Iran Desert Map: Your Guide by The Book
The Iran desert map displays all the major deserts in Iran, each of which is equipped with stunning landscapes and exotic environments. From the great salt desert of Kavir and its treacherous quicksand to the ruthless Lut desert, the single hottest spot on earth.
Iran desert map will help you understand all the information you need to know about the list of deserts you can find below in Iran. Although deserts make about only 20 percent of the country, mother nature has been very kind to them and this very 20 percent stand as an extraordinary example of nature’s beauty in Iran. This is also one of the reasons why Iran deserts are becoming increasingly popular with tourists and travelers.
Intense winds blow and sweep the many golden grains of sand of Lut from June to October. If you are among the numerous curious and courageous travelers who take a Lut desert tour in this period, you may want to make sure you have all the necessary gear before stepping foot on the blazing sands of Lut.
The Lut Desert is the most famous desert in Iran and is located right in the core of Iran’s central drylands. This cryptic bleak land is known for a rich array of magnificent desert landforms, wildlife, and vegetation. Which of course, usually surprises the tourists since it is literally the hottest desert in the world we are talking about. Yes, the Lut Desert is THE single hottest place on Earth, following seven years of surface temperature records. According to NASA, the highest recorded temperature in the Lut desert was 159.3°F (70.7°C). This has made Lut very popular with extreme sports fans and desert expedition lovers.
Exotic animals like the Asiatic cheetah, Chinkara, Rüppell’s fox, and numerous birds, reptiles, and insects live in Lut despite its scorching heat. As you can spot on the Iran desert map, the Lut desert UNESCO site is right in the southeast zone of Iran. This desert is in fact, very vast as it covers 2 million hectares of land, and is protected by a million hectares of buffer zone! The ‘Lut’ itself literally refers to bare land, one that is devoid of trees and scarce in water. An appropriate name, which has not deterred any adventurous tourist visiting Lut just for the sheer excitement of it yet!
The following are some of the distinctive characteristics that make the Lut desert deserving of its title:
The Great Salt Desert is known for its salt domes, also called the diapirs. In this region, geologists have discovered around 50 wide salt diapirs which makes this desert not only the largest desert in Iran but also the Largest salt desert of the middle east. Kavir National Park is also located east of Khor Salt Lake and west of Iran’s central desert and is home to numerous protected desert animals.
After looking at the Iran desert map you will learn that the Kavir salt desert is located roughly 200 miles southeast of Tehran. Dasht-e Kavir desert is as hot as it is vast and salty, and is largely uninhabited for these very reasons. Largely, of course, is the keyword here since animals like the Gazelle, the Persian Cheetah, wolves, arachnids, and wild cats inhabit parts of this desert. Kavir desert’s sparse rainfall has also resulted in the emergence of several salt-tolerant herbal species that have adapted to and survived the harsh environment of Kavir.
The sinuous valleys of Iran’s Dasht-e Kavir are home to shallow lakes, mudflats, and many salt marshes. The vastness of Kavir is immediately visible upon looking at the Iran desert map. This desert is so big actually, that each of its three layers holds something new and unique within itself.
Of course, anyone who is interested in taking the Kavir desert tour must bear in mind that Kavir is as beautiful as it is deadly. This desert actually gets increasingly more dangerous and mysterious the further you hike towards the center, and so travelers and campers are recommended to always be accompanied by certified guides.
Kavir National Park is located east of the “salt Lake” and west of Iran’s central desert. It is 4,000 square kilometers in size. The park is 120 kilometers south of Tehran and 100 kilometers east of Qom, and it is situated on the western edge of the Dasht-e Kavir Desert, one of Iran’s two major deserts (Great Salt Desert).
The Kavir National Park exemplifies the desert and dry environments of central Iran. Its sparse rainfall has resulted in the emergence of several herbal species that have adapted to and survived the harsh environment. Wildlife species have adapted to the limited resources in a remarkable and unexpected manner, and their preservation has tremendously assisted their population growth.
Persian zebras, Asian cheetahs, wild sheep, wild goat, panther, gazelle, wild cat, hyena, wolf, jackal, desert fox, fox, hare, porcupine, and sable are among the most well-known wildlife species found here. Check out our National Parks Tour to visit the Persian desert animals and wildlife of Iran.
