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In the Heart of the Zagros

From Vast Valleys to Deep Canyons
If you regard Iran as a country with many deserts, or if you have even traveled to Iran and fallen in love with its deserts, here you can read about another aspect of Iran’s geological tourist attractions: canyons! The landscape of Iran has long been associated with a wide geological array of plains, deserts, and mountains, all adjacent to one another. One can find a  wide variety of geological formations,  from vast valleys to deep canyons,  which are created by water falling from high mountains and flowing its way rapidly through plains. 

Moreover, the loose soil found in southern Iran is another reason that may convince you that the  Zagros mountains,  extending from the west to the south of  Iran,  are the best place to find various canyons, valleys, and other fascinating geological features. A Short, Wonderful JourneyIn the west of  Iran,  the geologically young  Zagros mountains flaunt and stretch the natural political border of Iran. While the northern and eastern parts of the region are lined with craggy mountains, low and hot plains can be found as you move westwards towards the border with Iraq.

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The folded Zagros mountains create various geological attractions, amongst which the fabulous canyons and valleys of Ilam are the most fantastic. That’s why Ilam is called Iran’s land of canyons. Ilam Is Our Host Massive oak forests and various animal species, such as the Iranian squirrel, are all part of the natural attractions of the region of Ilam. Kabir,  Dinar,  Manesht, and  Ghelarang mountain peaks,  among many others,  have created a unique mountainous landscape in  Ilam.  But the jewel in the crown is the formation of fantastic canyons in the heart of the mountains.  The canyons have histories of their own aside from their eye-catching beauty.  Any visitor should spend some time exploring the local Kurds’ rich culture, costumes, and cuisine in order to complete their experience of this beautiful region.

5 Reasons to Travel to Ilam:

- Visiting the most historical monuments and remaining relics like Seymareh Ancient City (Madakto), Gavmishan Bridge, the Strait of Bahram Chobin, and Sheykh Makan Castle.
- Some amazing and eye-catching natural features like Tang e Kaferi (Iran's Phuket), Razianeh, and Arghavan Valleys
-The delightful experience of the Iranian delicious local Kebab.
-The stunning Oak forests in the domains of Kabir and Dinar mountains.
-The Natural amazing Thermal Springs.

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Tang e Kaferi or Iran's Phuket

Some of the most beautiful canyons and breathtaking lakes are introduced in the following article.

Tang e Kafari, Iran Phuket

If you are a nature lover or eco-traveler and eager to visit the pristine and untouched natural places of Ilam Province, Iran. Tang Kafri or Kafri Valley is one of the most beautiful natural tourism destinations located behind Seymareh Dam in a mountainous region between Kabirkuh, Dinarkuh, and Manesht mountains. The beautiful and untouched nature of this area will surprise every viewer with a wide range of beautiful natural wonders.

Razianeh Canyon Iran Adventure Tour

Razianeh Canyon

Razianeh Canyon Just  45 kilometers drive away from  Ilam in the direction of  Darreh  Shahr you will catch sight of the  Razianeh Canyon. After leaving behind the village of Chenar Bashi,  suddenly,  the right side of the road drops away, and before your eyes is a stunning sight. A deep ravine runs parallel to the road, the sight of which immediately makes you want to know how it could possibly have been formed. The approximately two-kilometer-long canyon winds its way alongside the road. The Razianeh Canyon is visible all the way along the road until eventually, you reach a bridge that has been constructed to span the canyon. From here you will reach the foothills of Kabir Kuh. Looking back and down into the heart of the earth, it might seem as if the earth has been split into two. In the heart of the canyon, another world is to be found:  its  15  to 25-meter-high sedimentary-rock walls have been shaped into picturesque curves. Water still flows through the narrow and deep canyon,  making trekking inside the canyon difficult.  Additionally,  the journey through the Razianeh Canyon can be very dangerous due to the risks of flash floods.

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Sazbon Valley Iran Adventure Tour

Sazbon Valley

If you take a boat along the Seymareh River, you will pass between tall awe-inspiring cliff walls,  on either side of the Sazbon Valley. At one point along the walls, you may notice the ruins of a stone castle, where once guardsmen watched over those who traveled through the canyon. If you look around some more, you may even see turtles sunbathing on the stones that run along the edge of the river watching you! Since you’re here,  you might as well get out of the boat,  take a  swim, or stroll around amongst the reeds along the riverbank. Sazbon is named after the shape of the canyon: ‘Bon’ means ‘bottom’ in the local Kurdish language while ‘saz’, meaning instrument, refers to a  local musical instrument, which is funnel-shaped. Sazbon Valley is shaped like an upside-down funnel,  wider at the bottom than at the top. To visit this fascinating place,  you should take the  Ilam–Lumar road eastwards.  Having arrived in  Lumar,  continue on to Sarkan village, and from there you should ask the locals how to get to Sazbon Valley near Vargach village. This canyon is most welcoming in spring and summer.  You should take a  boat along the  Seymareh River to get to the canyon.

Zinegan Valley (Cave)

Pack your stuff and hop into a  4x4:  to get to  Zinegan  Valley, drive fifty kilometers westwards of Ilam towards Salehabad. From Salehabad it is just five km to the gates of Zinegan Valley, but the route takes a long time owing to the dirt road, which is not suitable.

Top Ten Reasons For Iran's Rafting

Other Sights of Ilam

Madakto City Iran Historical Tour

Madaktu city
The ancient city of Madaktu (the ancient city of Simere) is in the city of Dare Shahr. The ancient city of Simere is located in Ilam province and Dareh Shahr city and is also known as Madakto.

Kanjancham Castle
This Qajar fort was built 15 kilometers north of Mehran city in the Amirabad region in the middle of a strait called Kanjancham and near the Kanjancham river on the road to Karbala (Iraq).

Falahati Palace
It is one of the old houses in the city of Ilam and belongs to the Qajar era. This building with special decorations of the Qajar era presents the architectural style of this region in the last 150 years.

Gaw Mishan Bridge Iran Historical Tours

Gaw Mishan Bridge
Gaw Mishan Bridge, which is one of the historical bridges of the Sassanid era, is located 30 kilometers from Dareh Shahr and on the border between Lorestan and Ilam provinces, on the Simere River.

The Castle of a Thousand DoorsOne of the historical castles has a military and residential function.

Iran nature tours
The best time to travel to Ilam

Ilam province is one of the few provinces with different climates. It is located between the fence of forests and mountains thus has caused a moderate climate. January is the coldest month and July is the hottest month of the year in Ilam. Spring and early autumn are the best times to visit this city.

How to get there

It is located 650 Km from Tehran.
There are good highways from:
- Tehran to Ilam via Tehran, Qom, Arak, Lorestan to Ilam.
- Tehran to Ilam via Tehran, Save, Hamadan, Kermanshah, Ilam.
There are regular and various buses from Tehran to Ilam.
You can book your ticket from Tehran bus terminals (South, East, West, and Arjantin Sq). Your price ticket would be about 4 US$ (3.2023).
If you have any questions about a trip to Ilam don't hesitate to contact us.

Where to stay

If you intend to stay in this beautiful and tempting province, a wide range of hotels, Hotel- Apartments, rural houses, and eco-tours will provide you with a safe and comfortable stay.
Please contact us and use our free advisers.

What to eat
Ilam will provide you with a wide variety of local foods with local high-quality ingredients and the best local meat, each of which will amaze you, but among all these foods, local kebabs are one of the most delicious experiences. The special and unique taste of Chanjeh kebab, Rib kebab, Mixed kebab, and all kinds of B&B steak will amaze every tourist.