Ancient Tabaristan: Mazandaran

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6 days

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Specific Tour

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About this tour

Māzandarān, also spelled Mazanderan,  historic region of northern Iran, bordering the Caspian Sea on the north.

An early Iranian civilization flourished in the beginning of the first millennium bc in Tabarestan (Māzandarān). It was overrun in about ad720 by the Arab general Yezid ibn Mohallab and was the last part of Iran to be converted to Islām. Its insecure eastern and southeastern borders were crossed by Mongol invaders in the 13th and 14th centuries. Cossacks attacked the region in 1668 but were repulsed. It was ceded to the Russian Empire by a treaty in 1723, but the Russians were never secure in their occupation. The area was restored to Iran under the Qājār dynasty. The northern section of the region consists of a lowland alongside the Caspian and an upland along the northern slopes of the Elburz Mountains. Marshy backlands dominate the coastal plain, and extensive gravel fans fringe the mountains. The climate is permanently subtropical and humid, with very hot summers.

The highland slopes rise abruptly in the west and more gently in the east. Forests have been largely destroyed; the higher parts are cultivated summer pasture studded with villages partly deserted in winter. Wild boar, deer, and birds are numerous; the tiger, formerly found in the lowland, has disappeared. Cattle are usually humped; the buffalo is widely used as a draft animal. There are many rivers, including the Chālūs, Heris, Talar, Tajan, and Nekā, which are well-stocked with trout and salmon.

The population is of Iranian stock with a large admixture of Turkic tribes (especially Turkmen), Armenians, and Russian immigrants. Māzandarān is still famous for its Arab or Turkmen horses. The smaller Indo-Iranian-speaking ethnic minorities include the Qadikolahi and the Palavi. The Qājārs, from whom came the royal family that Reza Shah dethroned in 1925, form an enclave among the Māzandarāni. Some are settled farmers; others retain their original nomadic way of life.

Agriculture dominates the economy of the region; crops include rice, wheat, barley, tobacco, cotton, oilseeds, jute, tea, fruits, and vegetables. Agribusinesses, established under the agricultural reforms of the middle 1970s, undertook large-scale and mechanized farming. More than 247,000 acres (100,000 hectares) of land were developed for the production of rice. Major dams constructed were the Taleqan, Tangue Soleiman, and Voshmguir. The oil boom of the 1970s encouraged industrial investment and the development of major industries, including cement, textiles and cotton ginning, fisheries, food processing (including rice and flour mills), and wood processing. Coal is mined and stone is quarried.

The coastal plains and Gorgān are prosperous, being connected with the interior by the Trans-Iranian Railway and three roads; but the coast lacks good natural harbours. The artificially created port of Now Shahr, north of Tehrān, cannot compare with Bandar-e Anzalī (formerly Bandar-e Pahlavī) farther west, and silting and a falling water level have rendered other ports useless.


  • All breakfasts
  • All accommodation
  • All luggage transfers
  • English Language Tour Guide
  • Single supplement is 1300 Euro
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • International flight


Drive to Chalous road| Breakfast in Reza shah palace in Gachsar| Crossing to Kelardasht to Abbas Abad touristic road| Check-in in khoone geli| Traditional lunch at khoone geli| Sightseeing in Markooh fort|

Traditional Breakfast at khoone geli| Guided tour of the following: pottery loom in Suleiman Abad| Mineral bath springs in Ramsar| Rezashah palace in Ramsar| Fish bazaar in Sari| Drive to khoone geli and overnight in khoone geli

Traditional breakfast at khoone geli| Drive to Dohezar road| Guided tour of the following: Asal Mahaleh village| Daryasar plain| Trekking in forest| Lunch in forest| Swimming in Caspian Sea| overnight in khoone geli

Drive to Sari| Guided tour of the following: kalbadi palace & museum| Hammam Vaziri (heritage bath)| Farah Abad historical complex| Emamzade abbas shrine| Overnight in Sari

Drive to Behshahr| Guided tour of the following: Kamarband & Hutu cave in Behshar(remaining ice age era)| Cheshmeh emarat complex| Abbas abad historical complex| Drive to sari| Overnight in Sari

Drive to GhaemShahr| Guided tour of following: PolSefid| Canyoning along the Namrood river| Drive to Tehran|

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