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Chalus & Noshahr

The once attractive twin towns of Chalus and Noshahr now simmer in a shroud of vehicle fumes from the relentless traffic snarl. There's little for the traveller here other than to take the spectacular Chalus–Karaj road, which hairpins its way dramatically across the Alborz Mountains. But the new motorway bypasses Chalus, so you're actually better off staying in Ramsar or Kelardasht, both prettier, more laid-back options.

Noshahr (Nowshahr) is the quieter of the two towns, with palm trees, manicured gardens and a small bazaar around central Azadi Sq. Chalus' main landmark is Mo’allem Sq, marked by a tall telephone mast. From this square, 17 Shahrivar St leads west across a bridge into central Chalus, while Noshahr Blvd leads east, passing the Malek and Kourosh hotels (2km) and the airport (4km) before reaching central Noshahr (6km) at Jameh Mosque Sq. Azadi Sq is a block further.

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