Badab-e Surt Terraces, also known as Badab Soort, is a stunning natural wonder located in Mazandaran Province, Iran. It is a unique geological formation consisting of colorful mineral-rich terraces and natural springs, creating a breathtaking landscape that attracts visitors from around the world.

The name “Badab-e Surt” translates to “bubbling springs” in the local language. The terraces were formed over thousands of years as water from two distinct mineral springs flowed down the mountainside, depositing various minerals and creating striking, stepped formations. The springs are primarily composed of calcium carbonate, which gives the terraces their distinct white color, and iron oxide, which contributes to the terraces’ vibrant orange hues.

The terraces are divided into two main cascades, with the larger one measuring approximately 70 meters in height. Each terrace is a result of the accumulation of mineral deposits over time, forming small pools of vividly colored water. The contrast between the white and orange terraces, coupled with the surrounding greenery, creates a visually captivating scene.

The water in the springs is believed to have healing properties due to its high mineral content. As a result, the site has been used for centuries by locals for therapeutic purposes. People often come to Badab-e Surt Terraces to soak in the pools and enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the area.

To fully appreciate the beauty of Badab-e Surt Terraces, it is recommended to visit during sunrise or sunset when the colors of the terraces are enhanced by the warm light. The surrounding landscape, with its rugged mountains and lush vegetation, further adds to the allure of the site.

While Badab-e Surt Terraces have gained popularity among tourists in recent years, the remote location and limited accessibility have helped preserve its natural state. Visitors are encouraged to be respectful of the environment and adhere to any conservation guidelines in place to ensure the long-term preservation of this remarkable natural phenomenon.

In summary, Badab-e Surt Terraces are a captivating natural wonder in Iran, featuring stunning mineral-rich terraces formed over thousands of years. The unique colors, soothing springs, and picturesque surroundings make it a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photographers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience.

Geological Formation

The geological formation of Badab-e Surt Terraces is an interesting process that spans thousands of years. The terraces are the result of a combination of geological and hydrological factors.

The formation of Badab-e Surt Terraces begins with the presence of two distinct mineral springs, each containing a different combination of minerals. The first spring is rich in calcium carbonate, while the second spring contains a high concentration of iron oxide.

As water from these springs emerges from the ground, it flows downhill along the mountainside. The water carries dissolved minerals with it, and as it cascades down, it evaporates and loses some of its carbon dioxide content. This causes the minerals to precipitate and accumulate, gradually building up the terraces.

The terraces are formed in a step-like manner due to the deposition of different mineral layers. Over time, the alternating layers of calcium carbonate and iron oxide create the characteristic white and orange colors that are seen in the terraces.

The shape and formation of the terraces are also influenced by other factors, such as the slope of the mountainside and the local climate. The flow of the water and the rate of mineral deposition determine the size and shape of each terrace, resulting in the unique stepped appearance.

It’s important to note that the formation of these terraces is a delicate and slow process, taking thousands of years to develop. The ongoing hydrological processes, including the flow of water and the accumulation of minerals, continue to shape and modify the terraces to this day.

The geological significance of Badab-e Surt Terraces lies in its rarity and the intricate interplay between hydrology, mineralogy, and the local environment. It serves as a remarkable example of nature’s ability to create stunning geological formations over long periods of time.

Visitor Experience and Tourism

Visiting Badab-e Surt Terraces offers a unique and memorable experience for tourists. The natural beauty of the terraces, combined with the surrounding landscape, makes it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts, photographers, and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Here are some key aspects of the visitor experience and tourism at Badab-e Surt Terraces:

  1. Scenic Beauty: The terraces’ vibrant colors, contrasting layers, and cascading pools create a visually captivating scene. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views and appreciate the intricate geological formations. The terraces are particularly mesmerizing during sunrise or sunset when the warm light enhances the colors.
  2. Natural Springs: The mineral-rich springs at Badab-e Surt are believed to have therapeutic properties. Many visitors come to soak in the pools and experience the alleged healing effects of the mineral water. It offers a unique opportunity to relax and rejuvenate in a natural setting.
  3. Photography: The terraces’ unique colors, patterns, and natural surroundings make it a paradise for photographers. The picturesque landscape offers endless opportunities for capturing stunning images. Photographers often visit during different times of the day to capture the terraces in varying lighting conditions.
  4. Hiking and Nature Walks: The region surrounding Badab-e Surt Terraces is characterized by scenic mountains, lush vegetation, and hiking trails. Visitors can explore the area through hiking or nature walks, taking in the fresh air and enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings.
  5. Cultural Significance: The terraces have cultural significance for the local population. They have been used for centuries for their alleged therapeutic properties, and the site holds a special place in the traditions and folklore of the region. Visitors can learn about the local culture and traditions associated with the terraces.
  6. Conservation and Sustainability: Due to the remote location and limited accessibility, the site has managed to retain its natural state to a large extent. Efforts are made to preserve and protect the terraces and the surrounding ecosystem. Visitors are encouraged to respect the environment, follow designated trails, and adhere to any conservation guidelines in place.

