Khoy (salt) in Western Iran may not be worth a lengthy detour but should you be in the vicinity is well worth a visit. Named for the salt mines that made it a significant spur of the silk route Khoy has a long history as an important Christian center.
Motalleb Khan Mosque – a huge and roofless 13th century structure of plain brickwork the Motalleb Khan Mosque claims to have the world’s largest mihrab. The entrance to this mosque is hidden behind street vendors stalls that are just meters from Imam Khomeini Square.
The Darvazeh Sangi – is a black and white stone arch that has two carved lions that make up the last remains of Khoy’s former city wall.
St Sarkis Church- a church with slit windows that suggest that it had a fortified past. Although some upper brick sections were rebuilt in the 1730’s St Sarkis Church supposedly dates from the 4th century. Be sure to take note of the carved motifs over the western door.
The Shams Tabrizi Minaret – named for a celebrated 13th century dervish the Shams Tabrizi Minaret is hidden in the back alleys off 22 Bahman Street, which is just a short taxi ride northeast of Gumsal Square. The Shams Tabrizi Minaret is 300 years old and is interestingly encrusted with protruding animal horns.
Eating and Sleeping
Hotel Sepid (Taleqani Street) – Here you will find three and five bedroom dorms with shared squat toilets. There is a single shared shower that can be accessed through the central kitchen. It has to be said that women will likely feel out of place at this hotel.
Hotel Amir (Valiasr Street) – Situated halfway between Valiasr Square and the Orumiyeh terminal this hotel can best be described as a crash-pad. There is one shared squat toilet that is designated for women.
Khoy Tourist Inn (mehmansara Jahangardi)- Modern and clean this hotel offers well equipped rooms with a mini-bar, hot showers and toilet paper (yes, you do not have to provide your own). There is even an ok restaurant.
Azarbayjan (Shahid Samadzade Street)- this is a simple kabab shop that has an appealing upstairs tea-house section. You reach the upstairs section through unmarked rear curtains.
The Tehran-Khoy flights run on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Once in Khoy you can catch an Orumiyeh bound bus from 5.15 am to 4.30pm at the Salmas terminal.
If you want to get to Tabriz, Marand or Qareh Ziya’eddin then use the small Tabriz terminal.
Source: Iran – The Lonely Planet