Tips and how to travel to Iran in 2019

Important – For some reason, the Iranian Government decides once in a while to block my website so, if you want to browse Against the Compass while you are backpacking in Iran, you must use a VPN. For more information, read how to choose the right VPN for Iran and access all blocked sites

What used to be a country that everybody believed was filled with danger and nuclear weapon lovers is, today, becoming the destination with the most exponential tourism growth in the world.

From the most hospitable people to the oldest history, stunning architecture, the most desolate deserts, green mountains, islands, and many other things, slowly, travelers are realizing that Iran is the ultimate destination.

However, since it has opened to tourism very recently, traveling in Iran is not that easy, as it presents several difficulties and peculiarities, ranging from strict Islamic rules to credit card issues and even the need to get special travel insurance.

But don’t worry.

After visiting this country twice for more than 2 months, on this blog, I have compiled loads of travel tips for traveling to Iran which will help you to plan your trip easily.

This guide contains practical information. For places to visit read my 1 to 4-week itinerary in Iran

 

things to know for traveling to Iran

 

The ultimate travel guide to Iran

Index:

Visa
Best time to visit
Accommodation in Iran

Travel Insurance for Iran
Access blocked sites in Iran
Getting in

Money in Iran
Safety
Solo female travel in Iran

The people and culture
Religion and Islamic Law in Iran
Transportation
Internet & SIM Card
Food and alcohol
Other curiosities
Books for Iran

More information

Important – Throughout the article, you will see that I mention 1stQuest quite a few times, an Iranian company that offers different services regarding visas, travel insurance, domestic bus & flight tickets, hotel booking, and even tourist packages. They are a great company that helped me sort out my visa. Moreover, they are one of the very few companies which allows you to purchase any service with an international credit card. Just check them out and, if you decide to buy anything, remember that you can use my voucher code to get an exclusive 5% discount in all their servicesATC-QST – CLICK HERE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT 1STQUEST

Iran off the beaten track
Khalid Nabi in Golestan province, my favorite off the beaten track spot in Iran – Iranian travel

 

Visa for traveling to Iran

Visa on arrival (VOA) – Everybody, except for citizens of Canada, UK, US, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka, can get a visa on arrival at any of Iran’s international airports.

The only real requirement is to have a valid host contact – During the process of getting your VOA, the authorities may contact your host, whether they are a hotel or a friend. If they can’t contact them, they may make you wait at the airport for a very long time.

Waiting time ranges from 2 to 6 hours – At the very least, you will have to wait for 2 hours at the airport. On my second visit, I had to wait for more than 5 hours, as I had a brand-new passport and didn’t have a return flight ticket.

Visa fee – Prices range from 40€ to 150€, depending on nationality. I hold a Spanish passport and paid 75€ and I believe that that is the price for the other European nationalities.

You can’t get a VOA if you enter overland – If you travel to Iran by land, you will need to arrange your visa in advance.

How to get your visa in advance – If you don’t want to wait at the airport, want to secure your visa or enter overland, you should get the visa in advance. For this, you need to get an authorization code from an authorized company, which you will use to easily collect your visa at the airport or embassy (if you enter by land).

I strongly recommend the guys from 1st Quest, a very reliable company that offers plenty of different services for traveling in Iran.

The visa authorization code only costs 27€ but remember that with my voucher code, you can get an additional 5% discount. 

My voucher code: ATC-QST

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR AUTHORIZATION CODE

Update 2019 – Iran doesn’t stamp passports anymore – An Iranian stamp on your passport can be an issue, especially if you are traveling to the USA. That’s why they are now giving your visa on a separate piece of paper.

Typically, they give you up to 30 days – A one-month visa is the standard number of days they give for traveling in Iran.

But you can easily extend your visa – You can extend it twice for 30 days. This means that you can be in Iran for up to 90 days. Extensions can be arranged in all provincial capitals.

Iran and Israel – For more details regarding the Israeli stamp, read: Avoid the Israeli stamp – FAQ

For more details regarding visas, don’t forget to read my visa guide!

Iran visa extension
My Iran visa extension – Iran travel blog

 

Best time to travel to Iran

Iran is a massive country with many climatic zones, which range from the dry regions of the Persian Gulf to the wetlands of the north-western provinces.

