Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car
Last Updated on 12 October 2022

Autumn and winter are perfect times to travel to the desert. At that time, the hot air is gone, and you can enjoy the pleasant air and the starry sky of the desert. Travelling to deserts in Iran during autumn and winter is a pleasant experience on cold days, as Iran is a hot and dry country. You can find desert plains everywhere in Iran, particularly in central parts, from the Lut desert, the hottest place on earth, to the Maranjab desert, which has a lot of enthusiasts.

A Desert is where you can enjoy the silence and the adventure of walking on the desert sand and observing the sky. Needless to say, you must know how to navigate the desert and bring appropriate equipment with you because traveling in the desert will be difficult. So which deserts in Iran are perfect for a trip by car? We will answer this question in the following, so stay tuned!

Maranjab Desert

Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car

Probably one of the most famous deserts in Iran, which is naturally particularly beautiful, is the Maranjab Desert. The Maranjab Desert is situated in the city of Aran and Bidgol and is near the city of Kashan in the Isfahan province. Making a trip to the Maranjab Desert is considered one of the best choices for a day trip from Tehran, as it only takes 4 hours of driving to get to the Maranjab Desert from the capital.

Maranjab desert is among the best destinations for desert tourism, particularly for tourists visiting Tehran. The caravanserai of this beautiful desert dates back to the times of Safavid Abbas the Great and were the passage point of many caravans in the past. There are many caravanserais, especially from Garmsar to Kashan and Isfahan.

Located on the edge of the Desert National Park, the Maranjab Desert has very suitable sands for desert hiking, offering a pleasant desert experience with its smooth and soft subsoil. You can also visit the underground city of Noushabad on your trip to the Maranjab Desert, located close to Aran and Bidgol.

You can sleep in nearby camps for an overnight stay in the Maranjab desert. The Setare-ye Shabha-ye Kavir camp situated at kilometer 11 of the Maranjab road has adequate accommodation facilities. Maranjab Caravanserai is also a historic Safavid-era building with rooms rented out to tourists.

How to arrive at the Maranjab Desert?

The route between Tehran and Maranjab desert is short (260 kilometers). You can drive on the Qom highway, and after passing the city, you will arrive in the city of Aran and Bidgol. Drive from Army Blvd. towards Maranjab road, and you will reach Maranjab desert, one of the top-rated deserts in Iran and caravanserai after 45 km.


Mesr Desert

Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car

Mesr desert is considered one of the most famous deserts in Iran and has a beautiful and unique nature. This Mesr desert is also called the Khor and Biabanak desert, derived from the name of the city of Khor and Biabanak. It is located near the village of Mesr. The wonderful nature of the Mesr desert draws the attention of tourists with its flowing sands and bushes around it.

Among the most famous sights of the Mesr desert is the "Salt Lake". Naturally, this lake is not permanent and is known as Iran's largest seasonal salt lake. This lake's salt is the oldest salt mined in Iran. This lake has a particular shape; its bottom is covered with five-cornered shapes coated with salt. These shapes turn black in winter when mixed with clay, and they turn white in summer.

To spend the night in the Egyptian desert, you can take advantage of restored village houses and traditional Mesr village lodgings. Tourist houses are situated on the wide boulevard of the village, and the architecture of the desert houses attracts tourists. For camping in the desert, with the help of the guidebook and the route map, you can also find appropriate places.

How to arrive at the Mesr Desert?

You need to go to the city of Khor in the west of Isfahan province to get to the Mesr desert. Tehran and the Mesr Desert are about 640 kilometers away from each other. If you want to get to the Mesr Desert from Tehran, you must go from the southeastern exit of Tehran to Garmsar and then continue to Semnan.

Continue the route to the east, and you will get to the province of Isfahan and arrive at the village of Hosseinian. It is another 280 kilometers from this village to the Mesr desert. Drive further south, and you will reach the Khor-Anarak road after the village of Jandaq. On this road, turn left to go to the village and the Mesr desert. Continue on this road for 56 kilometers, and you will eventually reach the entrance of the Mesr desert, which is one of the best deserts in Iran.


