In our imagination, forests are a symbol of greenery, freshness, and tall trees with lush branches and flowing springs and a mysterious breeze that caresses the soul of forests. But if you take a look at the Irani-Tourani forests, you’ll realize the endless beauty of Irani-Tourani forests is not like common imagination about woods.

Irani-Tourani forests



In our imagination, forests are a symbol of greenery, freshness, and tall trees with lush branches and flowing springs and a mysterious breeze that caresses the soul of forests. But if you take a look at the Irani-Tourani forests, you’ll realize the endless beauty of Irani-Tourani forests is not like common imagination about woods.

General view

Irani-Tourani forests are the largest vegetation areas of Iran, and since they’re located on the heights of the Iranian plateau, the meaning of the name of this forest is better defined. The spread of these forests is not continual; but, like small and large spots of paint on the canvas, they are scattered in the southern Alborz, northeastern, eastern, part of the southeastern and central areas.

Irani-Tourani forests with an area of almost 4,667,000 hectares cover a wide part of the central Iranian plateau and based on their altitude above sea level, they are divided into mountainous and plain sectors. Irani-Tourani plain regions have mostly consisted of deserts, salt marshes, and dunes; thus, they’re counted as drought and semi-desert climate in which there is a huge temperature difference in hot and cold seasons.


One of the ecological features of the Irani-Tourani forest is low rainfall and intensive drought in the growing season. The average annual rainfall is 130mm, which reaches 800mm in the northern regions and at the heights, the rainfall continues from early autumn to late spring, and most of it is in winter. You can feel the hot days of the African deserts in the summers of this region. Vital activities in the region are halted because of temperature fluctuations due to the coldness and frost of winter and prolonged drought of summer.


Due to the climatic conditions of the region and the extent of these forests, there are many diverse and rich plant species in this region. 69% of the flora_ (collection of plants in this area) of Iran are located in Irani-Tourani forests. The mountainous area of the Irani-Tourani forests is covered with junipers and almonds, pistachios, mountain barberry, etc., and in the plain parts, due to harsh environmental conditions, there are sparse vegetations including species such as Gaz, Haloxylon, calligonum, etc. 


The Irani-Tourani forests are habitats for special species of animals and birds, including mouflon, sheep, Urial, and Persian ibex which are mountainous; and wolf, fox, beech marten, See-see partridges, partridge, starling, snake, and vipers that have made a natural museum of wildlife in the area.

Springs, Rivers, and lakes

The long-term heat and drought of summer are a sign of the thirst in these forests, but you can still enjoy Irani-Tourani forests’ beautiful nature of springs and rivers in some spots, including Nooraly, Zoo-Siyah, and Olang-Heydar cascading waterfalls in Aras forests of Hezar Masjed mountain range; Shar-Shar waterfall in Golian rural district; Ayub hot spring, Mahnan spring, and Mehmanak fountain, Galil and Galian in North Khorasan; Sorkhab river, Cheshmeh Sabz lake, Lut hot spring, and Morteza-Ali hot spring; and important rivers such as Kal-Shur, Atrak, Sumbar, Shirin-Dareh, etc... . All water sources mentioned above are only small parts of the scenic nature of these forests in Khorasan province.

Hiking trails

The advantage of Irani-Tourani forests is that there are many routes to reach these areas. The towns and villages that are covered with these forests are outnumbered, and you have a wide range of options to choose which city or village to reach. Traveling to Irani-Tourani forests can also fulfill your other purposes of travel.

Local community

The dry appearance of Irani-Tourani forests is obvious in the eastern provinces and cities of Iran. A large part of Irani-Tourani woods is located in Khorasan provinces. Observing these forests and Hezar Masjed mountains along with natural landscapes, waterfalls, and springs can draw you one of the most amazing images on your mind.  Forests are covered by valuable plants and precious juniper trees. If you trace walnut orchards and rice paddies of Kalat Naderi, you’ll reach these pretty jungles.

Kalat Naderi, the land of impenetrable fortresses and the capital of Iran in Nader Shah kingdom, one of the kings of Iran in the Afsharid dynasty, presents a combination of history and nature. Eating local foods such as Yakhni makes traveling to these forests much more enjoyable. you can experience a memorable moment among the nomads of this region with their bread, yogurt, and charcoal tea.

Khajeh Kalat pistachio forest and wild pistachio forests that exist in most cities of Khorasan province are unique in their own kind. Do not miss to visit Arghawan valley, which is a plain full of Judas-trees, the trees with purple blooms that are known as the love-trees, in spring. The best option to see a part of this habitat is the National Botanical Garden of Iran in Tehran, which the plain part of the Irani-Tourani vegetation zone has been grown in. There are several boiling springs at the end of Arghawan valley. Locals make baskets in different colors and shapes with the flexible branches of these trees.

Traveling to Khorasan can contain spiritual tourism since there is the shrine of Ali ibn Musa al-Reza, the eighth Imam of Shia Muslims. 


The beauty of forests is more sensible at night. In fact, the exciting part of traveling to the woods begins at night. If you tend to stay in Irani-Tourani forests at night, you need to use the camps and houses in the cities and villages around the forests or the ones built in them. Since these forests are expanded in several provinces of Iran, you can decide where and in which city you are going to stay based on your desires and goals.


Forests’ zones are not certain and they are extended and complicated. If you want to travel to Irani-Tourani forests, it would be much better not to travel there alone. Traveling to these forests with local guides that are familiar with the routes, can ensure your safety and unforgettable memories.

Environmental damages

Irani-Tourani forests are extended and have various climates and different plant species. But because of several reasons including unfavorable ecological conditions, destructive exploitations, and using these woods as fuel, most of these regions are spoiled or ruined. Irregular grazing and developing plans without environmental concerns are also other threats that a lot of jungles are involved in.