Where to visit in Iran

Highlights

  • Masouleh, Qaleh Rudkhan and mountains of Gilan province
  • Shopping in Esfahan bazaar
  • The mountain path to Babak Castle
  • Tehran’s Milad Tower for exhilarating views and an evening meal in one of Tehran’s best restaurants
  • The historic red mud village of Abyaneh
  • Spring flower blossom in Shirazi gardens
  • The Gate of All Nations in ancient Persepolis
  • The architecture of Kashan’s old merchant houses
  • The Silk Road trail from Hamadan towards the Iraqi border and Kurdish villages
  • Sunset at one of the Zoroastrian ‘towers of silence’ in Yazd

Iran highlights — map

Suggested itineraries

The following itineraries presuppose all arrangements have been made in advance, or that a taxi or car will be used. If local bus transport is used, extra time will be needed to organise tickets, and journey times will be longer.

Eight to ten days

Two days sightseeing in Tehran; fly to Esfahan for at least three days’ sightseeing, drive to Yazd for one day and night, a full day in and around Persepolis, and another day in Bishapur or Firuzabad; fly home from Shiraz.

Ten to 15 days

Option 1

As above, with the addition of two more nights in Yazd to explore nearby mud villages and two nights in Kerman (or one in Kerman, the other exploring Mahan and surrounds), and if possible overnighting in Kashan.

Option 2

Before visiting Esfahan and Shiraz, travel to Ardabil from Tehran, overnighting in Bandar-e Anzali (or conversely fly from Tehran to Tabriz); two nights in Tabriz for city sightseeing and a day trip to Maku (Black Church) and Jolfa; return south to stay in Qazvin; then to Hamadan for overnight or to Tehran for Esfahan; then Shiraz.

The shrines of Qom, south of Tehran, and of Mashhad in the northeast will be important visits for any Muslim and will certainly give a wealth of information to any other curious traveller. There are also splendid historic buildings in the vicinity of Mashhad, but these are not located in ‘clusters’ as in Esfahan and Shiraz. Iranians enjoy visiting the coast and forests of the southern Caspian shores, and the wonderful beaches of the Persian Gulf (especially Kish and Qeshm).

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