Iran's Prime Rafting Destinations: An Adventure Seeker's Guide

Rafting is one of the branches of the tourism industry and an exhilarating sport. In this activity, athletes immerse themselves in water using oars or rafting boats. By paddling in roaring and wavy rivers, they experience an unparalleled thrill. Although it hasn't been long since this sport was introduced to Iran, several tours are organized on many of its prominent and beautiful rivers. Today, at Incredible Iran, we delve into the best rivers for rafting in the country. If you plan to experience this thrilling sport, stay with us as we introduce you to the best rivers for rafting in Iran.
What are the top rafting destinations in Iran?

The most celebrated rafting spots in Iran include the rivers near Shahr-e Kord, the Karun river in Khuzestan, the Sezar river in Lorestan, and the rivers flowing through Kurdistan.

Yes, there are several rivers near Tehran that are suitable for beginners, offering gentle flows that are perfect for those just starting out with rafting.

The ideal time for rafting in Iran is from late spring to early autumn, when river levels are higher and the weather conditions are favorable.

It is not necessary to bring your own equipment as many local tour operators provide all the necessary gear, including rafts, paddles, and safety vests.

Yes, professional rafting guides are available, especially in popular rafting areas. These guides are skilled in navigating the rivers and ensuring a safe experience.

Rafting in Iran is generally safe when conducted with registered tour operators who adhere to safety guidelines and provide all necessary safety equipment.

Rafting Essentials: Frequently Asked Questions About Iran's Best Rapids

What you will read in this article:

Rafting Near Tehran

Sefid River (White River)

If you are looking for an adventurous and exciting activity near Tehran, rafting in the Sefid River without any special skills can be an option. The Sefid River is the second-longest river in Iran, located in the Gilan province. On this beautiful natural path, fields, mountains, and plains of this picturesque province await rafters. The three-thousand-year-old cypress “Harzavil” and the Manjil dam are also on this scenic route. Therefore, besides enjoying the pristine nature only accessible via rafting, you can also see the Harzavil cypress and Manjil dam. The difficulty level of the Sefid River waves is between two and three, making it suitable for rafting and kayaking.

Karaj River

Another option for rafting near Tehran is the Karaj River. This water-rich river originates from the foothills of Alborz and passes through the plains of Karaj and Shahrivar cities. It is approximately 75 kilometers long and extends along the Chalus road. Rafting in this river takes about two hours. The best time for rafting in the Karaj River is spring and summer due to its higher water levels. The river is 8 to 15 meters wide and 1 to 2 meters deep, with an average flow rate of 17 cubic meters per second. This flow rate varies with the seasons, being lesser in autumn and winter and higher in spring and summer. Numerous high and low areas, valleys, and rocks along the Karaj River make the rafting experience more thrilling. It has a difficulty level between two and four and is suitable for professional rafting and kayaking.

Haraz River

Another rafting route near Tehran is the Haraz River, which is situated in Mazandaran province. Like other paths, this route also passes through untouched and lush sceneries, which will be delightful for anyone to see. The route from Mirza Kuchak Khan Forest Park to the Kaleh Factory (four kilometers from Amol) has been prepared for rafting. The river’s difficulty is mainly between two and three, which is suitable for healthy teenagers to middle-aged individuals looking for excitement. It takes about two hours to navigate this river. Some parts of this river have a difficulty level of four, suitable for experienced individuals and professional rafters, taking approximately three and a half hours to navigate. The best time for rafting on the Haraz River is mid-spring to October. Rafting tours on this river are organized by the Rafting Association Nature Tourism Experts and supported by the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization.

Jajrood

The Jajrood River flows in the Pardis district. It is approximately 140 kilometers long and originates from the Alborz mountains. Various stations along this river have been designated for water recreation, including rafting.

Shahr-e Kord Rafting

Shahr-e Kord, the capital of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, due to its mountainous nature, is home to two perennial rivers, Zayandeh-Rood and Armand, both of which are suitable for rafting. This province has the most suitable routes for rafting.

