Northeastern Iran attractions

Top Choice Islamic Site in Mashhad

Haram-e Razavi

Imam Reza’s Holy Shrine is enveloped in a vast series of sacred precincts collectively known as the Haram-e Razavi, or Haram for short. This magical city-within-a-city sprouts dazzling clusters of domes and minarets…
Top Choice Monument in Gonbad-e Kavus

Mil-e Gonbad

A Unesco World Heritage site since 2012, this 53m tower in Gonbad's centre looks like a buttressed-brick spaceship with the cross-section of a 10-pointed star. Built in 1006, it's so remarkably well preserved that o…
Islamic Shrine in Mashhad

Holy Shrine

Amid tearful prayer and meditation, the climax to any Mashhad pilgrimage is touching and kissing the zarih (gold-latticed cage), which covers Imam Reza’s tomb in the Haram's central shrine beneath the iconic golden …
Islamic Site in Mashhad

Imam Khomeini Ravagh

All a-dazzle with intricate, mirror-faceted tiling, this former courtyard is now enclosed and entirely covered by a sparkling ceiling held in place by large, well-spaced columns that spread up and out like conical t…
Village in Esfarayen

Roein

Backed by a rocky crag, Roein's old section is a stepped village of high, porch-fronted traditional homes, looking rather like a less verdant version of Masuleh, though several parts of town have been marred by thou…
Village in Sabzevar

Zafaraniyeh

Little-visited Zafaraniyeh village has a Safavid-era brick caravanserai in a state of photogenic part-collapse, but more importantly maintains a large percentage of the less dramatic ancillary mud-domed buildings fr…
Islamic Shrine in Turkmensahra

Khalid Nibi Shrine

Dramatically perched above a sea of badlands sit three small mausoleums. The most important commemorates a certain Khalid Nibi; although he was apparently a 5th-century Nestorian Christian, the site now attracts Mus…
Monument in Kordkuy

Mil-e-Radkan Qarbi

Sitting upon an astoundingly lonely knoll with wistful views over the cliff-edged valley, this circular, conical-topped tower was built in 1020 for a military commander of Tabarestan's ruling Bavend dynasty. Along w…
Architecture in Shahrud

Bezayit Bastami Complex

At the heart of ancient Bastam, now a village-suburb of Shahrud (around 7km from centre), is a collection of mostly 13th-century historical buildings. The main group is set around the relatively simple grave of Baya…
Monument in Radkan

Radkan Tower

This conically spired 25m brick tower has baffled visitors for centuries. Was it a tomb? A coronation spot? According to Iranian archaeo-astronomer Manoochehr Arian (www.jamejamshid.com), it was actually a highly so…