Yazd is a small city surrended by deserts. It has a very unique atmosphere with long yard walls, which form its narrow streets. Almost all the houses are made of adobe. Because of its climate, it has one of the largest networks of qanats, an old system of water supply from a deep well. To deal with the hot summers, many old buildings in Yezd have wind towers, which works as a air conditioner and large underground areas. I’ve tried to provide a small Yazd city guide. Hope you all like it.
YAZD AND ZOROSTRIANISM
Before the Arab conquest of Iran, the city was a Zoroastrian center so there are many buildings built as Zorostrian history.
YAZD CITY GUIDE
TRANSPORTATION IN YAZD
Since Yezd is a small town most places in the “old town” are within walking distance from each other. There are also buses if you want to use.
PLACES TO VISIT IN YAZD
Amir Chakmakh Mosque
When you arrive in Old Town you will directly see Amir Chakmakh Mosque and Complex. It has a perfect arcitechture and there are many places to eat and shop.
It is an example of finest mosaics and excellent architecture. Its minarets are the highest in the country. At night, it is even better. It costs 8.000 Tomans but if you go there after 18:00 you may have a chance to get inside for free.
Vaziri Museum is next to the Jameh Mosque. The entrance fee is 15.000 Tomans. This place is also used as a library. If you do not want to see the museum you can just enter to see the yard, which is very nice.
It is a building, which was neither built by Alexander the great nor a prison. In our opinion there is nothing interesting to see. It doesn’t have a garden so it is a little bit disappointment comparing the other buildings. Entrance fee is 15.000 Tomans. But we discovered a way to visit there for free. The only toilet in the area is inside the Alexander Prison, if you ask the guard to use the toilet he will probably let you go inside.
There is also a tourist information center next to Alexander Prison which you can see safari options.
Tower of Silence (Zoroastrian’s Dakhmeh)
This place is built for dead bodies to be exposed to carrion birds. According to Zoroastrian beliefs the bodies are not placed on the ground because their prescence would corrupt the earth. For the same reason, they don’t cremate heir dead as it would corrupt the air. So they leave dead bodies in a hole at the top of these towers.
The place is a little bit away from the old city. You can use the busses and it is also possible to hitchhike. Entrance fee is 8.000 Tomans for each.
Atashkadeh, Zoroastrian Fire Temple
Atashkadeh is the Zoroastrian fire temple with the fire on the inside has supposedly been burning since 470 AD. Entrance fee is 8.000 Toman for each person. We didn’t see the inside but its garden is also amazing.
In the museum, you can get information about the qanat water distribution system. Since the entrance fee is 15.000 Tomans we didn’t see inside.
CHAK CHAK: AN IMPORTANT PLACE FOR ZOROSTRIAN
Chak Chak is located about 50 km outside of Yezd, which is very near the city of Ardakan. Chak Chak is a holy shrine for Zoroastrians, carved into a cliff overlooking the desert. The history of the place is touching. According to story, Hayat Banoo, the daughter of the last Persian Emperor before Islam, was trying to escape from the enemies. When she was near the this mountain she saw the enemy from a distance. She climbed the mountain. As the enemy approached she looked at the mountain and asked to help her. At the same moment created a gap in the mountain and she disappeared. After a while the mountain started to cry in a memory of her and with these water drops the stick that she was using to climb the mountain became a big tree.
Once upon a time, a shepherd has lost his flocks near here. He looked for his flocks but couldn’t find and came into mountain, tired and frustrated, he drank water and fell asleep. He dreamed his missing flocks in the shelter of a very beautiful woman was saying “build a room in this place in my name and turn of candles and announce others” When he woke up he saw his flocks. In a short time he built the old shrine in cooperation with the Zoroastrians.
For your information it is not a village. It is just a holy place and is crowded usually in Fridays. We recommend you to visit there in the other days of the week. There is only a guardian there and as far as we are informed it is possible to spend the night but be sure you have food because the place is in the middle of the desert and it is impossible to find food.
It is free to visit Chak Chak but you need to pay 5.000 Tomans to visit the room at the top of the building. But if you are lucky enough and the place is not crowded guardian may let you go inside for free as he let us.
CAFE & RESTAURANT
Art House is a very friendly place and you can taste traditional food almost for free. It is one of the cheapest places we have ever been in. Be sure you will enjoy the delicious food. As an example most expensive food is 13.000 Tomans and it is enough for two people. Click for the location.
ACOMMANDATION IN YAZD
We stayed in this lovely hostel in the first night of our visit. There are both dorms and private rooms. They offer free wifi, laundry service, free tea and free buffet style breakfast. There is a nice courtyard with tables as well as with Persian seats. There is also a good view from the roof. You can cook in the kitchen if you want. Click for the location.
CAMPING IN YAZD
There is a tourist information office in the Amir Chaqmaq Complex. There is plenty of maps and helpful staff you can ask for. They will give you for free. They showed us two camping areas in the town, which are safe. If you want to camp, it is very important to have right equipment because it is too cold in the night.