As the overwhelming heat of Tehran made days spent out brutal and exhausting, cravings for escaping the city in search of cooler temperatures only got stronger.
I have to admit, I haven’t been travelling much this year. Going through a rough work phase and trying to give a kick to our recently launched Persian Food Tours, had me swamped with work and neglecting the blog week after week. Not to mention, the lack of travel left me uninspired and uneager to write.
But here I am, fresh from a trip to marshy woodlands and high altitudes and enthusiastic to get the blog rolling. 🙂
It’s not everyday that I get to play tour guide for my own family, but this time around, they decided to put their trust in me to choose the destination.
I’m not the kind to be fussy about accommodation. What I seek in a trip is off-the-beaten-path routes and remote, unknown places. I care the least about where I spend the night. But that’s not the case when I’m bringing my family along. They appreciate the comfort and cleanliness of a hotel room that comes with daily room service. And somehow the place I chose, turned out to make all of us happy.
Where we stayed:
Javaher Deh is no exotic destination. A village hidden high up the Alborz mountains is actually quite known to the public. The number of untastefully built villas and exceeding number of souvenir shops prove me right. But to ditch the crowds and numerous vendors trying to sell their homemade pickles and honey we took a secondary road just before reaching Javaher Deh to a relatively new and small private resort that is yet to be discovered.
The swan lake resort is a small private area with only 3 suites, and by renting 2 of them, we almost had the place to ourselves. A rather small artificial lake sits right down the suites with the reflection of souring mountains in its mirror-smooth water. Here’s where we would have our breakfast, where meals would be served and where we’d ride paddle boats right before sunset. The suites come with 2 bedrooms and have beds for 4 people. Two sets of blankets and cushions are also provided, making them perfectly suitable for a group of six. They are clean and come with central heating.
The weather is drastically different from Ramsar, the main city down the coast from where you’d drive to Javaher Deh. While Ramsar experienced extreme humidity and heat, we had to layer up at dusk and sleep under warm blankets through the night.
How much does it cost?
Prices range from 300-350 Tomans per night (around 75-85€) depending on whether you’re staying on a weekend or working day. Knowing how easily it is to be ripped off for accommodation in northern Iran, I thought the pricing was great.
Breakfast is not included, but you have a fully equipped kitchen to make your own or just order from the restaurant down the lake. The resort is open to travellers to visit or have lunch in the restaurant, but since it’s just newly opened, there weren’t a lot of people during the day.
The uphill drive from Ramsar is rewarded with staggering views of mountains and forests shrouded in mystery. With every turn, a picturesque village would come to sight and beams of sunlight would flicker through ethereal woodlands.
Apart from going for long walks, hiking the mountains and stargazing at night, there’s only so much you could do here. It takes almost an hour drive to go all the way back to Ramsar, but it’s worth a day trip in my opinion.
The locals here are religious about honey and homemade pickled garlics. On your way up to the resort, you’d see numerous stalls selling them. Hand-knitted shoulder scarves hanging on clothing lines are also a familiar sight. It would only take a 15 minute drive to reach Javaher Deh from the resort. That’s where you’ll find restaurants, a huge variety of souvenir shops and lots of food to try.
I found the resort to be great place for a relaxing holiday. Basically somewhere to chill, grab a book and enjoy the view without having to worry about a thing.
The people at Swan lake resort were extremely kind and the food was impeccable with reasonable prices. We actually tried food in a few other 5 star places but honestly the ones we had at the resort were far better.
Bookings can be made through this number: +98-9126991290