Iran after decades of economic sanctions and isolation is slowly emerging into the global community with respect and its own identity. A historic nuclear deal has infused a surge of optimism in the country.
This amazing land filled with ancient traces of bygone glorious empires, mystical castles and fire temples, exquisite mosques and a culture worthy of being given the status of UNESCO World Heritage site is open for tourism. The early days here will not see the touristy traffic which makes it even more enticing to experience the authentic culture and traditions.
Iran is perfect for adventure seekers, offbeat destination lovers, history seekers and art and culture revelers. The year 2015 and 2016 are the best time to visit and admire country before its gets touristy and commercialized. Therefore, hurry up and travel to the country and if you are wondering about what to do in Iran, HolidayMe presents the unique top 10 Iran trip ideas!
Breaking the stereotypes in
Tehran, Iran’s vibrant capital city
Change your perception of Iran as you arrive in Tehran, the vibrant and bustling heart of the country. Tehran’s public parks, metros, museums and palaces are very well maintained and document the country’s rich past. However, it’s the city’s highly friendly youth population which creates an energetic vibe; be it their passion for music, football or intellectual debates in its thriving cafes.
Explore the remains of Achaemenid Empire in Persepolis
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Persepolis serves as a reminder of the rise and fall of civilizations and empires. Persepolis was established in 518 BC and serves as the capital of the Achaemenian kings before being plundered and burned during Alexander the Great’s invasion. Several centuries later, it was excavated in the 20th centuries, unearthing the remains of the magnificent palatial complex. An awe-inspiring site and must-visit for history and archaeology buffs.
Historic and architectural tour of Iran
History and architecture are the two crucial elements which has shaped the country of Iran also known as Persia. Iran has witnessed the rise and fall of several empires and all of them have left a lasting legacy on the land through their architecture. Visit the holy city of Qom, historic heritages of Isfahan, and stunning gardens of Shiraz and mosques of Hamadan.
Lose yourself in the Valley of Assassins
Alamut and the valley of Assassins is a beautiful land steeped in mysticism of the secret cult of ‘Hassassins‘; a powerful political group of the middle ages which became famous for its strings of political assassinations. The word, ‘Hassasins’ became so popular that it was tweaked and registered in the language as assassins. Trek to the castle of Alamut which used to be the den of the mysterious cult and hike in the beautiful Alborz Mountain. You can also visit Tabriz’s famous Blue Mosque and the world heritage market.
Tread in the Dasht-e Lut desert
Adventure seekers will enjoy the challenging moments in the Dasht-e Lut desert, one of the world’s hottest and driest place. With an incredible withered landscape filled with rocky landscapes, sand dunes, salt plains and barren valleys, the desert is a delight. Such is the stunning landscape that it has enchanted several travel writers and explorers like Marco Polo and Wilfred Thesiger.
Hike to the top of the stunning Mount Damavand
Mount Damavand, Middle-East’s highest mountain peak is located northeast of Tehran. This 5,671-metre volcano is a hiker’s paradise and is considered as one of the most accessible mountains at an altitude of 5,000 meters. A 2-hours’ drive from Tehran takes you to the base camp and it takes 4 days of hiking and mountaineering to reach the pinnacle of the mountain.
Skiing in Iran
Iran, despite being in one of the driest and hottest regions on the planet, has such diverse landscape that it can sustain ski resorts naturally. Iran’s most famous skiing resorts Dizin and Shemshak are popular winter as well as summer resorts. Hotels, chalets and skiing equipment are available in abundance for hiring along with friendly guides who will ensure a memorable skiing experience.
Horse riding across Iran
Horses have been a key means of travel and movement in the region for ages and a horse-riding tour across the length and breadth of Iran is an authentic and amazing experience. Embark on a horse riding adventure tour and explore the nomadic lands of Persia’s vast landscape comprising of meadows, valleys, mountains, forests, farmlands and grasslands.
Culinary sojourn in Iran
Iranian cuisine has a distinct identity of its own despite having similarities with Middle Eastern and Turkish cuisine. Refinement down the ages and rich regional influences have created a cuisine rich in flavours and style. Iranian culinary specialities form a key element in its culture and can be best savoured in its cities, food markets and festivals.
Festive flavour in Iran
Several festivals reflect the rich culture and traditions of the country. Some of the famous festivals include the Gol-o-Golab (rose and rosewater) festival held in Kashan in May. Another interesting festival dedicated to ancient religion of Zoroastrianism, is the Chak Chak fire temple festival held near Yazd in June. Festivals tend to highlight the social fabric of the country along with its rich culture and traditions.