Vardij mountains
Explore Tehran,  Iran Travel Guide

One Day Trip From Tehran: Vardij & Varish Villages

Seeing spring coming, it`s almost impossible to stay home. That`s why at the end of March, on the first day off, my husband and I picked up a backpack, hopped in the car and drove out of the city. This time, we were going to a place recommended to us by our friends years ago. And finally, its time came! We set off to two small villages lost in the mountains right outside Tehran: Vardij and Varish which are famous for human-shaped mountains formed by the wind and beautiful gardens (look for the map in the end of the post).

 

spring blossom

We expected to see two cute little villages with rows of cherry trees in blossom and a thrilling view on huge human-shaped mountains, but… we saw two wrecked villages, just one tree already in blossom and mountains that hardly resembled any living creature! Well, it happens sometimes in Iran. People talk excitedly about a place, let`s say a waterfall, on the Internet, you see lots of amazing posts about it, but when you actually get there, you see a small stream. And sometimes you`ll never know until you visit this place. So be ready to get disappointed when you decide to visit a less popular place.

Old houses
Although partially village houses are being rebuilt, some of them are still falling apart.
Rural life
The reality of rural life in Iran
Spring`s coming

Nevertheless, we managed to enjoy ourselves climbing the mountains, taking photos and having a picnic in bright spring sun. What else do you need for a nice afternoon outside the city?

Vardij mountains
These are human-shaped mountains Vardij village became famous for.
Visiting Vardij and Varish villages made me think about one thing about touristy sights in Iran. When a place becomes popular, lots of people decide to go there. But that would be okay, if Iranians knew how to behave on a trip. But unfortunately, they don`t. When they come to a quiet place, they shout to test it; when they see a garden in blossom (beautiful, although private), they break in to have a picnic under the trees; when they visit a natural attraction, they go in the middle of it to take a picture, causing sometimes destruction; when they go to untouched nature, they leave piles of litter… When Vardij and Varish villages became popular for their quietness and beautiful gardens, its people removed the sign to their villages from the highway.

UPDATE 2020

Having stuck at home for a few months due to the coronavirus situation, we were ready to go wherever but just leave the city and take a grasp of some fresh air. A friend of mine had recently gone for a picnic to Varish and was super excited about the place. And I thought, why not give it another chance?

Flowers around Vardij
Flowers around Vardij village

And now I can say it was a great idea! The surroundings of Vardij and Varish villages look much better in middle May. As soon as you enter the road leading to the villages, you are surrounded by greenery, a mountain river, and lots of field flowers. The road winds up higher and higher in the mountains when it finally reaches Vardij village.

We stopped slightly further the main tourist attraction – the so-called human-shaped mountains. Although we took a turn into a different direction and found ourselves in a beautiful, peaceful spot. It had everything we were longing for – an easy hike, sounds of nature and some fresh air.

My favorite spot right beside Vardij village
My favorite spot right beside Vardij village

Actually, after visiting Vardij for the second time, I realized that it can actually make a great spot to escape Tehran – it`s less than an hour away from Tehran, it`s easily reachable by car, offers a few nice spots for a picnic, and room for a hike. While we were there, we even saw 2 cyclists who apparently came from Tehran. I also found some information on the Internet that some people take a longer hike all the way to Sangan Waterfall (around 40 km away from Varish village) and Kondor village (another amazing village that can make a perfect one day trip from Tehran).

HOW TO FIND?  Use this map

WHEN TO GO?  Late spring would be perfect, early summer and I`m sure, in autumn when the gardens in the villages turn yellow and red, it will look amazing too.

 

If you are looking for more places where you can spend a day away from the hustle and bustle of Tehran, check out Shahrestanak village.

 

I hope you are planning your escape to Vardij village already! What`s YOUR favorite village around Tehran? Can`t wait to read your recommendations in comments section right below!

 

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