Iranian Kurdistan Travel guide
Sanandaj UNESCO Creative city of Music-Iranian Kurdistan

Travel to Iranian Kurdistan


Kurdistan Introduction

Iranian Kurdistan with 21137 sq./m is located in the west of Iran with a joint border with Iraq. It’s one of the destinations of Iran that offers you a lot of Off the Beaten track for those who are looking for new experiences. Depending on your travel style and the type of activity you would like to do, you could travel to Iranian Kurdistan from one week up to one month. Most Iran visitors who already visited the Main tourist destinations of Iran travel to Kurdistan as a cultural tour. They only visit a couple of spots mentioned in the guidebooks. Also, most of the tours designed to visit Kurdistan are two to three-week tours of northwestern and western Iran, which spend only one or more days in this province and actually pass through this province and cannot explore the attractions of this region and understand the intangible highlights of this exotic destinations. Kurdistan has a long list of attractions for travelers and in this article, we try to mention the main important highlights of the province.

Bisotun - Kermanshah UNESCO site
Bisotun Inscription – UNESCO Site in Kermanshah province, Iran


Kurdish Region locations

The Kurdish region of Iran is a geographical area in northwestern Iran that has been historically and is presently inhabited by a predominantly Kurdish population. This region includes parts of three Iranian provinces; the Kordestan Province, the Kermanshah Province, and the West Azerbaijan Province. These three Iranian provinces share borders with parts of Iraq and Turkey that are also inhabited by the Kurds.

Iran Kurdish Population regional map
Iranian Provinces with significant Kurdish population


West Azerbaijan Province

Kurdistan Province


Kermanshah Province


Kurdish People

The Kurdish people have inhabited the northwestern region of Iran for centuries – dating back before the Islamic conquests of the 7th century. It is believed that the Kurdish language was derived from Persian dialects in the early centuries AD, and that the Kurdish people represent a diverse range of tribal and ethnic groups from the region.




Kurdistan Attractions

Sanandaj is the capital of Kurdistan province and with a distance of 458 km from the capital city of Tehran. Sanandaj is a touristic city with many attractions. The old bazaar of Sanandaj, Asef monument “the Cord house”, Jameh mosque, Khosro Abaad historical monument, Sanandaj museum and the Kurdish wooden artworks are the most important tourist attraction of this city. UNESCO has chosen Sanandaj as the Creative City of Music in Iran and Tanbor and Daf are the very important instruments made in Iranian Kurdistan. Music and instrument both have a special relation with the culture of Kurdish people.


Marivan city is another highlight of Kurdistan and it’s located at the border of Iraq. Zarivar Lake and the untouched villages around it makes a very spectacular view of nature in this attractive city. The birds around the lake are one of the main spots for birdwatchers in Iran. Baneh, Bijar, Divan Dareh, Sarv Abad, Saggez and Kamyaran are the other attractive cities of Iranian Kurdistan for traveling which has different highlights.


The countryside, the special architecture of the villages, the spectacular view of the mountains with amazing landscape, the famous music of Kurdistan, the food, the culture and history of Kurdish people, their famous wooden handicrafts and most of all their hospitality make Kurdistan a destination for experienced travelers. Iranian Kurdistan is very important for its exotic village and mountain landscape. This province has 79 small towns and 1767 villages, which are located in the mountain regions with different natural attractions. Iranian Kurdistan has the most attractive villages in Iran which are unknown to international travelers. If you have a look at the Kurdistan Villages Photo Gallery, you will get more of an idea about the scenery of the villages in Uramanat valley. Palangan, Bisaraan, Jenin, Harsin, Uraman Takht, Zhivar, Bolbar, Selin, Kalji, Novin, Hajij, Dezli, Dagagah, Payegalan, Galeh  Jee, Nav, Avihang and Zarab are the most famous villages that you have to visit during your travel in Iranian Kurdistan.

Sanandaj UNESCO Creative city of Music-Iranian Kurdistan


Music is one of the most important icons of this region. The children grow up with music surrounding them and the famous Kurdish dance is one of the most beautiful dances in Iran. Uraman valley also called Uramanat, is the best travel highlight of Kurdistan which has many exotic villages inside and UNESCO has registered “The Cultural Landscape of Hawraman” on the list of Iranian world heritage sites in 2021. 



Along the above attractions, Iranian Kurdistan is famous for its annual festivals and ceremonies. Some of the festivals have the traditional Kurdish dance included. The most famous one is the Nowruz festival “the Persian New Year”. In this province, the Nowruz Festival happens two times. Kurdish Nowruz which is around 20 March and is mostly performed in the southern parts of Hawramanat valley and the second festival is Persian Nowruz which is performed from 21-25 March. All of Nowruz festivals in Iranian Kurdistan region has traditional music of their region along the famous Kurdish dance with them. Pire Shaliar music festival “Zesaven” is another important annual festival which is performed in beginning of February on Uaraman Takht village located in Hawramanat valley. Komsay is another festival performed in the beginning of May in Uraman Takht village as well.


Activities and Things to Do in Iranian Kurdistan


Cultural Exploration in Kurdistan

For who are interested in cultural attractions, anthropology visits, and natural exploring, you could have a one or two-week journey to visit the Kurdish regions of Iran in two provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan. In Kermanshah province, you have to visit Kermanshah city and Tagh-e Bostan inscription along with the UNESCO site of Bisotun. Kermanshah is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy and the famous sweets of this city should be on your to try list.

