Qal'eh Rudkhan

Top choice in Iran

The incredible Seljuk-era walled fortress of Qal'eh Rudkhan defends a steep, wooded spur of the Alborz mountains some 50km south of Rasht and makes a lovely day trip, especially when coupled with a visit to nearby Masuleh. From spring to autumn, the winding, vertiginous ascent through lush forests, moss-clad streams and evenly spaced teahouses should take about an hour. Start early in peak season, as the fortress is popular with locals and foreigners alike.

In winter the views of the snow-capped towers and intact ramparts are even more stunning, but be aware that the steep, icy steps can turn quite treacherous, so take your time. When passing through Fuman on the way, look out for its signature cookie, klucheh fuman, filled with walnut paste, available hot from bakeries all over town.

Expect to pay from $US50 for a private taxi return from Rasht (including waiting time). By savari, head first to Fuman (IR60,000), cross town to where the Masuleh and Qal'eh Rudkhan roads fork, then grab another savari (IR60,000, 20 minutes) to Qal'eh Rudhkan village; the final 7km to the Qal'eh Daneh trailhead will cost another IR60,000. Don't leave your return too late as you may get stuck in Fuman.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iran attractions

1. Kuchuk Khan Mausoleum

22.74 MILES

A steady flow of well-wishers visits Kuchuk Khan's tomb (Manzariyeh St), sheltered by a contemporary brick gazebo with an intricate wooden roof. The tomb…

2. Gilan Rural Heritage Museum

22.91 MILES

Many traditional Gilani cottages have been reassembled in the grounds of this fascinating open-air museum that strives to represent the different cultural…

3. Rasht Museum

23.75 MILES

While small, this museum is well presented in a 1930s house. Its mannequin displays illustrate the Gilaki lifestyle, amid a selection of 3000-year-old…

4. Shahrdari

24.12 MILES

Rasht’s most identifiable landmark sits at the western end of the vast, central Shohoda Sq. The Shahrdari’s colonial style is tempered by a token mini…

5. Kuchuk Khan Horseman Statue

24.15 MILES

The horseman statue facing down Sa'di St mall from Shohoda Sq depicts Kuchuk Khan, the Jangali leader of ‘Soviet Iran’.