Friday, February 12, 2021


Iran Flag

"Persia by the West"

Why visit Iran?
Known for ancient ruins, architecture, culture, gardens, hiking, mosques, mountain landscapes, museums, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and teahouses.

Azadi Tower, Tehran, Iran. Photo Credit: VladoZg/Pixabay 

At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy: Antiques, brassware, caviar, ceramics, embroidery, hand blown glass, rugs, sheepskin coats, and silks.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Albalu Polow (rice/cherries). Aush (soup).  Bastani Sonnati (ice cream). Falude (sorbet). Juje Kabab (chicken). Kashk e Bademjan (eggplant appetizer). Khoresh (stew). Khoresh e Fesenjan (stew). Koluche (cookie). Lavash (flat bread). Sholezard (saffron pudding).
  • Local Drink to Try: Sekanjebin (honey/vinegar). Sharbat (flower petals). Shirazi (wine).

Qom City, Iran. Photo Credit: mostafa meraji/Pixabay 

Fun Facts
  • Home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
  • Has the largest reserve of fossil fuels.
  • A mountainous country, Mount Damavand is the highest point.
  • Home to the 24th largest desert, Kavir Desert in the world.
  • Home to the largest population of Persian leopards (north).
  • The mall in Isfafan (Isfahan City Center) ranks as the seventh largest in the world.
  • Largely produces apricots, cherries, cucumbers, dates, eggplants, figs, gherkins, pistachios, quinces, walnuts, and watermelons.
  • Considered to have the largest refugee population (approximately 1 million) in the world.
  • Influential culture from Greece, Italy, and Russia.
  • World's largest exporter and producer of handmade carpets.
  • Television was not introduced until 1958.
  • While the world embraced the Internet around 1991, they only began in 1993.
  • No longer hosts the "Beauty Queen of Iran".
  • In a divorce, the mother has custody of the children until age seven when custody transfers to the father.
  • Local tradition is to place a sugar cube in your mouth before drinking tea.

Deyr Gachin Caravansary “Mother of Iranian Caravansarais” (Kavir National Park), Qom Province, Iran. 
Photo Credit: Mostafa Meraji/Pixabay 

Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Fajr International Theater Festival, Jashn-e Sade, (February) Ashoura Festival, Sepandarmazgan, (March) Chaharshanbe Suri, Iranian Literature Olympiad, NowRuz, (April) Sizdah Bedar, (May)Tehran Book Fair, (June) Islamic Republic of Iran's International Holy Quran Competition, Tehran International Puppet Theater Festival, (August) National Festival of Youth Music, (September) Hosseini Infancy Conference, Iranian Biology Olympiad, Sacred Defence Week, (October) Festival of Mehr, Tehran International Short Film Festival, (December) Shab-e Yalda, and Chahar Shanbeh Soori.
  • Holidays: Nowruz, Islamic Republic Day, Sizdah Bedar, Death of Khomeini, Revolt of Khordad 15, Anniversary of Islamic Revolution, and Nationalization of the Iranian Oil Industry. 

Naqsh-e Rostam (Tombs of Persian Kings), Fars ProvinceIranPhoto Credit: Habib Zeiniadeh/Pixabay 

Good to Know
  • Dress conservatively (arms and legs) to Iranian local standards!
  • Women must wear a scarf to cover their hair and neck. Also, no makeup. 
  • Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings.
  • Ahvaz, Tehran, and Zabol is prone to air pollution.
  • Electronics and hotel rooms are known to be monitored. Confiscation of electronics occurs.
  • Carry a copy of your passport with you at all times.
  • Avoid public transportation.
  • Arrest even execution could occur if attempting to convert from Muslim.
  • Severe fines and punishment for illegal use of alcohol, drugs, or trafficking.
  • Non Muslim men and Muslim female relationships are illegal and punishable by death.
  • Do not photograph government buildings or military. Strictly prohibited with severe fines, imprisonment or death.
  • Only Iranian bank and credit cards are accepted.
  • Your internet access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will be blocked during your visit.
  • Requires an International Drivers Permits. 

Shah Mosque, Isfahan, Iran. Photo Credit: Thieme/Pixabay 

This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA required.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Since, August 6, 2002 the Travel Advisory is a Level 4: Do Not Travel due to arbitrary arrest, detention, imprisonment, and kidnapping of Americans.

Prone to earthquakes.

  • Best Time to Visit: March - May & September - November
  • Coldest Month: January
  • Hottest Month: August 
  • Peak Season: March - May

Shah Mosque, IsfahanIranPhoto Credit: Jörn Hendrichs/Pixabay 

Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape, Bisotun, Cultural Landscape of Maymand, Gonbad-e Qābus, Golestan Palace, Lut Desert, The Ensemble of Historical Sassanian Cities in Fars Province (BishabpurFirouzabadSarvestan), Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Pasargadae, Persepolis, Shahr-e Sukhteh, Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil, Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System, Soltaniyeh, Susa, Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex, Takht-e Soleyman, Tchogha Zanbil, The Persian Garden, Persian Qanat, Historic City of Yazd, and Caspian Hyrcanian Mixed Forests.

Photo Credit: Ebrahim Amiri/Pixabay 

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