A Guide to Yazd

Yazd is one of the cities located in Iran in the middle of the Iranian Plateau. It is surrounded by several unique and vast deserts and mountains. This city has been one of the most popular travel destinations of Iran for years. The historic region of the city of Yazd was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2017. This was due to the genius use of resources to survive the desert life that is represented in the Qantas system and several kinds of structures around the city such as, underground and mud brick structures, and Wind catchers. Accordingly, Yazd is known as the ancient city of Wind Catchers. Now, what is it that has made this city one of the top destinations in Iran?

Cold cities of Iran
alley in Yazd

The Story of Yazd

The ancient history the city starts when the desert people decided to use this land in the best way to build their houses from indigenous materials. This city has been a witness to the several dynasties and generation that ruled over Iran.  Through time, the invention and development of several techniques and architectural structures to survive the desert life by special water and cooling systems has represented Yazd as one of the extraordinary cities of Iran. Of these special systems, the Qantas system were used to extract water from the heart of the desert and the surrounding mountains to the city. The houses, narrow alleys and passageways are built in a way to decrease the effects of hot desert days. Also, all around the city, you can see several erected structures known as Wind Catchers. These Wind Catchers work as a way to harness the violent winds of desert. As mentioned before, this is the reason that Yazd is famously known as the UNESCO Recognized city of Wind Catchers.

What Makes Yazd Exceptional?

If you are interested in traveling to Yazd, here we have gathered some information to give you a complete picture of Yazd. In this way, you will be able to see how the history of Yazd, its nature, culture and lifestyle of its people along with the masterpieces of Zoroastrian and Islamic architecture have made Yazd an exceptional destination. There are some charming sights in Yazd that you cannot afford to miss, including the cultural and natural attractions, the things you can do, the local food that you can only try in Yazd, and its special handicrafts and souvenirs.

Need to Know

People & the cultural customs of Yazd

The locals of Yazd speak Farsi just like the people around Iran but they mostly speak Farsi through Yazdi Dialect. The followers of the religions Islam, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity can be found around Yazd. You can find the patience and social peace of desert dwellers reflected in the characteristics of the locals of Yazd. According to their religious beliefs and traditions, there are several ceremonies and customs held in different times of the year in Yazd and its different provinces. One of the world famous ceremonies held yearly in Yazd is the mourning ceremony of Muharram and the special Nakhl Gardani Ritual.

What is the best time to travel to Yazd?

Yazd is surrounded by famous deserts of Dasht-e Lut and Dasht-e Kavir and two mountain ranges. If you are planning to camp in the desert and visit the attractions of this city, the best time is during March, October, and November. During these months, the hot and dry summer days are over and the autumn days and nights are not as cold but rather refreshing. If you have camping plans, we advise you to avoid the cold winter nights of desert from December to March.

What is the best way to get to Yazd?

Since Yazd is about a 4-hour car ride away from the popular cities of Isfahan and Shiraz in Iran, most tourist prefer to have a private driver for traveling to these cities. This being said, there are other ways to get there according to your preference. Currently, there is no direct international flight to Yazd. But, if you are planning to get there by plane, you can book direct domestic flights from Tehran, Mashhad, and Bandar Abbas. On the other hand, you can reach Yazd by getting on trains from Tehran, Mashhad, Bandar Abbas, Kashan, and Zahedan. You can also book intercity bus tickets from major cities of Iran to Yazd. If you need a private guide, driver or simply if you need to book domestic flights, trains or intercity buses, you can get the best deals through Travelopersia.

How to get around Yazd

Most of the attractions in Yazd are located within close walking distance to each other. On top of this, exploring the narrow alleys of the old and traditional part of Yazd, known as Fahadan quarter, is preferably done by walking. Yet, if you need to travel to places that are quite a distance away such as the Tower of Silence or other attractions, you can use online taxi apps or find taxis and taxi stations around the city. You can also use the bus, based on this map, to get around.

Amir chakhmaq complex
temple of fire

The City Map

Trip Ideas

If you are planning to visit Yazd, you can not only find magnificent and unique historical highlights, but also, you can hike through the desert and enjoy the beauty of one of the most special deserts in Iran. Further, we are going to represent to you the touristic attractions and sights of Yazd. You can find more information on these attractions by checking out our Blog’s posts.