Iran Creative City of Gastronomy


If you are interested in music, there are a couple of towns that are famous for making Tanbur (a musical instrument), they are very interesting to visit. In Kurdistan, the combination of the main highlights of Sanandaj and Marivan cities along with exploring different rural areas would be the main spot for your cultural visit. Sanandaj is the UNESCO Creative City of Music. An intensive 10 days tour of Explore Iranian Kurdistan and Kermanshah is a tailored made Adventure Iran journey that covers all the above sites. On this tour, we have included the Cultural Landscape of Hawraman, the recent UNESCO world heritage site of Iran as well.

Sanandaj Logo



Trekking in Iranian Kurdistan

If you are interested in having a trekking tour in Iran, Iranian Kurdistan is one of the most exotic regions you could travel to in Iran. If you have no time to have a long trek in each village of Uramanat, you could have a couple of days of short trekking around the villages. Palangan, Oraman Takht, Doolab and Zhivar are the most popular regions you could hike in Kurdistan. For those who are interested in high mountains and peaks, Shaho Mountains is the best mountain you could ascend in the region. Shaho is the name of a mountain chain located in the central Zagros Mountains range. Shaho chains have different peaks above 3000 m for ascending and the highest peak is 3390 m in altitude, which is the highest mountain in Kurdistan province. If you are a serious trekker and would like to have an epic trekking holiday, Iranian Kurdistan Trail and Explore West of Iran, is an Adventure Iran long trekking tour that is customized for Iranian Kurdistan.  

Mules carrying hiking luggage- Iran journey

Kurdish Lady Iranian Kurdistan

Iranian Kurdistan Trail and Explore West of Iran

One of the most authentic Adventure Iran’s hiking tour through Iranian Kurdistan and explore undiscovered rural regions
15 Days
May, Jun, July, Aug, Sep, Oct


Photography Travel to Kurdistan

One of the main reasons that encourage travelers to visit Kurdistan is the act of Photography. In all the above regions and trip types, you have a chance to take nice pictures but if you have a special interest in photography or you are a photographer yourself, you have to make plans for a special photography trip in Kurdistan. Kurdistan has one of the most amazing landscapes in all photography destinations in Iran. Huge mountains, canyons, rivers, various valleys and the star of the show, villages created with stone houses and unique architectural styles make this region the best destination for landscape photography in Iran. Landscape Photo Gallery of Kurdistan will give you better a better understanding of doing photography in Iranian Kurdistan.


People are also another important subject for photography in Kurdistan. Nice and friendly Kurdish people are familiar with the camera and are comfortable in their pictures being taken. They have special characteristics and unique clothes. The men have different colored uniforms with a shaal as their belt and some of them have special jackets called Seh Lateh. Some of them wear a shaal in their head called Seh Royen and a few of the old people wear another special warm jacket called Faranji. The women have very interesting dresses made of different colors and a tight jacket, which has sequin embroidery designs. In ceremonies or special festivals, women wear very different types of Kurdish dress, which are eye-catching and mesmerizing.


The lifestyle of these tough people living in the mountains and villages would be another subject for your photo travel. Women work alongside men in the family as a team. It will be a very interesting lifestyle to experience, full of bits of knowledge for travelers.

Adventure Iran, as a specialist tour operator for photo trips in the country, has created different Iran photography tours in special regions like Kurdistan. Kurdistan Photography Travel is a 10 days customized tour created after many travels done with the purpose of photography in mind. It’s a combination of all the above types of photography. Our experienced guides for this trip will help you to get in touch with people who have their own language and culture.

Iranian Kurdistan Photography Tour

Iranian Kurdistan Photography Tour

The most amazing Iran Photo Tour through Kurdish Tribes of Iran for Portrait and Landscape Photography to experience something different
11 Days
Apr, May, Jun, Sep, Oct


Best season and time to travel to Iranian Kurdistan

It is very important to know when the best time to Travel to Iran is and one of the main typical questions of many travelers is about Iran’s climate and weather. This fact is getting more important when you combine your activity part of the trip with your cultural-historical part of Iran. Spring and the beginning of autumn are the general times of visit for Kurdistan. Our recommendation For those who are doing the Classic Iran tour and would like to visit Kurdistan in spring, is to travel to this region after their cultural-historical classic visit to the country. For others who do it in autumn, we advise visiting Kurdistan before their classic trip as this province gets cold at the end of autumn.

Kurdish Girl-Iranian Kurdistan People Photography
A Kurdish girl in Palangan Village – Hawraman Valley, Iranian Kurdistan


Photographers who would like to have a Kurdistan Photography Tour, March, April and May are the best time to travel for landscape photography but you have to be aware of Nowruz “the Persian New Year” during your trip. Photography of people or a combination of different types of photography, can be done in spring or autumn. If you are doing a trekking tour in Kurdistan, May, June, September, and October are the best travel time for trekking.  

Note: May is the busiest time for Kurdistan as a lot of local travelers visit this province and you have to book your tour or accommodations in advance. If you are interested in joining the Kurdish music festival or seeing Kurdish people from different tribes, please get in touch.


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