Ilam Travel Guide

Ilam is the capital of Ilam province and also the third-largest Kurdish city in Iran. The city is located on the south-west of Iran surrounded by mountains and valleys. Ilam is next to the border of Iran and Iraq and is located 170 km south of Kermanshah. Since the city is located in a mountainous region, it has many great natural attractions for the more adventurous travelers. You can also see many historical attractions in Ilam tourist attractions. Ilam is somehow an unknown destination for most tourists. We are going to let you know more about this beautiful destination in Iran.

Ilam Climate and Weather

Ilam is situated between cold mountains. However, its climate is mostly affected by deserts from the west and south. Therefore, you can find very cold and snowy winters and hot and dry summers in this city, which is normal in this region. Thus, if you don’t like harsh winters and brutally hot summers, avoid visiting this city during these seasons.

History of Ilam

Ilam was a section of ancient Eilam which dates back to 640 BC. Eilam is known as “Alamto” or “Alam” which means Mountains or “the country of sunrise”, both characterize the city: located between the mountains and sunrise can be seen above these mountains too. The city of Ilam has an important role in this kingdom, that’s why it is the only city in Iran which still has its ancient name. In the past, the cities of Isfahan and Shiraz were both parts of Eilam Land.

The name of this area has been changed several times, during the Ashkanids era, the whole province was a part of a land called “Pahleh” or “Pahloo” which means “a vast land”. When Arabs changed its name to “Jebal” which means Mountains.

During the Qajar era, the city was called “Poshte Kooh” means “behind the mountain”. But it was during the first Pahlavi kingdom when the city became a province. To remember its old days and its importance in history its name changed to Ilam thereafter.

Demographics and Cultures

  • Language

Most of the population of the city are Kurds, Lors, and Arabs. Therefore, you can find different languages spoken in this region. However, most of the people speak Ilami Kurdish. The rest speak Lori, Laki, and Arabic.

  • Traditional Clothes

Although the old and traditional clothes of Ilam has been forgotten and no one wear them, even in villages, it might be possible to see these clothes during special traditional events. It might be rare but not impossible.

The traditional clothes of Ilam consist of different parts, hats, vest called Chookheh and lose pants which are called “Sheval Jafi”. Kwals is the name of the special shoes mostly men wear. The traditional clothes of women are long dresses (mostly sequined for special events such as weddings), Jafi (same as men’s pants with is used for work), and “Ghi Van” a special long scarf used as a belt over dresses. Women also wear special headcover which is called “Golwany”, it is mostly made of silk.

Ilam local food

Local bread is so popular in this city. But like many other cities in Iran, Ilam also has its own type of “Kebab” which seems the same as a traditional kebab but has different taste. “Jegarouz” is another special local food in Ilam which is cooked by cow’s liver.

Ilam Tourist Attractions

You can find many great tourist attractions in Ilam province. Some of the most popular ones are as follow:

  • Vali Castle: One of the most important tourist attractions in Ilam province which is located in the city of Ilam is the Vali Castle. The castle was built in 1906 and then renovated in 1989. Today it houses the Museum of Anthropology of Ilam.
  • Falahati Palace: this palace dates back to the Qajar era and is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the city of Ilam.
  • Razianeh Canyon: this canyon is one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Eilam province which has been registered in the list of Iran’s natural relics.
  • Kabir Kooh Protected Area: Kabir kooh Mountain is one of the mountains in Zagros Mountain Range which is located near the city of Darreh Shahr in Eilam province.
  • Arqavan Canyon: this beautiful and colorful region is located northeast of the city of Ilam. It is located in the rout to Quch Ali canyon. Arqavan Canyon is full of purple flowers and beautiful trees. It is one of the most eye-catching natural attractions in Ilam province.
  • Siah Gav Twin Lake: this lake is one of the rarest natural phenomena of the country which is located in a village with the same name. It is a fair lake divided accidentally into two similar parts, that’s why it is called Twin.
  • Historical Storehouses of Zaed Village: Zaed Village is one of the coolest and spectacular villages you can find in Eilam province. It has historical valleys which were storerooms where people store their wheat or salts for up to three years.

Ilam Souvenirs

Like other cities of Iran, most of the souvenir of Ilam consist of handicrafts and traditional sweets. If you want to buy a gift or something to remember Ilam, you can choose the most delicious sweets which are so popular between locals. Saji Bread, Beji Barsaq sweet, and Bagol Halwa are among the most popular ones. However, if you like to buy handicrafts, Ilam rugs are so well-known in this area.

How to Travel to Ilam

You can easily get to Ilam from any of the cities in Iran. The easiest one is Kermanshah which is almost 3 hours away from this city. You can rent a car and visit the city in one day. The distance between Ilam and Tehran, capital of Iran is more than 8 hours. It is possible to buy bus tickets and get to Ilam without any problem. Ilam also has an airport, therefore it will be easy but a little more expensive to choose this option.

Find Best Hotels in Ilam

The city is small and there are not many hotels in this city. However, you can still choose to stay in other cities near Ilam, such as hotels in Kermanshah, and take a day-trip to this destination. But if you choose to stay in Ilam, Ilam Zagros Hotel might be a great option for you, it is a 3-star hotel near the airport and definitely the best hotel in Ilam. If you want to know more about the options you have, contact us via WhatsApp or email, we can arrange the other options based on your needs.

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