Ideally, the northern mountains should be visited during late spring, summer and early autumn. On the other hand, the classic Persian cities of Esfahan, Yazd, Kashan, and Shiraz can get utterly hot in summer, so winter, spring, and autumn are the optimum months for visiting them.

Moreover, the southern provinces, which include Qeshm Island, Bandar Abbas, etc. should be avoided during the summer months, as temperatures may reach up to 50ºC and the air is extremely humid.

Last, Tehran has extremely cold winters and overwhelmingly hot summers. Therefore, spring and autumn are the ideal months for traveling to Iran.

You can also visit the Persian cities during the summer months, no problem, but just be prepared for the heavy heat!

What to actually do in Iran
From following the classic Persian historical trail to contemplating the magnificent Islamic architecture, trekking, visiting the Persian Gulf Islands, meeting Iranian nomads, making local friends or even making a pilgrimage trip to the city of Mashhad, Iran can be a destination for all types of travelers, both history and adventure lovers.

The desert of the Kaluts is one of the hottest places on Earth.

 

Travel tips for accommodation in Iran

Because of the sanctions, websites like Booking.com don’t have hotels listed in Iran.

How to book a hotel in Iran?

  1. Via a phone call
  2. You just show up at the hotel and try your luck
  3. Via a travel agency (if you go on a tour)
  4. Via 1stQuest 

Yes, a good alternative would be booking your hotels via 1stQuest because, from luxury hotels to backpacker hostels, they have hotels listed in all the main cities in Iran. 

And remember that you can get a 5% discount in all hotels if you use my promotional code: ATC-QST

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE AVAILABLE HOTELS IN IRAN

By the way, keep in mind that the Government of Iran tends to block this kind of travel sites, so 1stQuest may not work when you try to connect from Iran. If this is the case, there are 2 possible solutions:

Couchsurfing – If you are on a budget, you should know that Couchsurfing is very popular in Iran and a great way to get immersed in the local culture, as Iranians are particularly hospitable and you are likely to be treated like a royal guest. However, bear in mind that some hosts may be extremely intense and may want to be with you at all times.

Iran travel guide
The views from the hotel in Yazd at sunrise – Iran travel

 

How to access blocked sites in Iran

Fact: in Iran, many websites are censored, and that includes:

If you wanna post Facebook updates or just check the international news, you must get a VPN. For this, I recommend you read how to find the right VPN for Iran.

The epic landscape of Golestan region

 

Insurance for traveling to Iran

Most regular insurance companies don’t cover travel in Iran – Because of the sanctions, popular insurance providers, such as World Nomads, will not cover you. 

IATI Insurance is the one I recommend for traveling to Iran – It is one of the very few companies whose policy is valid for traveling in Iran. They have a wide range of different plans and good coverage at a very competitive price.

Moreover, the readers of Against the Compass can get an exclusive 5% discount (you will see the discount after calculating your quote). 

BUY IT THROUGH MY LINK TO GET YOUR 5% DISCOUNT

If you don’t have travel insurance, you will have to buy it at the airport – If you don’t have a valid policy for traveling in Iran or, basically, you can’t prove it, they will make you buy one before getting your VOA. Prices range from 14€ to 34€, depending on the number of days but, you should know that the coverage is much more limited than IATI Insurance or any other company.

For more options, read How to find the right travel insurance for Iran

traveling in Iran
The classic picture of Esfahan – Traveling in Iran

 

How to get in Iran

How to travel to Iran by air

If you come by flight, Tehran would be the most obvious destination, as it has a large number of connections from Europe, especially Germany and Turkey. 

Read: Things to do in Tehran in 2 days

Shiraz has also an international airport and there are daily, very cheap flights from Dubai. 

Read: Things to do in Shiraz

How to travel to Iran by land

Iran shares a border with many countries but remember that, if overlanding, a visa is not available on arrival, so you will have to get it in advance.

Remember that most insurance providers won’t cover for Iran. IATI Insurance is one of the very few which does and the readers of this blog can get an exclusive 5% discount. BUY IT THROUGH THIS LINK TO GET YOUR 5% DISCOUNT

Iran-Iraq border crossing

 

Iran Travel Guide – What you need to know about money

In Iran, they use the Iranian Rial (IRR) and 1USD = 43,528IRR

The Iranian Rial fluctuation is massive – Make sure to check the current rate just before leaving for Iran because the value is so unstable.

