By Saeedeh Khodaverdian & Atefeh Rezvan-Nia
Situated in the northeast of Iran, Golestan province is one of the best tourist destinations of the country in view of its enchanting natural attractions, wide ethnic diversity and numerous historical sites.
The province is home to international wetlands, dense forests, bubbling springs, and tens of waterfalls.
Golestan is undoubtedly one of the greenest regions of Iran. Peaceful coexistence among ethnic groups including Baluchis, Kazakh, and Sistanis yet is another source of attraction in the province.
A number of dialects are spoken in Golestan and people wear an array of attires in different designs and colors.
Persian Daily ‘Iran’ has listed the names of some of the tourist attractions of Golestan as:
Gomishan and Gorgan
Gorgan and Gomishan are two important cities of Golestan province, which boast the highest numbers of the historical sites in the province.
Aqa Mohammad Khan Palace, Amir Latifis Mansion, Taqavis Mansion and School, Baqeries Mansion and Emadiyeh School are among the historical sites of Gorgan.
The Grand Mosque of Gorgan, is also among historical wonders of Golestan province. The mosque has a unique design and dates back to Seljuk era.
Imamzadeh Noor, which is famous for its unique tile-works, also attracts the attention of tourists to Gorgan. It was built during the reign of Teymourid kings.
Gomishan, with its two-storey wooden houses scattered across the rural areas and built according to Russian architectural style is another attraction in the province. The houses were built during the Qajar era and is worth visiting.
Naharkhoran Forest Park is located eight kilometers to the south of Gorgan and is among the natural attractions of the province.
The tourism site of Naharkhoran is part of the extensive and ancient forest of Hyrcani, which dates back to over one million years.
Naharkhoran has served as a campsite since ancient times so that pilgrims to the holy shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), the eighth Shia Imam, rest in Naharkhoran and eat launch on their way to Mashhad. ‘Nahar’ means ‘launch’ in English.
Ziarat ranks among top 20 exemplary rural destinations of the country. It is situated seven kilometers from Naharkhoran and hosts the mausoleum of Imamzadeh Abdollah.
Ziarat is also home to the province’s only spa, which is said to have therapeutic properties.
Golestan National Park
Golestan National Park is the country’s first natural zone registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is also the largest park of its kind in Iran and home to about one-eighth of the plant species, one-third of birds and 50 percent of mammals.
World’s tallest tower
Gonbad-e Kavous in Golestan province is home to the world’s tallest brick tower named ‘Gonbad-e Qabus’, which was built more than 1,000 years ago.
Situated atop a 15-meter hill, the tower itself stands 55 meters in height.
Persian island of Caspian Sea
Visitors, interested in visiting the Caspian Sea’s only Persian Island, have to travel to Bandar-e Torkaman in Golestan province and pedal boat to reach Ashouradeh Island. Ashouradeh Island is a site for bird-watching, which attracts lots of ecotourists, particularly during the autumn.
Visitors to Bandar-e Torkaman also get the opportunity to purchase the best quality and most attractive handicrafts at the cheapest prices in Doshanbeh Bazaar (a temporary bazaar which is set up every Monday).
The protested area of Jahan-Nama, a pristine natural area with plenty of plant and animal species, has been recognized as the highest place in the province. Its altitude is 1,700 meters above sea-level, where visitors can rest in wooden cottages and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
SOURCE:ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PAPAR IRANDAILY