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Iran holiday inspiration: Instagram feeds to follow – and more | Travel

Five Instagram feeds to follow

Tiling in Golestan palace, Iran.



Tiling in Golestan palace

A useful first port of call is Tourism Iran’s official feed, which shows the kaleidoscopic mosaics of the country’s mosques and palaces, countryside, bustling and hill villages, as well as portraits of local workers.

Women getting ready to roller skate at Azadi Sports Complex, Tehran, Iran.



Women getting ready to roller skate at Azadi Sports Complex, Tehran.

A mobile photographic project inspired by @everydayafrica offering snapshots curated from several photographers. It aims to reflect real life.

Autumn in a forest in Gilan province, Iran.



Autumn in a forest in Gilan province.

Ali Shokri is based in Tabriz and focuses on the country’s diverse landscapes, from the rainbow-coloured mountains of Aladağlar to the forests, rivers and waterfalls of Gilan province.

Ceiling of Shahe cheragh shrine in Shiraz, Iran.



Ceiling of Shahe cheragh shrine in Shiraz, Iran.

Mehrdad’s feed provides a document of Iran’s history and culture through architecture. Mosques are shown with symmetry and colour; other shots are like gazing into the milky way.

Aerial view of Iranian food, stews and vegetable dishes, laid out on a table.


The page is a riot of colour, full of beautifully prepared and presented shots of dishes such as gheimeh (a stew of meat, tomatoes, split peas, onion and dried lime), havij polo (rice with carrots, topped with chicken and barberry), and homemade pickles.

Inspiration: five films to watch

Actors Peyman Moaadi (left) and Sarina Farhadi in a scene from director Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation.



Actors Peyman Moaadi (left) and Sarina Farhadi in a scene from director Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation

The Lover’s Wind
Albert Lamorisse’s 1970s doc provides a superb view of Iran from the air.

Ganj-e Qarun
Melodrama in which a rich man finds compassion in his abandoned son.

The Lizard
Post-revolutionary comedy about a thief on the run from the law.

Border Cafe
A widow’s struggle to maintain her independence by running a cafe.

A Separation
A story of Iranian family life, this won the best foreign film Oscar in 2012.

Five tour operators to try

The dome of Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, Isfahan, Iran, seen at night.



The dome of Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, Isfahan. Photograph: Pascal Mannaerts

Inspiration: five books to read

My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad
Satire about a family under the patronage of a British-fearing patriarch.

Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Morier
19th-century tale that gives an insight into Orientalist attitudes to Iranians.

All the Shah’s Men by Stephen Kinzer
Iran’s attitude to the west seen through the 1953 coup that toppled its premier.

Stories from Iran
35 shorts from contemporary writers

Tehran Noir, edited by Salar Abdoh
Short story collection by young writers writing in, and about, Tehran