Yazd, the city of adobe and memory
Selecting a destination for travel seems to be a difficult task. But, watching some cities as a treasure full of mysteries will undoubtedly figure out a lasting memory. Definitely, Yazd is one of the best options to travel. A beautiful and genuine city with narrow and twisty alleys and intertwined houses with high adobe walls and wind towers that appear after turn of each alley. The old women wearing colored chador (Islamic hijab), leaning against the wall, who have been spending every day evening until the call to prayer, as a custom of the past; they are a part of the ancient history of this city. The skewed light shining from the arches on the pavement of the alley, the bell sound the old man’s bicycle wearing Dastar (derived from dast-e-yar or the hand of God, which is a headwear item worn by Sikh people) and the smell of bread integrated with adobe, the frolic kids, the wooden doors with the double door knockers , the sound of Shaar Bafi (weaving) machine ( a kind of light decorated cloth that used to be to be a home-based industry and the art of weaving this kind of cloth is called Shaar Bafi) that blends with greeting of the passer-by and the old weaver man together, and the shops with iron shutters and wooden doors that seem to have remained in the past. Yazd is the city of narratives with attractions that you will doubtlessly not experience anywhere else during your trip to Yazd.
We recommend to read this guideline before traveling to Yazd …
How to travel to Yazd?
There are four ways to travel to Yazd from within Iran: using private car, airplane, train and bus are the options for you that you can choose depending on your budget and interest.
This item can be appropriate if you don’t choose any tours. The historic texture of Yazd is almost concentrated in one area and going to the narrow alleys by car is rarely possible for you, especially during the Nowrus holidays and cold seasons of the year due to the welcoming of travelers. In Yazd, because of the close distance between destinations and less traffic than the other cities, you can reach your destination easily and in the shortest possible time.
Airplane can always be a good option to reach your destination in the shortest possible time. Yazd Sadooghi international airport is located at the west of Yazd city, and it is about 17 minutes (8/5 kilometers) away from Amir Chaqmaq square.
One of the most popular options for travelling to Yazd is the train. Yazd train station is located inside the city and it is only 9 minutes (4 kilometers) away from Amir Chaqmq square.
Bus is another option that you can choose it if you have the willingness of traveling on the road with public transportation. Yazd bus station is located near the industrial estate and it is about 22 minutes (11 kilometers) away from Amir Chaqmq square.
In this city, some of the hotels, in addition to being luxurious, make you also touch and feel the identity of Yazd. 5-star, 4-star modern and traditional hotels are the options prepared for you. Lots of beautiful hotels with desirable facilities. Most of these hotels combining modern and traditional architecture, figure out a memorable stay for you in this city, especially Dad hotel with the unique architecture make you to experience an amazing stay.
Guest Houses (Eco lodge, Hostel…)
Another exciting options to stay in Yazd city is the choice of guest house accommodations, which are more affordable than hotels. In this type of residence, in addition to tasting traditional Yazdi foods, you will have the opportunity to live in traditional houses with tall adobe walls, wind towers, porch, summer part, winter part, to experience sleeping in the these houses, and to get to know the culture of this city.
Desert nights with that starry and clear sky are indiscernible. No doubt, you will not experience the peace and the silence of the desert anywhere else. Safari, motor riding, camel riding, observing stars, and sandboarding are among the activities you will experience. Haftsang, Baran, Sandbad, Fahraj, Shenoshaden, Shabahang, Shahre-Aftab, Karakal, Rig-Zarin, and Bafgh are the desert camps of Yazd province. Short and one-day residences are recommended for desert camps.
Suggested three-day plan for getting around in Yazd
Yazd is full of beautiful spectacular places that should be planned to visit and enjoy.
Tower of silence
Getting around Yazd usually start from visiting tower of silence. The best time to visit there, is in the early morning or in the evening when the sun shine less strongly. In the past, according to tradition, the corpses were placed in tower of silence. The main reason was to prevent from the transmission of disease and not to pollute the environment. The dead bodies were put there to be eaten by vultures and the corpses were protected from the reach of wild animals like dogs and jackals. They also must be prevented from being moved and transmission of disease. There are other tower of saliences near Cham village located near Taft city, Allah Abad in Zarch, and Sharif Abad in Ardakan. It takes at least one and a half hour to visit this place.
