Day 252: The Million Star Hotel

Crumbling Sand Castles at Kaluts

Spent the night in Kaluts, a desert filled with sand castles. These tall structures, believed to be formed by wind erosion, became walls for our makeshift ‘hotel room’. We fell asleep right there in the open, beneath a million stars. Moein, our driver, had everything we needed in the boot of his car. I can’t believe how he managed to pack it all in – a carpet, pillow, blanket, sleeping bags, gas stove, teapot, food, fruit, drinks…

Massive walls of our “hotel room”

After dinner, we took a walk by moonlight into the open desert. We were the only signs of life that existed. It felt like roaming on some far off planet… Sleeping under the open night sky was awesome – just laid there stargazing until we drifted into sleep. Remember waking in the middle of the night and wasn’t sure if I were seeing things right. Woaaa did someone just wallpaper the ceiling with a million stars?

Sleeping beneath a million stars

This morning we watched the sand castles slowly light up in sunrise. Then Moein took us deeper into the desert where a previous river had dried up, leaving behind a salt imprint of its tracks. Spectacular.

Salt River

Historical caravanserais (caravan inns) are scattered across these lands, used by traders in the past for breaks between Kerman and Mashhad. Interestingly, this trade route still exists today but for an entirely different merchandise – Afghan opium!

Ancient caravanserai, three quarters of its base buried in sand

Travel Info

Arrive in Kerman by bus or train. We took a 16:50 train from Tehran and pulled into Kerman at 07:00. Contact Moein to arrange for a night in the desert.


M: 0913 9970962

Look up Kaluts (N 30º38’34.63″, E 58º0’58.48″) on Google Earth. From space, it looks as if some supreme being just decided to scratch this part of the planet.

You might also like:


  1. Rafzana says:

    Wow, I'm completely blown away by your beautiful pictures! You guys should make a book about your journey!

  2. ace says:

    i am in awe too, by the pics and the experience.

  3. Donaldpoon says:


  4. Leslie says:

    My goodness no words! what a pleasure to sleep beneath the stars like that! WOW!

Leave a Reply to Donaldpoon Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>