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Could this be the friendliest country on earth? This nation which has seen the likes of Darius the Great, Alexander and Genghis Khan? This land of ancient civilizations, aesthetic beauty and exquisite architecture; where mosques, palaces and mansions stand proud; where history gazes down upon you in the ruins of Persepolis, the bazaars of Shiraz and the palaces of Esfahan; where poetry lives in the gardens of Kashan... Sit down for tea or share a meal in someone's home and let Iran embrace you.


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best time to travel


The best time to travel to Iran is spring (March-May) and autumn (September - November)


places to go 

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Chaotic and intimidating, the nation's capital sits beneath the snowcapped Alborz Mountains.  It is home to excellent museums, contemporary art galleries and some surprisingly hip cafes.


A delightful oasis city known for its high quality ceramics, silks, carpets and rose water, Kashan is also home to some of the finest traditional houses in Iran.  Jewel in the crown are the Fin Gardens, a classical Persian vision of paradise and one of the most beautiful gardens in the Middle East.


Ancient, traditional and once-isolated Abyaneh is a pretty village hidden away in the Karkas Mountains where a maze of twisting lanes invite you to just wander and explore.


"Esfahan is half the World" says an Iranian proverb and as you first set eyes upon its beautiful Naqsh-e-Jahan square you might be forgiven for thinking it is the centre of the universe.  Exquisitely tiled mosques, bazaars and a palace line a central pond enlivened by fountains.  The many artisans at work in the bazaar make this city a living museum.


Wander around the atmospheric alleyways of Yazd, pop in to tea houses and explore the intriguing water museum.  On the outskirts of town lie a Fire Temple and Towers of Silence, both vestiges of the city’s Zoroastrian heritage.

Chak Chak

Perched on a cliff high above the desert floor, Chak Chak's fire temple has great significance for Zoroastrian pilgrims.


Occupied for at least 2000 years the troglodyte village of Meymand is a UNESCO world heritage site where people still live in cave dwellings today.

Tombs of the Great Kings

Pasargadae is the site of the simple but impressive tomb and remains of the palaces of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire.  At Naqsh-e Rustam, near Persepolis, you can find the tombs of Darius I & II, Xerxes I and Artaxerxes I.


Destroyed in a rage by Alexander The (not so) Great, Persepolis houses the palaces of Darius the Great, Xerxes and Artaxerxes.  Look for the bas-reliefs depicting representatives of tributary nations of the Persian Empire ranging from India to Ethiopia.


Known as the Pearl of Persia, city of poetry and heartland of Persian culture for over two millennia, Shiraz is home to tranquil gardens, lavish mansions, exquisite mosques and the tomb of the famous poet Hafez.  Don't forget to visit the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque with its coloured glass windows.

Castles of the Assassins

Nestled almost invisibly among the peaks and valleys of the Alborz mountains lie the Castles of the Assassins, home to what was once the world’s most feared religious cult.  Climb to these virtually impregnable fortresses for some amazing views.

Haggle in the Bazaars
Get lost in the warren of alleyways that make up Iran's bazaars and stop to examine the wares.  Enjoy a cup of tea while bargaining over your next purchase.

Dream in a garden
One of the most beautiful gardens in the entire Middle East, Kashan's Fin Gardens are the classical Persian vision of paradise. Eram Gardens in Shiraz house the tomb of the poet Hafez.

Explore a village
Find your way to one of the traditional villages and pass the time taking tea or wandering around the alleyways.  Masuleh is one of Iran's most beautiful villages while ancient and once-isolated Abyaneh is a pretty village hidden away in the Karkas Mountains.

Sleep in a carvanserai
A night's stay at the classic caravanserai of Zein-o-din is a wonderful chance to step into the days of Silk Road merchants and relive the age when this area hummed with travellers.

Experience history
Whether you wander around the palaces of Cyrus the Great, the ruins of Persepolis, the mosques of Esfahan or the Assassin Castles, you can't help but feel small in the face of history.

Call to Prayer
A muezzin calling the faithful to prayer from the top of a minaret has a timeless, evocative quality to it that will stir your senses.

A cuppa and a hookah
Enter a traditional tea house or a hipster terrace and enjoy a good cup of tea, a hookah with flavoured tobacco along with great conversation.

Eat a meal at home
Known for their hospitality you may well find yourself invited to a local home to experience some delicious Iranian cooking.

Stay at a local home
Visit one of the many villages and discover a way of life unchanged for centuries.  Share a meal, enjoy stories or a song or two and perhaps even learn to dance or how to make bread.

Climb a Tower of Silence
Towers of Silence are Zoroastrian structures where the dead are laid out to be picked clean by scavenger birds.

Visit a fire temple
Perched on a cliff high above the desert floor, Chak Chak's fire temple has great significance for Zoroastrian pilgrims.

Get blown away by wind towers
Yazd is famous for its wind towers, ingenious structures that catch the slightest breeze and bring moist cool air into the home.

Food, glorious food
Eat pomegranates fresh off the tree or eat it as part of a stew called fesenjan.  Bademjan is a delightful eggplant & tomato stew while tahdig, the crisp, golden layer of fried rice at the bottom of the rice pot, is the soul food of Persian cooking.  Kebabs come in many varieties.  Favourite foods are sour and spiced with lots of herbs.

Hike with the Assassins
Climb to the Castles of the Assassins, once the home to the world’s most feared religious cult, for some amazing views.

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