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 from its settlement. At the village's rear is the shattered remnant of a walled citadel, mostly abandoned 90 years ago, with deteriorating buildings still easy to make out. Locals remember using the ice house as recently as the 1970s. And there's a local cooperative guesthouse – but make sure to call ahead.

Zafaraniyeh is directly south of the Mashhad Hwy, less than 40km east of Sabzevar. From Sabzevar, a daily yellow minibus (IR20,000, one hour) to Zafaraniyeh leaves from Seraheh Mosallah, near Shohoda Sq, at 1pm, returning the next morning at 7am. Dar bast (charter) taxis (IR300,000) start from the south side of Sarbedoran Sq.

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