Shahdad Desert

Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car

Shahdad desert, also known as Kaluts of Shahdad, is a part of the Lut desert. Over the last two decades, this desert has experienced the highest air temperature in the world (70 degrees Celsius), for which reason it is well known all over the world because of the Lut desert Iran temperature. Kaluts or Yardangs are natural ridges in the desert with a smoothed surface at the highest point.

Kaluts have steep slopes, and their inclination increases because they are exposed to desert winds for long periods. Yardangs are the remains of natural lakes from the past and are very popular as there are only a few of them in the world. Indeed, Kerman is among the best places to see these beautiful Kaluts. Going on safari, off-roading, and camel riding are among the activities you can enjoy in the Shahdad desert.

As one of the top deserts in Iran, there are three areas in the Shahdad desert: green, orange and red. This green area is not dangerous and is situated near the road between Shahdad and Nehbandan. However, the orange and red areas are extremely dangerous and should not be visited without a guide.

If you want to spend the night in the desert of Shahdad, you may stay in ecotourism lodgings in the desert. Moreover, camps in the Shahdad desert offer quality services to tourists. Dome-shaped pavilions with wooden walls and ceilings are among the best accommodations in the Shahdad desert.

How to arrive at the Shahdad Desert?

The distance from Tehran to the Shahdad desert is about 1100 km. Shahdad Desert and other deserts of Lut are more distant from Tehran than the deserts of the Central Plains. You must pass through Qom, Kashan, Nain, Yazd, Rafsanjan and Kerman to arrive at Shahdad Desert. It is located 118 kilometers northeast of Kerman.

You can reach Shahdad Desert from Kerman by going to the Sirach village east of Kerman on the road to Sirach, continuing in the direction of Shahdad village. The village of Shahdad is the entrance to the Shahdad desert. Tourists who travel to the Shahdad Desert from the east must pass through Nehbandan city and then continue on the Kerman-Bam road to reach the Shahdad Desert.


Zardgah Desert

Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car

The deserts in Iran do not end here; in the following, we will talk about the Zardgah desert, one of the top Iranian deserts. Zardgah is a village in Deyhook district, Tabas county, South Khorasan province, Iran. It is located near Naiband village and in the foothills of Naiband mountain, 100 km away from Deyhook city and 180 km away from Tabas.

What makes this village different from all other places in the desert's heart is the greenery that has been formed thanks to the palm trees in the village. Besides this, Zardgah village is built with row houses like Naiband village.

There used to be more people living in the village, but only two families live there now. Among the residents, there is one old woman that weaves mats. Among the attractions of the village and the Zardgah desert are dates, oranges, tangerines and lemon trees, a hot spring and a small pool for bathing.

For accommodation in the Zardgah desert, you can stay at the Tabas Hotel. Lodging in rented houses is also a convenient and cheaper option. Besides that, you can spend the night in the Zardgah desert and camp in the untouched nature, where you will have stunning views of the desert sky at night.

How to arrive at the Zardgah Desert?

The distance from Tehran to the Zardgah Desert is approximately 1100 km. There are three cities called Tabas in the north, Ravar in the south and Birjand in the east of Zardgah Desert, which are the access routes to this desert. You can choose the best route to each of these cities and then to the Zardgah Desert according to the city you are currently in.

From Tehran, the shortest route is through Qom, Isfahan and Yazd provinces and then to South Khorasan. You can reach the Zardgah desert from Ravar city on this route. Using the other route, it is possible to pass through Semnan and Isfahan provinces and arrive at the city of Tabas. Zardgah desert, one of the top deserts in Iran, is situated near Zardgah village in the Naiband region, between Tabas and Ravar.


Matin-Abad Desert

Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car

Matin-Abad desert has attracted many fans because it is the site of the first nature camp in Iran. The desert of Matin-Abad is located 25 km south of Natanz and 60 km southeast of Kashan. Renewable energy sources are used in the Matin-Abad desert camp, and the bathing water is heated by solar energy and wind energy.

