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Jashak Salt Dome - Bushehr Province - Iran

Jashak Salt Dome, IranNature exhibits unique images of itself in southern Iran. One of these incredible exhibits is Bushehr Province's Jashak Salt Dome.

As one of the largest, most extensive and impressive domes of its kind in the world - and the largest one in the Middle East, Salt Dome is a top attraction with lots of rare spectacles.

Everything hidden in this salty complex, the marvelous caves, the gorgeous icicles, the shimmering glaciers, the lovely formations, and the formidable pillars and waterfalls are there to leave you in awe.

This 600-million-year-old national treasure is both a photographer's heaven and a great destination for geology lovers.

Jashak Salt Dome in the Jashak Mountains in Bushehr Province of Iran - located 64 kilometers to the south of the town of Khormoj and 144 kilometers to the southeast of the center of the province.

The dome covers about 3666 hectares of land, reaches up to 1490 meters in elevation from the ground and is at least 70 meters from sea level.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranWith a 12 kilometer length and a 4.5 kilometer width, the dome extends from Gankhak Village and Jashak Village in the west to Baghan Village and Darvishi Village in the east.

It appears as a snow-covered hill in a hot and dry region - one of the first things that comes to your mind when Jashak Salt Dome starts appearing before you from a distance.

But then in an aha-moment, you see the salt that is, in fact, creating the momentary illusion.

The beautiful crystals, the geometric shapes, and the other-wordly sights found at the dome are so captivating that the surrounding routes and caves are named after them.

Looking more like ice glaciers, these salt glaciers are at the heart of the beautiful sights to be seen in the northwest section of the Jashak Salt Dome. The gravitational movement of salt masses toward the edges of the dome have created these glaciers.

Salty Waterfalls are also one of the wonders of Jashak Salt Dome. When imagining a waterfall, we usually picture it in the middle of a jungle or lush green region.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranBut these water falls of the dome are there to contradict the traditional picture.

In summertime, the water completely evaporates and forms beautiful thick crystals that give a shimmering beauty to the waterfalls. This rare sight can be seen from around mid-spring through summer and into fall.

The charm of this salt dome are endless. In an adventure around the dome, you will discover salt caves that are formed by the dissolution of salt by rain water.

In these caves, you can check out the rare beauty of stalactites and stalagmites created by these salt crystals.

At Shakh-e Nabat (Rock Candy) Cave the salt crystals and icicles hanging beautifully from the ceiling of the cave never fail to impress you.

The Angoori (Grapy) Cave is another wonder of this huge salty complex. The salt crystals hanging from the ceiling and walls of this cave look like grapes.

An adventure into this Tunnel cave will be one of the most exciting parts of your exploration around the Salt Dome.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranThis amazing cave is an almost 300 meter-long tunnel in the form of a horseshoe.

Being in the path of water streams that dissolved salt sediments led to the gradual creation of this cave over the years.

Because most visitors don't know about the existence of this cave or even have a guide, they miss a great part of their adventure.

Even if you manage to find the tunnel cave on your own - which is highly unlikely, getting into it without a guide is dangerous.

Deep in the cave, there is total darkness and you will need a head torch to continue. Passing through the dark territory of bats and making them flutter and flap multiplies the excitement of the hike.

At some points in the cave, there are a few-meter cliffs. For descending these colorful cliffs, you will definitely need a guide's assistance.

At some points, the path branches into different paths - which is another reason why you will need a guide.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranThen, after walking in total darkness for a while, you'll reach an interesting part of the cave. The narrow beam of light that lights a small part of the cave is a gorgeous sight.

Don't miss the chance of capturing some great photographs at this part of the cave. As you go ahead in the cave, you will have to crawl through a half-a-meter tunnel which is remarkably decorated with porous salt.

In this astonishing piece of nature, you will be blown away by the different shapes water erosion has created.

One of these beautiful pieces is Takht-e Div (Demon’s Throne), colorful pillars formed because of the difference in the erodibility level of stone and salt.

Salty Springs are another of the attractions of Jashak Salt Dome. The clear water and the crystalline salt on the edges have a dazzling beauty under the sunshine.

Gol-e kalam (Cauliflower) Valley may be the most stunning spectacle at Jashak - the rare valley that is covered with orange and white salt formations in the shape of cauliflowers.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranWhen sun shines over high concentration salty springs, it turns them into these cauliflower-shaped crystals.

The marvelous look of Jashak Salt Dome has always been a subject of local folklore and myths. Based on one of these legends, the dome is a result of a legendary curse.

Since they believe a demon lived and ruled in this protected dome, they call it Demon's Throne.

As you might have realized, soil covered with salt can't have a rich vegetation. But in some parts of Jashak Salt dome, you can see plants like Milkvetch and Zygophyllum.

In valleys that are immune from salt, you can also find jujube, bryophyllum, wild almonds, and beautiful polka dot plants.

You can also see animals like wild goats, foxes, jackals and hyenas. There are also birds like sandgrouses, partridges, see-see partridges, bee-eaters, swallows, common swifts, sparrows, and finches; as well as numerous different kinds of reptiles.

In hot seasons from around mid-spring to early fall, the only living thing you can find there are lizards and bats.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranThis amazing dome is in one of the extremely hot regions of Iran. So, the best season to travel there is mid-November to early April.

Also, considering that the top sites of the dome are on a floodwater plain with rain that is usually heavy, checking out weather forecasts before traveling to Jashak is not only a good idea, but a must.

The Jashak Salt Dome is not small. So, in order to get the most out of this unique destination, plan to spend at least 6 hours there.

The salty formations are so captivating that you would not notice the time go by and you might even find yourself short on time.

Although all the path from the parking to the salty waterfall and some caves are well trodden and detectible, for your safety and for a guaranteed pleasurable visit to the top spectacles, it is recommended to get a local guide.

How to Get to Jashak Salt Dome

Jashak Salt Dome is 144 km to the Port of Bushehr. From Bushehr, you will have to pass some towns and villages: Choghadak, Khormoj, Kaki, Gankhak-e Sheykhi, and Jashak.

Jashak Salt Dome, IranFive kilometers after Jashak Village, you can see a gas station on the right side of the road. There are no toilets around the dome, so this gas station is your last chance to get water and food and your last access to a WC.

After a kilometer from the station, you can see the dirt road that leads to the dome on the left side of the road. This 3 kilometer dirt road which is very bumpy at some points, so you will need to drive carefully.

Some of the items you will need in order to hike through Jashak Salt Dome and enjoy the experience:

A pair of good hiking shoes, day-pack, head torch, good cameras, drinking water, snacks, small garbage bag and a pair of sun-glasses.

It has taken hundreds of years for these beautiful salty icicles, cauliflower crystals, shimmering glaciers, and layered pillars to form.

So, protect them by not taking them, not damaging them, and do not leave any litter. Follow the adage that what you carry in, you must also carry back out.


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