Development of the Haraz Road geotourism as a key to increasing tourism industry and promoting geoconservation

Document Type : Research Paper


1 School of Geology, Colleges of Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Natural Resources, Department: Environmental Science Department, University of Guilan, Iran


 The purpose of this research is to introduce road tourist attractions. Geotrial attractions of Haraz Road (Haraz Valley), located in the Alborz Mountain, are presented in this article. The Haraz Road (Road 77) is one of the most beautiful roads in the world that connects the capital of Iran (Tehran) to Mazandaran province. In this research, the geodiversity attractions of the area outside the urban context, in the Jajrud Neck to the Filband zone have been investigated. There are 17 stops along the road. The basis of this research has been the transfer of knowledge and experience of over 20 years of field visits to this road. This research was conducted due to the various interests in the Haraz road, such as geodiversity, cultural, historical, religious, and ecological attractions. The most attractive tourist sites along the Haraz road include Lar plain, Qal'e Dokhtar, Shahandasht waterfalls, Imamzadeh Hashem, Damavand peak Gol-e Zard cave, Damavand Icy waterfall, Basaltic prisms, kafer-Keli crypts, and Shahi Bridge. This road is the cheapest road geotourism option for middle to low-income people.


Article Title [Persian]


Abstract [Persian]


Allenbach, P., 1970. Geology and Petrography of Damavand and its environment (Central Alborz) Iran. Geopersia 2021, 11(1): 61-79 77Geological Survey of Iran Report, No. 17.##
Allenbach, P., Steiger, R., 1972. Central Alborz geological map (1:100,000), Geological Survey of Iran.##
Amini, S., Bolourian, G.H., 2005. Ash Turbidite and Submarine Fans in Karaj Formation. Geoscience, 12:146-153.##
Amiri, M. J., Nohegar, A., Bouzari, S., 2018. Potential Assessment of Geomorphological Landforms of the Mountainous Highland Region, Haraz Watershed, Mazandaran, Iran, Using the Pralong Method. Pollution, 4(3): 381-394. doi: 10.22059/poll.2018.240018.302##
Amrikazemi, A., 2002. Introducing Geotourism in Iran. In: 10th International Ecotourism Conference. Australia, Cairns.##
Amrikazemi, A., 2004. Atlas of the Qeshm Geotourism, a look at the geological features of the Qeshm Island. Geological Survey of Iran.##
Amrikazemi, A., 2009. Atlas of Geopark and Geotourism Resources of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran Publication, Tehran.##
Amrikazemi, A., 2013. Geoheritage atlas of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran.##
Amrikazemi, A., Mehrpooya A., 2006. Geotourism resources of Iran. In: Dowling, Newsome, D., (Eds.), Geotourism: sustainability, impacts and management. Elsevier, Butterworth, 78-92.##
Ansari, M.R., 2013. Hydrochemistry of the Damavand Thermal springs, North of Iran. Life Science Journal, 10:866- 873.##
Assereto, R., 1966. Geological map of upper Djadjerud and Lar valleys (central Elburz, Iran), 1:50.000, with explanatory notes. Pubblicazione Istituto di Geologia dell’Università di Milano, 232, 86 p.##
Bartuś, T., 2015. Geotourist maps of the Sudetic Geostrada Trail as a new form of popularization of geotourism in the Sudety Mts. Geotourism, 1-2 (40-41) 2015:
Beigi, H., Beigi, M., 2016. Geotourism route (geotrial) Road 77. P.1-7. The 5th National Conference on Sustainable Development in Geography and Planning, Architecture and Urban Science. (In Persian).##
Berzins, R., Davidson, J., Hassanzadeh, J., Stockli D.F., Bashukooh, B., Turrin, B., Pandamouz, A., Stockli, D. F., 2001. Damavand Volcano, Northern Iran: Morphology and Sedimentary Record. GSA Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.##
Cowie , J.W., Wimbledon W.A.P., 1994. The World Heritage list and its relevance to geology. In: O’Halloran, D., Green, C., Harley, M., Stanley, M., Knill, J., (Eds.), Geological and Landscape
Conservation. Geological Society of London, 71-73.##
Darvishzadeh, A., Moradi, M., 1997. Fall differentiation in pyroclastic fall deposits of Damavand
Volcano. Journal of Science, 23, 31-46. (in Persian with English abstract).##