If you open an Iran map and compare the location of the Mesr desert on the Iran desert map with that of Isfahan, you will learn that Mesr desert sits 55 kilometers from the town of Khor. Khor is a small town close to Isfahan, and it is next to a village of the same name. There are also several other small villages in the desert neighboring the Mesr settlement, including Amirabad, Farahzad, and Garmeh.
Mesr village and Mesr desert’s only source of water, technically its lifeline, is a river near the village’s center that flows out of the foothills of Iran’s central mountain ranges. You can outline this creek on the Iran desert map, close to the heart of the Mesr village. This creek is the only thing feeding vegetation and palm tree gardens, from which only a few exists in the Mesr desert. Halophyte plants such as Tamarix trees, Haloxylon trees, and Zygophyllum bushes are the other part of the Mers desert’s vegetation.
The sand cat, Pleske’s ground jay, and the Ruppell’s fox are among the small number of desert animals inhabiting the Mesr desert. But of course, wildlife is no less active in Mesr than it is in the Lut desert or Kavir desert. Mesr is one of the most popular deserts in Iran, for which many tours depart and many people travel from all over the world.
Shahdad city, which is as mysterious as the Kalut formations are said to be by myths, has evidence of life forms aging back to more than a thousand years ago. Curious onlookers, history buffs, and archeologists stop by this cryptic spot on the Iran desert map every year to take a closer look at Shahdad. Spending a night or two on the best Iran desert tours under the clear and glittering skies of Shahdad, in the heart of the Lut Desert, surrounded by the utter silence of the desert, will add to the pleasures of your journey.
The Lut Desert is divided into three sections: north, middle, and south. There is little vegetation in all three sections of this desert region, but there is a lot more to make up for the lack of green in Shahdad. In the western part of the kalouts, for example, sits a Salt Lake known as ‘Gowd-e Namak. This beautiful lake is a mystery of nature amidst Shahdad’s blazing sandy plains, and the water running in it is said to be so salty you will taste the brine on your tongue for days to come!
Shahdad Desert is 100 Kilometers from the beautiful city of Kerman and just 30 Kilometers away from the Dasht-e Lut from the east. Shahdad is known for its massive rock and sand formations that stretch throughout the entire landscape. These Amazing desert formations are known as “Kaluts”, and are formed by the strong winds coming from Semnan city.
Maranjab desert tours take desert enthusiasts through everything that this beautiful desert has to offer. From the scorching sunlight shining on Maranjab dunes during the day to the clear, starry sky of this getaway at night, Maranjab is THE charming desert you should visit at least once in your life.
As you can see on the Iran desert map, the Maranjab desert isn’t too far from the country’s major cities like Isfahan and Kashan. In fact, it takes only an hour-long ride to get to this mesmerizing Iran desert from Aran and Bidgol town. There is a mysterious, azure pond right in the heart of the Maranjab desert called “the wandering island”. This island is one of this arid region’s characteristics that has made it so popular among tourists! There is an old saying that this location is still moving, which is why it is labeled as the Wandering Island. From afar, you could say that this enigmatic “Island” appears to be a massive ship in the middle of a sandy sea.
The Maranjab Desert, which is close to the historical city of Kashan, is one of Iran’s most beautiful deserts visited year-round by tourists. Yes, year-round and not just in Autumn or Spring! Adventure seekers and those travelers who are always looking for a challenge choose Maranjab to dive into even in mid-summer! Sand boarding and sand skiing are two of the most popular desert activities tourists engage in.
Sargardan Island, 15 kilometers south of Namak Lake, is a spectacular island. Namak Lake has an average elevation of 707 meters above sea level, with Sargardan Island being the highest point at 808 meters. Volcanic rocks formed this island, which is barren of animals.
One of the most remarkable experiences in Dasht-e Kavir is seeing the breathtaking panorama of Namak Lake from Sargardan Island. Many global visitors, including Marco Polo and George Curzon, have complimented Namak Lake and Sargardan Island.
At the confluence of mountains and deserts, lies a natural beauty that goes by the name of Halvan Desert. As you can see on the Iran desert map, the Halvan desert is not very far from the Mesr desert and it takes only about 2 hours to ride from one to another. Halvan village, like the Halvan desert, is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Tabas, South Khorasan province, and is well worth a visit.
In certain areas of the Halvan Desert, the sand dunes’ stoss exceeds eighty meters (262 feet) in height. Another distinguishing feature of Halvan is the existence of palm trees and the cultivation of high-quality dates, which are as famous as they are delicious!
