So you have been thinking about visiting somewhere different? Well why not consider Iran for your next Holiday? Sure it’s been in the news a lot lately, but 100,000s of Western tourists take the plunge and go to check out the world renowned hospitality and architecture every single year. Within Iran there are also a large amount of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and natural resources which would not look out of place in any wonders of the world list. The Iranian government spend a significant amount of money to man and secure its borders, so in the main it is generally safe to travel and walk around.
I didn’t know that
- Iran is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It is said that the First Persian Empire dates back to around 530 BC
- Iran is home to the critically endangered Persian cheetah
- Iran Has The 3rd Highest amount Of UNESCO World Heritage Sites In the whole of Asia
- The Persian or Iranian carpets are World Famous
- It is home to the highest Volcano in Asia – Mount Damavand sits at over 5000 metres high
- Iran has over 25 public holidays every single year
Where is Iran?
Iran is also called Persia or officially Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is situated in western part of Asia with the capital city called Tehran. Iran is bordered on the north by Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan, on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the south by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by Turkey.
What To Do In Iran
Once the capital of the first Persian Empire and birthplace of Persian civilization, it’s been said that you haven’t seen Iran unless you’ve walked in the footsteps of the ancient kings.
Nasir ol-Molk Mosque
They say walking inside Nasir ol-Molk is like walking inside a kaleidoscope. Nicknamed “the Pink Mosque” for its rosy-hued tiles, you’ll love discovering the hidden nooks of arguably Iran’s most beautiful mosque.
Located in the northern port city of Bandar Anzali, a boat ride on Anzali Lagoon is a must to witness the houses built on stilts, various bird species, and of course, the water lotuses emerging to blossom through the dark waters.
Are you travelling to the north? Then definitely take the famous Chalus Road. Steep roads snaking down the mountainside, tunnels carved in solid rock, and natural springs and bodies of water make this one of the most scenic routes in Iran.
Valley of the Stars
Qeshm offers pristine nature and a world of mystery, but if there’s one attraction not to miss, it’s the valley of the stars. Marl and sandstone make up the other-worldly rock formations, and with a little imagination, you can see animals faces, and hands among other things
The first Iranian site registered with UNESCO, Chogha Zanbil is a 13th century BC ziggurat in the Khuzestan province. Baked bricks with cuneiform inscriptions are layered in the structure, and a centuries-old footprint of a child in the stone is roped off towards the back.
A bit of athleticism and no fear are required to reach Babak Castle. Once the stronghold of a Khurramite leader who fought the Abbasid Caliphate, this citadel, surrounded by deep gorges, sits at the height of 2,300 – 2,600 meters (7,546 – 8,530 feet). Those with a strong case of acrophobia might choose to admire it from afar.
Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Once a royal polo field, Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Esfahan holds Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque, Sheik Lotfollah Mosque, and the Imperial Bazaar. You’ll need the better portion a day to see it all properly.
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
A feat of engineering, the Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, an ancient irrigation system dating back to the 5th century BCE, is sure to leave you awestruck. Climb the hill behind it to marvel at the view from above before exploring the details of the mechanism and the many bird species living here.
Bridges of Esfahan
Whether it’s Si-o-she Pol, the Khaju, or one of the other nine bridges, a romantic stroll along the marvelous architecture of Esfahan’s bridges on the Zayandeh River is a must. The Persian poetry often spoken in these walls echo through the arched chambers and will seem like Scheherazede’s 1001 Nights.
Kashan’s Historical Homes
Exquisite ceiling, magnificent frescoes, and grand courtyards filled with pomegranate trees are what you’ll get in one of the breathtaking historical homes in the desert city of Kashan. This city is best seen in the spring before it’s too hot and while you can catch the rosewater festival.
Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine
Located in Ardabil, this shrine is the tomb of Sufi mystic leader Sheikh Safi al-din. Different areas such as a library, mosque, school and mausoleum make up this site, and the architecture is in keeping with the principles of Sufi mysticism.
