Be prepared to abandon any preconceptions you may have about Iran the moment you set foot into this enchanting destination. It is a country rich in culture and history, where generous hospitality is a value shared by all, from the metropolis of Tehran to the smallest villages nestled in the desert.
History buffs should prepare to be dazzled, as modern-day Iran has played a central role in history for millennia. Today, visitors can feast their eyes upon many sites which were at one time the world’s greatest wonders, such as Persepolis, once the richest city on Earth until Alexander the Great razed it to the ground in 330 BCE.
Iran’s charms are certainly not only found in the history books, however – it is a dynamic, lively place where visitors are encouraged and welcomed. In cities such as Tehran and Shiraz, visitors can explore bustling bazaars, where goods from beautiful handcrafted homewares to aromatic spices delight the senses and make wonderful souvenirs.
Given modern-day Iran’s long history at the forefront of architecture, it is no wonder it also offers some of the most beautiful architectural sites in the world. Striking mosques, such as the Pink Mosque in Shiraz, and elaborate palaces such as the Golestan Palace, make for amazing sights – and photographs.
Outside of the big cities there are endless more opportunities waiting for those who seek them. Spend a night out under the stars near the abandoned Alamut Castle, one of the world’s greatest stargazing locations, or be dazzled and amazed by the colourful terraces at Badab-e Surt, in the country’s north east.
This is a country where it’s richness comes not only from its history and culture, but from its staggering diversity. This is a place where you can go on a safari tour in search of the elusive Persian Leopard, wander throughout the historic laneways in ancient Yazd, and pay your respects to the Iranian poets who flourished in the 11th Century.
Iran is truly a magnetic destination for those willing to embrace all it has to offer.