The climate and geography in Iran is so diverse that while traveling from north to south or from east to west there are numerous natural attractions and exotic phenomena that blows every visitors mind! Dense rainy forests, beautiful deserts with hot sunshine on sand dunes, wild and untouchable mountain areas and calm sunny beaches are all can be reached within the borders of Iran. Each of these have their own rich flora and fauna and the natural resources have caused many national parks, wild life refuges, and protected areas to be registered. National parks are areas of natural resources like forests, groves, rivers and etc. as a unique figure of nature, which are controlled by the governments and protected against human intervention, extinction of wild life species and even annihilation of water resources. As mentioned above, in result of climate diversity and the numerous animal and plant species, there are now a lot of national parks in every corner of Iran and each one of them has its own exclusive features. National parks of Iran are like the best places for enjoying the nature, which expose the most fascinating landscapes and natural beauties, have spots announced as safe places for camping and nature lovers are allowed to spend nights with special license, and if a visitor is lucky they can see charming birds, Persian deer or other rare animals. Below are some of the best Iranian national parks that draws nature lovers in different seasons:
Lake Urmia National Park
Located between West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan province, Lake Urmia covers 33486 hectares in north west of Iran. This magnificent lake has 102 small and big islands and is home to many species like flamingos, pelican, Iranian yellow deer, wild rams and plants like wild cypresses, wild pistachio bushes and etc. Pink flamingos walking on Lake Urmia is a scene you will enjoy in this national park.
Arasbaran National Park
Arasbaran is a vast mountainous area stretched in East Azerbaijan Province and some parts of this area is inscribed by the UNESCO as biosphere. The landscapes of Arasbaran Area are so charming and can be described as a forgotten land hidden in the heart of high foggy mountains covered in forests of oak, where warriors and militaries constructed many hidden fortresses like Babak Fort, an enormous construction made of stones. Sumaq, barberries, apples, wild pears, raspberries and 250 different types of mushrooms and also deer, goats and many other animals prove the richness of Arasbaran. Trekking up to Babak Fort and enjoying the mild fresh air is a highly suggested activity.
Khojir National Park
Khojir National Park is a protected area located in East of Tehran, the capital of Iran. Mammals like panther, hyenas, goats, wild rams, wild cats, different snakes, and birds like partridge Hoopoes are animals noted in this area, which makes it a fabulous place for wild life lovers who seek for animals.
Nayband National Park
Nayband is a unique national park located in south of Iran, in Bushehr Province, laid along the Persian Gulf in 46000 hectares. The beautiful sand and rock beaches of Nayband are amazing spots for camping and enjoying the sea during winter and autumn, when the weather is mild and the sunshine is pleasant. In this area the sea is usually calm and the water is as clear as glass! Nayband National park has a rich flora including fig trees, Ziziphus fruit and mangrove forests which are usually grown in warm lands. The unique animals that are available in Nayband National Park, are Hawksbill turtles which come to this beach once in a while, the rare mudskipper fish, fox, pelican, wild goat and etc.
Golestan National Park
The most famous and the oldest National park of Iran is Golestan, which covers about 92000 hectares from west of Khorasan Province to the east of Golestan province in Northeastern Iran. Being home to about a fifth of plant types, a third of bird species and 50 percent of mammals of available Iran and offering a mind blowing beauty, Golestan National Park is registered by the UNESCO. This area is a safe area for animals and visitors can see wild boars getting close to people in peace! There are also a lot of riveres and about 21 fresh water springs in Golestan National park, making it a fabulous place to visit.
Dena National Park
This one is the heaven of mountain climbers and nature lovers and they call it the Alp of Iran! With about 49 peaks with over 4000 meters’ height, Dena Mountain range is located in western Iran in Kohgilouyeh and Boyirahmad Province and offers the most magnificent mountain landscapes and climbing routes of the vast Zagros Mountain range. The highest peak is Bijan which is 4409 meters high. In Dena National Park oak and wild cypress are grown widely and in spring the lower plains are covers in red wild tulips. Also this area is home to 169 species like, brown bear, panther, wild boar, rabbit, rat, caracal, and Iranian yellow deer and many birds like eagle, owls, and etc.
Siah-Kooh National Park
Siah Kooh (literally meaning the black mount) is the most untouched national park in Iran with numerous animal and plant types, which is still unknown for many nature lovers in the world. The least human interference possible and the suitable situation of wild life refuges like valleys, sand dunes and rocks have caused it to be a place where different animals like goat, caracal, Jabir (Iranian deer), cheetah, hedgehog and many more types live. Siah Kooh- National Park also has the suitable plants and water reservoirs required for the desert animals to live easily.