Zayandeh Rood

The Zayandeh Rood River passes through Chaharmahal Bak,htiari and Isfahan provinces and is among the famous and popular routes for rafting. The beautiful and lush nature of this river’s course captivates every viewer. For rafting on the Zayandeh Rood River, one should go to Saman, 22 kilometers from Shahr-e Kord. This town is located on the banks of the Zayandeh Rood, and the tourist area of this region includes comprehensive welfare facilities.

The difficulty of the Zayandeh Rood ranges between two and three, and in some parts, it reaches four. As you progress along the Zayandeh Rood River, the turbulence of the water increases, adding more thrill. The wave difficulty of this river varies between two and three, and near the Zaman Khan bridge, it even reaches four. Crossing the Zaman Khan bridge is not recommended due to its dangerous nature.

If you’re looking for more thrill, it’s better to go rafting in the spring when the river is fuller. This river has three routes for rafting:

  • From Zaman Khan Bridge to Chelvan Bridge, this is the shortest route, approximately three kilometers, which can be covered in about 30 minutes.
  • From Baba Pir Ahmad to Zaman Khan Bridge, this route is around eight kilometers, and it takes about an hour and a half to navigate.
  • From Soodjan to Zaman Khan Bridge, a 17-kilometer route awaits, which takes about five hours to complete. Zayandeh Rood rafting is recommended for beginners due to its relative affordability and calm nature, and it has many enthusiasts.

Markadeh

Markadeh is among the villages of the Saman district in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari. It is located along the Zayandeh Rood River and is considered one of the rafting routes of Zayandeh Rood. This section of the river is a water-rich part of the Zayandeh Rood, and tall, dense trees surround it. For rafting in Markadeh, it is recommended to visit this village during the spring and summer seasons. The rafting route in Markadeh is approximately five kilometers, and it takes about 30 minutes to navigate.

Armand River

As mentioned, the Armand River is in Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, nestled among the Zagros mountains. It is the primary source of the Karun River. Along this river, one can witness untouched nature with tall waterfalls, oak forests, high peaks, rice paddies, etc., making this region a tourism hub. The rafting route of the Armand River is 20 kilometers and takes about five hours to navigate. The wave difficulty of the Armand ranges between two and four. Due to the high temperatures in this area, the best time for rafting is early spring and late summer. Suppose you’re interested in rafting on the Armand River and wish to experience this thrill in the untouched nature of Shahr-e Kord. In that case, you can use “Kajaro” to follow the tours of collaborating agencies. We have provided this facility so you can quickly and, in the shortest time, plan your trip cheaper than anywhere else.

Rafting in Lorestan

Sezar River

The Sezar River flows in Lorestan province and originates from the Dez River, a tributary of the Karun River. This river, throughout its course, winds through the pristine landscapes of the Zagros Mountains, heading towards southern Iran. Its path is both calm and turbulent, making it particularly popular among rafting enthusiasts. The wave difficulty level ranges between two and four, suitable for beginners to professional rafting and kayaking.

Rafting in Kurdistan

Sirvan River

The Sirvan River in the Kurdistan province, located in the Horaman region, is one of the popular routes for rafting. The course of this river is long and winding, making rafting here exceptionally appealing and thrilling. Moreover, this route offers the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and nature of the Kurdistan province. The wave difficulty level of the Sirvan River ranges from three to five, suitable for professional rafters, beginners, and kayakers but dangerous for swimming.

Other Rivers in Iran for Rafting

Apart from the mentioned rivers, our country has several other rivers suitable for rafting that are lesser-known than the others. Some of these rivers include:

  • Bakhtiari River; Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province
  • Ab Malakh Samiram waterfall; Isfahan province
  • Arvand River; Khuzestan province
  • Kashkan River; Lorestan province
  • Zab River; West Azerbaijan province
  • Samireh River; Ilam and Lorestan provinces