「Throwback Thursday 」Overnight desert trip report in Varzaneh, Iran.

in travel •  last year  (edited)


Today I decided to write down a overnight trip I did in Varzaneh, a desert town 105 km southeast of Isfahan. In a country where more than half of the ground is either desert or semi-desert, you can for sure easily find any desert easily.

Being a rather lazy backpacker, I didn't look for a desert with the most beautifully shaped dunes, but found a relatively approachable one near Isfahan, where I was staying for a couple of nights. Iran is a country quite easy to travel to, even when you are travelling by yourself. In Facebook there's this group called "See You in Iran", where many travellers and independent guides and guesthouse owners gather. You could easily find a homestay or guesthouse in places like Varzaneh.

in Varzaneh, they use the the saddlebag on the motorbikes.

Later when I arrived in the guesthouse, I've heard that the host is also doing couchsurfing for one of the rooms, which made me try out couchsurfing later in Tehran.

Varzaneh is an interesting place. I noticed it seems common here to carry stuff in a saddlebag on your motorbike. In Varzaneh, women wear completely white chadors, while women in the rest of Iran, mostly wear black chadors.

Dome of the tower



The Iranians are very flexible, when I arrived, I wasn't planning to join the tour to the Pigeon Tower and salt lake, but there was a space in the car, so I just went with a group of Polish people.

The tower was cool, I can't believe that there were 7000 pigeons were once house here.


Salt Lake, in Khara near Varzaneh

The salt lake wan't so impressive though, maybe because earlier last year, I was in the endless Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia already. Although the lake doesn't look bad in pictures here and I believe the salt flat does cover a huge surface in the area. The the lake itself was more of a puddle

Yet, since it was a unplanned trip after all, and I did enjoy some nice warm Iranian tea, I have nothing to complain.



Me, trying sandboarding

Sunset was the greatest time in the desert, many guests from different homestays and guesthouses all gather here. It was nice to meet up with fellow travellers here. Sandboarding seems quite popular here, I finally got to try it on. Have fallen a few times but super fun.


Warming my tea near the fire

Have dinner together in the desert was a special experience for me. Although I had been to the desert before, but I had never had such an amazing dinner in the desert. The guesthouse prepared the BBQed chicken and vegetables. Nothing could be so cheerful and heart-warming than a well-prepared traditional Iranian BBQ dinner! I also loved how they warm their tea pot on the fire, so that you can have warm tea everywhere.


Before sunrise

My original plan was to stay overnight in the tent on the desert. But the desert night was cold in November than I thought and I didn't bring my warm gears. So I went back with the rest of the group to the guesthouse in town, leaving only a Spanish couple camping there.

The next morning I was driven to the sunrise spot, it was still super cold, luckily we could make some warm tea as usual.


Location: !steemitworldmap 32.421848 lat 52.649488 long d3scr

今天我来回顾一下在伊朗的沙漠之旅,对于一个大部分国土都是沙漠和半沙漠的国家来说,找个沙漠玩一下露营是非常容易。对于我这样,旅行途中经常走着走着就找个咖啡店坐坐的懒人来说。与其背着沉重的背包去一个拥有最美沙丘的沙漠,不如就近找个沙漠体验一下伊朗的沙漠生活就好。于是在伊斯法罕的几天,我看了看地图,发现附近就有沙漠,于是打开面书的“See You in Iran”小组询问,这个小组聚集了要去伊朗旅行的旅客,热心的当地人和一些提供导游或住宿服务的旅社。




Joy is a half-time world traveller, half-time Steemit blogger, based in Belgium.

You are welcome to leave any comments below. :P

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Feel free to check out my joyful travel logs:

Bright Brussels 2018: Festival of Light (2 min vlog)

Happy Fukuoka trip in a nutshell (20 pictures)

STALACTITE - an astounding audio-visual show (Photos + Video)

My favorite light installations at Bright Brussels, Festival of Light

"Not all those who wander are lost. " - J. R. R. Tolkien

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Joy, you are making so many jealous making trips! You are literally a wanderer in blood! It is amazing to see the pictures of the desert landscape! It is so high on my bucket list to witness that!


Yes, hehe, I'm Oatmeal Joey Arnold, and yeah, we are jealous of those who travel and I was in Hawaii and Vietnam and Quebec and Disneyland and I love Aladdin hehe.

2016-08-12 Creek.jpg


I'm sure you will travel much more than me :p
good luck!

Wonderful, you should come to morocco , you are welcome


Thanks for the suggestion, askmee. I would love to re-visit Morocco, it's a lovely country!

You are an inspiration to all travelers:)

赞👍 一直觉得带着纱巾在沙漠中走过 特别浪漫~


哈哈哈 是不是因为像侠女


武林高手 天外飞仙 即视感~

I love with your courage .. it if I think is at risk of


Thanks Jhony. It was less riskier than I thought.

Many colds in the clay clay. Looks like a lot

Amazing photography and fascinating word in your writing really impressed me. Thank you for sharing your travel moment with excellent place.

photography is very good friend upvoter and resteem, if you have chance please visit my blog once.

Seems like a great country to visit ! Definitelly on my list/ The desert is just beautiful. So much treasures on this planet...

Your photo has been chosen from the new posts for a place in the spotlight as a random art of kindness.

Please check the 1 March 2018 post to see your photo. #randomartofkindness



Thanks interesting collage!


Glad you like it. Feel free to upvote/resteem

I believe this grilled meat is definitely very good there.

What an adventure you're on! Not your typical travelblog and I love it. So many new ideas for my bucket list. The sandboarding looks so much fun, although I know I would definitely fall down many times.

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过年好!cn区点赞机器人 @cnbuddy 很开心你能成为cn区的一员。倘若你不喜欢我的留言,请回复“取消”。

The trip looks fun. Desert trips are good adventure here in middle east since they have a lot of activities like the Dune bashing, belly dance, sand ski, etc. I am sure you enjoyed the experience.

Iran looks amazing. I really want to go there someday, but it's harder for an American to get there.

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I have never been to Iran but your post is inspiring me to do so. Some really amazing sights. Loved those interior shots and vid. And snowboarding down a sand dune is definitely something I would love to try. A beautiful and inspiring post:) Thank you:)


Thanks for commenting, Pryde. Glad to hear that! Before I went to Iran, I already didn't have any idea about the country.

Now this is what I call a real adventure :) thanks for sharing your experience and the great pics! :D

Hiya, just swinging by to let you know you're being featured in today's Travel Digest!

Wow wow wow this is so cool :)

  ·  last year (edited)

Wow beautiful and amazing shots looks nice adventurus place its looks like like you spent quality time there

嚯 这景色若身在其中,一定比照片里感觉更震撼。

looks like amazing and interesting place to visit judging from the photos

Hey Joyful Wandering Princess Girl, I'm Oatmeal Joey Arnold, and I love Tolkien and I love your photos and camp fire and travel and your photos and we love you and I love joy and I would love to go there too and I was in Vietnam. The sand reminds me of Aladdin and Jasmin. I can show you a whole new world, hehe.

1990 katie rick and amy or who.jpg


Hey joey, thanks for coming by, lovely picture!