Iran Wetlands

Let’s first take a baby step and start with the definition of Wetlands. Wetlands or Lagoons are ecosystems, somewhere between land and water.

What we have tried to introduce in this blog, are Iran’s Wetlands or Iran’s Lagoons. As many people come to visit Iran’s historical attractions, they also could be interested in Iran’s wildlife and nature.

Wetlands or Lagoons in Iran, are very spectacular. If someone is looking for a beautiful quiet place these ecosystems are the best. 

These lagoons are important not just for tourist reasons but also because of the environment they make for all kinds of creatures. 

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is the oldest international treaty in the world, dated 1971. It has been the main reference for those who want to know about Iran Wetlands or Lagoons. 

In this blog, you will recognize better about Iran’s most interesting wetlands and lagoons.


Anzali Wetland

Anzali Wetland is not only a vast body of water but also a large source of freshwater that is surrounded by several villages. Several decades ago, Anzali was a major waterway leading to the Caspian Sea.

This northern wetland is mild and humid most of the time and its annual rainfall goes up to 2000 mm.

Anzali Lagoon’s exclusive climatic conditions make good unparalleled biodiversity in the region. 150 species of birds, 43 species of fish, dozens of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and more than 100 species of herbaceous plants have been recorded in this wetland.

July, August, and even September can be considered the best times of the year to visit, because not only the weather is fine but also Anzali Wetland’s surrounding vegetation are in their best condition and ready to blossom. You could see the rare native and migratory birds in the lagoon as well.

Anzali Lagoon

Zrebar Wetland

Marivan in Kurdistan province hosts one of the most beautiful natural ecosystems; Zrebar Lake. Zre, in old Persian means sea. Though it is a lake it also fits the definition of a wetland. 

The altitude of the lake is around 1285 meters above sea level, therefore, Zrebar’s winters are very cold and it often freezes.

Zrebar is one of the top places for mountaineering and fishing. The best time to visit this is spring and summer because, as mentioned earlier, the winters are cold and icy. 

One of the attractions of Zrebar Wetland is that no flowing river enters it. Its water comes from rain, snow accumulated in the surrounding mountains, and freshwater springs.

Nymphaea, sometimes referred to as lotuses, along with reeds have decorated this wetland like no other.

Zrebar Wetland

Kanibrazan Wetland

Kanibrazan wetland or lagoon is located in the north of Mahabad to Miandoab road. It is one of the most important wetlands in the south of Urmia Lake. KaniBrazan gets its water from its springs, rainfall, and annual runoffs.

In 2005, Kanibrazan lagoon was set to be a no-hunting area and a couple of years later it was introduced as the first bird-watching site in Iran. In March 2009, under the supervision of the Environment Organization KaniBrazan lagoon became a wildlife refuge.

This wetland takes its name from a spring called Kani which was both a water source for villagers and a huge herd of boars. Boar in the Persian language is called “Goraz” and in the dialect of people over, there is Braz.

Kanibrazan was much larger in the past, locals referred to it as “the sea”! It is better to visit this wetland or lagoon in mid-autumn.

Gomishan International Wetland

Gomishan International Wetland is located near Bandar Torkaman. It is one of the old international wetlands in Iran and Golestan province.

This wetland, which is affected by the tidal waves of the Caspian Sea from the west and receives floods from the Atrak river from the east, welcomes a large number of local and even foreign fishermen every year because of the interference of the fresh and saltwater in this region is a rare phenomenon.

The eastern border of this wetland is covered by low plains. The increase of about 1.8 meters in the water level of the Caspian Sea during the past years has led to the flooding of a large part of them. As a result, the Gomishan wetland is now full of shallow and saline dams.

Although natural meadows around the wetland are used for agriculture and despite oil projects that have been developed on the margins of Gomishan Lagoon, in general, it has preserved its unique environmental values ​​and biodiversity.

A significant change in weather conditions is noticeable between the northern and southern borders of the wetland. In the northern areas, the annual rainfall is much higher than in the southern areas. In general, the temperate climate of this wetland is such that tourists can visit it in any season of the year.

Gomishan Wetland

Miankaleh Wetland

Miankaleh International Wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary located in Mazandaran province is the first registered international wetland in Iran that has a special biological, historical, economic, educational, and recreational richness. This complex includes Miankaleh Peninsula, Ashuradeh Island, and Gorgan Bay.

The presence of rare animal and plant species living in this international lagoon is not comparable with any other wetland. Miankaleh lagoon is very unique therefore the ecosystem it presents is one of a kind. 

Miankaleh wetland and Ashuradeh Island are some of the few natural regions in Iran that have been protected from urban and human development. They are referred to as the precious jewel of nature in northern Iran.

About 288 species of bird could be found in this lagoon which is why, in terms of bird-watching, the Miankaleh wetland is the best place in Iran for those who follow such an occupation.  

You could easily watch birds such as Pelicans, flamingos, cormorants, swans, ducks, white-tailed sea eagles, francolins, and Caspian seas pheasants.

These birds find their food in the water of this lagoon. Fish species are also very diverse in Miankaleh Wetland thereby, it’s a perfect spot for fishermen. High variety of vegetation, tidal margins, meadows, and pomegranate gardens are some of the nicest sceneries of this complex.

Lagoons are weird. For a long time, people thought of them as places for rotten and wasted water, with no value or function. Now, we realize how wrong we were about them. Wetlands are sometimes the beating heart of nature as they are so many different animal and plant inhabitance.

Miankaleh Wetland

Lake Urmia

Last but not least is Lake Urmia. It has many wetlands and different types of ecosystems. We have a full blog dedicated to Lake Urmia as it is Iran’s largest lake and important international lagoons.

There are many more wetlands in Iran, there could even be a tour to just visit and explore Iran’s lagoons.