Stories in this Iran Travel Series:
Iran Road Tour: Tehran to Mashhad via the Caspian Coast
- Our Iran road trip is really an Escape
- How to plan a road tour of Iran
- Touring Iran’s countryside: Our first night
- Iran Road Tour: Mt. Damāvand’s first sighting
- Iran road travel: Tehran to Caspian Sea trip
- Iran Caspian Trip: Journey into the clouds
- Touring Iran’s Caspian Region: Filband
- North Iran Tour: Fantastic local food
- Waking in a traditional Iranian village home
- Tour of Caspian Coast: City of Sari
- Mobster turned Moslem servant
- Camping in Iran: Alendan of Mazandaran
- Badab Soort hot springs of north Iran Iran’s Answer To Yellowstone’s Hot Springs
- Our Iran Road Trip > Meeting a shepherd
On our sixth day of our escape from Tehran, we headed for the Badab Soort springs of Iran. It is a famous range of mountainside stepped terraces formed from carbonate deposits.
The title Badab Soort (also spelled Badab-e Surt) comes from Persian words for gaseous water. The name Surt or sort comes from the nearby historic village of Orost. A sign on the property also claims Badab means “the movement of water and wind”.
Badab Soort is 1,840 metres (6,040ft) above sea level. Carbonate deposits accumulated over thousands of years. The deposits come from two different sources of underground water, one salty and one sour.
The salty source is 98 meter below ground. It was measured by dropping a roped weight to the bottom.
It is impossible to swim to the source; the salty water pushes you back up, explained caretaker Seyyed Morteza Gosari, from the village of Ghaleh Sar.
Destruction and protection of Badab Surt
Until a couple of years ago, the spring was unprotected. There were no fences. Tourist could simply step on the formations. Now the terraces are in the hands of the private sector. The area is fenced.
Signs promise criminal prosecution for people who cross the chain barrier, but even that is not enough to stop some rule breakers, Gosari said.
“The foreign visitors are really civilized. Totally different from the Iranians,” he said. “I don’t even have to come out to watch them. But the Irani – you have to tell the Iranians ten times don’t go over the chain or don’t litter.”
Uniqueness of Badab Soort
Signs on the property claim the site is one of only six similar locations around the world, one of the being Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
How to get to Badab Soort
The springs are located 95 km (59 mi) south-east of the city of Sari, and 7 km (4.3 mi) east of Orost village.
This part of Mazandaran Province – the southeastern part of the province – is totally unlike the lush green landscape associated with the coastal province. The beautiful rocky, mountainous landscape is arid, sparsely covered with desert trees and shrubbery.
I’m reminded of northern Arizona or some parts of the California coast, dotted by the occasional farms and herds of goats and sheep.
Entrance fees at Badab Soort
We paid the equivalent of 50 cents USD at the current exchange rate. Non-Iranian visitors are charged $7 USD.
Overnight accommodations at Badab Soort
We could not find any restaurants or overnight accommodations online. However, we saw a sign for an ecolodge nearby, run by: Mohammad Sadati, +98 911 956 9231 or +98 911 969 9231.