Welcome to Iran: Travel is most rewarding when it surprises,
then Iran might just be the most rewarding destination on Earth.
Getting acquainted with Iran :
Covering an area of 1,648,000 square kilometers, the Islamic Republic of Iran is located in southwestern Asia. The Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia in the north; Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east; Turkey and Iraq in the west surround the country. On the south Iran borders the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Total terrestrial borders of the country are 5,170 km. and total water borders are 2,510 km.Iran is situated at the heart of the Middle East and, as a bridge, links the Caspian Sea, the largest land-locked body of water in the world, to the Persian Gulf. It is also a crossroad between the East and the West. Thus, historically, Iran has been in the juncture of cultural, intellectual and political manifestations of both the East and the West, while preserving it's unique identity.Unique landscapes such as limpid water springs, pomegranate orchards, pistachio gardens, decampment of nomads in different seasons, starry nights, rocky mountains, endless high and low lands, extinct snow-clad volcanoes, dense forests of the Alborz Mountain Range, and coastlines of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman are all eye-catching and memorable.Iran is a vast country with a very different climate in different parts. The high and mountainous regions of the country enjoy cold and snowy winters and mild summers. In the plain and southern coastal areas, it is hot in summers and moderate in winters. So travel scheme is different depending on the location of destination. It is important to be mentioned that there is the month of fasting Ramadan (lunar calendar) that majority of the people observe a fast. There are also two mourning months of Moharram and Safar with different mourning ceremonies
Is Iran a safe country?
Throw out any pre-conceived notion of Iran you might have. The way the media across the western world has painted the picture of Iran is not the real Iran. Iran is a magnificent, mysterious country with a rich history and culture. Go to Iran with an open mind and heart. Iran is one of the safest countries in the world.
Is Iran worth visiting?
Due to its historical background and sustainable social and cultural evolution, has a lot of diverse worth seeing sites that satisfy tourists with different tastes. Every tourist, whatever his/her incentive, may find many spectacular places depending on his taste. It should not be forgotten that the best way for the recognition of every country is direct contact with its people. Historical monuments, which belong to different periods of human settlement in the plateau of Iran, along with diverse natural, coastal, mountainous, and nomadic landscapes, make a coordinated and attractive combination for every tourist. The ancient Iranian culture, which is reflected in historical and architectural heritage, has brought about many sites worth seeing. The culture of today's Iran is a perfect aggregate of near and far past of this territory and everybody can satisfy intellectual and aesthetic needs according to his/her taste through visiting this wide and rich country. There are too many places that you can visit while in Iran: Isfahan the jewel of Iran art and architecture , Shiraz, the cradle of oldest empire and beauty of south, Yazd a hidden pearl in the heart of Iran central desert with its friendly people and Zoroastrian heritage …etc You’ll find each place in this land has its own distinct personality and offers its own mysteries and beauties for you to explore in your own way. We invite you to explore all of Iran to find the unique experience of your life.
Is Iran a desert country?
Iran is one of the few countries that have all four distinguished seasons. And at any time of the year, in each section of the country, you can enjoy one of the four seasons. Iran's variety in terms of temperature, humidity and rainfall differs from place to place and season to season. Length of the seasons differs in different regions. Iran is one of the only countries in the world which has the complete four seasons. In summer, the weather can be cool as well as warm, and in the cold winters, it can be mild.
How are the people of Iran?
One of the best things about Iran is its proud people. Depending on where you travel, there will be more or less educated people and more or less city folks that change their understanding, beliefs, and behavior as in any part of the world. Iranians of all parts are kind, warm, friendly, helpful, proud, generous, and close. There is one thing that ties them all together and that's Iran. They are respectful and curious towards tourists. They will welcome you, thank you for visiting and ask you questions.Iranians are famous for their hospitality, compassion, and generosity. It is easily possible to visit Iranians' homes, being slightly acquainted with them and become familiar with their life style, attitudes, livelihood, and many of their characteristics.Do not be afraid to ask questions .If they speak English, they will endeavor to help you to the best way they can.
How is the food in Iran?
Iran has some of the best dishes in the world. The Persian cuisine consists of a delicious array of stews and different rice among many other dishes. And of course Persian bread. These used to be all made inside brick ovens (tanoors) by hand but machines have taken the place of many. Still, Persian breads are a part of any good meal and they are simply delicious. Persian sweets and pastries are absolutely wonderful and you can find pastry shops in every corner of main streets. If you get lucky enough to be invited to someone's house for lunch or dinner, be sure to pick up a box of fresh pastries at a local shop. Fast food stores abound serving all sorts of creative sandwiches. Don't be shy to try different things and most certainly don't stay away from eating real Iranian food. The majority of people in Iran are conscious of properly cleaning fruits and vegetables and general cooking hygiene. Tap water is safe to drink in any part of the country although you might not like the taste in some parts. Bottled water is readily available.