The next place is Zoroastrian’s fire temple (the house of fire) located at Kashani Street. From tower of silence, it takes about 25 minutes to get there by car. This fire temple is the oldest one in Iran and even in the world. Fire temple was a place to keep the fire so that the people can take an amount of fire daily to turn on the firebox of their house. Fire was critical for the ancient Iranians as one of the main elements of life, therefore, fire temple is a place for praying and holding ceremonies. The construction of Yazd fire temple was started in 1934 by the command of Reza Shah Pahavi and finished in 1936 and finally in 1939, this 1547 year old fire which was kept in the house of a Yazdi preist, was transferred to the fire temple. At the present moment, this fire is maintained in a large metal container. It takes at least one hour to visit this place which includes fire room, hall, water reservoir, yard and the rooms.
Then, you can visit Dahom Farvardin Street, where Yazdi-Iranian classic Dad hotel is located, afterwards Shahid Beheshti square and Imam Street which is one of the oldest streets in Yazd and walking on it is worth visiting.
Markar square and museum
The next place which is unmissable is Markar square which is the central point of Iran according to the evidence and research of many experts of clock tower. This tower was built by the order of Pashootan Ji Dusabhai Markar. A few steps from this clock which is located in Markar square, there is the Markar museum that “the Markar Orphanage” is written on its façade. In this museum, you will be introduced to the Zoroastrian culture completely.
Amir Chaqmq Square
Amir Chaqmaq is the landmark of Yazd which has a very interesting story to read. It is a complex of Hossainieh, water reservoir, tekye, square, small traditional Bazaar, school, etc. which dates back to Teymurid dynasty. Amir Chaqmq complex is considered as one of the architectural masterpieces. No doubt, you should not miss walking on the bazaar under Amir Chaqmq and also visiting zoorkhaneh (the house of strength) and the mosque. Water museum is located a few steps from Amir Chaqmq square and in the beginning of Qiam Street. As the longest Qanat (Zarch) in the world with 85 kilometers long is located in Yazd province, this museum provides valuable information about Qanat and the hardworking of Yazdi people to reach the water from the bottom of the ground for those who are interested. It is interesting to know that in the past, the two Rahim Abad and Zarch Qanats flowed under Kolahduz house which has turned into the water museum today, and the two thousand year old Zarch Qanat still flows under this house.
Qiam Street known as Bazaar Street of Yazd, is always full of people who are attracted to Bazaars or the other places to visit. Copper Bazaar, Gold Bazaar, Rismanian Bazaar, Panjeh Ali Bazaar, Seraj ha Bazaar, Mirza Karam Bazaar, Jafar Khan Bazaar, etc. are among the Bazaar of this street. After passing through Qiam Street entering to Bazaar and square of Khan complex, you can visit the remained works by Mohammad Taghi Khan Bafghi the ruler of Yazd in 17th century such as Hammam (bath) Khan, school Khan, Shahanshahi Bank ( the oldest bank of Yazd province) that has now become a treasure of culture and art. You will not feel flying of time when visiting them. So be careful about your time management in order not to delay visiting the other places of Yazd.
It is noon and it is lunch time. Depending of your taste, you can have lunch in a luxurious restaurant or traditional hotels in the old town, or you can enjoy having dizy (a kind of stew, the ingredients include: lamb, potato, chickpeas, tomato, garlic and turmeric- all steamed in an oven on low for at least 7 hours), Kebab or Jigar (grilled liver Kebab) in the cafes under Amir Chaqmaq Bazaar. In order to go to the restaurants in the other parts of the city, you need to spend about 30 to 40 minutes to come back to the old town. It is your decision. Little by little, you should leave Qiam Street and its beauties and move towards Jameh mosque of Yazd, which is famous for Tarinha (the… est, the most) mosque. If you are with a group, you will probably go there by a vehicle (about 6 minutes), otherwise, it can be replaced by a not so long walk (about 20 minutes to Alexzander prison) but very enjoyable. Along the way in the alleys with tall adobe walls, you will see beautiful traditional houses and hotels, visitors and walkers, children playing and smiling at you, the excited people enthusiastically taking pictures from point to point, a lady sprinkling of water in front of her house and sometimes the peddlers who sell Shooli Ash (Yazdi traditional soup) especially during Nowruz.
When you get to Fahadan (Yuzdaran that means Cheetah keepers) historic neighborhood, stop. This area has a lot to say. Narrative say that in the past this area was a jungle and the residents kept Cheetahs in their houses. That is why it is called Fahadan. This neighborhood was registered as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2017.
In Fahadan neighborhood you can see the oldest building of Yazd city, the tomb of 12 Imams which is 900 years old. Afterward, Alexander prison is an impressive 800-year-old place that should be visited. Then, visiting Tehraniha house is a valuable choice. From this point, walking on the historic texture of Yazd begins. Spending time in this walk depends on the number of places you want to visit. Through following the brown signs which are installed on the way, you can find and visit the places located at this area.
Exploring Kushkno watermill is highly recommended for those who are keen on Qanat and water. Going down through the stairs, it is possible to see the channel of Zarch Qanat.
