Rudkhan Castle

Also known as: Qale Rudkhan, Qale Rood Khan

"Castle of a Thousand Steps"

Iran's northern provinces are home to a hoard of ancient fortresses, built on high land and used as strong shields against the enemies. Rudkhan Castle (Qaleh Rudkhan) in Gilan Province is an example of these medieval military castles. This huge castle is located on the pinnacle of a mountain in the heart of the forest. To reach this castle, you have to go through the city of Fouman and a number of villages. Then you have to cover a 3km distance on foot. Be physically ready before your hike up to the centuries-old castle, called the "Castle of a Thousand Steps" by the Taleshi and Gilak locals.

You'll start the gorgeous 50-minute walk along a streamside full of mossy rocks, then climb pebble-studded concrete steps to the chorus of birdsong and tapping woodpeckers. This scenic landscape with ever-green forests and turbulent river has become well-known as "Daalaan-e Behesht" or Corridors of Paradise. Spring and summer are the best time to visit this beautiful region.


The Untouchable

The Sassanid-era castle was built at elevations of 715 and 670 meters and contains strong fortifications and battlements at a length of 1,550 meters. The castle's 42 towers still stand intact. That also explains why even the strongest enemies have failed to invade the unconquerable Rudkhan Castle. This castle has two sections, namely one royal residence for the king and royal family, and another residence for soldiers and military activities. After you've made the trek back down, it's worth grabbing a bite to eat, and what could be more delicious and appropriate than trying an utterly delicious northern Iranian lunch, namely the "Torsh Kebab" tenderloin marinated in pomegranate paste, walnuts and garlic.

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