The small town of Mesr, 425km from Esfahan, is an oasis located amid sand dunes in the Dasht-e Kavir. Just a couple of kilometres further into the desert, along a sandy track, lies an even smaller settlement called Farahzad. The residents of both are all members of one extended family who make a living from agriculture and by operating various lodges and tours into the desert.
Both settlements, which originated over 150 years ago, give access to a magnificent portion of the Dasht-e Kavir. With dunes, a 3km-long flowing river arising out of the sands, patches of reeds, salt pans, weathered escarpments and eroded sandstone features, a 4WD, camel or hiking excursion to explore this remarkable landscape is highly recommended and easily organised through one of the guesthouses.