sarah smith sarah
Iran Itinerary for Tehran
Most people advice against long stays in Tehran. Even most tour companies keep their stop in Tehran to the minimum days possible in their Iran itinerary. So many people travel to Iran without getting to know much of the capital

But they’ve got it all wrong

Yes! Tehran is big, loud and full of traffic. But behind its concrete walls, numerous highways, and horrid traffic, there’s so much left to be discovered. It’s where you’ll get the most understanding of the country’s younger vibe. It’s packed with amazing cafes, art galleries, museums, and secret gardens. It offers great ski resorts in winter and it’s easy to escape to the mountains in summer

Tehran is the city of museums and galleries, it’s surprisingly green and a crucial destination for understanding the Iranian society
samir hedi
Yazd is a favorite city for many foreign tourists in Iran. With its adobe buildings, numerous badgirs (wind-catchers) and charming courtyards, Yazd is unlike anywhere you’ve been. No wonder why it’s a favorite destination for most tourists

While it could get super dry and hot during summer, Yazd is perfectly suitable for a visit in late autumn to early spring when the days are rewarded with fine weather and evenings are chilly
When standing across the street and facing Amir Chakhmaq, you’ll see the most famous confectionary in Yazd on the left corner of the street. Haj Khalifeh Rahbar offers some of the best Yazdi sweets and baklavas in town and is well known throughout the country. Make you pop inside and buy yourself a box of goodies
alex rood
shiraz is famous for many things, but the best thing of all is Faloodeh Shirazi, Faloodeh is a cold

traditional dessert made from semi-frozen starch noodles with rosewater and sugar syrup and topped with lemon juice. It is usually accompanied with traditional saffron ice cream and is a lifesaver in hot summer days
Some of the best places to get a cup of Faloodeh are the array of shops behind the Karimkhan citadel
honey sheed
Esfahan, also historically known as half of the world takes a reputation for having been home to many dynasties. The Safavids, however, left the strongest mark and their Persian blue-tiled mosques and buildings are found all over town. Esfahan is by all means glorious! If I were to only pick one city to visit in Iran, it would be here

Massive mosques and elegant churches, great coffee in the Armenian quarter, amazing food and sweets, and bridges unlike you’ve ever seen are only a sample of what Esfahan has to offer
f your departure location allows you to fly to Shiraz directly, then I would start my Iran itinerary from Shiraz, leave the last days for Tehran and fly back home from there. If not, I’d personally recommend flying to Shiraz from Tehran instead of the bus or train as it’s a long way and could easily take up your time and energy

You can begin your road trip from Shiraz onwards instead. You can book all your flights within Iran through
Anderson jim
Tehran is a city of contrasts that play out on geographic lines. It is modern and traditional, secular and religious, rich and poor – north and south. Most of the spark comes from the affluent north, but wander through southern Tehran and you’ll see a contrastingly conservative, religious and poor city with little of the north’s brashness. At a practical level, Tehran has a decent choice of hotels and the best range of restaurants in Iran. There are enough museums to keep you interested, and compared with residents of many capitals, Tehranis are surprisingly welcoming
Campbell Davis

A fascinating bazaar, a deeply human heart and passionately helpful freelance guides make this gigantic, sprawling city a surprisingly positive introduction to Iran. It had a spell as the Iranian capital and has proven extremely influential in the country’s recent history. it can be freezing cold in winter, but the Azari welcome is generally very warm any time of year


Biblical clues point to the Ajichay River flowing out of the Garden of Eden, which would place Tabriz at the gates of paradise! More historically verifiable, Tabriz was a Sassanian-period trade hub and came to eclipse Maraqeh as a later Mongol Ilkhanid capital of Azerbaijan. It recovered remarkably rapidly from Tamerlane’s 1392 ravages and, while the rest of Iran was vassal to the Timurids, Tabriz became the capital of a local Turkmen dynasty curiously nicknamed the Qareh Koyunlu (Black Sheep). That dynasty’s greatest monarch was Jahan Shah (no, not the Taj Mahal’s Shah Jahan), under whose rule (1439–67) the city saw a remarkable flowering of arts and architecture culminat ing in the fabulous Blue Mosque. Shah Ismail, the first Safavid ruler, briefly made Tabriz Persia’s national capital
However, after the battle of Chaldoran Tabriz suddenly seemed far too vulnerable to Ottoman attack, so Ismail’s successor, Tahmasp (1524–75), moved his capital to safer Qazvin
Fought over by Persians, Ottomans and (later) Russians, Tabriz went into a lengthy decline exacerbated by disease and one of the world’s worst ever earthquakes that killed a phenomenal 77,000 Tabrizis in November 1727. The city recovered its prosperity during the 19th century. Shahgoli (now Elgoli) on Tabriz’ southeast outskirts became the residence of the Qajar crown prince, but heavy- handed Qajar attempts to Persianise the Azari region caused resentment. The 1906 constitutional revolution briefly allowed Azari Turkish speakers to regain their linguistic rights (schools, newspapers etc) and Tabriz held out most valiantly in 1908 when the liberal constitution was promptly revoked again. For its pains it was brutally besieged by Russian troops
Gibb deek
Ardabil is a logical stopping point between Tabriz and the upper Caspian coast. Ardabil’s magnificent Sheikh Safi-od-Din Mausoleum is by far its greatest attraction. When the chilly smog clears, Mt Sabalan’s snow topped peak is dramatically visible from Ardabil’s Shurabil Lake. Driving to Alvares ski-slope from the nearby hot-springs resort of Sara’eyn gets you well up Sabalan’s slopes for some lovely summer trekking. Ardabil sits on a high plateau. The weather is pleasantly cool in summer, but terrifies brass monkeys in winter
Snow is probable from November

Lewis twin
‘Oh, but have you been to Kish? You absolutely must go.’ Travelling in Iran you’ll likely hear this more than once.
And when you ask what is so special about Kish, you’re told: ‘But Kish is wonderful; everything works there. It is clean, shopping is cheap, you can swim…and there are no Paykans!’
Yes, all of this is true. Kish, the desert is land that the last shah started transforming into a playground for the rich and famous during the 1960s, is now seen by Iranians the way Americans view Hawaii
The island is both a novelty – for most Iranians this is the only beach resort they’ll ever be able to visit – and more liberated than the rest of Iran
Kish is a free-trade zone and, as one islander told us, many Iranians understand the ‘free’ to apply to social activities as well.
there are reasons to visit Kish.
The resort water-sports make a pleasant diversion, there are a few ancient sights and cycling around the island on the coastal bike path is fun
Henderson hill
Known in classical times as Ecbatana, Hamadan was once one of the ancient world’s greatest cities. significant parts of the city centre are given over to excavations and there is a scattering of historical curiosities. Sitting on a high plain, Hamadan is graciously cool in August, but snow-prone and freezing cold from December to March. In the summer the air is often hazy, but on a rare, clear spring day there are impressive glimpses of snow capped Mt Alvand (3580m) preening itself above the ragged neo-colonial cupolas of Imam Khomeini Sq. A popular summer retreat, Hamadan’s main draw card for Iranian visitors is its proximity to the Ali Sadr Caves, but these are vastly over-rated.
Share your Itinerary