combination of all of these factors was just perfect for me. So if you plan your trip to Iran don’t miss Yazd, it’s amazing!

Yazd, Iran

Would you like to visit Yazd, Iran? Have you ever spent the majority of your time just enjoying the hotel? Where was that?


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17 Wrz '15

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There are 84 Comments.

  1. Aaaaaa zazdraszczam Kami, kolejny kierunek jaki obieram w planach to właśnie Iran.

  2. Wow Yazd is absolutely stunning! Is the city really that empty though? I’ve always pictured Iran being quite the populated area. What kind of teas do they serve?
    Ron Robbins latest post…Jet Skiing through Mangrove Trees in Marco Island, FloridaMy Profile

    • kami
      14:45 22/09/2015

      The old part was pretty empty (besides the main touristic routes) and also I was there in the middle of the day, could be a reason! Also Yazd isn’t such a big cities, others that I visited were so much worse!! As for the tea: it’s black, strong and the best one I’ve ever had!

  3. Wow! Yazd looks fantastic–I love the architecture and the style of all the buildings. Iran is such an intriguing destination. I would love to visit! That’s crazy the flame at the Zoroastrian fire temple is said to have been burning that long! Looks like you found a lot of great spots!
    Jenna latest post…A Photo Essay: National ParksMy Profile

    • kami
      14:49 22/09/2015

      Yazd was pretty incredible indeed! and I was really impressed with the fire too! I really hope you will get a chance to visit Iran one day!

  4. Ładnie tam i chyba spokojnie? :)

  5. Yazd does look awesome and very colorful. I totally see how you love this so much with your point of interest and passions. To be honest I’ve never really considered Iran as a travel destination but since reading your blogs and that of Karlijn (a Dutch blogger who’s on an 8 month RTW trip) it definitely has tickled my attention.
    antonette – we12travel latest post…Our 5 most memorable camping momentsMy Profile

    • kami
      14:50 22/09/2015

      I think you’d enjoy it there! They have some interesting nature places too and pretty impressive mountains as well! And it’s really not that hard to go there! Maaike said her visa to Iran done in the embassy in Amsterdam was one of the easiest ever!

  6. o majn gott, faktycznie wygląda imponująco :) !

  7. Coraz bardziej mnie korci – było już tam kilku znajomych i wszyscy niezmiennie zachwyceni…

  8. Potrafisz zmusić człowieka do rozpoczęcia poszukiwań biletów! ;)

  9. Miodzio! A byłaś w Muzeum Wody? Strasznie mnie ciekawi ten temat, a podobno w Jazd takowe jest i to całkiem niezłe.

  10. Niesamowita wprost architektura!!

  11. Kiedy oglądam te mozaiki w Iranie czy innych krajach zachodniej Azji, albo w sztuce późnoantycznej, a potem widzę bardzo podobne wzory w artefaktach skandynawskich z epoki wikingów, to zawsze mnie to zastanawia. :)
    Qmoh w podróży latest post…Côte-d’OrMy Profile

    • kami
      14:52 22/09/2015

      o, ciekawe! o tym zupełnie nie wiedziałam!! Jednak człowiek się uczy całe życie! Dzięki :)

  12. W Iranie podoba mi się chyba względna różnorodność miast, bo nie jestem w stanie się zdecydować, czy wolę miasta typu Yazd i Kashan, czy Isfahan i Shiraz. Niezbyt fascynuje mnie tylko północne wybrzeże kraju, a to jest kompletnie inne od reszty.

    • na północy nie byłam, więc się nie wypowiem. a z miast chyba jednak wolałam te mniejsze, Yazd in Kashan. Isfahan i Shiraz też były przyjemne, ale jednak lepiej się czułam w mniejszych

  13. Czad! Ta architektura. . ♡♡♡

  14. Wiedziałem, że Ci się spodoba! :)

  15. Iran is such an intriguing country for many reasons, of course not all of them are good given the media stereotypes we all hear about! But I love that you have focused on the positive aspects of a city like Yazd! I’m with Ron though that I am incredibly surprised by how quiet it is. Do they have siestas or something in Iran or is this purely a spot that is off the beaten path? Really great pictures as well of the cool architecture which I am always impressed by!
    Chris Boothman latest post…Yellowstone in a Day – How to Maximize Your TimeMy Profile

    • kami
      15:00 22/09/2015

      Actually during my visit I haven’t experienced a single thing that media tell us about Iran. Politics is one thing and the country and its people another. Politics doesn’t really affect tourists if they don’t ask for it! The part of Yazd that attracts tourist is kind off the main city area hence it was pretty empty + I was there in the middle of the day + I was walking backstreets :)

  16. Wygląda to naprawdę niesamowicie! Może w 2016 w końcu uda się odwiedzić Iran, a Yazd na pewno znajdzie się w planie podróży… ;-)

  17. It looks absolutely amazing! We’ve been thinking of going to Iran for few years now, but keep pushing it away, as new ideas and flight offers come in. Hopefully in 2016 we’ll manage to fit Iran in the plans!
    Łukasz | Gdziesakasperki.pl latest post…MaskatMy Profile

    • kami
      15:01 22/09/2015

      haha, I understand it so well, most of my travel choices are based on flight offers! But Iran is really great! You definitely should visit it when you have a chance!

