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Iran Travel & Holiday Tips
 
 
 

General

Iran as old as history itself, inherits one of the most ancient civilisations of the planet. Throughout the years, its culture has influenced different parts of the world from the Nile River to the heart of Europe. For many years, people from all over the world have traveled the historic trade route of Silk Road, marveling at the varied glory of the Persian Empire's great civilisation.

To visit Iran is a unique experience, the experience of being in the cradle of a great culture and civilisation. Boasting three millennia of recorded history, Iran enjoys a great legacy of ruins and hallowed stonework. The Iranian style of architecture is distinctive and creative. Persepolis and the rare impressive edifices of Esfahan as well as the Air Traps of the central desert region are the hallmarks of the Iranian unique architecture. If you simply want to walk in the footsteps of some history's most outstanding figures, this historic land is blessed with some of the best.

Along with its splendid history and culture, Iran is a diverse land and has a great variety of geographical environment which offers a sense of paradise for all of the nature lovers. Iran's climatic diversity is such that some tourists can enjoy winter sports in the mountains while others can bathe in the warm waters of the southern shores, both within a few hours drive from the main cities.

Tehran

The capital is essentially a modern city, but the best of the old has been preserved. The Shahid Motahari Mosque has eight minarets, from which the city can be viewed. The Bazaar (open every day except Friday and religious holidays) is one of the world's largest; another bazaar, catering mainly for local communities, can be found in the Tajrish suburb. Located in the north of the capital, an endless maze of vaulted alleys, everything from fine carpets to silver, and copperware to exotic aromatic spices can be found here. There is a separate section for each trade practiced and craftsmen can be seen at their work.

Tehran has several good museums, including the Abgineh Museum of Iranian Pottery; the Rea Abbasi Muesum, housing a rare collection of Iranian calligraphy and paintings; the National Museum of Iran (Iran Bastan Museum), which displays mostly archaeological and anthropological exhibits; the Rassam Cultural and Art Foundation of Carpet, which includes a carpet museum and carpet weaving school; the Carpet Museum, whose oldest carpet is 450 years old; and the Anthropological Museums in Golestan Place and Saad Abad. Iran's capital also has a number of cultural centres (including Azadi, Bahman and Khavaran) as well as a National Library, a City Theatre, a Zoo and a University.

The Alborz mountain chain is a popular destination for excursions from Tehran. There are numerous mountain resorts offering cable car facilities as well as skiing slopes (the season running from January to March). Within easy reach of Tehran are the towns of Rey, Varamin, Qazvin and Shemshak, which have preserved much of their original character.

Northwestern Iran

The country's second-largest city, Tabriz, has a ruined but restored fine blue mosque built in 1465. The covered Qaisariyeh Bazaar dates back to the 15th century. About 22km (14 miles) from the salt lake is the town of Uromieh, which claims to be the birthplace of Zoroaster. Other towns worth visiting include Ardabil, Astara, Bandar-e Anzali and Rasht.

The Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is the name popularly given to the region enclosed by the ancient cities of Hamadan, Kermanshah and Khorramabad. This is a part of Iran which is particularly rich in historical associations; for many centuries the Silk Road passed through the pleasant rolling countryside of the region, and there are several indications of settlements dating back over 6000 years. Hamadan was the summer capital of the Persian Emperors, although one of the few easily visible signs of the city's antiquity is the Stone Lion, dating back to the time of Alexander the Great. Kermanshah is a good base for visiting the Taghe Bostan Grottoes, which have several excellent bas-relief carvings. The site of the Seleucid Temple of Artemis is in Kangavar; it consists of massive fallen columns and is now being reconstructed.


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