It’s important to note that while tourism has increased in recent years, the site is still relatively off the beaten path. Facilities such as accommodation and amenities are limited in the immediate vicinity. Therefore, visitors should plan accordingly and be prepared for a more rustic and nature-focused experience.

Overall, visiting Badab-e Surt Terraces offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural significance, and outdoor activities, making it an enchanting destination for travelers seeking a memorable and immersive experience.

Comparison with other travertine terraces and similar geological formations

Badab-e Surt Terraces are indeed unique, but there are other travertine terraces and similar geological formations around the world that share certain characteristics. Here are a few notable examples for comparison:

  1. Pamukkale, Turkey: Pamukkale, located in southwestern Turkey, is perhaps the most famous travertine terrace formation globally. It features terraces of white mineral-rich deposits formed by hot springs. The white terraces of Pamukkale are visually similar to the white terraces of Badab-e Surt, but the geological processes and mineral compositions may differ.
  2. Huanglong, China: Huanglong, located in the Sichuan Province of China, is another stunning travertine terrace system. It is known for its vibrant blue and turquoise pools that form terraces. The colors and the overall visual appeal of Huanglong’s terraces provide a distinct contrast to the terraces of Badab-e Surt.
  3. Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA: Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park showcases a unique collection of terraces formed by hot mineral-rich water. The terraces here are primarily composed of travertine and feature intricate formations that resemble cascading steps. Although the color palette and overall appearance differ from Badab-e Surt, they share the common feature of terraces formed by mineral deposition.
  4. Hierve el Agua, Mexico: Located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, Hierve el Agua is a fascinating geological formation featuring “petrified waterfalls.” These formations are the result of mineral-laden springs creating cascades of mineral deposits over thousands of years. Hierve el Agua shares a similarity with Badab-e Surt in terms of the stepped terraces formed by the deposition of minerals.

While these examples showcase similar geological formations, each has its own unique characteristics, colors, and surrounding landscapes, offering distinct visitor experiences. The mineral composition, hydrological processes, and regional geology contribute to the individuality of each site, making them all remarkable natural wonders worth exploring.

Recap of the key points about Badab-e Surt Terraces

  • Badab-e Surt Terraces are located in Mazandaran Province, Iran. The name translates to “bubbling springs” in the local language.
  • The terraces are a unique geological formation resulting from the flow of two distinct mineral springs down the mountainside.
  • The terraces are composed of colorful mineral deposits, primarily calcium carbonate and iron oxide, creating striking white and orange hues.
  • The terraces form stepped formations, with small pools of vividly colored water at each level.
  • The terraces are considered a natural wonder and attract visitors from around the world.
  • The site offers a scenic and visually captivating experience, especially during sunrise or sunset.
  • The mineral-rich springs at Badab-e Surt are believed to have therapeutic properties and are used for relaxation and healing purposes.
  • Photography enthusiasts are drawn to the terraces for their unique colors and patterns.
  • The region surrounding Badab-e Surt offers opportunities for hiking, nature walks, and exploring the natural beauty of the area.
  • The terraces have cultural significance and are associated with local traditions and folklore.
  • Conservation efforts are in place to preserve and protect the terraces and the surrounding ecosystem.
  • Badab-e Surt Terraces are part of a larger group of travertine terraces found worldwide, each with its own distinct features and characteristics.

Overall, Badab-e Surt Terraces offer a breathtaking natural spectacle, where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of the terraces, enjoy the alleged healing properties of the mineral-rich springs, and appreciate the wonders of nature.


Where is Badab-e Surt Terraces located?

Badab-e Surt Terraces are located in Mazandaran Province, Iran.

How were Badab-e Surt Terraces formed?

The terraces were formed over thousands of years through the flow of mineral-rich springs, which deposited minerals and created the stepped formations.

What minerals give the terraces their colors?

The terraces primarily consist of calcium carbonate, which gives them their white color, and iron oxide, which contributes to the vibrant orange hues.

Can you swim in the pools at Badab-e Surt?

Swimming is generally not allowed in the terraces, as they are considered a natural and protected site. However, visitors can soak their feet in some designated areas.

Are there any accommodations near Badab-e Surt?

Accommodations near Badab-e Surt are limited. It is recommended to stay in nearby cities such as Sari or Amol and plan a day trip to visit the terraces.

What is the best time to visit Badab-e Surt Terraces?

The terraces are best visited during sunrise or sunset when the colors are enhanced by the warm light. However, visiting during the daytime also provides a beautiful experience.

Are there any hiking trails around Badab-e Surt?

Yes, the surrounding region offers hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the natural beauty and enjoy the scenic landscapes.

Are there any entry fees to visit Badab-e Surt?

Yes, there is typically an entry fee to access the terraces. The fee helps with the maintenance and conservation of the site.

Can I bring a professional camera for photography?

Yes, photography is allowed, and the unique terraces provide excellent opportunities for capturing stunning images. However, it is advisable to check any specific guidelines or restrictions related to photography.

Are there any local legends or folklore associated with Badab-e Surt?

Yes, Badab-e Surt Terraces have cultural significance in the region, and there are local legends and folklore surrounding the site. Visitors can learn about these stories and traditions from locals or guides.

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