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.
From Tehran, we took a three hour bus ride to Kashan. Buses to Kashan leave hourly from Terminal-e-jonub (South Terminal) in Tehran. It is easy to purchase the bus tickets, either book it online with the help of an Iranian friend or go to the bus terminal and ask for Kashan, there will be many touts who will point you in the right direction.
Kashan has been a joy to visit as we got to stay in a hostel converted from a traditional house. There were not many tourists on the streets and we were greeted by friendly locals at every corner we turned. Other than a huge group of Thai tourists on a group tour that we met at Tabatabaei house, we did not see any other tourists. Visiting the traditional houses has to be the highlight of Kashan because it feels like you have been transported back to the 18th or 19th century where people used to have huge holiday homes and Kashan was chosen due to its cooler temperatures.
It was fun to explore the old labyrinths of Kashan, admiring the houses made of straw and mud that have been able to without the weather elements over the years, and to gawk at the Fin Garden which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We skipped the town of Abyaneh because we did not have enough time, but if you do, you can consider visiting Abyaneh as a day trip to see the traditional brick-red architecture of the village located on the slopes of the nearby hill.