Exchanging money in Iran – Exchange offices are available everywhere and €, USD and GBP are always accepted. Moreover, there is also the black market, which means that, in all cities, you will always find random people willing to buy your currency. It is fine to exchange with them but just make sure to count your money twice, as some of them may try to trick you.

Wait, Rials or Tomans? – Since their currency is extremely low, in order to simplify things, most places will tell you the prices in Tomans, which is the same value divided by 10. At the beginning, it is a bit confusing but you will quickly get used to it.

Foreign credit cards don’t work – Because of the sanctions, you can’t use your international credit card when you travel in Iran, so bring cash.

However, you can buy a local credit card – For people who don’t want to be carrying lots the cash, you can buy a local credit card and top it up. There are quite a few companies, for example Mah Card Iran Travel. (Note that I have never tried it but was recommended by a friend). 

The way it works is that you sign up on their website, give your passport details and they will bring your credit card once you arrive at your hotel in Tehran. You will give them your cash and pay the 20€ service after receiving your card. I didn’t use it but I’ve been told it is a reliable company.

And you can pay by credit card absolutely everywhere – You will be surprised to know that local credit cards are accepted all across the country, including at street food stalls and grocery shops from rural areas.

Entrance fees – Most touristic sites, including mosques, gardens, and archaeological sites, charge between 100,000 and 150,000IR, which is 5 to 10 more times than what the locals pay.

Read: Things you need to know before traveling to Pakistan

Iran travel
Guys like this one accept local credit cards quite often – Iran travel guide

 

Is it safe to travel to Iran?

Iran is safe – That’s it. It is a safe destination with no terrorism and a very low crime rate.

The FCO says – The UK Foreign advice says that you should avoid traveling to Balochistan and the area bordering Iraq. However, I think that this information is totally biased. You should be fine.

In Iran there is no Islamic State – On many occasions, my friends from back home told me: Be careful with ISIS in Iran! I love my friends but this is a very naive comment because, first of all, Iranians are Shia, hence there are no Iranian linked to ISIS. And second of all, ISIS never made it to Iran.

Tip – In Iran, consider getting off the beaten track
I traveled to Iran in 2015 and 2018 and, in only 3 years, things had changed significantly. The classic Persian cities of Yazd, Esfahan, Shiraz, and Kashan are filled with tour groups, overpriced restaurants, and souvenir shops. Local interactions, which usually involve house invitations, are less frequent and rip-offs are common.
However, if you just step slightly out of your comfort zone, experiences with the locals can be totally different. Therefore, I strongly recommend visiting other places near the cities, as well as discovering other provinces, such as Golestan, Kurdistan, or the cities of Tabriz and Mashhad.

Travel to Iran
People in Iran are too friendly – Iran travel tips

 

Solo female travel in Iran

Iran is an Islamic dictatorship and, at the same time a day-by-day growing tourism destination, so it is not surprising at all that, every day, this Middle Eastern country is attracting more and more travelers, including many solo females. 

Many women have come to me asking for my opinion towards traveling to Iran as a solo female. Well, despite the fact that I am a man and tend to get a very different experience than most women, I don’t know a single lady who hasn’t had a wonderful experience in Iran so, based on their opinions, I can certainly tell that Iran is, definitely, a safe destination for women. 

If you want to know more details about it, I recently interviewed Eveline from Earth Wanderess, who shares her travel expertise about solo female travel in Iran

Eveline in Esfahan

 

The people and culture

Iran is a highly educated society – Iran is the developing country with the largest number of highly educated people I’ve ever traveled to. Even in very rural, remote areas, such as Golestan, I met people who had Ph.D. degrees from Barcelona and Cambridge.

Iranians are not Arabs – People in Iran are not Arabs but Persians, which is a completely different ethnicity.

Nevertheless, it is ethnically diverse – From the Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan to the Turkmens of Golestan and the Arabs from the Persian Gulf shores, in Iran, there are several ethnic minorities.

Hospitality in Iran – Iranians are famous for their hospitality. Don’t be surprised if someone who you just met 5 minutes ago invites you to his house, a random dude who you never talked to pays for your meal and, basically, everybody treats you like a king. They love foreigners and are striving for the world to realize that they are a very peaceful society.

