Last autumn we had one of our best travels ever: To Iran. What an amazing country: the impressive sights and environment, but especially the welcoming people stole our hearts.
We would like to tell you about a man named Farzin Malaki who gave us the best days of our trip during our one month travel through Iran last autumn 2010. Farzin lives in Tonekabon near the Caspian sea and delivers treks through the Alamut valley region (Through CaspianTrek.com) and has a beautifull traditional guesthouse (Khoone Geli) which services mouthwatering (traditional Iranian and vegetarian) food!
We did a 2 days trek through the Alamut valley with Farzin and a guide and stayed for 3 days in his guesthouse "Khoone Geli" afterwards where he showed us around Tonekabon. We are very enthousiastic about both his personality and services and therefore we want to tell you guys about him. He is not in the LP (yet).
Let us first tell about this special man: He was born and raised Iranian but worked as a doctor for 20 years in both London and Spain. After 20 years he decided to wanted to go back to his homeland since he missed it's beautifull culture and environment. Farzin is very passionate about the environment and Iranian culture and wants to preserve both. In an attempt to preserve both, he set up his own Guesthouse which he built himself from the bottom with local materials (mud and wood) in traditional style and he started organizing treks through the beautifull alamut valley.
We we're very glad to meet a man like this since he cookes delicious vegetarian, traditional Iranian and organic dishes (which is really a relief for 2 eco-obsessive vegetarians like us in a country full of kebab-restaurants ;)) and we had tons of talks about all kinds of things like the environment, politics, Iranian culture, western culture etc. Farzin is a very smart intelligent guy and speaks perfectly English (with a brittish accent ;)).
Trek through Alamut valley
First we did a 2 days trek through the valley starting out in Pichebon Hamlet, staying the night in mudbrick village of Kalumlat and ending in Maran. The trek was awesome with beautifull views of the valleys, the interesting talks and stories about Iran with Farzin and the amazing traditional mud-brick villages with welcoming locals who hardly see tourists. Also did Farzin and the guide treat us with good (vegetarian) food/drinks and carried the tents and other gear.
This guesthouse Farzin owns, is built with his own bear hands with local natural material (mud + wood) in traditional style. It's really a beautifull quiet place with bright colored carpets on the floor and walls. The best food we had in Iran was at Farzin's place: he cooks traditional Iranian dishes using local, fresh and organic ingredients. We took a lot of recipies with us back to the Netherlands and are still preparing lots of it every month :)
Farzin is obsessed with the environment and he is determined to have everything ecological in and around his house. His huge garden is full of (organic grown) crops like tea, oranges and sharon fruits.
The 2 days we had in his guesthouse Farzin showed us around in Tonekabon, taking us to the hot springs, the caspian sea and a pottery family who we're very warm and welcoming and inviting us for dinner.
We made a selection of the photos of the time we spent with Farzin to give you an impression:
We recommend everyone who is visiting Iran to take a visit to Farzin's guesthouse or do a trek through the beautifull Alamut Valley with it's untouched villages.
Phone: +98 912 291070
Jochem and Cecile (nl)