Badab-e Surt is a rare geologic masterpiece, geology enthusiasts will especially fall for Badab-e Surt. Located in the Mazandaran province, the name comes from a combination of bâd, gas, âb, water, and surt, the old name of the village of Orost located 7 kilometers to the west. Badab-e Surt is formed during the Pleistocene and Pliocene epochs. Only a handful of such places exist in the world such as Mammoth Hot Spring in the U.S. and Pamukkale in Turkey, Badab-e Surt is unique due to its distinctive orange hue, resulting from a concentration of iron oxide.
Iran is not only an ancient civilization with plenty of historical sites, but it also has an abundance of natural wonders. A perfect day trip from Tehran, this natural beauty lets you witness geological rock formations that glow in the sunlight and dazzle the eyes. Grab your camera and head to the colorful stone terrace of Badab-e Surt.
This travertine terrace sits at 1,840 meters (6,040 feet) above sea level and is the culmination of thousands of years of limestone deposited by water flowing from two mineral hot springs, which are thought to have medicinal properties on account of their high mineral content. As water reaches the surface, carbon dioxide degasses, depositing mineral carbonate. Because the heavier minerals settle at the top of the steps, the water becomes clearer as it flows down, turning this site into a dreamy, sky-reflecting staircase of mirrors that shifts colors depending on the time of day the sunlight glistens upon it.
When the light hits the terraces just right, it makes the puddles glow with the red, orange, and yellow tones found in the underlying rock. Reflections from the sky and clouds above will sometimes add swirls of blue and gray to the mix, creating a watercolor palette bursting with rich natural hues.
How to Get to Badab-e Surt
Badab-e Surt can be a bit tough to get to, though it’s a place worth seeking out nonetheless. About 370 kilometers from Tehran, two main routes from either Semnan or Mazandaran lead to this location. The Semnan route passes through Semnan city, towards Mahdishahr, Shahrmirzad, and Fulad Mahalleh before reaching Orost, the village after which the site is named. The more scenic of the two routes goes through Mazandaran and passes through Sari and the forests around Kiasar before arriving at Orost.
Other Attractions Besides Badab-e Surt
Besides Badab-e Surt, two of the most visited spots in Mazandaran’s tourist attractions are Ramsar Palace and Shahandasht Waterfall. The former used to be the favorite vacation spot of the royalty before the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the latter is one of the many stunning natural spectacles in Mazandaran. By visiting Ramsar Palace and the unparalleled luxury of its collections of ivory statues and royal furniture, you will get a more accurate picture of the state of affair in Iran before the revolution. Mazandaran’s countless tourist spots are scattered all through its cities and villages. Thus, if you are looking for accommodation, first you should determine where exactly you are planning to spend the night. Mazandaran’s hotels are very popular.