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Yazd

Travel Guide Middle East Iran Yazd

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Introduction

Yazd, a city view

Yazd, a city view

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Yazd is about as typical as a desert city can get. It is one of the oldest, driest cities in Iran, and also one of the most architecturally unique. Its about 175 kilometres from Esfahan. It is located right between the Dasht-e Kavir desert and the Dasht-e Lut desert. With a population of over 500,000 desert dwellers. It is known for it's high quality silks, teas, camel meat and dried sweets.

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Sights and Activities

Around Yazd City

Wind Catcher's

Wind Catcher's

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  • Takyeh Amir Chakhmagh - Multiple Arches provide for a Bazaar entranceway and lookout tower over the city.
  • Kabir jaame mosque - Beautiful and quiet Mosque in the city centre.
  • Towers of Silence - a short tazi ride will take you to the ancient Zoroastrian twin towers of silence where people used to be laid to rest and have their bones picked clean in the process.
  • Wind-catcher's - all around Yazd you will find buildings with rectangular towers and vents that help catch cool air and circulate in buildings.
  • Zoroastrian Fire Temple - a modern looking Zoroastrian temple that hold a museum, and eternal flame.
  • Main Bazaar - gold markets, spice market and any other type of market await in this domed bazaar.
  • Old Hotels - many of Yazd's hotels are quite old and have recently been renovated to show of architectural and anesthetic beauty.
  • Alexander's Prison - a not so exciting, but historical place that legend says Alexander the Great built while passing through at some stage.
  • Tourist Office - a great tourist office run by some really nice fun people, worth it for entertainment value alone.

Day trips from Yazd

Kharanaq, Iran, view from mud city

Kharanaq, Iran, view from mud city

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  • Kharanaq - Kharanaq is one of the last remaining 'Big' Mud cities still standing in Iran. Over 1,000 years old, and looking ever the part, the city could star in an Indian Jones movie.

A huge mud wall encircles the city, though a few crumbling holes have appeared. Long winding alley's and small streets meander through the mud buildings within making it easy to get lost. But just keep walking in the same direction and you will eventually come out by the main walls. Be warned though, the buildings within are in a bad state of repair, and are dangerous to climb on top of.

Chak Chak - Chak Chak is a very small cliff side village that is famed for being the most important Zoroastrian mountain shrine. There is a yearly celebration from from June 14-18 where many Zoroastrians from India & Iran come.
The translation of Chak Chak in Farsi literally means 'Drip Drip'. This is due to an ancient legend where a princess prayed to a Zoroastrian god to help here hide from an invading army. The mountain then opened up to hide her. Another local legend says that the princess plunged a sword into the mountain in anger.

Chak chak view

Chak chak view

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The mountain then began to cry, hence their is a mountain stream coming out from within the cliff. The views from the top of Chak Chak are quite spectacular.

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Weather

Yazd is the driest city in Iran with an average rainfall of less than 75 mm a year. It can also have temperatures rising to 40 °C or more in the summer while in the winter night time temperatures can drop to below freezing. Yet winter days are surprisingly mild and sunny.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max12.2 °C14.8 °C19.5 °C21.9 °C33.4 °C36.3 °C39.5 °C36.1 °C35.3 °C26.5 °C19.3 °C17 °C
Avg Min-0.8 °C0.1 °C5.3 °C9.5 °C17.7 °C20 °C23.3 °C19.9 °C18.7 °C8.6 °C2.3 °C-0.7 °C
Rainfall7 mm0.8 mm11 mm21.9 mm0.6 mm2 mm0 mm0 mm3 mm0 mm2 mm0 mm
Rain Days1321111101020

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Getting There

By Plane

Shahid Sadooghi Airport is located in Yazd and serves Tehran and Mashad only.

By Train

The train station is located next to the bus station on Rah Ahan Boulevard. It operates services to all major cities in Iran.

By Car

Driving to Yazd is an easy option, the road is safe, and the views quite nice if you are into desert scenery.

