Are you looking for something different? Do you enjoy hot springs? Are you feeling adventurous and looking to travel to another country? Does the Middle East attract you regardless of any (all too frequent) political situation? If so, then we have the place for you. It’s known as Badab-E-Surt.
Badab-E-Surt (or Badab Soort) is a group of travertine terraces in the Mazandaran Province in northern Iran (also known as Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran). They are a natural phenomenon. Travertine, for those not in the geological know, is a type of limestone--(a type of sedimentary rock)--created from deposits of calcium in flowing water. Located 59 miles south of the city of Sari and three miles west of the village of Orost, the travertine terraces of Badab-E-Surt were formed over thousands of years as flowing water from a pair of mineral hot springs cooled and then deposited carbonate minerals on the side of the mountain during Pleistocene and Pliocene geological periods. The water from the pair of springs mixed together to result in numerous yellow, orange and red-colored pools that are shaped like a staircase. Their unique color is due to the high amount of iron oxide present in one of the two springs.
According to such sources as the Cultural Heritage Agency of Semnan, the name Badab-E-Surt (or Badab Soort) itself has an interesting origin. Badab comes from the Persian language. It literally translates to "gassed water" which refers to the carbonated mineral waters in the springs. Soort is a Persian word which means “intensity”. It’s also the former name of the village Orost. 6,040 feet above sea level, the pair of springs are different from each other. They each have their own distinct natural characteristics. The one spring has contains salty water that is believed to have medicinal properties. The water there is said to cure rheumatism, certain skin conditions, and some skin diseases. The second spring is different. The water has a sour taste to it. It has an orange hue and no specific healing qualities have been credited to it. The various vegetation surrounding the immediate area differs per direction of travel. If you head north you will discover a forest of pine trees. If you walk away from the site towards the east you will find mainly shrubs and short trees. Finally, if one takes a short hike to the west there are the local rock quarries.
According to the website ShermansTravel.com, Iran often has a travel advisory discouraging people from vacationing there. Still, they confirm that Badab-E-Surt (or Badab Soort) is definitely worthy of inclusion on any true world traveler’s bucket list. In the meantime though, if you are concerned about a less than golden travel advisory or simply cannot afford to travel to Iran on your next vacation, several online sources offered some similar locations less spectacular and yet still worth a visit. The list includes both locations that are in and out of the U.S. They include: Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Wyoming in the U.S., Pamukkale in Denizli Province, Turkey and Huanglong in Sichuan, China.
(All images are courtesy of the original owner unless otherwise indicated)