Many routes lead to this desert, as you can spot on the Iran desert map. Proximity to Tabas city, accessible roads, and the amazingly beautiful sceneries in Halvan are all factors that have helped transform this place into a desert tourism hub. Traditional settlements and caravanserais are available for those who prefer to spend their nights under actual roofs, but camping in Halvan is the most popular option among tourists.
It takes about an hour and a half from Isfahan and 3 hours from Yazd to reach the Varzaneh Desert. This beautiful desert is known for its spectacular sand dunes. Tourists who want to make a memorable night for themselves by camping overnight with a bonfire find Varzaneh desert very dear!
But Varzaneh welcomes everyone, even those who don’t want to sleep under the starry night and map the constellations with their eyes. Traditional Persian inns, guest houses, and caravanserais close to Varzaneh make this desert a perfect destination for Iran desert tours.
One of the most notable qualities of the Varzaneh Desert is its proximity to Varzaneh’s old city, allowing visitors to appreciate both the desert and the historic city. Another remarkable feature is its proximity to the Gavkhoni Wetland, which, due to the rainfall it gets, has a diverse range of flora and fauna. In fact, this wetland is a popular Birding spot too!
You can see Varzaneh desert’s location on Iran desert map below.
There is a wonderful place 6 hours away from Tehran, with beauty and splendor whose picture no word can paint in the reader’s mind. The fascinating landscape of the Rig-e Jenn, located in Iran’s central desert, astounds all onlookers with its beauty. Rig-e Jenn makes for one of the best spots on Iran tours you can explore this year!
Right at the top of the Iran desert map, the Rig-e Jenn desert resides with all its mysteries and folklore. This Iran desert is probably the country’s most mystical Kavir, and its desert tour can likely make your journey to Iran much more memorable and exciting. Even caravans used to avoid going through Rig-e Jenn, claiming it to be a haunt of evil spirits and “Genies.” Nowadays though, it has become clear that these myths were no more than that: myths.
Today, tourists and adventurers journey the barren lands of this desert knowing that no evil spirits will jump them from a corner. Still, you must not forget that the Rig-e Jenn desert is a bleak and harsh landscape surrounded by massive sand dunes that pose a challenge even for the most skilled desert explorers and quid bikers.
The Bafq desert can be found 120 kilometers southeast of the ancient city of Yazd, near a city of the same name. As you can see on the Iran desert map, Bafq is right in the heart of the country’s central deserts. This desert is the ideal spot for a camelback ride into the sunset, and a lovely camp under the glittering night sky.
The existence of so many life forms in what appears to be a barren wasteland never ceases to amaze tourists. Animals like the Karakal (Caracal), Goats, Jackals, Rabbits, and Wolves are just a number of the many faunas inhabiting the Bafq desert.
It may come as a surprise to many people that, following the proposal of the Yazd DOE (department of the environment) the Bafq and its surroundings were officially declared no-hunting areas. These highlands, plains, and hills span 700,000 hectares! This was due to their pristine landscapes, breathtaking scenery, and diverse wildlife.
The southern springs (yes, springs in the desert) have developed a thick texture of salt-tolerant plants in the Bafq desert. However, there are no plants in the northern region of this desert, or anywhere near the salt marsh. This is because the salinity of the soil in this region rises dramatically during certain times of the year, especially summer.
As one of the most popular Iran natural tourist attractions, Darak is among of the few places where the sea and the desert collide, situated right amid the two major port cities of Iran: Chabahar and Bandar Abbas. This extraordinary paradox has created such a breathtaking sight that anyone who travels to Iran is recommended to include Darak desert in their desert tour itinerary.
In the literal sense of the word, Darak means “life by the sea” in the local dialect. Darak desert and Darak beach are, thus, appropriately termed! Trekking, surfing, and photography are only a few of the activities that tourists will partake in while taking Darak desert tour. This Iran desert is also well-known for its beautiful beaches and pristine coastline, yet to be discovered and spoiled by the world.
Looking at the Iran desert map will show you how close Darak desert is to the beautiful port of Beris, another amazing tourist destination in Iran everyone needs to visit. The desert itself, as the title suggests, is usually very warm during most times of the year and so, make sure you pack your suitcase accordingly so you will get the best of your trip.