TEHRAN | If you ever visit Iran, a trip to the neighbourhood of Darband in North Tehran, at the foothills of Mount Tochal and the central Alborz Range is a must. Darband, which used to be a village before becoming part of Tehran, is located at the start of the hiking trail (or chairlift if hiking doesn’t interest you) up to Mount Tochal, which towers over Tehran and contains several popular ski resorts.
The action in this part of Tehran, which is popular with locals and tourists alike is Meidan Mojasame, or Statue Square. The mountaineer’s statue lets you know you’re in the right place. From this square is a path that’s approximately 250 metres in length which contains a variety of activities for visitors.
There’s no shortage of street vendors selling an assortment of treats to tantalise your taste buds. Soured and sweet dates and apricots are popular, as are pickled walnuts and lavashak (sheets of pressed dried fruit). Kebabs, steamed lima beans and freshly roasted corn on the cob are also particularly popular snacks. For those looking for something more substantial, there are several cafes, tea houses and restaurants dotted throughout the area.
If it’s relaxation you are after, a short 10 minute walk further up and you’ll be greeted with plants, a natural stream and a series of small waterfalls. Dotted along this stream are platforms with rugs and pillows, where you can enjoy some tea, a snack or smoke some shisha from a hookah. It’s a beautiful spot that’s very relaxing, and feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Tehran. It’s easy to spend hours here relaxing and contemplating life, or contemplating nothing at all.
Whether you’re looking for a place to rest post or pre a mountain hike, or simply want to relax and escape the hectic hustle and bustle of Tehran, a stop in Darband is a must.