With its winding lanes, forest of badgirs, mud-brick houses and delightful places to stay, Yazd is a 'don't miss' destination. On a flat plain ringed by mountains, the city is wedged between the northern Dasht-e Kavir and southern Dasht-e Lut and is every inch a city of the desert. It may not have the big-ticket sights of Esfahan or Shiraz, but, with its atmospheric alleyways and centuries of history, it exceeds both in its capacity to enchant. Yazd warrants a lazy approach – rambling around the maze of historic lanes (referred to locally as Yazd's 'historical texture'), popping into random teahouses or pausing to work out calligraphic puzzles in the city's exquisite tilework.
Originally settled 5000 years ago, Yazd has an interesting mix of people, 10% of whom follow the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. An elegant ateshkadeh (fire temple) near the city centre shelters an eternal flame and visitors are welcome.