Yazd is a gem in the desert. Winding lanes lead travelers to mud-brick houses with stained glass windows and heavy doors. This unique architectural design keeps the heat out, but still welcomes guests inside one of the oldest towns on earth. Located at an intersection of trade, Yazd has seen many travelers pass through in search of its silk, and it is still known for its quality craftsmanship to this day.

Ringed by mountains, this city has centuries of history nestled between its labyrinth of lanes. The birthplace of Zoroastrianism, there are still remnants of this ancient faith to visit. Among them, the fire temple which has an eternal flame: it’s the only one in Iran and one of only nine in the whole world. The fire here has been burning for over 2,000 years.

Turquoise Islamic minarets make a colorful statement against the dry desert backdrop. The Masjid-e Jame Mosque dates back to the 12th century and has the highest minarets in the country. The Amir Chakhmakh Complex is a three-story façade of symmetrical sunken alcoves which houses a Mosque, a 600-year-old bathhouse, and a confectionery that makes fresh cookies and traditional sweets with recipes that have been passed down for generations. The old city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, encompassing tea houses, shops, courtyards, and bazaars filled with the fragrance of spices and fruit. It is easy to wander off in the senses-dazzling maze.

To stay cool in the desert heat, this city became known for its inventive wind catchers towers which help to keep the old buildings cool in the hot summers. There is also a water museum featuring technologies used to bring water into Yazd from the nearby mountains. Travelers often go to the top of the nearby hills to get stunning views of this ancient city.