Do accept house invitations – You can’t say you have entirely traveled to Iran if you didn’t have a meal or stay at someone’s home. Just say yes. If you get slightly off the beaten track and having a meal at a stranger’s house is 100% guaranteed.

Wait, what is tarof? – If you are traveling in Iran for long enough and have experienced strong local interactions, the locals will tell you about something called tarof. Basically, tarof is when a local tries to pay for your meal (or anything else) just because it is in their cultural code but they don’t really want to. Say no and, if they insist more than 3 times, it means that it was a real invitation. However, if they back off, it means that it was a bluff, so this is called tarof.

Farsi is the official language – Farsi (or Persian), which has nothing to do with Arabic, is the country’s language. They also use the Arab alphabet.

Educated people speak English – In major cities, most educated people speak impeccable English and, in rural areas, they will speak the basic stuff.

Officially, the weekend is on Thursday and Friday – Iran follows the official Muslim calendar, so Friday is the official day off and, for most companies and the public sector, Thursday and Friday is the weekend.

Read: Things you need to know before traveling to Kyrgyzstan

Travel blog Iran
Me with Vali’s family in Mashhad – How to travel to Iran

 

Religion and Islamic law in Iran

Most Iranians are Shia – Iran is the country with the largest Shia population.

However, there are Sunni minorities – In Balochistan, Golestan and the Persian Gulf, there are significant Sunni communities.

Iran is an Islamic Republic – Prior to 1979, Iran was ruled by a Shah who was a puppet of the USA and was leading the country to poverty. This led to a massive revolution, the Shah was overthrown and the clerics came to power, founding the Islamic Republic of Iran.

It’s also a religious dictatorship – In Iran, freedom of speech, demonstration, and protest is extremely limited and several rules based on Sharia law apply to everybody, including tourists.

Dressing code for men – You can’t dress in short pans, even when it is 40ºC. Other than that, you will be fine.

Dressing code for women – Women need to wear a headscarf and can’t show either their shoulders nor their curves. This means that you must wear a long, loose dress or skirt over your pants.

And of course, alcohol is illegal – In Iran, alcohol is forbidden and only available on the black market. For more details, check the Food & Alcohol section.

Even in this situation, many Iranians are not religious at all – Across your journey, you will meet many Iranians from all ages who don’t care about religion at all, more than in any other Middle Eastern country. This is because, before the 1979 Revolution, Iran was quite secular.

Religion in Iran
Iranian women trying to enter and exit from the women wagon in Tehran – Can i travel to Iran

 

Travel tips for transportation in Iran

Buses are the way to go in Iran – They go absolutely everywhere and are the preferred choice for locals. There are two kinds of buses, the budget one and the VIP, which is around 70% more expensive.

Trust me, get the VIP bus – Seriously, the difference between VIP and non-VIP is so huge. VIP buses are extremely more comfortable, have AC and don’t smell. The cheap buses are horrible and, since they only cost a few USD, paying a 70% extra is not a big deal.

Where to buy your bus tickets – Before, it was kind of a pain in the ass to buy them, as local sites don’t accept foreign cards, so you had to ask your hotel (who charges a high commission) or go to the bus station, which is always far away from downtown. Things have changed and now, you can easily buy them through 1st Quest(the same visa guys).

Use my voucher code to get an exclusive 5% discount! You can use it as many times as you want!

Voucher code: ATC-QST

CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE PRICES OF YOUR BUS ROUTE

Train is also an option – Some cities have train stations. I personally took a train from Tehran to Gorgan and a 23-hour train from Mashhad to Bandar Abbas. It was pretty cool but not all cities have train stations plus they run less frequently than buses.

Plane is also good – For those who are short on time, there are a lot of domestic flights, connecting most cities in the country. Again, you can book your flight ticket through 1st Quest, as most local sites won’t accept foreign credit cards.

And you can also use this 5% discount when purchasing a flight ticket: ATC-QST

CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE PRICES OF YOUR FLIGHT ITINERARY

Get Snapp for taxis – Snapp is like the Iranian Uber and, as far as I know, it works in Tehran, Esfahan and, perhaps, in other big cities, as well. By default, it is cheaper than regular taxis plus you save all the negotiation hassle.

