Situated in Sahand rural district of Osku county in East Azarbaijan province, the amazing historical Kandovan village is one of the greatest assets of Iran’s tourism industry as one of the three rocky villages of the world, exemplifying manmade cliff dwellings which are still inhabited by around 670 people, offering scenic beauty for travelers along with pleasant mountainous climate.
Kandovan is the only village inhabited by people for some 6,000 years with exceptional features in terms of architecture and living within the framework of ancient texture. Built within a mountain with houses carved inside rocks, this architectural oddity seems to defy all rules in unique, cone-shaped rock houses similar to beehives, making domestic and foreign travelers fascinated by the incredible slopes and verdant valleys.
Having been expanded over the years, now, most cave dwellings range from two to four stories with living areas, a storage room and an animal shelter while many have porches, windows, doors and stairwells carved into the rock. Most of the inhabitants do not use heaters or air conditioning systems due to the energy efficient rocks which keep the houses cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
Agriculture and sheep herding are of the occupations of Kandovan villagers, providing tasty honey and dairy products. Also, the village is equipped with medicinal plants markets and handicrafts stores selling nice scarves which are memorable as souvenirs.
Here, visitors can enjoy their time in cafés along the river passing through Kandovan, take advantage of the mineral water springs, and accommodate in the Laleh rocky hotel, inspired by the “style” of the village, featuring beautiful cave interiors with very comfortable living spaces.