Persians have always had a nomadic lifestyle rooted in their history and traditions. Rarely in any country other than Iran, will you be able to follow the precise seasonal migrations that Iranian nomads have couple of times a year. Each year these local nomad groups make their way through specially charted routes and depending on the season, settle down in their summer or winter camps. These Routes are placed along the amazingly beautiful landscapes and nature of Iran and many of a time can go through rough and steep terrains. It is these hardships of migration that have made the nomad groups strong and tough people and even throughout the grand history of Persia the traces of nomad groups and the growth to imperial power such as the Qajaris, can be seen.
The nomads of Iran are from various cultural backgrounds and ethnics. The Turks, Baloochs, Kurds, Turkmans and Arabs all have their own nomadic groups and lifestyles. These groups vary in size and customs but the most famous and biggest of the Iranian Nomad groups are the Qashqais, Bakhtiaris and the Shahsavan nomads. These groups that are each placed on the corners of the Iran map, each have their own unique customs, festivals, cuisine and colorful clothing. Camp building and tents are a very important aspect of the nomadic culture. Each group varying on their culture and region have their own special way of setting up their tents. Some of them are in colder regions and therefore have reinforced tents; some in warmer parts of the country have light colored tents with spacious entries.
In the last few years, unfortunately, many nomadic groups have cut down on their migrations and have decided to permanently settle down, but this has not stopped them from continuing their traditions. Most of the Iran nomad groups hold an annual get together and show their unity to other groups. These days are marked with several celebrations, traditional sporting events, traditional group dances and feasting. The Iranian nomads are famous for their hospitality and greet guests with open arms. Tourists will be able to join their yearly celebrations through many nomad tours and experience being among a part of them, tasting their unique cuisines and participating in the nomad events. Many nomad groups knowing that many local and foreign tourists enjoy their traditions have even started their own eco-tourism lodges and provide services to travelers based on their own customs. Tourists will be able to enjoy the calm and healthy lifestyle of the nomads, wear their traditional colorful clothes, walk among flocks of sheep, wander through the wonderful landscapes of their settlements and sit to dine with the nomad elders.
The nomads of Iran also have an artistic hand and provide some of the best souvenirs found in Iran. Traditional rugs and skins are hand woven with the highest amount of care and in several various colorful designs. Iranian nomads produce some of the best organic dairy products in Iran; fresh cream, tasty yogurts and special sour Doogh (A famous dairy based Iranian drink) can all be enjoyed by tourists upon their stay with the nomads. The Iranian nomads take deep pride in their customs and traditions and enjoy sharing them with guests from all over the world.