Metro – Tehran, Esfahan, Shiraz, and Mashhad have metro lines. They are cheap, fast and reliable!

Driving in Iran – You can self-drive in Iran, no problem, but just be aware that, like in all the Middle East, people drive like crazy.

Crossing the streets in Iran – For me, the worst thing about Iran is that nobody gives a s*** about pedestrians. You should know that, when you cross the street, even if you go over a pedestrian crossing, cars will never slow down but will just dodge you. It’s crazy. You should always cross sticking close to a local.

Iran travels
Train station somewhere in Iran – Iran travel experience

 

Internet & SIM Card

Wi-Fi sucks – A lot, practically everywhere.

But 3G is good – Wi-Fi sucked so much that, sometimes, I was using my 3G to watch movies.

Get an IranCell SIM Card – In my experience, the staff of IranCell shops speak good English. For just a couple of USD, you will get plenty of GB and calls. I suggest you check their website for the latest plans. In Tehran, there is an IranCell shop inside Imam Khomeni metro station.

Read: A travel guide to Lebanon

Travel Iran
Jameh Mosque in Yazd – Iran travel information

 

Food and alcohol

What is Persian cuisine like – Seriously, I could write an entire post about food in Iran. It is quite varied and many provinces have their own local specialties. Usually, most meals will be accompanied by tonnes of rice and bread. The most popular appetizers have an eggplant base and main courses tend to be meat with gravy. Kebab is a fancy meal they eat outside.

So far, my favorite dishes are bademjan, an eggplant and tomato stew; ghormeh sabzi, a meat stew with plenty of spices and herbs; ash, a breakfast consisting of a vegetable soup with chickpeas, noodles and caramelized onions; and dizi, lamb (or chicken) smashed with tomatoes, potatoes and chickpeas in a clay pot.

Vegetarians will be OK – For breakfast, they will serve you either ash (the vegetable soup) or an omelet with tomato sauce, as well as cheese, watermelon, and nuts. For lunch and dinner, there are many eggplant-based vegetarian options, lentils, and rice.

Chai? – The tea culture is really strong and a sign of hospitality.

The coffee culture is growing! – One of the differences I noticed on my second trip to Iran is that there were coffee places, serving authentic coffee absolutely everywhere. It was, of course, pricey compared to any other drink but having breakfast over a good cup of coffee is a real must for me.

Alcohol is only available on the black market – It usually comes smuggled from Armenia or Iraqi Kurdistan.

But you are likely to drink – Once, I was hitchhiking in Golestan when a young couple from Tehran picked me up and offered me vodka shots. Another day, the owner of a café served me a real rum mojito. I also drank home-made liquor at someone’s house in Shiraz and was offered a beer in Qeshm Island. As I said, many Iranians are not very religious and, if you hang out with local people, eventually, you will be able to have some drinks.

food in Iran
Kashko: contains eggplants, caramelized onions, mint, walnut and yogurt, typical from Kerman province

 

Some curiosities you will see when traveling in Iran

Nose jobs – You will see that in most major cities, especially in Tehran and Esfahan, a lot of women wear a bandage on their nose. That is because they just came from surgery. Many Persian women have an arched nose and some of them have a bit of complex about it.

The clerics – Those Muslim priests that you see all over Iran are Shia clergy. Most of them wear a white hat, which means that they are normal people. However, those wearing a black one are, somehow, related to the prophet Mohammed. Within a period of 2 months, I spotted two of them. 

Creepy mannequins – In all bazaars all across the country, clothing shops have extremely creepy mannequins. They tend to be dirty, miss one eye or they have no jaw. I don’t know if the shopkeepers realize how weird this is. 

Drought in Iran – In Iran, lack of rain is a real problem and, across the country, many lakes and rivers, including the river that goes through Esfahan, are completely dry. This is one of the biggest concerns for most Iranians. 

