Why do we travel to Iran?
Iran; The Country of Four Seasons
Iran is a country of four seasons. This vast land of 1,648,000 km² covers various climates and therefore tourists can choose this destination in the various seasons of the year. For example, you can enjoy skiing with all levels of technical skill in the ski slopes of Tochal in Tehran or Dizin in Mazandaran and after a 1:30 hour flight, swimming in the warm water of the Persian Gulf to the south.
When it snows in winter in the north-west, Tabriz and Ardabil, you can travel south to the Free Zone of Ciabahar or to the islands of the Persian Gulf including Kish, Qeshm, Hengam and etc. to enjoy a mild spring climate, admiring the natural features of the region, scuba diving and visiting dolphin games.
In the summer, when in the center of the country it is stifling heat especially in the desert cities and a sultry heat in the northern or southern coastal areas, you can instead enjoy the mild climate of the mountainous cities of Kurdistan or western Azerbaijan. Arranging excursions or guided tours of the incredible views of the white snow on the Sabalan volcano in Ardabil and at the same time strolling in the green pastures of the gentle slopes of the Alvares slope during the day and then swimming in the warm mineral waters of the thermal springs in Sarein would a good idea. Do not forget to visit the life of the Shahsavand nomads who live in this area and to taste their dairy products. Ardabil honey is of high quality.
In the center of Iran is the picturesque Lut desert where it is said to be the hottest place on earth. The amazing wonders of this desert welcomes ecotourists in the cold periods of the year. Spending a few days of full-immersion in the silence and boundless spaces of the desert, walking on the sand dunes and visiting the bizarre shapes of the tall Kaloots, the strange structures built by the wind are the unforgettable parts of a trip to the desert. Desert guests can enjoy spectacular unspoiled nature and ever-changing landscapes and offer a variety of amazing scenery. Spending the night looking at the many bright stars in the blue sky after dusk is highly recommended.
April to September are the best times to tour inside Iran and tourists can enjoy all kinds of fun. But as we have already mentioned, Iran is a country of four seasons and it is worth planning more than a classic trip to Iran to visit the different and less known parts of the country to have the true and deep knowledge of the authentic culture. , unique attractions and local traditions.
Hospitality in Iranian Way
Iranians are world famous for their exceptional hospitality and open arms to guests. In reality, hospitality is almost a duty for Iranians and during your trip to Iran you will never feel alone meeting the sociable and welcoming Iranians and enjoy their respect and friendship. You will happen to feel safer than in some western suburbs. There is no difference from which country you come from, Iranians think beyond geographical borders and await you with a smile on their lips and houses ready to welcome you. Although the official language of Iran is Farsi, but in the more touristic areas people always speak more English so you will rarely have problems.
The ta’rof, the used practice of unwritten norms, is a common habit among Iranians that has a symbolic value and often creates some confusion for foreign tourists. Knowing the ta’rof, it is important to understand some behaviors in business relationships or in everyday situations, otherwise they may seem rather bizarre. Making ta’rof towards a guest is the art of giving him every possible attention or offering him everything that can be offered. The guest must know when to decline and when to accept each offer. For example, in a taxi you ask “How much is it?” and the taxi driver replies “Ghabeli nadare”, which means, “don’t worry”. This statement does not mean that you shouldn’t pay for the journey, but rather represents respect and polite behavior between the parties.
Nomads of Iran
Along with the various Lur, Baluch, Kurd, Fars, Arab, Turkish and Turkmen ethnicities, there are still nomadic lives in Iran. Towards 2 million Iranians practicing pastoralism, they change the place of life in spring and autumn in search of pastures. The Qashqai and Bakhtiari nomads spend all summer in the Zagros mountain range before descending to the lower areas for the cold seasons, while the Shahsavand nomads live towards the Sabalan volcano in the northwest. The Kormanj move to Khorassan Razavi and Shomali in the east.
Spending at least one night in the fields to experience nomadic life, you can enjoy their local foods, taste their handmade dairy products (yogurt, Dugh, cheeses and butter) and sleep under the starry sky or in the woven tents of leather and wool goat.
Persian cuisine invites you to have a delightful experience of varied and unforgettable flavors. Different types of Kabab (lamb, veal or mutton and chicken), stews (Khoresht), Ash (the thick and rich soup), salads, pickled vegetables (Torshi) are served in almost all restaurants of the country, but we suggest you try the local foods in each city by tasting the different flavors of Persian cuisine seasoned with the typical spices of each area. For example, in Gilan’s cuisine the vinegar flavor is prevalent or in Kerman, cumin, the desert spice, is used more. There are various ways of stews including Fesenjan, Qeime and Qorme Sabzi. The best recipes with eggplant (Badenjan) and typical fish dishes will blow your mind.
Alongside Iranian foods, there are also drinks suitable to taste such as Dugh (a mixture of yogurt and water) and traditional syrups (Sharbat) based on aromatic herbs such as Bahar Narenj (orange blossom), Bidmeshk, Golab (water of rosa), Na’na (mint), Khake shir, Tokhme Sharbati, Saffron, etc.
