Meymand is a very ancient village which is located near Shahr-e Babak city in Kerman Province, Iran. Meymand is believed to be a primary human residence in the Iranian Plateau, dating back to 12,000 years ago. Many of the residents live in the 350 hand-dug houses amid the rocks, some of which have been inhabited for as long as 3,000 years. Stone engravings nearly 10,000 years old are found around the village, and deposits of pottery nearly 6,000 years old attest to the long history of settlement at the village site. Living conditions in Meymand is harsh due to the aridity of the land and cold temperature in winters. The local language contains many words from the ancient Sassanid and Pahlavi languages. In 2005, Meymand was awarded the UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize for the Safeguarding and Management of Cultural Landscapes (about $20,000). On 4 July 2015, the village was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
Maymand (or Meymand) is located at 234 km west of Kerman in Kerman province, Iran. The nearest town to Maymand is Shahrbabak, 38 km southwest of Maymand. This village is located between Kerman, Shiraz and Yazd; so you can go there on you way to Shiraz or Yazd from Kerman or vice versa.
Check out our list of Maymand tours.
There are many ways to get to this ancient village and we are going to explain them all. Pay attention that you can go there from Kerman, Shiraz and Yazd so one of the coolest options is to visit Maymand on your way to or from Kerman. However, for going there you should probably first decide if to go there by a tour guide or by yourself and if by yourself, do it by public transportation and travel cheap or by a private taxi and get there fast and pay more.
This is probably the easiest way; you don’t have to think and plan about anything and will just enjoy the place. You can see our Maymand tours here. Pros: fastest way, have a guide to explain everything, everything is managed and booked via your tour, you can visit more attractions which otherwise would be too hard or time consuming like Rageh valley of Rafsanjan. Cons: the most expensive option, if you want to go to Shiraz or Yazd by yourself you have to take a private taxi.
For get to Maymand by the cheapest possible way from Kerman; you can hop on a daily bus to Shahrbabak (which cost about 1-2 € and leaves around noon), get a private taxi for 2-3 € from Shahrbabak to Maymand and do the opposite for coming back. Pros: as cheap as possible Cons: there is only one bus that goes to Shahrbabak each day, you can’t go to Shiraz or Yazd from Maymand or Shahrbabak unless you get a private taxi from Shahrbabak
As mentioned before, Maymand is located in middle of Kerman, Yazd and Shiraz; so, for going to or coming from Kerman to those cities (here you can check out how to get to Kerman from other places) you can hire a private taxi, even spend one night in Maymand and continue to your next destination from there. By doing this option you will break the travel time by half (specially Shiraz to Kerman which is about 8-9 hours), visit an amazing world heritage site and get to Kerman fresh and ready. So that’s why We highly recommend this option. Below, we’re going to explain how you can do it:
There are 3 roads and the one that goes through Sirjan is the fastest and main one.
You need only 2 more hours (1 more in comparison to going by bus) to be able to see Maymand.
With more than 20 km in lenght, Rageh canyon is amonge the main attractions of Kerman.
Zein-o-din is among the few round caravanserais in Iran.
As you might guess there aren’t any hotels in Maymand. However, you can experience a unique stay in one of the hand-dig houses which the locals call “Kicheh“. In Maymand, there are 3 ecolodges that you can book a Kicheh from: Maymand Stone House, Maymand GuestHouse and Maymandmoon Ecolodge. Maymand Stone House is owned by a local couple, is the simplest and cheapest option. On the other hand, Maymandmoon Ecolodge is owed by 2 guys from Tehran, they have a dinner room, they are more professional and of course the most expensive option. You can contact us for booking.
Maymand is the perfect place to spend couple of days in and enjoy the villagers life and see the attractions around. On one hand , you can go and explore the untouched nature around the village to hike for a couple of hours in nearby mountains and see the Stone engravings or go with the shepherds for hours or even days and experience pure local life. On the other hand, you can take a look at the village itself to see the fire temple which has turned to a cool museum nowadays, the hammam (traditional bath) or the mosque. Keep in mind that you have to pay around 500,000 Rials as entrance fees and a Persian speaking guide is included. However, you can ask for english speaking guides as well.