Read more interesting facts about Iran

mannequins in Iran
A very strange mannequin in the bazaar of Esfahan

 

Best books for traveling to Iran

Here’s a selection of the best travel books for Iran:

Iran travel guide by Bradt – Bradt has always the most comprehensive guides to the most off-beat countries. I love Bradt because they give plenty of tips for the independent traveler, as well as loads of cultural insights.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK PRICES ON AMAZON

 

Iran travel guide by Lonely Planet – I personally prefer Bradt but, if you are a Lonely Planet fan, they have just released their latest edition for Iran.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE PRICES ON AMAZON

 

Best graphic novel – Persepolis – This is, perhaps, the most famous story ever written about Iran. It is the story of a non-religious woman, before and after the 1979 revolution. An easy way to understand the complexity of Iranian society.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK THE PRICES ON AMAZON

 

Best political novel – The Cypress Tree – The story of a writer and his family (currently a BBC journalist) who had to live in exile in the UK after the 1979 Revolution. The book is not only a critique of the dictatorial regime but also, he explains, in a very nostalgic way, all the things he misses from Iran.

CLICK HERE TO CHECK PRICES ON AMAZON

 

More information for your trip to Iran

Remember to always use my code – From booking a hotel to a flight & bus ticket, purchasing insurance and your visa, if it is via 1stQuest, remember that you can use my 5% discount code, as many as you want, whenever you want: ATC-QST

More articles about Iran – These are all the articles I have written about Iran:

Independent travel in Iran: 1 to 4-week itinerary
How to find the right travel insurance for Iran
How to find the right VPN for Iran
Traveling in Iran as a solo female traveler
Things to do in Tehran in 2 days
A guide to Qeshm Island
A guide to Shiraz
A trip to the desert of the Kaluts
Trekking in the Zagros mountains
Meeting the Qashqai, authentic Iranian nomads
What to see in Pars province besides Shiraz and Persepolis
A guide to the Iranian visa
A guide to Masuleh
A guide to Golestan Province

Travel guides to the neighboring countries – If you are overlanding to or from Iran, read:

Georgia travel guide
Azerbaijan travel guide

Pakistan travel guide
Iraqi Kurdistan travel guide

If you like my website and found this post useful, remember that, if you book any service through any of my links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you. These earnings help me maintain and keep Against the Compass going! Thanks 🙂

 

traveling to iran

 

33 comments

  1. HI Tehran Hostel

    Hey Buddy, you wrote a great helpful article! almost covered all the tips. Btw , I would like to introduce our hostel in tehran to readers of your blog if its possible, HI Tehran Hostel offers excellent value budget accommodation in a convenient location of Tehran, stay with us and see what a difference a stay makes..

  2. Im so happy to see that you wrote a excellent article about my country and specially my city and its beautiful valley(alamut).
    i would be more than happy to help any travelers in this adventure
    AS WE ALWAYS SAY (Taste Iran with locals)

      1. I have just spent a goo hour reading your articles, they are very well and intelligently written! And also more informative than other sites. I am planning a trip to Iran in September too! Safe travels and keep writing awesome articles!

  3. I get what you mean about the heat and humidity in the southern provinces Joan. We house sat during the cool, rainier season in Doha, Qatar last year, across the Persian Gulf from Iran. The homeowners noted temps to 50 C PLUS humidity. Meaning sometimes it feels like 140 F LOL! Insane. Rocking post bro.

    Ryan

  4. Thank you for all this interesting information, accurate and recent on top of it!
    On that subject, something that could also help although quite new it is the mobile app Fairswap. It allows to exchange cash currency in real-time by meeting with each other at a pre-agreed location. 
    Widely, people post their need in foreign currency and if there is someone nearby facing the reverse need, then they can get in touch each other and if both agree, they will meet and make the swap.

    By chance, this could be a pleasant way to facilitate connections with locals and get unexpected additional tips.

  5. I’ve also been in Iran recently the people were very hospitable. It’s good to know that there’s a better way instead of carrying cash which caused lots of stress, Daricpay is a credit card for tourists that is acceptable all around the country.

  6. HI, i’m going to Iran in mid April. I have small DJI drone, but i’m not sure if i should take it.
    I saw you had drone in Iran. How is the law about drones there?

    1. It is risky. If you get caught they will definitely confiscate it, so be careful. When I travel, I check in the main body and then I put the battery in my hand luggage. This way, they never find it.

