A group of seventeen Italian sightseers have commenced an excursion across the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which is amongst Iran’s lesser-known destinations.
“Members of the group, who arrived in the province two days ago (on Saturday), first made a two-day visit to Zahedan (the provincial capital), before they leave for the port city of Chabahar,” provincial tourism chief A. Jalalzaei said on Monday.
Anza Village near Iranshahr City in Sarbaz County - Sistan va Balouchestan
Another Italian group will start a familiarization tour in the province in the month of Esfand (starting Feb. 20), Jalalzaei added.
Back in December, Sistan-Baluchestan welcomed a group of ten French and British tourists who had a ten-day tour, visiting attractions in Zabol, Nimruz, and Hamun. They also set up an overnight camp in the UNESCO-registered Lut desert.
The vast province was long shunned by potential foreign and domestic travelers though it is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites, namely Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut desert, parts of latter is situated in Kerman province.
Chabahar (formerly Bandar Beheshti) is a free port (Free Trade Zone) on the coast of the Gulf of Oman, and is Iran's southernmost city.
For mainstream Iranians, the name of Sistan-Baluchestan conjures up stories of drought, desiccated wetlands, and dust storms. On the international scale foreigners may consider it a reminiscent of the big red blot on the Iran safety map.