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Alamut Valley Travel Guide


Alamut refers to an isolated valley lying between Siah lan on the north, and Alborz, and Qazvin mountains on the south. Etymologically, the name Alamut means “trained eagle” or, as some sources say, the eagle’s nest. Actually, there is a story behind this etymology. According to the story, once an eagle guided a Daylamite ruler to find this strategic site.

By the way, based on more concrete historical evidence, this fortress was part of the Buyid territory and one of the Daylamite kings constructed it in 860 AD.

Later in the Seljuk era, because of being seriously repressed by the government, Isma’ilis (a branch of Shia Islam) seized and rebuilt several fortresses, mainly in Tabas, Khorasan, Khuzestan, and Syria to practice their religious rituals and traditions.

Alamut Valley

Among these fortified sites, Alamut was conquered by Hassan Sabbah in 1090 AD . Hasan Sabbah (1050-1124 AD) turned this fortress into one of the most important centers of Isma’ilis. Not only did this castle provide protection for Isma’ilis, but also gave them a nest to live their day lives.

Later, with the Mongol invasion and their occupation of Iran, Hulagu Khan massacred Isma’ilis in 1256 AD. Far ahead in the Safavid era, the fortress was renovated to be used as prison. Yet, during the later periods, the castle fell into ruin, mainly by the people who dug it unrestrictedly to find the lost treasury of the Assassins.

Where Is Alamut valley?

The Alamut Valley is located in North of Iran plateau , In the north of Qazvin province and south of the Caspian Sea  in the the west  part of Alborz mountain range .

Alamut valley on map

How Do You Get To Alamut Valley?

You can drive with a bus from Tehran to Qazvin (قزوین) in 2 hours,  then from Qazvin you should drive on a On a dizzying mountain road to the heart of Alborz mountain range to access to Alamut valley . it takes about 3 hours (86km) from Qazvin to Moallem Kalayeh  ( The center of Alamut valley) .Yep, hiking in such a paradise does not come cheap and easy !
Alamut valley

When Is The Best Time To Visit?

It depends on the purpose of your trip. Here we mention the best time for different activities :

Cultural sightseeing : April – May – June – July – August – September – November

Trekking in low mountains , road cycling : April – May – June – July – August – September – November

Ski mountaineering : February – March – April

High mountain hiking : July – August – September

What You can do?  Alamut valley attraction .

Alamut Castle

Alamut castle, one of the unique historical castles in Iran, is located in the northwest of Qazvin province on the top of rock with 200 m height upper than the surrounding lands.

This castle consists of two upper and lower castles built as a great building and the quadruplet walls of it constructed by following the shape and conditions of the rocks so that the walls width are especially various in different parts.

There are precipices around the castle in four sides and the only castle entrance is at the end of the northeast side of the castle. The castle is known for Hasan Sabbah, the propagandist of Ismailis religion in the Seljuk era in 428 AH.

There is some disagreement between historians about the construction date, however, it undoubtedly belongs to the early Islamic era. This castle was seized by Hulagu Khan in 654 AH. The prosperity of this castle was decreased by seizing and burning the precious library so that it turned into a prison and exile now.

Andaj village

Andaj village is a section of Roudbar Alamut, Qazvin city, is located in distance of 15 km from Mo’allem Kalaye and 80 Km of Qazvin . The village, surrounded by rivers and beautiful rocks, is one of the popular tourist destinations in this region.

Alamut valley

Lambser Castle

Lambsar Castle is one of the most important Ismaili fortresses in the Seljuk era in Qazvin. And the architectural relics of the Sassanid era and early Islamic period can be seen in this castle.

It was conquered by the Ismailis in the year 489 AH and gained great prominence during the period of Ismaili domination.

According to historical sources, the castle was originally owned by a man named Rashamoj, but Kia Hassan Omid, a close friend and believer in Hassan Sabah, was designated as his successor, along with several others, started to occupy and develop the castle. Kia Hassan has lived in the castle for 20 years.

alamut valley

Ovan lake

Ovan lake is located in Alamut region of Qazvin province (North East of Qazvin). After passing about 80 km from Qazvin city, you will reach the lake, and it is among four villages; Evan, Vorben, Zovardasht and Zarabad. This lake with an area of ​​more than seventy thousand square meters, is located at an elevation of 1,815 meters above sea level. The longest part is 325 meters long and 275 meters wide.

There are no rivers flow into this lake and its water is supplied by water effervescency of the lake’s base and rainfall. The constant effervescency of the lake’s water has made it clear and limpid.

There is also a small river which overflows from the lake that is used by farmers. In summer, the lake is a wonderful place for fishing, boating and when the autumn arrives, it is time for the migration of birds such as; swans, gooses and ducks.

Alamut valley ovan lake

Outdoor activities in Alamut Valley

Mountaineering and long walks:

with the intention of climbing the high peaks of Alborz such as Sialan, Alam Kooh, Khoshkchal, etc. or reaching the north through Alamut


In order to see the specialized birds such as eagles, partridges and other species that Alamut, due to its special geography and nature, has a huge potential and capacity to attract this group of tourists.

Cave climbing:

Due to the lack of comprehensive research and the lack of sufficient information and the need for equipment to enter it, the capacity of this part of Alamut has not been fully used yet. White water cave is just one of dozens of small and large samples.

Rock climbing:

The sample area of ​​Andaj and Garmarud can be used as a pilot

Observation tours:

for the purpose of stargazing and observing the moons of the solar system, which is interesting to know Alamut has been introduced in the prestigious National Geographic magazine as one of the top ten sites for this purpose.


Navigate the route to western Alamut or Tonekabon

Rafting tours (boating in roaring waters):

used to be done by local groups with professional equipment and experienced people and have progressed to near Sefidrud, but unfortunately now due to lack of water, lack of facilities and proper improvement and Excessive use in the path is not justified.

Ski mountaineering :

You can do ski tour in Alamut mountains from  January to March