A trip to Iran plunges you into the heart of a sensitive and complex country, where the ghosts of Cyrus, Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan are never far away. Here, history is written through archaeological treasures whose origins are lost in the mists of time, but also through the eyes of a proud and tender people.
For a broad overview of Iran's riches, an organised tour will take you to the country's most culturally rich cities - Isfahan, Yazd, Kashan, Shiraz, Kerman - while taking in a wealth of sites, from the village of Abyaneh to the museums of Tehran, from the Mahan Garden to the Na'in Mosque.
Mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast
Persian, Azeri, Kurd, Lur, Baloch, Arab, Turkmen, and Turkic tribes
In Iran, it is customary to decline food or other offerings even when you want them. The provider will most often insist, whereupon one should humbly accept.
Chelo Kebab — skewered ground meat (lamb or beef) kebabs served with saffron rice and grilled tomatoes
Traditionally state-controlled economy but reforming state-owned financial entities; strong oil/gas, agricultural, and service sectors; recent massive inflation due to exchange rate depreciation, international sanctions, and investor uncertainty; increasing poverty