Many travellers opt to bypass Kashan on their journeys between Tehran, Esfahan and Yazd, but this delightful oasis city on the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir is one of Iran’s most alluring destinations. It not only boasts a cluster of architectural wonders, an atmospheric covered bazaar and a Unesco recognised garden, but it also offers some of central Iran’s best traditional hotels.
During the Seljuk period (AD 1051–1220) Kashan became famous for its textiles, pottery and tiles, reaching high levels of accomplishment in each of these cottage industries. Currently local textile artisans are enjoying something of a renaissance of interest in their work, but mechanisation has largely led to the demise of this ancient craft. Today the town is more widely known as a major centre for the production of rose water, which is sold at outlets around the main tourist attractions and at dedicated stores in the bazaar.