Iran’s second-largest city and spiritual centre, Mashhad, is in the northeastern province of Khorasan, a historically significant transit city along the Silk Road. Governed by different ethnic groups over the course of its history, the city enjoyed relative prosperity in the Mongol period.

Mashhad is home to some of the most significant Iranian literary figures and artists, such as the poet Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, and Mohammad-Reza Shajarian, the traditional Iranian singer and composer.

Kuh-e Sangi is Mashhad’s best park and an excellent afternoon or early evening picnic spot. A small stream runs through its centre, which you can cross by climbing the rock formations or hopping across stepping stones. Ice cream and other treats are readily available. The park is filled with families most evenings and boasts excellent city views from its highest point.

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