For many travelers who want to visit Iran in a short time, it’s not easy to make a decision on what to see and what to leave out of the list. The reason is that as soon as you begin to read about this country, you find quite a lot of interesting historic sites and cultural points that make you want to see them all. Is it possible to see them all? Of course not! But I tell you it can be done.
See the Highlights
Think of the sites that Iran or Persia is famous for. Then, pick up the most famous ones and make a list of them. See if you can create a route in which the most significant ones can be visited during your visit to Iran. Plan the route, etc. Don’t worry about this as I’ve already done such a thing based on experience: Iran Highlights Tour!
This itinerary is based on the experience with the satisfied clients who have already made such a trip. This itinerary can be done with some prearrangement and considering certain essential features like desirable accommodation, services, tour guides, transportation and so on.
Tehran – The Modern City of Iran
The capital city of Iran, an amalgamation of various cultures, languages, religions, etc into a huge foothill stretched from West to East (app 40 km) and limited between Northern mountain range of Alborz and Southern desert (app 40 km). Naturally, this vast area couldn’t be entirely an ancient city like many others in Iran. Tehran used to be a small village growing into a town about 210 years ago. Therefore, the monuments of ancient Persia cannot be found here. Instead, as the most modern city of Iran, it offers some of the best museums you can find in the whole country.
You can visit some of Tehran’s museums during the short time you spend there. Obviously, Iranian National Museum, Golestan Palace compound, Treasury of National Jewels are some of the main places to visit.
Apart from these sites, Tehran showcases Iran’s transition from traditionalism to modernity. In one city, you can observe both traditional lifestyle as well as universal aspects of modern life: highrises, freeways, roundabouts, dress codes, hair styles, fancy cars, large villas, restaurants, shopping centers, coffee shops and so forth.
I would recommend you to take a look at some of these aspects to see how the country is developing for later comparison, in other towns, with certain aspects that have not changed for centuries.
Shiraz – The City of Ancient Persia & Literature
What the people of this city are proud of is the birthplace of ancient Persia. When you visit Iran and explore Shiraz, you discover the people with proud feeling of the past glory of Persepolis, globally known poets like Hafez and Sa’di as well as revitalizing Persian gardens.
The sites containing the glorious memories of Achaemenian and Sassanian periods are all out side the city. Persepolis is the unrivaled palace complex of the antiquity and one of the highlights of this trip. Pasargadae holds the tomb of Cyrus the great, the architect of Persian Empire and the father of Iranian History.
The Bazaar of Shiraz is in one word beautiful. Remember to visit Saraye Moshir when you go there. Tombs of Hafez and Sa’dy have got several things to offer:
- Art & Architecture
- Garden Planning
- Poetic Atmosphere & Books
- Local People’s attachment to Poets
In addition to all of this, several highrises, shopping centers, universities, and companies are taking the city into the new era of modern life. The recent enlargement and expansion of the city airport as well as under-construction subway indicate the city plans to cope with the developments.
Isfahan – The Culmination of Islamic Architecture
Unlike many other towns of Iran, there’s a river snaking through the city creating a unique atmosphere with kilometers of gardens along the river banks. It’s spread out on Northern and Southern sides of this body of water and offers beautiful mosques, magnificent palaces, handsome bridges and marvelous city planning based on Persian gardens.
Safavids have done a lot to convert the whole city of their time into a garden through which small creeks bring water to irrigate trees and give life to all the neighborhoods. Palaces are all inside gardens and decorated with some of the most elegant miniatures painted by masters of this art in Iran. Mosques are the most breath-taking examples of building such structures in Iran both in terms of art and architecture. Hundreds of workshops, if not thousands, are producing more than half of all the handicrafts produced all around the country.
The city is rapidly developing into a modern city. There are several overpasses and underpasses on the newly-constructed freeways, shopping centers under construction and so on. Lots of heavy industries outside the city witness this change. Due to several universities, the young educated generation and a new wave of entrepreneurs change the face of business in line with the rest of the world. Subway is also under construction here.
Abyaneh – A Remote Village with Living Ancient Taste
Time seems to have stopped here in several centuries ago. The way people get dressed, the animals they keep, the farms they have, the products they make, the houses they live in, all in all take you to the ancient times of Iran. They are proud of their cultural heritage and keep them as much as they can.
The children of many of these elderly people have gone through higher education and hold top positions at the universities inside and outside Iran. As soon as any of them returns home, you will see them in their local costumes like they’ve never left their village. They’re proud of their cultural heritage.
You’ve Covered Iran’s highlights in One Week
With this itinerary, in a short time, you will manage to see all this as well as natural beauty of mountains, deserts, caravansaries on the roads, countryside and rural life and many other aspects of life, art, history and culture in a limited time. No wonder why this tour package is so popular among the inquirers who have allocated short time to visit as much as possible.
For detailed itinerary of this package, you can visit Iran Highlights Tour!
Preparation for Exploring the Highlights
You need to know the high season and low season, national holidays, religious occasions, types of hotels, dress code, Iranian food, etc to be able to get ready and arrange all you need before you arrive in Iran so that you can make the most of your time. This could be done through a local tour operator with enough experience and right attitude to understand your needs and advise you what suits your wishes.