Iran is a beautiful country with a wildly diverse landscape, a very hospitable people and a history stretching back thousands of years. A multi-cultural populace, though somewhat restricted by a conservative government, welcomes new visitors with open arms and friendly smiles. Thankfully, since sanctions have been lifted, westerners are now again allowed to visit this wonderful country. You can choose from exciting city breaks in Tehran or Isfahan, cultural tours in Qom and Shiraz or archaeological adventures in Persepolis and beyond.
Holidays in Iran can be everything from luxury spas at an oasis hotel to adventurous journeys through the desert. Visit sacred holy sites in Qom, go horse riding with the nomadic central tribes or try mountain biking in the foothills of Mount Damavand, the highest volcano in Asia. Tehran has a hugely varied cuisine, but with delicious staples like the Persian kabob and Ghormeh Sabzi (a lamb stew with beans), you are in for a culinary treat. Venture to Shiraz – famed for its lush green spaces – to see the bazaar and drink tea with the locals, and perhaps you will be asked to join them for dinner, which is fairly common in Iran.
Visit Iran’s stunning cites, from the capital Tehran with its bustling streets to the quieter, architecturally beautiful, Yazd. Tehran is a modern city, with great museums, art galleries and parks waiting for you to explore. Go shopping, eat at fantastic restaurants and venture to the superb Green Palace to marvel at the stunning mosaics that festoon the walls. Or venture to Isfahan, the former capital, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its hand-painted tiling is mesmerising, and its tree-lined boulevards create a sense of serenity not found in Tehran.
Iran’s history dates back thousands of years, and this can be seen in the ancient cities and spectacular ruins, like Persepolis. The former ceremonial seat of Darius I, Persepolis, has some very beautiful friezes depicting Persian nobles, and is a grand example of the architecture of his dynasty. Make your trip an adventure by travelling to the Dasht-e Lut desert, one of the world’s hottest and driest places and clearly not for the faint-hearted. You can even go skiing in Iran, in Dizin, which with lifts up to 3,600 metres, is higher than most places you can ski in Europe.