Maranjab Desert; One of the Best Places for Trekking in Iran

October 18

One of the most beautiful Iranian deserts is the Maranjab Desert with high dunes and forests arch. It is one of the best places for trekking in Iran, in addition, to be a perfect place for photography during days and nights.

Best time to visit the place and spend a day or two is from October for the next few months till the end of March.

There are always some helpful points on every trip. To be safe at the Maranjab Desert, we highly recommend not to go to the desert alone. Always have a sufficient amount of water and food. Don’t forget to have a compass, GPS, a detailed map, and head lump. If you are not familiar with trekking in the desert, and this is the first time, it is best option to have a local guide with you, and let others know that you are going to camp in the desert, so in case of being lost, someone asks for help. We hope by following these conditions you will have a safe trip in the desert.

Fauna and Flora of Maranjab Desert

Due to the hot and arid climate of the desert, the only vegetation found in the place are Halophyte plants such as Tamarix trees, Haloxylon trees, and Zygophyllum bushes.

Maranjab Desert

Wolf, jackal, hyena, fox sand, sand cat, lizard, chameleon, a variety of lizards, snakes, scorpions, dull-yellow partridge, eagle, and hawk, are the range of animals living in the place.

From September to November is the time of migration of flamingos, so if you are lucky, you will be able to see these beautiful creatures.

Maranjab Salt Lake

Maranjab Salt Lake is situated about 100 kilometers to the eastern part of the Qom, and 60 kilometers to Kashan. The lake covers an area of approximately 1800 km² with a triangle shape. Most of the lake has 5 meters depth, however, the deepest point of it is 50 meters.

One of the main usages of the Maranjab salt lake is for salt extraction. Since the surrounded lands of the lake are swampy, it is always recommended to visit the lake with a professional local guide who is familiar with the area.

Salt Lake

There are two main roads to access the Maranjab Salt Lake:

1. If you are on the way to visit Maranjab from Aran, after driving about 35 kilometers you will see the signs of the lake.

2. If you are at the Maranjab Caravanserai, there are only 10 kilometers from the lake.

Aran O Bidgol Salt Lake

The other salt wake which can be seen in the Maranjab Desert is called Aran and Bidgol Salt Lake. If you watch the salt lake from far away, the two ends of it disappear on the horizon and the landscape looks like a ship drifted in the ocean desert.

Maranjab Caravanserai

Maranjab Caravanserai is one of the most amazing and well-preserved caravanserais in Iran, which was built by the order of Shah Abbas Safavid in addition to another 1000 caravanserai in Iran at the time. The caravanserai used to be situated on the Silk Road, where lots of trades occurred. It is said that 500 soldiers were always on top of the castle to observe the trading in the markets around the castle. These traders were traveling from China to Europe and vice-versa to exchange their goods with others.

There is a Qanat with fresh water at the Maranjab Caravanserai, which is an unbelievable phenomenon in a hot arid desert, full of salt lakes.

Currently, Maranjab Caravanserai is used as a guest house with more than 25 rooms which can accommodate tourists while visiting this magnificent desert. There are no beds in rooms, but the mattress on the floor. It is better to have sleeping bags with you when you have a plan to stay at the place for a night or two. Rooms have different capacities and have the possibility to accommodate people from one to seven. There is no shower at the place, but shared toilets in the main building. There is also a small restaurant which prepares food for lunch or dinner on request.

Sand Dunes

The other attraction of this Desert is the Sand Dunes. The tallest ones ate situated on the eastern part of the caravanserai with 70 meters height. There is a mountain on the southern part of Maranjab Caravanserai, known as “Kolang Mountain” which is surrounded by sand hills. If you are an adventures tourist we recommend you to walk for about 15 minutes to reach the peak, the view of the desert from the top is just breathtaking.

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