  18. Bardzo fajne miejsce. Ten basen na środku pustyni trochę ujmuje suchości tego miejsca? (-:,

  19. 10:07 19/09/2015

    Such a fascinating article. I have never really considered visiting this part of the world but your piece certainly makes it sound so interesting. Your photos do make it look earily empty, is it normally like that?

    • kami
      15:02 22/09/2015

      It was pretty empty but also I walked a lot of backstreets. and thanks you!

  20. Thanks a lot for the useful tips on visa situation which you mentioned in the linked post as Iran is on my „must go” list! And actually I’m quite astonished looking at your pics ‚cos I’ve always associated the Iranian architecture with the brilliance of colors; more bluish than brownish…
    Hanging around in Asia latest post…One nothing for saleMy Profile

    • kami
      15:19 22/09/2015

      It’s not that full of colours actually! Places like mosques or palaces surely are but the rest can be grey! And Yazd is a desert city hence it looks so dull. But amazing anyway! I really hope you will be able to go there soon, it takes some hassle but definitely it’s worth it!

  21. Getting lost is half the fun of traveling, so I’m glad you embraced the narrow maze of lanes and just explored – best way to discover the sights of a new city! Masjid-e Jame looks STUNNING – there truly are some gems here. I’ll have to add it to my bucket list big time, Yazd really is the prettiest desert town from the photos I’ve seen!

    Thanks for the inspiration Kami :)
    Meg Jerrard latest post…A Traveler’s Guide to Immunizations: Which Vaccines You Need for Your TripMy Profile

    • kami
      15:24 22/09/2015

      Anytime! :) I love getting lost everywhere I travel, it makes you finding some true gems, and Yazd was perfect for that. I hope you will visit Iran one day, it’s amazing!

  22. I love the beautiful blues. It reminds me of Israel.

    I planned to visit Iran this year but I couldn’t fit it in my schedule because of visas. It’s already on my 2016 list. I’ve read so much about the country; I can’t wait to experience it for myself.
    Lesley latest post…Cool Beans Cafe – Our Favorite Palm Beach RestaurantMy Profile

    • kami
      04:28 23/09/2015

      really? that’s interesting as I’d never thought of Israel when looking at them!
      You definitely should go there! I’m sure you will love it a lot, such an unique destination it is!

  23. Yazd looks dreamy for sure – Iran is one of those places I’d love to go, but am unsure if I’d like to go the way I’d have to as an American citizen (on a guided, totally planned tour – not usually my cup of tea).

    Your photos are so inspiring, though! And I can’t wait to hear about your time in Riga. :)
    Nick latest post…Getting out of Old Town in Tallinn, EstoniaMy Profile

    • kami
      04:30 23/09/2015

      Thanks Nick! Riga was pretty awesome, I loved it! Will write more about it soon!

      Well, being on a tour in Iran spoils most of the fun but I still think it’s worth going! And you can choose a smaller and funnier tour, like these that Yomadic does! I heard nothing but good things about travelling with Nate!

  24. I first fell for Iran when I got to Esfahan and explored its many bridges. I loved Shiraz too but I haven’t been to Yazd (yet). It looks like a place I’d love too though. Getting lost whilst exploring a city is what I love most :)
    RaW | Ramble and Wander latest post…Malaysia: 5 Places in Penang Which You Might Want to Skip But Probably Shouldn’tMy Profile

    • kami
      04:49 23/09/2015

      I must say I was slightly disappointed with Esfahan and Shiraz but Yazd was amazing! You definitely should go there next time!!

  25. Great post! I live in the Middle East and don’t really consider travelling in the areas around us, but this article has me thinking there is more to see in surrounding areas than my local area appears to offer!

    • kami
      04:49 23/09/2015

      Exactly! Middle East is fascinating and I really hope to explore more of it soon! Where exactly do you live?

