Disappear into the lush green mountains of Gilan province and stay overnight in the picturesque hill village of Masouleh.

masouleh village gilan iran by maria oleinik

In the Gilan region is the attractive hill village of Masouleh, over 1,000 years old and 56km west of Rasht via Fuman, which is always cut off by snow during the winter months. When in Fuman, make sure to try the traditional freshly baked and still warm koluche biscuit filled with soft walnut paste. It is also sold in shops around Rasht and even Tehran, but is really the best in Fuman. Some 25km southwest from Fuman up in the mountain forests you find the visually impressive Islamili fort Qaleh Rudkhan, which was rebuilt during Sejluk times. It boasts 65 well-preserved towers and its outer walls stretch 1,500m. You can combine a visit here as part of a one-day trip to Masouleh. Masouleh has managed to retain its charm, thanks to its welcoming residents and stunning nature, despite crowds of young tourists coming here in groups to smoke qalian and relax in one of the local cafés. Go up to the cemetery on the opposite hill for better views of the village.

(Photo: © Maria Oleinik)

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