By Bus

The bus station is beside the train station on Rah Ahan Boulevard beside Rah Ahan Square. It has services to nearly all cities in Iran. A typical service to Tehran is about 10 hours and to Esfahan 5 hours.

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Getting Around

By Car

Taxi's are cheap and plenty full around Yazd.

Driving your own car in Yazd is quite possible and rewarding as the city does not have the grid lock and insane driving style of most Iranian cities. With a good road map driving outside the city into the desert is also a good option. Having a motorbike is a great way to explore Yazd and the surrounding desert.

By Public Transport

Buses are plentyful and not too crowded in the city center, knowing the language and where to go is important.

By Foot

Yazd is quite easy to get around by foot, so long as the temperature is not super hot. Many of the city sites are withing walking distance of each other, which is a good way to save some money. Though taking a straight bus down Imam Khomeini Street will help in getting to the more popular sites quickly.

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Eat

There are some great and simple eateries in Yazd. There are some also some high class eating places that won't break the bank either.

  • Nemoner Sandwich - Imam Khomeini Street - basic, simple, cheap and good.
  • Hotel Meher - Lab-e-Khandagh Alley, Qiam Ave (inside main bazaar) - Just go inside the main bazaar and ask. High end hotel with high end restaurant at about €5 a meal in a fantastic setting.
  • Silk Road Hotel - Taleh Khakestary Alley, Jame Mosque Street. - Great food such as camel meat stew in walnut sauce in a nice courtyard.
  • Ice Cream Treats - On the corner at Amir Chakhmaq Square - great ice cream sit down restaurant serving a wide variety of ice creams and local sweets.

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Sleep

Budget

The Silk Road Hotel - No 5 - Taleh Khakestary Alley - Jame Mosque Street, tel +98 351 6252730. High standard rooms with en suite, huge buffet all you can eat breakfast included. 160,000 per night(negotiable when dealing with the owner Ali). Dorm rooms 40,000. Indoor courtyard with heaters and good restaurant. Also if you want to work in the either this, or any of Ali's Hotels you get free stay, or free internet depending on your workload!!

Mid-Range

Orient Hotel - Off Jame Mosque Street +98 351 6252730. Run by the owner the Silk Road Hotel, this hotel has a higher room capacity and a nice restaurant on the roof with great night views. Rooms start at 140,000 and are again negotiable.

Upscale

Mehr Traditional Hotel] - Lab-e-Khandagh Alley, Qiam Avenue. Old renovated hotel that has been noted by the Unesco World Heritage Site for its work on using traditional methods in restoring the hotel. 350,000 for a single. A fantastic looking outdoor courtyard with very good restaurant. It's a little pricey for Iran, but worth it to feel like Persian royalty for a night.

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Keep Connected

Internet

You'll find internet cafes in most cities and even smaller towns now have access to the world wide web. Like other countries with a very strict censorship, the country has strict rules about using the internet and also has a very restricted domestic version, highly unlikely to be used by travellers. Connections are generally good and it's cheap to use as well.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international country calling code of Iran is +98. Special numbers include 110 for the Police, 115 for Ambulance, 125 for the Fire Department and 112 for calls from mobile phones. Iran Telecom is the main telecommunication company in the country and provides, together with Irancell, almost all mobile services as well.
You can find a complete list of telephone codes at Farsinet.com.

Post

The I.R. Iran Post Service is the national postal service in Iran. Services are fairly reliable and cheap, but rather slow. It usually takes at least several weeks for your letter or postcard to arrive in European countries, longer for other Western areas. Post officies generally are open from around 7:30am to 3:00pm Saturday to Thursday, so the main offices in big cities tend to have somewhat longer hours. Your best bet is to visit in the morning if you need to use their services. Stamps can usually be bought at small shops and kiosks as well. Sending parcels is more expensive but also quicker and more reliable with international companies like FedEx, DHL, TNT and UPS.

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This is version 26. Last edited at 8:30 on Oct 14, 11 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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