In the western edge of Alborz range, between Qazvin and Mazandaran province, located the flower-filled and verdurous land of Eagles; Alamut Valley.Mostly referred as land of assassins, the area played a vital role in Iran’s government of the time.
For centuries Alamut was part of Deylami government and so many other local rulers until in 1090 AC the leader of Ismailies after long search for finding best swathe and natural fortresses to start their state for preaching and spreading Ismaili religion, went to Alamut Valley. For 230 years the valley was defended by numerous castles, which the most prominents are Alamut(Gazor khan) and Lambesar castle.
Why you should visit Alamut Valley?
Far from throng and chaos and owing to diversity, high mountains and rich wild life Alamut Valley offers the best hikes in Iran.
The valley is around 270 kilometeres long and Alamut river originating on the western slope of Takht-e Solayman (4,850 m); after joining the Rude Taleqan, it forms the Shahrud which traverses from east to west making fertile lands all around it for farming rice and other vegetables.
There are around 14000 inhabitants living in 215 villages for the time being. Culturally villages in higher elevations are closer to people living in remote villages in Gilan and Mazandaran.
Each village has it own way of living but mostly sheep keeping and farming are main income. In the mountains walnut, hazelnut, apple, cornelian cherry, cherry, grapes are foremost crops.
Depending on season taking a few days hike in inspiring nature of the valley can take you to the most spectacular views and wild life in Iran. In the way there are many possibilities of animal watching like leopard, bear, ibex, viper, Eagle, falcon, fox, jackal, butterfly, boar, rabbit, wolf, wild dog and so many others.
In the northeast of Gazer khan Village and over a monolith mountain with an elevation of 2200m there is a glorious castle culminated in dreadful precipices, which according to Hamdollah Mostowfi was firstly founded in 840 A.D. by Daee Ilalhagh Hassan Ibn Zeidal Bagheri, it was later captured in 1090 A.D. by Hassan Sabbah. The castle is now known as Alamout castle or Hassan‟s Castle.
The only entry to enter the castle that is at the end of the northeast side.
This one was the main castle of assassins but Following Roknodin Khoor Shah’s surrender in 1256 A.D. Holakoo Khan commanded his men to set the castle on fire. The castle was destroyed and from that time on it became a prison until 300 years ago.
The largest castle of assassins is located in northeast part of Razmian with spectacular view of the valley from top of it. The castle is surrounded by deep valleys from the western and eastern sides and with high walls all around it could stand for 18 month against Mongol’s besiege. If you are adventurous enough you can take a hike from Razmian and take the south gate to enter to the castle.
Adjacent to Ovan and Varbon villages, located one of the most magnificent and picturesque Lakes in Iran which attracts numerous domestic and foreign tourists yearly.
The water source are Springs from it’s bottom, supplying it all year long.
Although it is no more than 7.5 meters deep but, it’s the home of several species of fish and plants.
Numerous canyons, caves, waterfalls, castles, springs, nice villages, simple life of people etc will make you an enjoyable stay in the valley.
Owing to the diverse nature of Iran there are hundreds of trails, each of which has a lot to offer.
Among them, trekking in the Alamut Valley which is mostly regarded as the best place to hike in Iran.
There are numerous rivers, high mountains, caravanserai, waterfalls, caves, springs and lakes as well as its wildlife and the simple life of people in the mountains which make the valley worth visiting.
Activities include trekking, photography, camping, rock climbing, paragliding and skiing.
The Alamut Valley is one of the few places in Iran where you can cross from one village to the next and meet local people, but you will rarely find other trekkers doing the same as you.
I used to have a lot of plans for someone who wanted to have a few days of stay in the valley, but after doing a few hundred treks with trekkers I decided that you are the one who will tell me what is the best for you.
1. Plans are mostly for 3 days and 2 nights (but can be longer). 2 day treks are also possible but these might not give you the best opportunities.
2. I operate tours for travellers of any age.
3. You will not be carrying your luggage during the trek, you can leave it at my place which is near Razmian. You will just need a daypack.
4. if you are going to have a trek with me, everything from picking you up in Qazvin and return will be included in the price. (Guiding, transport, accommodation, food).
5.You will find me very flexible about the plans and trek.
6. Nowadays because of an increase in the number of travellers I have some experienced mountaineers who can speak English to help me if necessary.
Mostly travellers are looking for a couple of days hiking in the area, but each has their own preference. For every style I can offer some options, so now, for your best option, please send me an email and descibe these points.
1. The number of people doing the trek.
2. Some places you have hiked before.
3. If you want to experience village life or just do trekking.
4. Whether you prefer camping out or to spend nights in a local house.
5. How many hours per day you would like to trek.
6. Any physical limits that you think I must know, like vertigo, altitude sickness, if you are vegetarian….
7. Equipment you are carrying for the trek.
8. If you do not mind, tell me your nationality.