Kandovan is an extraordinary ancient village in the province of East Azerbaijan, near the city of Tabriz, Iran. With it’s at least 800 years archaism, this remarkable place is inhabited by 670 people and offers scenic beauty for its travelers. With homes carved inside rocks, some of them 700 years old, the Kandovan village is said to have been partially formed by volcanic remains from a strong Mount Sahand eruptions hundreds of years ago. This is a place where houses are not built on a mountain, but within a mountain. Another interesting aspect is the fact that the rock acts as an energy efficient material, keeping the house cool during summer and warm during winter. This is why most of the inhabitants here do not use heaters or air conditioning systems.
The intriguing architecture of this village seems to defy all rules and travelers are usually fascinated by its incredible slopes and irreverent paths. Recently a hotel was built, inspired by and connected to the “style” of the village. The “Rocky Hotel” features beautiful cave interiors with very comfortable living spaces. What we found interesting is that it takes ten months for four people to dig a room. The 5 star Kandovan Tourism Cliff Hotel is the first of its kind in Iran and the second in the world, after the luxurious Yunak Evleri Cave Hotel, in Cappadocia, Turkey.