Iran, or Persia as it was long known for, was cradle to some of the most glorious empires and civilizations;
many significant events that shaped the world history happened here; the remnants are all over the place; from the city of Isfahan ,
the cultural capital of the Islamic world , brimming with exquisite works of art and culture ,
to Shiraz where awe-inspiring thousands-years-old remnants of the Achaemenid empire still stand strong in Persepolis ,
to the beautiful seas to the south, to the vast deserts in the middle, and the traditional north west.
Along with a score of recognized world heritage sights ,
all make Iran one of the nonnegotiable destinations to people who are in love with travel, history and cultures.
Read more about Iran historical and natural attractions.
As is common in the orient, people here are so friendly with foreigners;
so you’re in for quite a treat!
The human interaction will usually be a major highlight of the travel itself.
And finally Iran is pretty safe; much more than many countries in the world
Tourism in Iran is diverse, providing a range of activities from hiking and skiing in theAlborz and Zagros mountains , to beach holidays by the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.
The Iranian government has been making concerted efforts to attract tourists to the various destinations in the country and arrivals have increased during the past few years.
Kish Island alone attracts around 1 million visitors per year, the majority of whom are Iranian but the area also attracts many non-Iranian Muslims who like to have beach holidays with Islamic style beaches where men and women use separate beaches.
Before the Iranian revolution,
tourism was characterized by significant numbers of visitors traveling to Iran for its diverse attractions, the country boasts cultural splendours and a diverse and beautiful landscape suitable for a range of activities.
Tourism declined dramatically during theIran–Iraq War in the 1980s
March-May and Sep-Oct are the best time to go to Iran – you’ll dodge searing heat and bitter winter cold (with snow-blocked mountain roads).
Prices do rise in these months, particularly April;
June and Oct offer slightly better deals as long as you are prepared to dress for the heat/chill.
Iran marks a number of festivals nationwide which can disrupt travel.
Nowruz (Iranian New Year, two weeks starting 21st March) means price hikes and packed hotels.
During the month of Ramadan (dates vary), eating and drinking in public is banned during the day, and religious laws are more strictly enforced.
March, April and May are high season in Iran, with gorgeous temperatures for sightseeing – but also higher prices, especially in April.
You might be able to get a better deal in early June.
The ancient festival of Nowruz celebrates the Persian New Year and the coming of spring, and it’s the biggest event in the Iranian calendar.
It usually runs from 20th March for around two weeks.
This is a busy, expensive and chaotic time in Iran with many places closed for the celebrations, so unless you’re coming with the intention of joining in,
it’s advisable to travel outside of this time.
Late November, December, January and February are bitterly cold – especially in the mountains of the north and west.
July and August are boiling, with temperatures often into the 40s.
This is doubly unpleasant as shorts and t-shirts are a no-no, and women must wear headscarves.
Ramadan is a month-long event in the Islamic calendar which shifts around slightly each year.
In 2018 it begins on 15th May and in 2019 on the 5th May.
During Ramadan, it is forbidden to eat or drink in public between sunrise and sunset – although some restaurants may discreetly serve foreign tourists, and you can eat in private or in vehicles.
After dark, be prepared for feasting.
September and October are also pleasant months to travel in Iran, and prices may well be slightly lower than in the spring.
Be aware that Friday is the Islamic day of rest, and that Thursday and Friday are the weekend in Iran. Saturday and Sunday are normal working days.