Iran is actually one of the Middle East’s most intriguing destinations because so few people have traveled there, giving it a very real sense of mystery. However, Iran has a great historical heritage, beautiful landscapes, rich cuisine and fine objects of national art - and to learn all of these a lifetime is not enough. We collect cool facts about Iran below.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is located in Western Asia. It is bordered by Armenia and Azerbaijan to the northwest; by Turkmenistan to the northeast; by Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east; by Turkey and Iraq to the west; by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to the south; and by Kazakhstan and Russia across the Caspian Sea. It has an area of 1,648,000 km2 and the population of 78,4 million. Over 60% of Iran’s population is under the age of 30. The capital city is Tehran. Official language is Persian. The official currency is the Rial. Iran contains 10% of the world’s oil reserves. From Saturday to Thursday there are working days, and Friday is a day off.
In Iran there is legally enshrined social dress code. Men are forbidden to wear a shirt that opens arm above the elbow and the trousers above the ankle. Women are required to cover the arms to the wrists and legs to the ankle. Women must wear a headscarf. It is prohibited to wear tight-fitting clothes. You should put on top of it a special coat. Skirts should be very long and wide.
Citizens of Bosnia & Hercegovina, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia and Turkey get a three-month tourist visa on arrival. Everyone else needs to arrange a visa in advance or take a risk on getting a 15-day visa on arrival at an airport. US citizens are welcome, but need to pre-arrange a tour or private guide, or be sponsored by a friend or relative in Iran who will take legal responsibility for them. Israeli passport holders, and anyone with an Israeli stamp in their passport, will not get a visa.
The climate in Iran is acutely continental with extreme temperature differences throughout the year. In the south, summers are very hot and humid (above + 40°C), but mild winters. And in the north-west of the country there are very cold winters with heavy snowfalls and warm mild summer. If you want to visit Iran and you are trying to choose the time of year for it, you must first determine the place. However, most of tourists find spring and autumn the best time. Almost half of Iran has a desert climate, but there is a ski resort within an hour of the capital city!
It is almost impossible to describe all the attractions of Iran. That’s why we try to highlight the most important of them – the must see places. There are numerous historical ruins in Iran. The most popular one is Persepolis – the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Also it is worth visiting Pasargadae, Sousse and ziggurats of Chogha Zanbil and Sialk Mund. Excavations of the ancient Meymand, one of the first human settlements on the territory of Iran (10,000 BC) that are located in the province of Kerman. One of the most impressive tourist attractions in Iran is the Treasury of National Jewels located in Tehran. This extensive collection of jewelry houses some of the world’s most unique, expensive, and extravagant pieces of jewelry. One of the lesser-known tourist attractions in Iran is the Kalouts in Shahdad. The Kalouts are a “desert city” of naturally formed monuments in Iran’s Lout Desert. Nicknamed “the hottest place on earth,” the Kalouts are fantastic, unique, and surreal, providing an almost fantasy landscape to explore. Iran contains the world’s largest aqua-cave. Found in the province of Hamadan, Ali-Sadr Cave is one of the most interesting places in Iran. The cave contains stalactites and stalagmites of varying shapes (umbrellas, needles, etc.) that range from purple, brown, red, blue, and green. With 2-50 meter-wide canals, visitors can tour the cave via canoe as well as on foot.
If Persian culture and history interests you, then a trip to Persia and Iran is something you should investigate. There is much more to Iran than just these few pieces of information and many more interesting places to explore within the country. Just find yourself a good tour operator that is safety conscious and pick a tour that hits all the highlights you want to see!