Last days of summer and the horrendous heat of Tehran called for a road trip in high altitudes. After having seen so many tempting photos of Olsebelangah on Instagram, we were eager to discover the village on our own terms.
Almost 5 hours drive to Rasht and another extra 2-3 to Masal lead us to an uphill drive through misty woodlands. It had started to drizzle and the fog made it impossible to see anything in more than a few meters so our cautious driving made the journey to the village slightly longer than usual.
Where and what to eat in Olsebelangah?
We arrived at Olsebelangah with grumbling stomachs and decided to indulge our bellies to some local food before searching for the perfect cottage to rent. There’s a hotel named after Fardin Masoomi, an Iranian wrestler which seemed to offer good food but we did not do not have the patience to wait for the long line. There’s a smaller restaurant next to a hotel where we had our lunch. The menu here is not huge and don’t expect great interior or service (the same goes for the hotel). We had Kabab Torsh and Mirza Ghasemi which were the most local dishes we could order. Both of them are absolutely delicious and something you should definitely try when you’re travelling through Gilan.
Renting a cottage in Olsebelangah
Finding a cottage to rent in Olsebelangah is nothing to worry about. Guys standing on the side road holding signs saying ‘Cottage for rent’ are to be seen frequently. Make sure you don’t fall in for the first offer and bargain over the price as much as you can. Especially if you’re here in colder seasons when there’s a not a lot of tourists and competition is stronger.
The price range is between 150-250 thousand Tomans per night. Beware that facilities in different cottages vary. Hot water and indoor shower and toilet is not always available. Electricity only runs until midnight so rooms do not have refrigerators. Prices don’t change for larger numbers so if you’re travelling with a group it will end up very cheap.
Rooms offer a few blankets and mattresses but if you’re a large group you might have to bring your own blanket. Beds are also not available and you will have to sleep on the floor.
The cottage we rented was 200,000 Tomans per night. We had a hot shower, an indoor toilet, gas to cook a small meal and enough space and blankets for the two of us. We had brought our own sheets which is something I would always do if I’m not staying in a hotel in Iran. There were also a few pots, dishes and cutlery available for cooking and also a heater to keep us warm during the night.
We checked out a few rooms until we made a decision. The guy from whom we rented our cottage had a few bigger rooms which would have been great for family trips and bigger groups. I also thought his offers were a lot more cleaner compared a few other ones we saw. This is their website from where you can check out their cottages and this is his number (+98-9112370182 – Mr Vosoughi) where you can also contact him via Whatsapp or Telegram.
We passed the whole evening indoors due to the rain and woke up the next morning to sun rays beaming through the window and roosters crowing. 🙂
The muddy fields had been replaced with neon greenery and quaint cottages were seen by the dozen. The weather was calling us for a picturesque hike! 🙂
We packed our stuff and were off. Here in Olsebelangah you may aim any of the peaks and you’re bound to be rewarded with staggering views. But one of the most photographed scenes of the area is from a village called Sooeh Chaleh which is only about 100 meters away from Olsebelangah. It’s also a good place to stay the night and cottages are available for rent.
When to visit Olsebelangah?
Olsebelangah is best visited during summer when days are warm and nights are chilly. I imagine it would be almost impossible to reach here during winter and beware of the cold in autumn even though the scenery must be divine!
I personally think a day is enough to see the area but if you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, then a few days into the wild nature is always go-go.
Want to know what else is there to check out in Gilan? See all my Gilan archive here.