  26. Kami, you really make me feel like going there! Yazd looks so calm and cozy, and your night shoots… Like from „Arabian Nights”!
    Natalia I Zapiski ze świata latest post…Kulinarny Offtop: Makaron z chorizo, papryką i pomidorami. Na ostro, po hiszpańsku!My Profile

    • kami
      04:50 23/09/2015

      thanks! and that was my aim! ;) who knows, maybe you will go there one day! :)

  27. Wow, what a beautiful town! I have never really considered visiting Iran, but after reading this post, you have definitely sparked my interest! :D
    Chanel | Cultural Xplorer latest post…Weekend Getaway Ideas for the Part-Time Traveler: #JetsetterRoundupsMy Profile

    • kami
      04:55 23/09/2015

      I’m glad to hear that! Iran is nothing that we think of it and definitely worth a visit!

  28. shejtowałbym :P ale muszę przyznać, że naprawdę piękne zdjęcia robisz :) teraz nie wiem czyja relacja była lepsza, Twoja czy Marcin Wesołowskiego ;)

  29. Bardzo intrygujące miejsce, marzy mi się tamten kierunek :D

  30. Jeden z moich najulubieńszych krajów !!! Tam wrócę na pewno – dla widoków, miejsc, a przede wszystkim ludzi :)

    • ja będę w kontrze do większości, ale mnie nie powalił Iran. był przyjemny, ludzie mili, miasta piękne, ale zabrakło tego mega wow, jaki mam np. w Armenii

    • A byłaś na pustyni np. w Garmeh i okolicach, dalej aż do Tabas czy w Msuleh i Kurdystanie ? Nas właśnie te rejony najbardziej urzekły, wcale nie słynne miasta. Tak bardzo nas urzekły, że na pewno jeszcze tam wrócimy – dla widoków i ludzi :)

  31. There’s nothing much to say than the place looks like from a fairytale. Everything seems to be so perfect. This is really cool!
    sekulada.com latest post…Opactwo Saint-Ouen (Rouen, Francja)My Profile

    • kami
      17:51 24/09/2015

      You’re right, it kind of was like from a fairytale!

  32. Masjid-e Jame mosque looks absolutely beautiful – those blue tiles are even more dramatic considering the desert setting. Yazd sounds fascinating, I would absolutely love to visit!
    katja – globetotting latest post…Flytographer: How to Capture the Perfect Family Holiday PhotoMy Profile

    • kami
      20:07 24/09/2015

      You’re right! The contast between the mosque and the rest of architecture was huge! That’s also what made Yazd so special! i truly hope you will have a chance to visit one day!

  33. Oh wow it looks beautiful. I would love to visit Iran one day and see for myself how true all the media bullshit is.

  34. I would love to wander around and get lost down the streets. I find those turquoise tiles absolutely captivating! Your pictures are gorgeous. Thank you for highlighting a place that I really don’t know that much about!
    Lauren latest post…Long Point Zip Line and Canopy Tour with Samba DaysMy Profile

    • kami
      20:08 24/09/2015

      Thank you Lauren! Getting lost there was the best part of visiting Yazd!

  35. Everything I hear about visiting Iran is such a contrast to the war-mongering in the U.S. media. I’d love to wander there regardless.

  36. Farzaneh
    09:22 21/09/2015

    Again proud of u and yor tripto yazd what u have experienced in the hotel is exactly how I spent my childhood in my grandparents house .

    • kami
      20:11 24/09/2015

      Thank you! That sounds like a wonderful childhood, I bet you have amazing memories from that time!

  37. It looks so grand and gorgeous! Sometimes the best things show up when you are least expecting it. I totally get not loving a place and hoping for more and then it delievers.

    • kami
      20:13 24/09/2015

      Exactly! Probably that’s why I enjoyed Yazd so much!

  38. Well, after all that mumbo jumbo in the Iranian Embassy in Warsaw you have really deserved this moment of relative relaxation in Yazd, which by the way looks kind of awesome! :-)
    Kamil latest post…Puffin Power – Maskonura Moc!My Profile

    • kami
      20:13 24/09/2015

      Ha, you are so right! After all the troubles with getting to Iran Yazd turned out to be the perfect place for me!

  39. Such a beautiful town! I love little gems like these! Thanks for the write up!
    Joe Ankenbauer latest post…Destination Layover: TokyoMy Profile

  40. Mina
    13:48 28/09/2015

    Dear Kami, I loved the way you share your travel experiences, it was amazing. also pictures are great .
    Yazd is one of the oldest cities of Iran that has preserved its ancient structure. Also Yazd is home to people from different religions (Jewish, Islamic, Zoroastrian,…)

    • kami
      15:17 28/09/2015

      Thank you Mina! I really enjoyed Yazd, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned!

  41. Jakuboss
    22:58 25/03/2016

    Cudowne miejsce

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