Tower of Silence (Zoroastrian Dakhmeh)

one of the peculiar structures left from the ancient times when Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion in Iran is this Zoroastrian cemetery. These cemeteries are placed on top of hills where dead bodies were gathered to be picked clean by the vultures. The remains of the bodies were then buried. You can watch the sunrise or sunset in the ambience of the tower of silence and the ancient ruins around it.

Fire Temple (Atashkadeh)

another point of interest which is a reminiscent of Zoroastrian religion is this Fire Temple. An everlasting fire has been burning in the heart of it for more than 1500 years.

Jameh Mosque of Yazd

while visiting Iran you will come across several mosques, each with specific features. What makes this mosque different from any other mosque is its tall minarets and special architectural details. You can find different types of inscriptions and tile works by visiting this 14th century mosque.

Fahadan Quarter

one of the must-see places is the historic city of Yazd that rests in the heart of this city. The history of this vast quarter dates back to hundreds of years ago. Through its narrow alleys and mud-brick houses you can see several Wind Catchers. Most of the attractions are located here.

Traditional Houses

while walking through the ancient alleys of the Fahadan Quarter, you would came across several traditional houses. Yazd Art House and Lari House are two of these traditional houses. You can have an extraordinary view over the Fahadan Quarter and the Wind Catchers by going up to the rooftops of these houses.

Amir Chakhmag Complex

This famous square is one of the main symbols of the city of Yazd. While exploring this complex, you can walk through the Bazaar and also visit the caravanserai, a tekyeh, a bathhouse.

Dolat Abad Garden

this UNESCO recognized garden has been one of the best examples of Persian Gardens for more than three centuries. The tallest clay Wind Catcher in the world is placed in the heart of it.

If you have extra time visiting this wonderful city, you can also check out these attractions:

  • The Water Reservoirs (Ab Anbar ) of Six Wind Catchers
  • Alexander’s (Eskandar) Prison
  • Yazd Water Museum
  • Markar Museum( Zoroastrian History and Culture Museum)
  • Chak Chak (Zoroastrian Temple)
  • Hazireh Mosque

On top of this, you can explore other provinces of Yazd. You can visit the ancient and clay city of Meybod. Narin Castle, Pigeon Tower, and Meybod Caravanserai are of the marvels of this province in Yazd. Abarkuh, Ardakan, Bafq, Mehriz, Ashkezar, and Taft are of the other provinces of Yazd.

Local Food & Signature Dishes

Just like any other city in Iran, here has its own delicious and special dishes to offer. These dishes range from a variety of stews namely Gheymeh Yazdi and Ash Shooli to sweet deserts and a special coffee named Ghahve Yazdi. You can try all of these at several restaurants and cafes around the city and especially the ones located in Fahadan Quarter. Here is a list of hand-picked Restaurants and Cafes in Yazd.

Handicraft & Souvenirs

Aside from the postcards, magnets, books, and the famous local food (Special Yazdi sweets and bread) of Yazd, you can find a wide range of handicrafts to buy as a piece of your collection or as unique souvenirs. While exploring Yazd, you can find many stores selling the traditional handicrafts of the city. You can also find some modern artwork, clothing, and jewelry shops around the city. Except from the Old Bazar of Yazd, you can find these shops near the major attractions. Here is the list of some of the most special Handicrafts:

  • Daraie weaving or Ikat, a type of weaving and dying of soft silk fabrics that is especially done in Yazd.
  • Pottery and Ceramics which are presented in several symbolic patterns.
  • Termeh Weaving , one of the ancient handicrafts of Iran.
  • Kilim (Gelim) is a special kind of rug. The patterns and types of Kilims are different in different cities of Iran.
  • Carpet weaving, one of Yazd’s main handicrafts.
  • Zilo Weaving, a kind of light hand-woven rug which is mostly practiced in Meybod ( one of the provinces of Yazd).
  • Giveh Weaving by durable materials. Giveh is a type of shoe made out of special materials that is mostly worn in the rural parts of the country.
  • Metal forgery, a traditional ironwork by blacksmith of Yazd.

Explore the City