Kandovan Village: Carved into History

ToIranTour - Kandovan Village

Kandovan Rocky Village

ToIranTour - Kandovan Rocky Village
Photo by Yas.honar on Wikimedia

In Northwestern Iran, Kandovan village is a true ancient wonder, dating back over seven thousand years. Just an hour outside Tabriz, it’s often compared to the famous Cappadocia, but with fewer crowds and a more natural feel. What makes Kandovan truly special is its unique homes, carved right into the rocky mountainsides. These houses, which resemble caves, have been around since the 7th century AH, and maybe even earlier. People come from all over the world to see these fascinating dwellings, marveling at their ancient charm.

But Kandovan has more than just interesting houses to offer. The village is also famous for its mineral water, known for its healing properties. For centuries, people have come here seeking relief from various ailments, finding comfort in the therapeutic springs. As you wander through the village’s rocky streets, you not only step back in time but also find a peaceful retreat amidst nature’s wonders. In Kandovan, history and healing blend together, inviting visitors to explore its timeless beauty and recharge their spirits in its tranquil surroundings.

Kandovan Village History

Traveling back through time, we uncover the fascinating story of Kandovan, a village with a past steeped in migration, survival, and cultural mix-ups. More than 700 years ago, or maybe even longer, this village nestled in northwest Iran welcomed Turkic tribes seeking safety and new beginnings. Experts guess that Kandovan likely started around the late 1200s or 1300s, but some old findings hint it could be way older.

Legend has it that the Hileh Var tribe found refuge in Kandovan’s cliffs, escaping the chaos of Mongol attacks. These natural rock shelters not only kept them safe but also cozy in winter and cool in summer. They carved out rooms in the cliffs, known as ‘Karan,’ making windows and decorating them with colorful glass over time.

Walking through Kandovan’s ancient homes, you can feel the stories of the past echoing through the rocks. These sturdy cliff houses, standing strong despite the years, tell tales of people’s resilience. From the first settlers to today’s residents, each generation has left its mark on Kandovan, shaping its story with their hard work and determination. As the sun sets, casting shadows on the rocky walls, you can’t help but be amazed by the enduring charm of this village, a living reminder of human strength and perseverance.

In Kandovan, history whispers through the stone, sharing stories of triumph and struggle, creating a tale as lasting as the cliffs themselves.

Kandovan Geology

ToIranTour - Kandovan Geology
Photo by mahyar shahbazi on Unsplash

Situated in the southern reaches of Tabriz, Sahand Mountain proudly stands as one of Iran’s top volcanic marvels, shaping the land around it in fascinating ways. Across countless years, the volcanic forces of Sahand crafted a scene that’s anything but ordinary, giving rise to the captivating Kandovan rock formations through the patient work of rain, wind, and snow.

Imagine a village right into the side of a cliff, its houses fashioned from sturdy stone, all thanks to Sahand’s fiery past. These cone-shaped homes, resembling beehives, create a striking sight against the mountain’s rugged backdrop. Inside, secrets of the past echo through the maze-like chambers—stables, storage spaces, and rooms, all carved with care from the rock.

Some of these houses reach a height of 40 meters, with thick walls standing strong against the ages. Yet, amidst the ancient charm, modern comforts like water, gas, and electricity seamlessly blend in. Wander through the village’s winding paths, shaped by the gentle flow of water, and discover a world where time feels like it’s standing still—a place where markets, crafts, and echoes of history come together in the timeless embrace of Kandovan’s streets.

Kandovan Village Architecture

ToIranTour - Kandovan Village Architecture
Photo by Adam Jones on Wikimedia

In Kandovan Rocky Village, architecture isn’t just about building; it’s about working with nature’s rough beauty. The way they build with rocks isn’t just a way of making houses; it’s about showing how people can deal with tough conditions. Instead of using normal building stuff like gypsum and clay, they carve their homes right into the rock, blending them perfectly with the natural land.

These rock houses are like timeless wonders, showing off the skill of people from long ago. They’re built with care and detail, with lots of floors and fancy designs, each one telling its own story of tradition and craft. And because they’re made of rock, they keep the inside comfy all year round, shielding residents from the hot summers and chilly winters, showing how buildings and nature can work together.

Kandovan Village Things to Do

ToIranTour - Kandovan Village Things to Do
Photo by Adam Jones on Wikimedia

Kandovan Village Handicrafts

One of Kandovan village things to do is exploring its world of Iranian handicrafts, where locals weave stories into every piece. From cozy carpets to colorful rugs, the village brims with handmade treasures. Each creation is a labor of love, showcasing the region’s rich culture and history.

But Kandovan’s craftsmanship doesn’t stop there. Here, you’ll also find Kalaghe scarves, woven with care from soft cotton or wool. These scarves aren’t just accessories—they’re symbols of tradition, handed down through families for generations. Wrap yourself in Kandovan’s heritage with one of these special pieces, each a testament to the skill of its maker.

Kandovan Village Food

As you stroll through Kandovan’s charming streets, you’ll find a world of tasty treats waiting to be savored. Honey is the star here, a sweet souvenir that captures the essence of the village’s rocky landscape. But that’s not all – Kandovan also boasts crunchy walnuts, creamy almonds, and irresistible dried fruits, all bursting with flavor.