Davidson, J., Hassanzadeh, J., Stockli, D.F., Bashukooh, B., Turrin, B., Pandamouz, A., 2004. The geology of Damavand volcano, Alborz Mountains, northern Iran. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 116, 16-29.##
Dowling, R.K., 2010. Geotourism’s global growth. Geoheritage, 3:1-13. doi:.1007/s12371-010-
0024-7. Dowling, R.K., Newsome, D., 2006. Geotourism. Elsevier, Oxford.##
Dzulkafli, M.A., Sulaiman, N., Azmi, A., Mohamed, K.R., Ail, C.A., 2019. The Present-day Landscape of Bukit Keluang Formation: Geoheritage Potential for Conservation and Geotourism. Sains Malaysiana 48 (11): 2583-2593.
Egresi, I., Bayram, B., Kara, F., Kesik, O. A., 2012. Unlocking the potential of religious tourism in Turkey .GeoJournal of Tourism and Geosites, 1(9): 63-80.##
Ehteshami-Moinabadi., M., Nasiri, S., 2017. Geometrical and structural setting of landslide dams of the Central Alborz: a link between earthquakes and landslide damming. Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment. doi 10.1007/s10064-017-1021-8.##
Emami, M.H., 1992. Damavand Volcano and its probable activity, Phase (1): Petrogenesis and
magmatic evolution of Damavand volcano, international Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (HEES), Publication no, 4, 71-92 (in Persian with English abstract).##
Errami, E., Ennih, N., Choukri, A., Enniouar, A., Lagnaoui, A., 2013. The first geotrail in the Doukkala- Abda aspiring geopark (Morocco): a tool for local sustainable socio-economic development. 12th European Geoparks Conference Proceedings, 51 - 54.##
Feiznia, S., 1990. Different types of rock balls and their genesis from the Karaj formation (middle Eocene) in Central Alborz, of northern Iran, Journal of. Science Islamic Republic of Iran, 1(4):294- 78 Ranjbaran & Sotohian 302.##
Ferrigno, J.G., 1991. Glaciers of the Middle East and Africa - Glaciers of Iran, in Williams, R.S., and Ferrigno, J.G., (Eds.), Glaciers of the Middle East and Africa.##
Ginting, N., Siregar, N., 2018. Geotrial development to connect the dots in Muara Caldera Toba,
Indonesia. Earth and Environmental Science 126: 1-10. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/126/1/012169.
Henderson, J.C., 2011. Religious Tourism and Its Management: The Hajj in Saudi Arabia, International Journal of Tourism Research, 13: 541-552.##
Hose, T. A., 2011. The English Origins of Geotourism (as a Vehicle for Geoconservation) and Their Relevance to Current Studies. Acta geographica Slovenica, 51(2):343-359. doi: 10.3986/AGS51302.##
Hosseinzadeh, M., Ranjbaran, M., 2018. The Relationship and mode of expansion of the trace fossils in volcanic ashes of the Karaj Formation, the east of Tehran. 4th Symposium of Sedimentological Society of Iran, p. 251-256.##
Khaksar, K., Khaksar, K., 2012. Correlation between quaternary stratigraphy units in different
geological zones of Iran. International Research Journal of Geology and Mining. 2(6):141-147.##
Kosari Torbehbar, A., Haghnazar Liseroudi, M., 2015. Geological Classification of Proposed
Geothermal Areas of Iran. Proceedings World Geothermal Congress, 1-12.##
Kubalíková, L., 2013. Geomorphosite assessment for geotourism purposes. Czech Journal of Tourism, 2(2): 80-104. doi:10.2478/cjot-2013-0005.##
Lü, Y., Chen, L., 2017. Upper crustal P-wave velocity structure beneath two volcanic areas in northern ئIran. Science China Earth Sciences. 60(4): 786-795.##
Majidinia, R., 2012. Petrology and geochemistry of the lavas in Plour area and their flow mechanism. MSc. Thesis, Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, University of Tehran, 95p. (in Persian with English abstract).##
McKeever, P., Zouros, N., 2005. Geoparks: Celebrating Earth heritage, sustaining local communities:Episodes, 28(4): 274-278.##
McKeever, P.J., Zouros, N., Patzak, M., 2010. The UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks: The George Wright Forum, 27(1):14-18.##
Moradi, M., 1996. Tephrochornology and eruption dynamics of Damavand volcano (Central Elborz, North of Iran).##
Mortazavi, M., 2017. High Potash Volcanic Rocks and Pyroclastic Deposits of Damavand Volcano, Iran, an Example of Interpolate Volcanism. Journal of Sciences, Islamic Republic of Iran, 28:155 - 168.##
Mozafari, M. Raeisi, E., 2017. Leakage paths at the Lar Dam site, northern Iran. Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, 50: 444- 453.##
