Yazd is another of the don’t miss destinations in Iran. Without the world class sights of Esfahan or Shiraz the city presents winding lanes with mud brick houses to create a unique atmosphere for every visitor.
The night bus from Shiraz to Yazd arrived at the bus station ahead of time, which meant that I couldn’t get much sleep. The bus station is well outside the city, which meant that walking to my hostel was not a possibility. Fortunately, there are always local buses and I got one that was filled with local young students on their way to school. It was probably 6 in the morning.
The local bus didn’t stop in the center, something that I was kind of expecting, so I had to walk a little bit until I reached the Yazd Star Hostel, a cheap and new hostel near all the main attractions. The hostel was still not finished and the staff working there doesn’t seem to have a lot of experience with tourists, however the room and the breakfast were very good.
Straight away after checking in I went on foot to explore what Yazd had to offer. The town is small and it’s very easy to reach every corner by walking. One of the first things that everybody notices is the unique Persian Architecture of the Wind Catchers, an ancient architecture that allows buildings to hava fresh air inside.
The Amir Chakhmakh Complex is a prominent structure and Yazd noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves. It is probably the most beautiful building in Yazd and I totally recommend anyone to spend some time there at night when the lights create a stunning atmosphere.
At the south end part of the city, there’s a Zoroastrian Fire Temple. It’s a bit of a stretch to get there (if you walk like I did) and I don’t really think that it’s worth the hassle. However, one of the only money changers in the city is located there, so it’s not a bad idea to combine the two of them if you need to get some money.
After strolling around the city lanes, visiting some tea/coffee shops with nice rooftops, there’s not really much more that you can do in the center, so I decided to have a day trip to the Chak Chak Temple, Meybod & Kharanaq. You’ll have no difficulties finding transportation and other travelers, because every accomodation offers this tour and groups people accordingly. We shared our car with a young Australian guy and an old Japanese man with 70+ years that was travelling all by himself with little knowledge of English to help him.
The first stop was Kharanaq, an abandoned mud-brick village built more than 1000 years ago. Nobody lives there anymore, so you can navigate your way through houses and their roofs which are kind of connected to each others. Next up was Chak Chak, a small village that is an important pilgrimage site for Zoraestrians.
On our way back to our last stop, the Meybod’s Narin Castle, a mishap happened. A tour bus driver, when trying to turn, miscalculated its angle and the following image describes what happened after. It took a while, but soon enough everything was good and we were on our way to our last destination.
I think that 2 full days, using one of them to do a day trip, is more than enough to explore what Yazd has to offer. The town is charming and lovely, but that’s about it. The day trip though, is very much recommended and I’m glad I didn’t skip it.
In order to get to the Yazd bus station I got lucky in being able to get a Snapp car available early in the morning so I didn’t have to bargain with the taxi drivers. There are multiple options to get to Varzaneh, we opted to go first to Esfahan and from there it’s easy to get a local bus (minivan) to Varzaneh.
How to get there and away
- Overnight bus from Shiraz (~6 hours). The bus goes from the Shiraz's Karandish bus station to the Yazd main bus station. From here you can catch a local bus to the town center.
- Local bus from the Karandish bus station in Yazd to Esfahan. When you arrive at the Esfahan bus station, just ask for the local bus to Varzaneh.
What to do/see
- Historical winding lanes of Yazd.
- Jameh Mosque.
- Amir Chakhmakh complex.
- Zoroastrian Fire Temple.
- Kharanaq abandoned village.
- Chak Chak Temple.
Where to sleep
- Yazd Star Hostel, 20€ for a double bed with private bathroom.