Nour is one of the oldest cities of Mazandaran Province, which borders the Caspian Sea in the north, Amol in the east, Alborz Mountains and Larijan in the south and Nowshahr in the west. Nour has humid subtropical climate with warm summers and cool, humid winters.
The city was once named Soldareh but later renamed after the Nour River which flows through it. The word ‘Nour’ means ‘light’ in the Persian language and is said to be a reflection of the clear waters of this river.
The home of famous poet Nima Youshij (1895-1960) and the scenic mountainous route which leads to the poet’s home village of Yoush are among the attractions of the city. It is believed that Nima, inspired by the cloudlike fog that envelopes the roads leading to his home, wrote his famous poem ‘My house is Cloudy.’
The 700-year-old Poulad Castle, which is believed to have been a military structure used for the defense of the village and where people took refuge in times of war, is another one of the attractions of Nour. The castle is said to have been abandoned after the fall of the Paduspanid (655–1598) rulers. Paduspanids were of Sassanid (224 to 651) decent and ruled Tabaristan (modern day Mazandaran, Gilan, Golestan, and the northern part of Semnan) for nearly 1,000 years. They are considered the longest dynasty in Iranian history and the longest dynasty in the world after the imperial Sun Line of Japan. This fortress is only accessible via a mountainous road and requires a hike to reach.
The city has a view of the lush landscape of the Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests, which are 40 million years old and span an area of one million and two hundred thousand hectares. The Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests, which have survived from the Tertiary era, are considered a living museum that showcase the evolution of plant and animal lives over millions of years. These forests, which captivate all with their relic and endemic plant species, have over 80 different types of trees and 60 different types of shrubs. These forests have been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests were once the natural habitat of the now extinct Caspian tiger. These forests are also home to animals on the verge of extinction such as the Persian leopard, Caspian pheasant and the brown bear as well as the Corsac fox and the broad-bill duck.