When it’s time to eat, Kandovan village food doesn’t disappoint. Breakfast is a delight with fresh dairy products, while lunch and dinner bring hearty local dishes like Dizi, Tabrizi meatballs, and Kebab to the table. Each bite is a taste of Kandovan’s culinary tradition, inviting you to savor the simple joys of village life.

How to Get to Kandovan Village

ToIranTour - Get to Kandovan Village
Photo by Bamdadxxx on Wikimedia

By Car

To reach Kandovan rocky village by car, start from Oskoo town in East Azerbaijan province. Head south and pass through Esfanjan town. At the end of the road, take a left turn to reach Kandovan.

By Bus

If you don’t have a car, you can take a bus from Oskoo. Enjoy the ride as you make your way to Kandovan village.

If you’re planning a trip to Kandovan rocky village, mark your calendar for spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November). These are the perfect seasons to visit when the weather is just right for outdoor fun. With sunny days and cool nights, you can wander through the village and its surroundings comfortably. Spring and autumn offer the best mix of pleasant weather and beautiful scenery for your adventures.

Where to Eat Near Kandovan Village

Haj Ghorban Restaurant

Haj Ghorban Restaurant serves up a mix of traditional and modern dishes, like kebabs and stews. It’s a cozy spot where you can relax and enjoy your meal.

Babaei Traditional Yard

Babaei Traditional Yard is all about authentic Persian food. From flavorful rice dishes to delicious meat plates, every bite tells a story of tradition and care.

Bagh Fadak

And if you’re looking for a peaceful meal surrounded by nature, head to Bagh Fadak. Here, you can sip on refreshing drinks and savor the local flavors in a beautiful setting. Whether you’re a tired traveler or just love good food, these restaurants have something special for everyone.

Where to Stay Near Kandovan Village


In the world of fancy places to stay near Kandovan Village, the classy Laleh Kandovan Hotel takes the crown. With its 5-star status, it’s all about luxury and jaw-dropping views. Each room is super fancy, promising a stay that’s all about feeling posh and relaxed.

If you’re on a tighter budget but still want a comfy spot, check out the 3-star Toral Suites Rocky Hotel. It’s cozy, affordable, and surrounded by beautiful scenery. Perfect for travelers who want to enjoy Kandovan village without spending a fortune.


Now, if you’re up for some countryside vibes, check out the ecolodges like Tural, Dariush, Homa, Sahand, and Kurdi Gonesh. The ecolodges are all about getting cozy in nature. They give you a taste of village life and blend right in with the surroundings. Whether you’re after luxury, watching your wallet, or fancying a rustic adventure, Kandovan village and its nearby stays have something for everyone.

Other Attractions Near Kandovan Village

Amidst the stunning scenery around Kandovan village, you’ll find plenty of mineral springs. People come here to use the water for healing, like treating kidney stones. There’s even a cistern built over one of the springs for protection.

Plus, down in Kandovan valley, there’s a cozy resort open to visitors all year. Whether you’re soaking in the mineral waters or enjoying the calm of the resort, these natural spots near Kandovan village offer a peaceful retreat for everyone.

FAQs about Kandovan Village

Q1: What is the story of the Kandovan village?

A1: Long ago, when the Mongols attacked, folks found safety in Kandovan, a special place on the Sahand mountains. They made homes there by carving into the mountain sides. It’s the only village like this still around today.

Q2: How old is the Kandovan village?

A2: Kandovan Village probably started in the late 1200s or early 1300s, but some say these homes might be from as early as the 600s. Archaeologists even suggest they could be up to 7,000 years old.

Q3: What is Kandovan famous for?

A3: Kandovan stands out because it’s one of the rare rocky villages where folks still reside. It’s famous for its stone houses, shaped like cones, carved by hand into the mountainside at the mountain’s base.

Q4: How to get to Kandovan?

A4: You have two options to get to Osku: you can take a direct minibus for 30 cents, which takes about an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus to Sahand and then a shared taxi to Osku. From there, you’ll find shared taxis to Kandovan, but they’re not very frequent or easy to find. You’ll likely need to hire a private taxi for the picturesque 20-minute trip to Kandovan.

Q5: Do people live in caves in Iran?

A5: The people living in Kandovan village in northwest Iran have embraced a modern cave-dweller lifestyle. They reside in homes carved from rock that are about 700 years old!

Last Words: Discover the Best of Kandovan Village with a Customized Tour

In northwestern Iran, Kandovan village is a really old place, going back over seven thousand years. It’s close to Tabriz, about an hour away. What’s really cool about Kandovan is that the houses are carved right into the rocky mountainsides. They look like caves and have been there since at least the 7th century AH, maybe even longer. Lots of folks from all over the world visit to see these neat homes and appreciate their ancient charm.

When planning your trip to Iran to explore the captivating charm of Kandovan Village, consider opting for customized tours. Choosing Iran tours and travel packages from To Iran Tour ensures a smooth and enjoyable journey. Our team specializes in crafting personalized itineraries that cater to your interests and needs.

Let To Iran Tour guide you through the beauty of Kandovan Village and beyond, ensuring that your trip to Iran is everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

A Unique and Picturesque Village in Iran

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