Top things to do

Top Choice Market in Kerman

Bazar-e Sartasari

Kerman’s magnificent 'Sartasari' ('end-to-end') Bazaar is one of the oldest and most memorable trading centres in Iran. Its main thoroughfare stretches 1200m from Tohid Sq to Shohada Sq, the majority covered with cl…
Top Choice Oasis in The Kaluts (Lut Desert)

Deh Salm

With lush date-palm groves, domed mud-brick houses, carpet-saddled camels and a distant backdrop of arid mountain ridges, it's hard to imagine a more archetypal oasis village than tiny Deh Salm. (At least once you g…
Top Choice Fortress in Rayen

Arg-e Rayen

One of Iran's most impressive fortress-citadels, the Arg's vast adobe walls top a gentle slope directly south of central Rayen. Inside is a castle within a castle. Some sections are very ruinous but wandering throug…
Top Choice Village in Kerman Province

Meymand

A Unesco site, this troglodyte village is a series of over 400 cave-houses with a total of more than 2500 kiche rooms burrowed into the gently sloping sides of a Y-shaped valley around orchard gardens. For thousands…
Top Choice Teahouse in Kerman

Hamam-e Vakil Chaykhaneh

Architecturally magnificent, this elegantly arched subterranean teahouse was built as a bathhouse in 1820. Live music – typically a singer accompanied by santur (dulcimer-like instrument) – plays throughout the day;…
Top Choice Iranian in Birjand

Shamsol Emare

A series of private dining spaces with carpeted floor-seating, elbow cushions and fireplaces for winter evenings are ranged around a pretty fountain yard, with globe lamps, traditional music and artificial streams. …
Top Choice Fortress in Qa'en

Qa'en Castle Peak

Walking to and exploring this mountaintop fortress ruin is the highlight of a visit to Qa'en, especially if you time your descent to coincide with sunset, when the lights of Bozajomehr's Tomb are coming on and the m…
Top Choice Art in Boshrooyeh

Salari Studio

In an underlit, one-room cavern, beret-sporting artist Mehdi Salari creates beautiful calligraphic paintings that are sold mainly to exclusive Tehran dealers. Even if you can't afford the US$500-plus for one of his …
Top Choice Teahouse in Mahan

Shah Nematollah Sofrekhane

Hidden within the Aramgah complex, this brick-domed teahouse offers spiritual music and a short menu of well-made Iranian favourites, including a minty kashke bademjan (mashed eggplant with whey; IR70,000). Enter be…
Top Choice Iranian in Birjand

Sofrakhane Sonati Qaleh

Although the menu is somewhat standard Iranian fare, dining in small alcove rooms within Birjand's restored castle makes for a memorable experience – especially at night, when the interior is bathed in a golden ligh…