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Where to go in Iran (part 1)

The Ultimate Guide to personalize your trip

where to go in Iran

Iran has been famous for its various cultural attractions. You might hear about Persepolis, Naqsh-e Jahan square and so many beautiful mosques which are probably your aims for traveling to Iran. But these things are just a part of the whole story. Iran is rich in culture as well as nature and people. People with different desire can follow their dreams in Iran and for doing this, you need to hear the rest of the Iran’s story.

Follow me to show you what Iran has to offer and how can you make your dreamy-personalized trip.

 

1. For those who are curious about the history

iran culture

Location: Shiraz, Susa, Isfahan, Tehran.

Best time: spring and autumn

Periods: Achaemenid and Islamic era + contemporary.

Those who are curious to hear about the Great empire of Persia and its powerful leaders like Cyrus should head to Shiraz, Fars province and Susa (shus). The ruins of Persepolis,the Pasargadea and Acropolis in Shiraz, Fars province and  Apadana Palace in Susa (shush), Khuzestan province were witness to the arise of  the Persian empire which became one of the largest empires in history, stretching from Europe’s Balkan Peninsula in the West to India’s Indus Valley in the East around 550 B.C. This Iron Age dynasty, sometimes called the Achaemenid Empire, was a global hub of culture, religion, science, art and technology for more than 200 years before it fell to the invading armies of Alexander the Great.

persepolis
Takht-e jamshid

Isfahan owe its glorious Islamic places to Shah Abbas and its successors during Safavid era. Called half of the world, Isfahan is the best place to see the world’s beautiful mosques, Naqsh-e Jahan square, Si-o Se Pol and a lot more which are constructed during the Gold Islamic period in Iran.

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naqshe jahan square

Iran before and after the recent revolution in 1979 find its origin in Tehran’s palaces and towers. Various parts of the Niavaran and Saad Abad palaces showcase Royal family’s lifestyle-during Pahlavi era, before the revolution- and the treasuries which are collected mostly by the Farah Pahlavi, will amaze you.

 

2. For desert lovers

deserts of iran

Location: Around the cities of Kerman, Isfahan, Kashan and Yazd.

Best time: spring

Major deserts: Varzaneh, Maranjab, Rig-e Jenn, Shahdad Desert, Matinabad Desert Camp

Deprived of humidity, the central plateau of Iran is covered by the two main major deserts of Lut and Kavir. That’s because of the connected mountains which are surrounded all over the country and make the central part arid.

Kaluts of Shahdad desert (near Kerman), the Salt Lake of Maranjab (near Kashan), the breathtaking scenery of Mesr desert (near Isfahan), amazing sand dunes of Varzaneh as well as the adventure of camel riding, stargazing, safari, and trekking in every spot are fascinating and make you say WOW.

varzaneh desert

3. Mountaineering

mountains of Iran

Location: In north, northwest and west, around the major cities of Tehran, Ardebil and Kermanshah

Best time: depending on the location from mid spring and summer to early fall

Major mountains: Alborz mountains in north, Zagros mountains including Sabalan and Sahand from northwest to south east

Looking up the map, Iran has some very good climbs located mainly in north, northeast and west. Many can be climbed by anyone fit, without the need for special equipment.

Nestled in the heart of Iran, you’ll find Mount Damavand [5671m]-Iran’s highest and best-known peak- in northeast of Tehran waiting for you. It really is a magical peak and has special significance for Iranian people both from a mythical and a geographical sense.

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Damavand

Located in southeast and near the city of Ardebil and registered as the second highest mountain of Iran, Sabalan, it’s mineral water and sweet lake in height embrace mountain lovers.

Sabalan

Mount Bisotun, another pick of Zagros ranges in west is one of the most challenging routes for rock climbers in the world. Bisotun is not just a climbing destination, but rather a world heritage site and a historic attraction. There are inscription and carved monument created by Darius I the Great at Bisotun, which are Iran’s largest, most famous and the first known inscription.

 

4. To buy an original Persian rug

Location: traditional bazaar of Tehran, Isfahan, Kashan, Shiraz and Yazd

Best time: –

Tip: before buying any carpet visit Carpet museum in Tehran. It gives you some ideas about the carpets. And get a tour guide to be safe from any possibility of cheating.

Persian rug is by sure Iran’s top souvenirs. If you want to invest on a high-quality one, it’s important to educate yourself about how and where to buy, the price rage, different kinds and so on. Finding a carpet store is easy. You’ll find it in all traditional bazaars of the major cities. What’s really complicated and risky is how to find an original one in a reasonable price especially those which are woven with silk.
So, you need to find a safe store or learn to buy the right one. It’s said that for buying the real silk rug, ask the vendor to pour hot water on the carpet, if it is real silk you’ll see no change and it won’t get damaged, if it is “artificial silk” it will start shrinking (the plastic melts) and the carpet will be ruined…

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5. To see Nomad lifestyle

Location: All along the Zagros mountains from northeast to southwest

Major tribes: Shahsevan (northeast), Kurd(east), Lur(east), Qashqai(southeast), Baluch (southwest), Arab (south), Turkmen (northwest)

Fully adapted to the nature, nomad people lifestyle has a lot to offer. Although the new technology like vehicles and cellphones are advanced in their daily life but they are still like a “living museum” of the indigenous people of Iran. You are all surrounded by imposing mountains or oak trees with the sound of sheep’s bell in your ears. At nights, a cool night’s sleep under the starry sky in the lower mountain temperatures would be quite enjoyable.

The scenic view of the mountains, getting away from the polluted cities, hiking along the people and living with locals can be a great adventure in a way that makes your trip unforgettable.

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