As spring has just arrived, green spaces are rifer than ever in Iran. Playing a huge part in Iranian culture, the great outdoors is well loved by everyone throughout the country. Parks, and Persian gardens, are a big attraction, with a number of the latter being awarded UNESCO World Heritage status. Here is a guide to the most stunning green spaces in the country.
Golestan National Park
Found in northeast Iran, the Golestan National Park is the one of the oldest parks in the whole country. It’s an incredibly large space too, measuring in at around 40km by 100km. The western side of the park shoots up to over 1600m on top of the Beyli Plateau, with cliffs surrounding the spot. The eastern side is perfect for any avid wildlife watcher, with leopards living in the vicinity.
Another treasure in the northeast of Iran, Kooh Sangi is a beloved favourite for all Mashhadis. Locals go on hikes on the rocky mountain (where its name originates from), while others carry out daily jogs around the central fountain – and others simply go to the park for a catch-up with friends while their children speed around on peddle bikes. Picnics are aplenty, of course, in traditional Persian style.
8km outside Tabriz, lies El-Goli Park. A huge space with an artificial lake spreading out to 210 metres – it’s a favourite spot for locals. It is also home to a pretty Qajar-era palace. With towering lush trees aplenty, it’s a wonderful place to spend a quiet afternoon strolling or people watching.
Kashan isn’t just sprawling deserts and never-ending landscapes – it’s also home to Bagh-e Fin. With its symmetrical proportions, spindling cypress trees and twinkling fountains – it is traditional Persian architecture to a T. A popular place for Iranians to head to is the hammam. It’s the site where the chief minister, Amir Kabir, was murdered. Bagh-e Fin can be heaving on a public holiday, but if you see one Persian garden in your time in Iran, make sure it’s this one.