Shahdad Desert Camp

Campground in Kaluts

Confusingly not in Shahdad at all, this ultra-budget option allows you to lie down on a raised, tiled camping base, partly sheltered by a kapar (hemispherical, open-sided palm dome with frond thatching). You'll need to bring all your own bedding and a mat – all that's provided is the space, a modicum of shelter for eating (you cook for yourself) and shared toilet blocks a couple of minutes' walk away.

While it might sound like a great place to 'sleep beneath the stars', powerful floodlights undermine the wilderness effect after sunset, and winter nights can get cold there. From Shafiabad, the camp is 8km down an asphalted – but painfully corrugated – dead-end lane.