Masuleh | Iran, 2008

bDistance :  15.5 miles (25 km) approx.

Avg. Time :  6 to 7 hours

Start / Finish :

  • Click here for transport options to and from the village.

Season :  March to November

Maps / Info :

  • Masuleh is an ancient village founded in the 10th century A.D. It has a population of around 550 inhabitants and is situated just south of the Caspian Sea in the province of Gilan.
  • Masuleh is reportedly the only village in Iran in which motor vehicles aren’t permitted. Very cool. There is a car park at the village entrance where it is possible to leave your vehicle.
  • Maps?: When I visited in 2008, I couldn’t find anything in the way of walking maps for the area. However, friendly locals are more than happy to give you directions as to the various hiking options available.
  • Before You Arrive: A great source of up-to-date information on Masuleh is Mr. Mousavi, who manages the Firouzeh Hotel in Tehran.


Route / Conditions :

  • Situated near the bottom of a valley, the village of Masuleh is often shrouded in morning fog.
  • The hike I was recommended is an out-and-back route. It initially climbs south on the opposite side of the valley towards the Gasht Rodkan Protected area.
  • The trail then heads west, passing by numerous streams and farm houses. Ascending gradually, you go through the beautifully situated villages of Emamzadeh Haslem and Ziartgah-e kubar. Not long after the latter hamlet, you emerge from the trees and continue on to the top of the valley.

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  • A shorter hiking option (a couple of hours round trip) is to a nearby waterfall, located up river from the village. Once again, ask locals for details.

Sleeping :

  • Although there are a couple of larger hotels situated at the bottom of the village, I would recommend renting a room with a local family. Ask Mr. Mousavi at the Firouzeh Hotel in Tehran for recommendations.

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Overview :

  • With its winding streets, unique architecture and alpine-like setting, Masouleh makes for a refreshing change from the heat and arid landscapes of Iran’s southern and eastern regions.
  • I spent my birthday in Masuleh in October, 2008, and found it to be a wonderful place to kick back and relax for a few days. One of the highlights of my time in Iran.

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