There are also interesting vegetation and fauna in the Matin-Abad desert. It is possible to spot unique bird species like the black raven and the chekavak, along with animals such as cats, sand foxes and desert owls in one of the best deserts in Iran. Furthermore, the vegetation in this area includes gorse, broom and thorn bushes.

The permanent tents of Matin-Abad Desert Camp offer a highly suitable environment for staying in the desert. There are beautiful views of the sky and the surroundings of the Matin-Abad desert in these tents. Sleeping places, lighting and heating are installed in these tents, designed in the style of nomadic tents.

Matin-Abad caravanserai, which has traditional architecture and several suites and rooms, is a good place to stay. Nevertheless, if you would like to enjoy the silence and peace of the desert at night and have all the necessary equipment, you may want to set up your tent in the open air.

How to arrive at the Matin-Abad Desert?

It is about 320 km between Tehran and Matin-Abad desert. Considering the location of Matin-Abad Desert in the southeast of Kashan and north of Isfahan, as well as your place of residence, you can choose the best route to reach Matin-Abad Desert.

From Tehran, to arrive at Matin-Abad Desert, take the southern exit on the Persian Gulf highway, enter the highway to Qom, and then continue the route in the southeastern direction to Kashan, having passed the cities of Qom and Kashan.

There are two routes on this way, the Amir Kabir highway and the Abu Zaid Abad road. In both of them, you can see the sign of the Matin-Abad desert camp when you reach the village of "Femi", and you will arrive at the desert.


Varzaneh Desert

Top-rated deserts in Iran you can visit by car

Varzaneh desert is another of the best deserts in Iran, approximately 100 km from this city. Gavkhooni Lagoon and Namak Khara Lake are some of the attractions of the Varzaneh Desert. If you are visiting the desert and wish to see the Gavkhooni Lagoon, you need to know that the lagoon is out of water during the hot months of the year.

There are several recreational activities in the Varzaneh desert that will entertain you. Hiking in the hot desert sand, desert trekking, zip lining and camel riding will provide you with various activities in the desert.

You can stay overnight in local accommodations in the Varzaneh desert. A few of these lodgings are Ayeneh Khaneh Mansion, Negar Residence, Hafez Ecotourism and Sepanta Ecotourism. Varzaneh Guest House, located near the Varzaneh Desert, has a pleasant and traditional environment with adequate facilities. Varzaneh desert also has good spots for those who want to explore and camp in the desert.

How to arrive at the Varzaneh Desert?

The distance between the Varzaneh desert and Tehran city is roughly 530 kilometers. The Varzaneh desert is situated in the center of Iran and east of Isfahan province. This desert's location made it easy for tourists traveling from many Iranian cities. Ardestan, Anarak, Isfahan and Shahreza cities around Varzaneh Desert offer access to this area. Thus, you can choose the best route based on your location.

To get to the Varzaneh Desert from Tehran, you can take the Persian Gulf highway south of Tehran to Qom and then head to the city of Nain via Kashan and Ardestan. Upon entering the town of Nain, keep driving on the bypass road towards Tangestan.

Having passed Tangestan, you will see the gateway to Varzaneh road on the left. If you continue the route, you will first reach the village of Varzaneh. You will find the Varzaneh desert a bit south of the village of Varzaneh.


Best deserts in Iran: Conclusion

In this article of Navaran, we introduced some of the best deserts in Iran you can drive to by car, talked about what makes them unique and how you can reach them from Tehran. If you are a fan of off-road driving and want to experience the off-road in Iran to see some of the best Iran attractions, traveling to any of these deserts can be a unique trip for you.

You can use our services if you require a car to travel to any of these best Iranian deserts. As one of the best companies working in the field of car rental in Iran, Navaran offers some of the best automobile rental in Iran services. You can rent a car in Iran easily as you only need to pay the deposit and rental price. As one of the best providers of car rental in cities of Iran, you can take a car from us in city A and return it to the company in city B, making Navaran one of the few companies to offer such a service.