Masuleh prepares to host ICOMOS assessors
Masuleh is getting prepared to be assessed by experts from the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) as part of a formal process to possibly become a UNESCO World Heritage.
The ICOMOS assessors are expected to visit Masuleh in the coming summer as the ancient village is getting prepared for the examination, Gilan province’s tourism chief vali Zahani said on Saturday. The scenic village is famed for its Lego-shaped earthen houses built on another’s rooftop. He added the discovery of archaeological remains at such high altitudes would help archaeologists to shed new light on the human adaptation to the high Alborz mountains since prehistoric times up to recent centuries. Home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country, Masouleh is one of the many stepped villages that are quite common to find around the country, especially in Iranian Kurdistan and around Mashhad. They have been built on a hill so steep that the roof of one house is the pathway for the next. Whereas practically, all stepped villages in Iran have been able to keep their rural and traditional essence, for some reason, Masouleh has evolved into a popular touristic destination that especially attracts domestic vacationers. Thanks to pretty developed tourist infrastructure, Masouleh is receiving the attention of all the guidebooks, portraying it as a dreamy mountain village so, slowly, it is becoming the prime destination for those travelers who have a little more than two weeks in Iran. The village is pretty, composed of some yellowish houses which disappear behind the mist during the early morning hours. Being the most visited stepped village in Iran, Masouleh has all types of opinions. On the one hand, the most well-traveled backpackers will tell you that Masouleh is not worth the journey unless you don’t mind eating in overpriced restaurants or trying to bargain ridiculous fares with taxi drivers. On the other hand, less demanding travelers will tell you that Masouleh is such a lovely village which you can’t miss. Surrounded by green valleys, misty forests, and 3,000m peaks, Masouleh is the ultimate trekking destination in Iran, offering several trails that include both day treks and multi-day treks.