What kinds of drinks are possible to buy in Iran?
You can buy any kinds of soft non-alcoholic drinks. There are Iranian made drinks as well as international brands served everywhere. People drink tap water. It is filtrated and refined before supplied to them, but for the newcomers traveling to Iran, Instead, they can take Iranian bottled water prepared according to the international standards for both domestic and export uses.
The best time to go to Iran:
Traveling time to Iran is changeable depending on the aims of travel and destinations. In the winter, all northeaster, northwestern and mountainous regions are cold and snowy while at the same time central, southern and coastal regions of the Persian Gulf enjoy a pleasant climate. At the same time swimming in the blue waters of the Persian Gulf and enjoying sunshine is possible. In the spring, all around Iran is beautiful and eye-catching. Both nature and climate are enjoyable. There is plenty of clear sky with verdant areas in springs. In the summer, all northern coastal areas, mountainous regions, northeastern and northwestern parts as well as central regions of Iran experience mild and relatively warm climate, but the southern provinces are very hot. In autumn, the nature has another color and weather is pleasant. Therefore, based on everyone's taste there are suitable locations to be visited along the year.
Personal Necessities for Travel:
Every tourist must take certain necessities depending on his/her itinerary and time. For example the kind of clothing is different from a location to another, so taking suitable ones is very important. Since camping facilities are available in many tourist sites, having the needed equipment is important.There are different maps and guidebooks for each province and major cities published by related organizations. Most of them are bilingual (English and Farsi) available in all newspaper stands, airports, hotels etc. These materials have also been published in other languages like Arabic. In the "Series of Guidebooks To Iran" there are the maps of major cities in Farsi, English and Arabic.
Taarof in Iran:
This is a polite exchange that takes place in all aspects of life in Iran, in shops, in streets, in businesses, at homes. Simply stated, it is a form of one person making an offering and the other, refusing it. This ritual may repeat itself several times before the individuals finally determine whether the offer and refusal are real or simply polite. Be very careful how and with whom you taarof so that it does not interfere with your stay. Use common sense as to when to do it and when not to.
Tipping in Iran:
It is common to tip in Iran for certain things such as bellboys in a hotel. At the airport the luggage carts are free for anyone to use but if you get assistance from someone with the cart, you should tip him. It is also customary to tip porters, servants and janitors in hotels, porters in the airports, waiters or waitresses in restaurants, drivers giving services during tours as well as guides.
What is the usual clothing in Iran?
Women wear non-transparent, loose garments covering all their bodies except for the hands and face. Color is a free choice, but red, orange, pink or similar colors are not put on during national or private sad occasions. Black is not a must. Chador is not a must either, but when it comes to visit a holy mausoleum and you have the opportunity to experience wearing a chador for a few minutes, do not skip the opportunity to feel the atmosphere. Men put on non-transparent garments too. They may wear short-sleeve shirts or T-shirts (unlike women), but not shorts in the public. The choice of color is the same for men as well. Due to the heat of the Sun and in order to protect your skin, do not forget to put on some Sun block cream on your skin. But, it is your choice!
Are there any Internet facilities in Iran?
Yes, there are a growing number of Internet users in Iran. So, almost all the major hotels provide their guests with Internet facilities and the others are being equipped for the same purpose. Also, many Internet cafes are already opened to the public and many other ones are going to be opened due to the increasing need of the people.
Are there any fax facilities in hotels?
Yes, you can find fax facilities in most of the hotels as well as at main post offices in Iran.
Are there any local English newspapers available in Iran?
Yes, there are several dailies in English. Most of the times, you can find one in the lobby of the major hotels.
How is the quality of roads in Iran?
The roads are asphalted and the maintenance is regularly done. There are highways in many routes and separate lanes to and from cities to safeguard transportation. As a matter of fact, contrary to many tourists' expectations, roads are of very good quality.
Are the prices high or low in Iran?
Fortunately, the price for the majority of the items that tourists are looking for are relatively low. Items like high quality books, souvenirs, meals, foodstuff and transportation are very tempting because of their relatively high quality yet low prices.
What are the prohibited items while traveling to Iran?
Alcoholic beverages, narcotics, guns and ammunition, aerial photo cameras, transmitter receiver apparatus, pornography .Of course, hunters who are visiting Iran on hunting tours can get necessary permits for carrying their guns and ammunition via their travel agents beforehand.
What are the working days and off days in Iran?
Iranian working days are from Saturday to Thursday and Fridays are the National off days. On Thursdays, some companies are totally off and some are working only half day.