Nomads have one of the most attractive life styles that can be seen in the modern world. They are not primitive like some faraway Islanders rather they are mainly known for being on the move. When talking about Iran, Nomads are mentioned as one of its highlights. Seeing such a traditional life style just a few miles away from the modern cities is a wonderful life-time experience.
Nomads spread all around Iran in different regions including west and south-west, East and south-east, north west and finally north east and center. Each region is resident to some of the tribes who live in that area; Afshar tribe in the north-east, Balouch in the south-east, Shahsavan in the North West are just a few examples. Still, the biggest nomadic population lives in the west and south-west near Zagros Mountains located in 6 south-western provinces including Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Isfahan, Chahar-Mahal Bakhtiari, kohkilooye and Fars.
The biggest and most well-known tribes in Iran are Bakhtiaris, Ghashghaees and Khamseh. Bakhriaris as the biggest nomadic tribe who live on western part of Chahar Mahal province and move along way to the East of Khouzestan province in the winter. Ghashghaee (Qashqaee), the second famous nomadic tribe, live in different parts of Fars, the south part of Isfahan and near the Persian Gulf. Most of the year, they are on the move between their summer and winter resorts and they stay mainly in big rectangular tents. Although, many of these were forced to settle down some 100 years ago or decided to abandon their nomadic life, still some big population of nomads is on the move. There are approximately one million moving nomads divided into 96 major tribes.
As the settlement and passing routes of Bakhtiaris and Ghashghaees overlap with touristy routes, there are many possibilities for paying a visit. In fact, Fars province is hosting the biggest nomadic population probably because the biggest nomadic tribes reside (at least temporarily) in this region. Some of the tribes pass through the Fars province; others move from southern parts to the northern parts and take a shorter trip to reach their summer destination. The latter reside in the plains near ZarinDasht, Neyriz, Fasa , Simakan, Ghir, FirouzAbad, Farashband, and Kazeroon and then move to Abadeh, Eghlid, Bavanat, Sepidan, Khorambid, and Pasargadae to find their summer resort. The spring movement usually takes place after the New Year at the beginning of April.
Needless to say that famous Sassanid sites are located in Firouzabad and Kazeroon which are common routes for these tribes as well. As Isfahan and Shiraz are major tourist destinations, it is common to plan a visit near Isfahan (Semirom) and near Shiraz (FirouzAbad or Kohmare) where they usually reside for a few months.
Nomadic life has many interesting aspect which cannot be explained in a short article. Their attractive colorful dresses, special music, invaluable handicrafts, different type of carpets such as Glim, Jajim, Gabbe are a few examples of their fabulous life. Fortunately, their genuine art and products are still preserved and unaffected by modernity. But to enjoy these extraordinary and amazing aspects, you have to experience it first-hand.
Please note that this description is by no means complete. It was a mere attempt to give tourists a general account of various nomadic tribes scattered in different parts of Iran. To have a deeper sense of this aspect of Persian land, further readings and a personal visit are beyond question.