Known to the western world as Persia before 1935, Iran is one of the oldest civilizations on earth with its great civilization, culture, architecture and cuisine influencing the world right from Africa to Europe. Located between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, Iran sits between Iraq and Pakistan in the Middle East.
Conquered by Alexander the Great and later on by the Arabs during the expansion of Islam, ancient Persia is known to have contributed greatly to the world in architecture, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, science and art. Farsi or Persian is the national language and is one of the world's oldest languages and should not be confused with Arabic as Farsi belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. Ancient Persia practiced Zoroastrianism as its state religion, today its state religion is Islam.
Travellers will find its people warm and very friendly. Its diversified climate allows visitors to enjoys adventure sports up in mountains and warm days on their shores. Relax and enjoy the day in this age old kingdom sipping tea in the courtyard of a traditional Chaykhune (teahouse) or go shopping in its famous bazaars located in Shiraz, Kerman and Kashan.
Iran is very mountainous with Alborz as the highest peak in Asia which connects to high-altitude plateaus that has two desserts, the Dasht-e-Kavir and Kavir-e-Lut.
Don’t forget to indulge in scrumptious Iranian food. A diverse cuisine, its main dishes always consist of meat, bread, herbs and yoghurt as the staple. Don’t leave without tasting the delicious Chelow Kabab, Ghormeh Sabzi, Gheimeh and Abgusht.
The southernmost region bordering Pakistan.
Located along beautiful coastlines.
Home to its capital city Tehran and beautiful Esfahan.
With at least 9 provinces, ethnic groups such as the Kurds, Lors and Bakhtiaris live here.
Located north-east of Iran, it’s a province that houses the Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory
Persian Gulf Region:
Lying along the Persian Gulf Coast, visit Kish Island a duty-free touristy island.
Located in the extreme northwest of Iran, its home a world heritage site called Takht-e Soleyman, a Zoroastrian Fire Temple.
Esfahan or Isfahan:
Referred to as the Florence of Orient, it’s a scenic breath-taking place with many sights to visit such as Ali Qapu Palace, Imam mosque, Chehel Sotun (Pavilion of Forty Columns), Shahrestan Bridge, Vank Cathedral, Bazaar-e Bozorg, Hasht Behesht Palace (The Eight Paradise), The Bridge of Allahverdi Khan, The Bathhouse of Sheikh Bahai and Manar Jonban.
This is city made out of clay and adobe with hundreds of ancient ventilation systems called Badgirs spread as far as the eye can see. Places of interest include Alexander's Prison, the Mausoleum of Seyed Roknaddin, The Fire Temple of Chak Chak, The Towers of Silence (Dakhmeh) and the Friday Mosque.
Experience the Yalda Festival:
Celebrated on 21st December every year, it is a festival on the longest night of the year celebrating the birth of Mithra, the goddess of light together with celebrations for the arrival of winter, the renewal of the sun and the victory of light over darkness.
Get a tan:
Enjoy the beaches of Iran on the Kish Islands, the Caspian Coast, the Chabahar beaches and Bushehr.
Established by Darius I in 519 BCE and his successors over a period of 50 years, it was known as the richest city under the sun during ancient times. Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire situated 70 km northeast of modern day Shiraz in the southern Fars Province.
Visit Dizin Resort situated to the north of Tehran in the Alborz mountain range for fun time in the snow.
The Armenian Monastic Ensembles:
Located in north-eastern Iran, the site comprises of three monastic ensembles and some of the oldest churches in the world. St. Thaddeus Church is located here.
Check out the Beinol Haramein Bazaar and Tehran Bazaar for great buys in materials, jewellery, furnishings and lots more.
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