Guilan is the land of geographical diversity giving this green piece of Iran great cultural diversity which has enabled various ethnicities such as Gilak, Talesh, Galesh, Turk and Kurd to live amicably together for centuries. To see the geographical diversity, you don’t have to visit all cities and villages in Guilan; the 260-hectare Guilan Rural Heritage Museum is Middle East’s biggest ecomuseum displaying all the attractions of the beautiful emerald Guilan. Following the devastating 1990 earthquake in Rudbar and other cities in Guilan, many started to think that part of Guilan’s culture lay in its traditional architecture and that culture may be preserved by building a museum, though symbolic. Anthropological and architectural studies and the physical construction of the museum would take a lot of time and finally, Guilan Rural Heritage Museum was opened in 2007 in Saravan Forest Park. Guilan Rural Heritage Museum is a unique museum reflecting the diversity of Guilan’s rural culture. In fact, to build this museum, houses on the verge of perishing are identified in Guilan and after relocating their materials to the museum site the structure is reassembled. The natural and environmental items such as farms, orchards and meadows surrounding the rural villages are reconstructed and preserved like their originals and even the residents of the villages have generously offered the museum their old domestic tools and equipment. That is why when you walk in this museum it feels as if you’re walking and enjoying the whole of Guilan. In addition to rural sites, the museum accommodates spaces for traditional games and performances, medicinal herb and local plant farms, handicraft workshops, rice farms and tea plantations, children playgrounds, traditional teahouses and restaurants, and relaxation camps where you can stroll and enjoy and complete your trip. The museum’s traditional restaurants are the best option to taste the real diversity of Guilani food. It is impossible to visit the museum and not try Torsh Tareh, Mirza Qassemi, Morgh-e Torshi, Baqli Qatuq or Fesenjan-e Torsh. To buy souvenirs and keepsakes from Guilan Province, just pay a visit to the souvenir and traditional shops built in the museum and purchase such traditional products as pottery, Gomaj, Rashti Doozi, Mats, carpets, felt, bed-pieces, clothing and even local bread and cookies to take back with you as souvenirs.
Since visiting all the villages in the museum takes a lot of time, you can find accommodation in the museum suites or stay in Rasht City’s hotels and inns.