You have heard a lot about Darakeh and Darband (two famous places in north of Tehran which Tehrani people used to go for dining, mountain climbing and smoking hookah -Ghalioon, Shisha or Hubble bubble-). well, they are connected to the capital Tehran and so we are fed up with hearing their name too much. they ARE beautiful indeed, but comparing to Shamkhal (or Shamxal) in Khorasan province, they can't even compete.
This is Shamkhal, the paradise in Iran, in Khorasan. as you step in, you gotta go to the end. you can't stand in the middle: go or come back, no alternative!! all you see are magnificent valleys, sky scraping trees, crystal clear river flow and fantastic water falls. There are spas, hot water tubs and caves. it's really hallucinogenic but it's for real!
The Valley starts from Tandoreh national park, and after 12 Km you will reach two cold water spas called Shamxal and further you reach a new valley called Dor Badam. from this point the valley gets a little bit wider and you see the Doroungar river on your side. It flows to Mohammad Taghi Beig village and city of Dargaz.
Till now, you should have walked for 7 hours and you may be tired, but I bet you are more fascinated than exhausted! the Valley ends here and... WOW! you see a huge flat field in front of you, beneath your feet. the river you were crossing minutes ago, now feeds many gardens and farms. The nature is so generous to this place and this is the reason of all these beauties.
some information about Shamxal valley:
Geographical location: 65 Km north of Ghouchan city, Razavi Khorasan province. between Ghouchan and Dargaz cities.
access: by car from Ghouchan or by cab from Felestin (Palestine) square in Ghouchan.
Valley's length: from Shamkhal village to Doroungar village it's roughly 18 km.
Valley's height: up to 200 meters
1- plan your trip somehow to be able to accommodate the first night in Shamxal's mosque or in the beginning of the first spa in tent, and follow the rest tomorrow morning. there are 3 suites for rent in this area as well.
2- wear proper shoes ad clothes. the nights are cold and freezing some seasons. you may need sun glasses or caps.
3- during the road you will get wet. so have spare cloth for sleeping.
4- Please treat the nature gently :)
this article is translated from it's origin, written by my friend, Mehdi Roudaki. Mehdi is originally a Kurmanj (Kurmanc) and speaks Kurmanji (Kurmanci) Kurdish as his mother tongue. He is familiar with culture of resdent people over there and nature of Kurmanj, Dargaz and Shamxal. feel free to write him if you plan to visit this undisputed place. thanks to him for these info and pictures, please visit his blog for more. for Kurdish language click the link.