Deh Salm

Top choice in Southeastern Iran

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 get past the tatty new houses at its entrance.) Best of all there's minimal tourism: just one family takes guests in their traditional house, though a desert camp is being built as a base for jeep safaris to the Rigi Yalan sand dunes, 35km to the south, for which Deh Salm is an access point.

Those dunes offer exciting opportunities for 4WD or quad-bike rides but military sensitivities mean that you'll need to get a fair bit of paperwork arranged before being allowed to visit: tour agencies can arrange this for you.

The village is 2km off the Nehbandan–Shahdad road, turning just west of a police checkpost (where you'll need to give a copy of your passport and visa). There's no public transport.