The provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran occupy the coastal belt between the Alborz mountain range and the southern shores of the Caspian sea ( Darya-ye Khazar ).

To Iranian the Caspian region , known as Shomal (‘ The North’) , is a tourist area favoured above any of the dry and dusty towns of the central plateau usually visited by foreign tourists. No-one can claim to have see Iran if they have not traveled through this geographically and culturally unique northern enclave, and the locals are very kind people.