Head to the city of Kerman Iran, and plan your road trip to the Lut Desert, Bam, Mahan, and Rayen. See our suggestions for a Kerman tour itinerary, a mix of stunning landscape, ancient Silk Road history, and outdoor adventures.
Lut Desert Itinerary
Given the massive size of the region around the Lut Desert, you can plan as little or as much as you can to explore. From what we visited on our end, we would recommend:
- 2-day Kerman tour
- 3-day Lut Desert Itinerary from Kerman to Bam, including Keshit, Rayen, and Mahan.
Of course, you can spend just one day in Kerman, and make your way to Bam and Rayen over two days. This would make a 3-day trip, including Kerman.
- Day 1: Kerman Sightseeing & Fath abad Garden by night
- Day 2: Drive to the Kaluts and then to Keshit.
- Day 3: Keshit Village, Keshit Canyon, and drive to Bam
- Day 4: Arg-e Bam, then drive to Rayen and Rayen Fortress
- Day 5: Mahan, drive to Kerman Towers of Silence
The central hub for any Lut Desert, Kerman has plenty of attractions to keep you busy. From the Ganjali Khan Complex with its old hammam and bustling bazaar, the beautifully illuminated Fath abad Garden, and the sobering Zoroastrian Tower of Silence, plan to spend two days in the city.
Find out more about on our post about top things to do in Kerman.
The Yardang rock formations of the Kaluts Desert are a must-see while in Kerman. The Lut Desert is one of the hottest places on earth, and visiting the area will take you back through time with ancient Silk Road caravanserai, desert oases like Shahdad or Keshit.
Check out Lut Desert post for more information about this Iran desert.
The Bam Fortress, or Arg-e Bam in Persian, was an important center during the Silk Road back to the 6th century BC. The previously abandoned old city of Bam was destroyed by an earthquake in 2003, killing over 26,000 people and destroying much of the town, including the old village and fortress.
A UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004, the city has been renovated, featuring a mix of new sections, ruins, and remains recovered by renovated material. These recovered sections looked like sand castle half-washed away by the waves. Shapeless, mostly made of round angles, the appearance was somewhat in opposition to the regular square angles of still-standing constructions. Standing in a city so ancient and where so many lives were lost not long ago, was genuinely moving.
Entrance Fees: 200,000 IRR per person
The medieval mudbrick city of Rayen is a smaller version of what one might see in Bam but has a beautiful scenic view with the Haraz mountain in the background. The now deserted city was inhabited until 150 years ago and is nicely preserved. We preferred Rayen over Bam, as the state of the castle felt more authentic in its abandoned state. Rayen is easily reached from Kerman.
Entrance Fees: 150,000 IRR per person
The historical Persian of Shazdeh Gardens, also known as Prince Mahan’s Garden, was built in 1850. The complex has two significant structures, the entrance, and the presidential palace, both link by water fountains using the natural incline of the park. Considered one of the most excellent examples of Persian gardens, Shazdeh Mahan Garden has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011.
The architecture of both structures is delightful. However, the garden would be better visited from Spring to Fall. In Winter, the trees, buses, and overall plants are mostly bare, taking away some of the splendor of what the garden must be when the vegetation is in full display.
Entrance Fees: 200,000 IRR per person
Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine
The last stop of our 3-day trip from Kerman including the Lut Desert and Bam, the Shah Nematollah Vali Shrine is the mausoleum of Shah Nematollah Vali, a famous Iranian poet, who died in 1431.
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