Lisar & Hashtpar

Between Astara and Rezvanshahr several relatively unspoilt sections of Caspian hinterland offer attractive views of rice paddies (notably at Lavandevil, Khotbeh Sara and Sust), and there’s some lovely woodland behind Asalem. The most accessible of the region’s castle ruins is the cute little Dezhe Sasal Fortress near Lisar.

Little Hashtpar is often referred to as ‘Talesh’, which is somewhat confusing as Talesh is also the name of the region and its people. Behind Hashtpar’s charioteer statue in the central square is an attractive Qajar-era octagonal pavilion, but since it’s used by revolutionary guards, photography is unwise.