Do not miss historic and traditional houses in Yazd
One of the other attraction of the historic texture of Yazd that should not be misses, is watching the city overview from the rooftop of the cafes and the traditional houses such as Kolahduzha house or the present water museum, Lariha house, Baran (rain) house, art house, Nardoon café, Rafieian house, etc. In this way, it can be understood why Yazd is famous for the city of wind towers.
Jameh mosque of Yazd
Passing through the narrow alleys known as Ashti Konan Allyes (The place for reconciliation and settling the disputes) and Bazaar-e Sarafha, Jameh mosque stands out. This mosque has unique characteristics. For example, it has the tallest pair of minarets in the world. In addition, the minarets are 52 meters high. Moreover, Jameh mosque has the tallest façade with a length of 28 meters which is decorated with the most beautiful Moaragh tile works.
After Jameh mosque, following the paved street to the end, the clock tower can be watched. This is one of the oldest clock tower in Iran and the world, and on the bases of the historical sources, it is the first urban clock in Iran. The construction of this clock tower dates back to Qajar period.
Walking on Jameh mosque Street/h4>
Walking along Jameh mosque Street, you can see the shops of traditional clothes and handicraft in Chaharsooq Bazaar. Furthermore, to relax and refresh, you can have Faloodeh Yazdi (one of the most popular desserts in Yazd which is made of starch, rose water, and sugar) and Ghaveh Yazdi (Yazdi coffee which is coffee with rose water, sugar and cardamom).
Vaghto Saat Square
Vaghto Saat Square is one of the amazing buildings that defined the time of day and night with sound of the bell and turning on and off the light. In other words, it was included an observatory which was destroyed and nothing remained of it.
Water Reservior and Zoorkhaneh (the house of strength)
Along walking on the old town, what definitely catches everybody’s attention is the numerous water reservoirs and Zoorkhanehs which are located next to each other. A water reservoir consists of different elements such as a tank, a dome, wind tower(s), and the stairs that lead to the tank.
Now it is afternoon and it is time to go to Dolat Abad garden.
Dolat Abad Garden
Mohammad Taghi Khan Bafghi, the ruler of Yazd in 17th century, attempted to build a paradise in the desert city of Yazd with the name “Dolat Abad garden” (means settled by the government), which is one of the 9 Iranian garden that was registered in the list of UNESCO’s gardens in 2011. This garden contains different architectural elements such as summer and winter pavilions, stable, rooms, servants’ houses, and the entrance small bazaar. The main characteristic of this garden is having the tallest wind tower with the height of 33.8 meters. It takes about 1 hours to visit the whole garden.
Kharanagh, Chak Chak, Meybod
If you have plan to stay a few days more in Yazd, it is a good idea to visit the places out of the city. You should go to Ardakan city by vehicle. After about 78 kilometers (about 1 hour), you will get to the historical village of Kharanagh. Visiting the village and the old castle of Kharanagh is one of the greatest pleasure and memories that will never forget by visitors. Kharanagh means the place where the sun rises. It is one of the several castles which includes two, three, and multi-story houses in the world.
You need 40 minutes to get to the next destination. Chak Chak is the most important Zoroastrian pilgrimage. The reason for its name is the water dripping from the mountain during the year. Zoroastrians call it Pir-e-Sabz (green). Because it is always green and being green is the symbol of resistance and patience.
You need to travel 57 kilometers to reach Meybod city. Meybod is older than Yazd. At first, you will see Narin Castle the oldest adobe building in the world. From the top of Narin Castle, the overview of the city with its one-sided wind towers stand out. Shah Abbasi Caravanserai is the next place to see, and after that the adobe Ice House is ready to be visited. In the cold day of the year, the ice was produced and stored in this place in order to be consumed in the hot days of summer. Pottery and Zilu can be considered as amazing souvenirs of Meybod. And finally the pigeon tower can be the next attractive destination to visit.
.If the weather is nice, you can have the opportunity to spend an evening till night in the desert. Haft Sang, Sandbad, and Shabahang are among the desert camps in which you can experience activities such as camel riding, motor riding, observing stars and exciting safari. Most of camps provide simple residence facilities for visitors.
If you have more time, you can visit Mehriz city and Pahlavanpour garden. This garden is also registered in the list of UNESCO’s garden.
Saryazd Castle and Farafar Gate
Visiting Saryazd castle as the first bank of Iran is highly recommended. This castle in the past was not used for military purposes and it was applied as a grain and food storage. Moreover, the people of the village kept their money and gold in this castle during enemies attack. The beautiful Farafar gate was the entrance gate of Yazd province at times far away.