While people usually see pigeons as mere nuisances, especially for city dwellers, they were quite valuable in Iran about five centuries ago, namely for their droppings. These towers were built as pigeon homes, each holding as many as 14 000 where the droppings could be collected and used as fertilizer.
Quite literally “drip-drip”, Chak Chak is a Zoroastrian temple located just outside of Yazd. The most important Zoroastrian pilgrimage site in Iran, many Zoroastrians pay a visit the temple every year. Once you’ve seen the similar sites in Yazd, a visit here gives further insight into this religion.
This military complex was initially built on two mounts during the Sassanid era and rebuilt a few centuries later. Known as the “castle of a thousand steps” because that’s how many you have to climb to get to the top, Rudkhan Castle is worth the effort.
Discovered less than a century ago, the formations in Katalekhor Cave are said to date back to the Jurassic period. This cave sits outside of Zanjan, and though it is less visited than Ali Sadr Cave, the two are thought to be connected.
If you are going to visit one Persian poet, it must be Hafez. Stroll around the garden and tomb in the evening as tourists and locals come to pay their respects and recite a few lines of his poems. You can even have your fortune read to see what the great poet predicts for you.
For such a compact island, Hormoz is simply brimming with amazing nature and tranquility. Shades of yellow, red and orange color the land, which contrasts beautifully with the Gulf’s blue water. This location is a dream for geology and nature fans. The island is also home to deer and other plant species
This desert is Iran’s first natural UNESCO site and officially the hottest place on earth for seven years, the barren Lut Desert brings you an unusual landscape. The sand ridges, which are known as yardangs, are continuously change their shape, so if you visit the same spot at some other time, it will probably look completely different.
Where to stay
The country is full of interesting places one could visit and they all hold such significant history.
So we have listed below some of the lovely places that one can actually stay while visiting. Such hotels include:
Markazi Iran Hotel
A 2 star hotel. Voted the #3rd best place to stay on trip advisor. Straightforward rooms in a casual property offering a warm restaurant, cozy café and free breakfast.
Parsian Azadi Hotel
One of the most luxurious place to stay in Iran. This is a five star hotel with plush rooms and suites, some with stunning views, it comes with four restaurants, a lounge and gym. voted #4th Best Hotel in Tehran
Based in the Yazd Province of Iran this is a four star hotel. Up market hotel in a stately Moorish building, which offers rooftop dining and a spa with an indoor pool.
Shiraz Grand Hotel
Located in the birthplace of Persian culture, This is a five star hotel that has gender-segregated spas, pools and sport facilities, plus an up market restaurant.
Ranked the #3rd best hotel in Tehran, the Karoon is a three star hotel with relaxed rooms in an unassuming hotel. It comes with a restaurant and a coffee shop, plus free Wi-Fi and breakfast.
Parsian Esteghlal International Hotel
Formally the Persian Hilton this stunning hotel is Set 4 km from museums at Sa’dabad complex this five star formal hotel is 3 km from Cinema Museum of Iran and 6 km from Tajrish Bazaar. Unassuming rooms include TVs, mini bars and internet access, plus balconies. Upgraded rooms add living areas. Ornate suites offer separate living rooms. Room service is available.
Amenities include two refined restaurants and an open-air eatery, as well as a lobby café and event space. There’s also a gym, a sauna and a hot tub plus an indoor pool and tennis courts.
This all boasts what a lovely place is and what you can actually do and live for a wonderful and remarkable holiday in Iran.
How to get to Iran
How to get there
Iran can be accessed either by airplane or by boat. There are a total number of 26 ports namely:
- Bahregan Oil Centre
- Bandar Abbas
- Bandar MahShahr
- Port Jazireh Ye Homoz
Just to name a few and a total number of 319 airports which of 2013 made Iran the 22nd country in the world with the most airports. Some of these airports are, just to name a few:
The country boasts an estimate of 82 million inhabitants and is steeped in history, culture and nature/ As you can see in our article Iran is also home to a wealth of attractions and lots of things to do and see.