This year, with World Cup 2022 happening in Qatar, many participants are thinking about traveling to Iran before or after Qatar World Cup 2022, and what can be a better idea especially when Iranian government has announced that World Cup participants can enter Iran without visa and travel in Iran for 20 days.
In this blog, you can read about receiving Iran World Cup visa.
Since World Cup 2022 is going to be held from November 21st to December 18th, and this is a perfect time for visiting deserts of Iran, or in other words it is Iran desert tours high season, one of the trips that PackToIran team has designed for this time is camping in UNESCO listed Lut Desert after or before World Cup.
Deserts of Iran
With the definition of desert as a land with less than 50 mm annual precipitation, more than half of Iran (an area about 130000 km2) is arid and semi-arid land, devided into two main deserts including Dasht-e Kavir and the Lut Desert, providing great potentials of desert tourism and desert adventures in scenic deserts like the Varzaneg Desert, Maranjab Desert, Rig-e Jenn which are parts of Dasht-e Kavir, and the mesmerizing Shahdad Desert, which is a part of the vast UNESCO listed Lut Desert, located in Kerman Province in eastern Iran. The Shahdad Desert is one of the most scenic and unique deserts of the world that someone can visit during lifetime!
Lut Desert (Shahdad Desert) - Kerman, Iran
Why the Shahdad Desert (Lut Desert) should be visited?
- The Shahdad Desert is characterized with its Kalouts (Yardangs) also known as sand towers. These Kalouts are created in thousands of years as a result of wind and water erosion, and are amazingly beautiful. When you are driving towards the Shahdad Desert for the first time, these kalouts seem like huge buildings of an abandoned city from a far, which is a surreal scene.
- By moving through the Lut Desert, you can explore other wonders of this desert like the Rud-e Shur (the salty river) which is a seasonal river passing through this dry desert, the Nebkas or desert vases, which are dunes formed around the roots of Tamarisk bushes, and the Zaban-e Mar valley (meaning: snake tongue), which is a deep Y shaped valley at the heart of Lut Desert.
- For many visitiors, the reason why they keep coming back to the Shahdad Desert, in nothing but its wonderful starry and vivid night sky, because what you’ll see at night especially when there is no full moon, is a magically beautiful show of the milky way, million stars, and meteorites.
Lut Desert (Shahdad Desert) - Kerman, Iran
Camping in UNESCO listed Lut Desert
First of all, you should know that camping in deserts especially the Lut Desert is an adventurous activity. So, for this amazing experience you need to be accompanied by a professional guide and the camping should be planned and operated by a professional team, that considers safety and good services.
Here is the Shahdad (Lut) Desert camping tour that PackToIran suggests to travelers who are going to travel to Iran after the Qatar World Cup 2022:
You can book your flight from Doha to Shiraz, Isfahan and Tehran and after 2-3 days cultural tours in any of these cities you will move to Kerman, the center of Kerman Province.
Note: You can ask for a cultural tour of different cities of Iran (Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, etc.) before your Lut Desert tour according to your interest. See Iran cultural tours HERE.
After arriving Kerman and visiting some attractions of Kerman like the Ganj Ali Khan Complex, Shazdeh Garden, etc. you will drive to the south east of Kerman by private 4-wheel drive cars. First, you will visit the Rayen Castle, which is the second largest adobe castle ad city of the world after the Bam citadel. This earthen castle is an amazing example of a medieval defensive fortress and residential houses that have been resided by locals since Sassanid era (224 BC – 651 AD) until late 19th century.
Rayen Citadel - Kerman, Iran
Then you will drive to the wonderful Shahdad Desert, one of the most scenic deserts that someone can visit. After visiting the Nebkas, you will take a walk through the scenic Kalouts (with your guide) and enjoy the wonderful scenery of sun going behind the Kalouts. After setting up the camp tents, which are professional and safe tents, you will have a memorable dinner and gather around a fire, and then you will spend hours enjoying the mysterious starry sky and the milky way. If you are interested in professional stargazing, you can ask us for telescopes before booking your tour. Next morning you will take a safari tour to the heart of Lut Desert, and visit the wonders of this desert like Rud-e Shur, Zaban-e Mar Valley, and Gandom Beryan, which was recorded as the hottest spot on earth sor some years.
Your Lut Desert adventure will finish at noon and you will be driven back to Kerman by private car.
Camping at Lut Desert (Shahdad Desert)
Note: If you are not a fan of sleeping in camping tents, you can spend the night at ecolodges, which are ran by local families, and the Shahdad eco-camp, that provide professional accommodation services.