Newsome, D., Dowling, R.K., 2010. Geotourism: the tourism of geology and landscape. Goodfellow Publishing Limited, p. 242.##
Palacio Prieto, J.L., Castro Martinez G. F., Rosado Gonzalez E.M., 2019. Geotrails in the Mixteca Alta UNESCO Global Geopark, Oaxaca, Mexico. Cuadernos Geograficos 58(2):111-125.##
Pandamouz, A., 1998. A new investigation of stratigraphic position of the basaltic flows in the volcanic sequence of Damavand (Central Albourz, N. Iran).##
Panizza, M., Piacente, S., 2003. Geomorfologia Culturale. Pitagora Editrice, Bologna, 350 pp.##
Panizza, M., Piacente, S., 2013. Geomorphosites and geotourism. Revista Geografia, 2(1): 5-9.
Pelfini, M., Bollati, I., 2014. Landforms and geomorphosites ongoing changes: concepts and
implications for geoheritage promotion. Quaestiones Geographicae, 33(1): 131-143.##
Rahmani Javanmard, S., Tutti, F., Omidian, S., Ranjbaran, M., 2012. Mineralogy and stable isotope geochemistry of the Ab Ask travertines in Damavand geothermal field, Northeast Tehran, Iran. Central European Geology, 55: 187-212.##
Reynard, E., Fontana, G., Kozlik, L., Scapozza, C., 2007. A method for assessing scientific and
additional values of geomorphosites. Geographica Helvetica, 62(3):148-158.##
Robinson, A., 2016. Geotourism and Geoparks, Pathway for future development in Australia, AESC. In: international Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks, 36.##
Saeedeh Eskandari, S., 2013.Assessment of Ecotourism Potential of Urban Forest Parks Based on Effective Factors in Outdoor Recreation, A Case Study: Sorkhe Hesar Forest Park Saeedeh Eskandari and Jafar Oladi Ghadikolaei.World Applied Sciences Journal ,27 (8): 950-960. doi:
10.5829/idosi.wasj.2013.27.08.2282. Geopersia 2021, 11(1): 61-79 79##
Saini, J., R. Kaur, R., Sharma, P.K., 2017. Metagenomic Insights into Microbial diversity and Metabolic Potential of Hot Spring Ecosystem. In: Kalia, V.C., Shouche, Y., Purohit, H.J., Rahi, P., et al. (Eds.), Mining of Microbial Wealth and MetaGenomics.doi: .1007/978-981-10-5708-3.##
Shinde, K.A., 2010. Entrepreneurship and indigenous entrepreneurs in religious tourism in India. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12(5):523-535. doi: 10.1002/jtr.771.##
Solaymani Azad, S., Ritz, J.-F., Abbassi, M., 2011. Left-Lateral Active Deformation along the Mosha- North Tehran fault (Iran): Morphotectonics and Paleo Seismological Investigations, Tectonophysics, 497:1-14.##
Solleiro-Rebolledo, E., Sedov, S., Cabadas-Báez, H., 2015. Use of soils and palaeosols on volcanic materials to establish the duration of soil formation at different chronological scales. Quaternary International, 376: 5-18.##
Solleiro-Rebolledo, E., Straubinger, M., Terhorst, B., Sedov, S., Ibarra, G., Sánchez-Alaniz, J.I.,
Solanes, M.C., Marmolejo, E., 2016. Paleosol s beneath a lava flow in the southern basin of Mexico: The effect of heat on the paleopedological record. Catena, 137,622-634. doi:
Stöcklin, J., Setudehnia, A., 1991. Stratigraphic Lexicon of Iran. Geological Survey of Iran. Report No. 18.##
Uromeihy, A., 2000. The Lar Dam; an example of infrastructural development in a geologically active karstic region journal of Asian Earth Sciences. Volume 18, Issue 1, February 2000, Pages 25-31.
Yazarlou, M., 2015. Thinking Relatively on Nature Concept with Creating “Modern Tourism Space” at Mazandaran through Tourism Approach. Current World Environment, 10(1):967-978.
Zakeri, H., & Habib, F., 2013b. Analyzing Factors Affecting Formation of Cultural Landscape in
Hormoz Island. Advances in Environmental Biology, 7(6): 988-998.##
Zamani-Farahani, H., Henderson, J. C., 2010. Islamic Tourism and Managing Tourism Development in Islamic Societies: The Cases of Iran and Saudi Arabia, International Journal of Tourism Research, 12:79-89.
Zouros, C., N., 2007. Geomorphosite assessement and management in protected áreas of Greece, Case study of Lesvos Island. Coastal geomorphosites, Geographica Helvetica, Zurich, 62 (3): 169-180.##
Zwoliński, Z., 2007. Methodology for determining landform geodiversity in Poland, IAG/AIG Regional Conference on Geomorphology, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 25-29.##
Zwoliński, Z., 2012. Geodiversity map of the Tatra National Park for geotourism. Quaestiones
Geographicae 31(1): 99-107.##