As an emerging branch of tourism in Iran, ecotourism is lately growing more popular among lovers of Mother Nature and those fond of ancient cultures. The term is defined by the International Ecotourism Society as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people."
It is intended as a low-impact and often small-scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism and its purpose is to conserve natural areas and the environment and improve the well-being of locals. The emerging industry requires a variety of platforms and strategies to prosper, including extensive advertising of the indigenous settlements, maintaining roads in tourist attraction areas, and, most importantly, the establishment of ecolodges. Ecolodges specifically aim to serve clients in line with the traditions of the region, offering tourists a glimpse of the local way of life. Here are the country's top five eco-lodges, suitable for camping in Iran's diverse climates:
Heading up to the northwest of Iran, visitors can find 'Malek Souei" or "Durna, a mountainous nomadic eco-camp, which is the other stunning environment-friendly travel hosting place, sitting 20 km south of Meshkin Shahr located in Ardebil Province. Covering four hectares of area and designed as an infusion of tradition and modernity, the camp Looks Like a village made of eco-friendly materials to minimize any possible negative impact on the environment. The site is close to the Shahar-Yeri archaeological site. Binalar caves, Oah Oaha castle, the Middle East's largest suspension bridge, and Qaynarje spa resort, provide a multi-destination tour for visitors. If travelers are interested in winter sports and recreation, the Durna tourism complex surrounded by snow-covered mounts offers a big chance. Paragliding equipment is also offered at the complex, in addition to easy access to transport facilities.
Still in the north, visitors can take a trip to the Dehkadeh forest eco-camp, sitting in Deylaman District located in Gilan Province. The camp was inaugurated in 2014. At 1,800 meters above sea level, the guesthouse is considered one of the most eco-friendly campsites in Iran, since it is made with a meticulous look to environmental standards so as to minimize any potential harm caused by the presence of travelers in pristine nature. Deylaman in Persian means the lands where livestock is held. This can convey what the green mountainous landscapes in the region look like. The village of Siahkal, Lounak Waterfall, Kouti Castle, Titi Caravansary, Garmavar Castle, and Darfak Mount is also within a short distance from the campsite. Although the guesthouse accommodates only 15-20 people, it provides an unforgettable experience of surfing in nature for visitors.
The Matinabad Desert Eco-Camp and Organic Farm were founded in 2008 by a group of environmentalists and tourism experts. It is located close to the Dasht-e-Kavir, Iran's largest salt desert lying in the middle of the Iranian plateau, and has karkas Mountains to the other side. The camp offers unforgettable adventures in close proximity, to local people and unique nature. Baking and cooking with local women, harvesting and picking fruits in organic farms and orchards, desert walls, short safari trips, with jeeps, and stargazing at night are activities offered by the camp. Matinabad's main building, which is designed like a caravansary, as well as earring rooms, nomadic tents, and huts, are accommodation places prepared for travelers. The traditional restaurant within the camp, which is designed homogeneous with the local colors, consists of a big hall with the capacity of seating 100 people, a kitchen, and sanitary facilities. The external courtyard is suitable for relaxing and enjoying the night sky after dinner. The camp primary aims to present maintain and promote the ethical codes of international tourism and ecotourism organizations to uphold CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility model and realize sustainable and responsible tourism in Iran.
Sitting in Kerman Province, Shahdad Desert Camp is a guesthouse, admitting up to 40 people for free confusingly not located in Shahdad Desert, the budget option allows you to lie down on a raised and tiled camping platform, partly sheltered by a kapar (hemispherical open-sided palm dome with frond thatching). Visitors will need to bring all their own bedding and a mat, as all that is provided in the space, a shelter for eating -visitors cook for themselves, and shared toilet blocks a couple of minutes' walk away While the camp may sound like a great place to sleep beneath the stars powerful floodlights undermine the effect of the wilderness after sunset, and winter nights can get cold. The facility is equipped with electricity, bathrooms, and full-time guarding. creating a secure space for you in the middle of the desert. The camp is 20 kilometers away from the well-known mysterious Kalout Deserts spreading across the province. Visitors have easy access to ancient Shahdad Village and Gandom Beryan part of Lut Desert known as the world's hottest spot.
Moving a bit westward, visitors can find International Kouhrang Eco-camp, another nomadic-style camp that officially started operating in 2012. The site is located in the vicinity of nomads settling in Kouhrang County in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province. With 25 tents each accommodating four people, the eco-camp offers regular travel services besides "holding local entertainment programs like horse riding, traditional ceremonies, recreational shooting and photography with local costumes. Visitors have the chance to enjoy easy access to the beauties of Chaleshtar Castle, Kouhrang tunnel, Dimeh Spring, and Sheikh Alikhan Waterfall or doing rafting at Zayande Rood and Armand roar rivers.