  7. Hello from Poland, I am planning to visit Iran this summer (unfortunatelly I only have the summers off so I am bracing for the heat). My question is about the windmills of Nashtifan. I haven’t found any info on them here on the blog. (If there is though, please direct me to it). Have you been there? Do you know what’s the best way to get there? Is that area safe since it’s so close the the Afgan border? I would appreciate any info on the matter.
    Thanks
    Igor

    1. Hey Igor, haven’t been there, unfortunately, but maybe you should first go to Mashhad? If so, stay at Vali’s and I am sure he will know all the details about getting there

    2. Hey Igor, I’m sarah from Iran,Nashtifan is a city in the Central District, Khaf County,Razavi Khorasan Province,in my country and it’s very beautiful and totally safe and it’s famous because the ancient windmills.

  8. Hi
    You are very welcome to Iran in advance 
    I am SHADI a licensed tourist guide in Iran. I can speak English and Turkish fluently and live in Kashan.
    I can show you my city, Kashan and its around and many hidden spots in this area and even all around Iran. I can arrange your whole trip in Iran like accommodations, driver guide / tourist guide to make your trip more enjoyable here in Iran. If you like to know better about me and need more information, please feel free to contact me.
    It will be my pleasure to meet you in Kashan or even all around Iran and be part of your enjoyable trip in Iran.
    Best regards
    Shadi

  9. Hi Joan,

    I came across your blog since we are both members of the “Nomadic Matt’s Superstarblogging Blogging Business Course.

    I loved reading your blog posts about Iran and found them very helpful. I will be heading to Iran on September 4 and I cannot wait to see Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Persepolis, Kashan, Tehran and a few other places. Before leaving on this trip, I would like to publish a collaboration post “Travel bloggers tips for Iran” and I would be very happy if you contribute and write 150 to 200 words plus send me one photo (preferably in landscape format). I would love to get your impression and what you liked most. Since I am blogging bilingually in English and in German and have so far published every blog post in both languages I would love to translate the post also into German (by myself not automatically by Google Translate).

    I have published similar posts before my trips to Uzbekistan, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and before my trip to the Maldives. If you are interested I could send you the links to those posts.

    My email address is travellingcolognian@hotmail.com.

    I would like to publish the blog post before I leave for Iran on September 4, therefore, I would be happy if you could send me your piece till August 30.

    I would be happy if you contribute. Thank you so much in advance.

    Cheers
    Vanessa

    1. Hey joan , I’m sarah from Iran ,i would like to say thank you for your beautiful blog, you have almost mentioned everything,next time when you went to Iran go to Guilan province,Rasht city it’s my hometown I’m sure you will love it♥️♥️

  10. thanks so much for your tips, and I want to add that Iran has some of the best dishes in the world. The Persian cuisine consists of a delicious array of stews and different rice among many other dishes. And of course Persian bread.

  11. Would love to visit but I just can’t bring myself to go to a country where gay men (like myself) have the death penalty.

    1. Hi

      As an Iranian and also someone who is pro-equality for the members of LGBTQ I wish the situation was different, and that you didn’t have to worry about things such as sexual orientation. It’s true that Iranian government doesn’t have a shining reputation in their treatment of members of LGBTQ community, some of what’s being reported is often exaggeration. It’s not easy to condemn anyone of “sodomy” without compelling evidence, like actual witnesses! (Not that this should be an issue to begin with) What I’m trying to get at is that officials often look the other way, unless there is a case of rape, which was reported by the western media a few months ago, but it was really misrepresented, in that case someone who happened to be gay had raped a boy, that case is not representative of members of LGBTQ community, but a criminal that was proven to be guilty of rape. In either case, I’m not defending the current Iranian government treatment of LGBTQ, and I’m entirely in favor of equal rights for them.

      Finally, regarding your point about your sexual orientation, no one will know your sexual orientation unless you bring it up yourself, I for example as a heterosexual male will not demonstrate anything outside of social norms just because I’m heterosexual, for example if I’m in a county whose general female population happen to be my type, I’m not going to approach them in every single instance or be aggressive, you have to gauge the person’s interest before taking a step towards the next step in your relationship. All I’m trying to get at is that there are many, many gays in Iran whether the Iranian government likes it or not, and you may come across them.

      Sorry for the long post.

  12. It seams that entrance fees to many tourist places are highly increased from October 23.
    Can you tell me more?
    Thanks Norberto

    1. Hi, I live in Tehran and the increasing is not highly. for example the most expensive ticket is less than 2 dollars, visiting Azadi tower.

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