In addition, the exquisite sweets (Shirini) from each area, the favorite flavor of Iranians, are regarded as souvenirs from Persia. Among the famous desserts we remember the Baqlava of Yazd and Qazvin, the nougat (Gaz) of Isfahan, the jams and the Masqati of Shiraz, the Qottab of Kerman, the Sohan of Qom, the Noqa of Tabriz, the Noql d’Urmia , the Nabat of Mashhad, the Basloq of Maraqe, the Naan Berenji of Kermanshah, the Kolompe and the Komaj of Kerman, the Koluce of Guilan and the Zulbia and Bamieia (you eat well during the month of Ramadan), etc.
Faloode from Shiraz, saffron ice cream, various types of Lavashak (fruit vinegar rolls), dried fruit such as the figs of Estahban and pistachios from Rafsanjan, sweet pomegranates from Saveh, saffron from Mashhad, Pashmak (cotton candy), Zereshk (Crispino berries), Bam dates, Caspian sea caviar and various types of Ash (Reshte, Shole Ghalamkar and Dugh) are among the flavors to try.
Iran; the Cradle of Iranian-Islamic Art
Persian art, one of the rich cultural heritages of humanity in the world, dates back to 7000 years ago and includes many disciplines including architecture, painting and miniature, knitting, carpet weaving, ceramics, music, poetry, calligraphy, cinema, embroidery and the working of enameled metals. It can be said that the evolution of Persian art has its roots in the historical events and in the geopolitical situation of the country and in the different climates. The paintings on the walls of the caves and the abstract drawings on plates, amphorae and vases, the grandiose architecture of the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods and contemporary art with the professional and authentic Persian style are among the prominent examples of Iranian art.
L’arte iraniana si divide in due periodi: pre-Islamico e Islamico. Chi vuole conoscere l’arte persiana deve visitare le diverse attrazioni delle varie province dell’Iran. Per esempio, l’architettura pre-Islamica si può visitare nelle province di Fars (Persepoli, Passargade, Naqsh-e Rajab), Khuzestan (Choqa- Zanbil, Susa e Shushtar), Kerman (la fortezza di Bam) e Sistan e Baluchestan(la città Bruciata e il monte Khaje).
Il capolavoro dell’architettura islamica si trova a Isfahan del periodo Safavide visitando i monumenti sfarzosi della piazza di Naqsh-e Jahan quali sono la moschea d’Imam, la moschea di Sceicco Lotfollah, il monumento di Ali Qapu e l’ingresso del Bazaar(Qeisarie) ed anche il palazzo di Chehel Sotun, la moschea Jame’ di Isfahan e i ponti di Siose Pol e Khaju. Il mausoleo dello Sceicco Safi al-din Ardabili a Ardabil e la cupola di Soltanie a Zanjan sono anche gli esempi delle arti iraniano-islamiche. Le moschee di Nassirol Molk e Vakil a Shiraz dimostrano la creatività artistica degli artisti iraninani.
The sacred shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam of the Shiites, in Mashhad is the brilliant witness of Islamic-Iranian art. The gilded dome erected over the sanctuary in the center and the intricate tile work and beautiful handwriting of the artists make any visitor gape. The marvelous workmanship of the mirrors that is normally used in sacred places creates a spiritual atmosphere which captivates the eyes and hearts of pilgrims and visitors. In Khorassan Razavi there are also other examples of Iranian architecture including the ancient windmills, the admirable architecture of the Qiasie madrasa in Khargerd and the Khorshid (Sun) palace in Kalat Naderi.
In Yazd, the city of bricks, you can instead visit the architecture of the desert areas such as the wind towers, the glaciers, the colored windows of the traditional houses, the high ceilings, the narrow streets with long walls, the Qanat and also the Persian gardens. The 12th century Jame ‘(congregational) mosque of Yazd crowned by a pair of the tallest minarets in Iran where the portal facade decorated from top to bottom with fascinating predominantly blue tiles and the main prayer niche, adorned with elegant mosaic tiles, it is an artistic masterpiece that every tourist must visit.
In Tehran, the capital of Iran at the foot of Mount d’Alborz, there are many palaces and museums where Iranian art is demonstrated. In the complex of the palaces of Golestan, included among the cultural heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, you can walk among the buildings and palaces built during the various dynasties from Zandie to Qajar. The yellow color is dominant in the ornaments used on the facades of the buildings and recalls the art of the Qajar period during which Tehran was chosen as the capital of Iran. The Carpet and Contemporary Art museums are located in the center of Tehran near the Laleh park and travelers can visit them and learn more about modern Iranian art. The white structure of the carpet museum has a unique and interesting architecture, in the shape of a carpet frame.
In Zanjan you can go to the city of Qeidar and visit its famous dome of Soltanieh. It is recognized that the architectural science of this tallest double-domed building at its time (14th century) was then used as the basic idea of the construction of Brunelleschi’s dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.