Where to Travel in Iran based on your Personality

Note: This post was published in November 2018 and now has been updated for more accuracy and comprehensiveness.

After reading this article you will know where to go, what to see, which food you should eat and many other things to do in Iran.

1. Classic Traveler

Need a traditional guided trip? Do you think these kinds of travels are less stressful? Do you Search for a trip full of history and art?

If yes, so you may be into organization and stability. Iran has more than 3000 years of history, including ancient Achaemenes and Islamic history.

Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, Bam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Yazd are the best cities to visit many ancient Iran archaeological sites and also World Heritage Sites selected by UNESCO. Contact us for “15 days classic tour of Iran” .

2. Gallery and Museum/Artsy Travelers

Never realize how time passes by while you are in a museum? Nothing is more appealing than spending time in an art gallery?

Iran has lots of museums. If you enjoy watching what researchers have found from ancient times, there are stunning destinations for you.

A trip to one of the most beautiful cities in Iran makes you feel good. Isfahan (which is also unofficially known as “Half of the world”), Shiraz (city of poems), Tabriz (Qajar’s second capital) Yazd (an incredible mixture of beauty and spirituality), Kashan and Tehran are most beautiful cities in Iran and have many museums worth spending time. You can also find art galleries demonstrating contemporary art in these cities.

Reza Abbasi Museum, the treasury of national jewels and carpet museum are some of the great museums in Tehran.

3. Architectural Lover

Iranian architecture is one of a kind! Both ancient and Islamic styles are found here. If you are into architecture you shouldn’t miss these destinations:

Zoroastrian and Persian styles like what we can see at Chogha Zanbil, Susa, Ecbatana, Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Anahita Temple, and Sassanid Rayen Castle are located in Shoosh, Shiraz, Kangavar, Rayen.

Islamic styles like Jameh Mosque of Nain and Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, Chehelsotoon, Ali Qapu, Agha Bozorg Mosque, Shah Mosque, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque in Naqsh-i Jahan Square are located mostly in Isfahan, Nain, and Kashan.

Besides, you can see Qanat (an old system of water supply from a deep well), thatched house, Badgir (wind-tower), thatched house as traditional Persian elements in Tabas, Garmeh, Yazd, Gonbad, Khorasan.

4. Budget traveling

Do you prefer to save money in your pocket rather than spending for a five-star hotel? Today Most of the young people love to travel and do adventure and Try to spend less.

If you are seeking an economic vacation, you can plan a trip to Iran. Get your backpack ready and book your ticket to Iran. Why? Because Iran’s currency which is Iranian Rial is about 15 times cheaper than USD and Euro. This huge difference makes Iran a low budget destination for many young travelers and backpackers to experience a very different country with less spending. You can easily spend around 20$ a day, still don`t miss a thing and enjoy the food, safe and comfortable transportation and even buy something as a souvenir.

Public Transportation fare in Tehran (the capital) is less than 20 cents. You can have delicious food by spending around 1-3$ (it covers the spectrum between Falafel and Kebab). You can spend time in a coffee shop ordering coffee and enjoy the environment by spending around 2$. These prices are even cheaper in minor cities. More far from big cites cheaper prices, in some rural areas of southeast Iran, you can stay in local lodges for 4$ including breakfast!

If you haven`t planned your economic adventure in Iran yet, we have some recommendations for you:

Cities like Zahedan, Zabol, and Khash located in Sistan and Balochestan province are recommended for tight budget plans. In these cities, you can see people walking around with traditional clothes which is magnificent. Also, there are many castles in this area. The Mud volcano is also one of the unique attractions of the region which has therapeutic effects.

Visiting Qeshm Island can be truly memorable. The canyons, Mangrove forests and star valley are some of the amazing attractions of this mysterious island.

Kordestan province also has great nature and beautiful cities like Sanandaj and Marivan which worth visiting while traveling Iran.

5. I don’t want traveling like a tourist

Do you prefer to experience local cultures? Visiting local people and communicate with them?

Iran has many different ethnic groups which include Persians, Kurds, Lurs, Arabs, Baluchs, Turkmen and Turkic tribes. Each of these groups has a rich culture of food, music, ceremonies and etc.

We strongly suggest you stay at Local guesthouses ( Eco-lodge, called Boomgardi in Persian). Local guesthouses are mostly old houses repaired and repurposed as tourists’ accommodation. There are many of these local guesthouses in most cities and you can experience living in a house with local architecture, local food and meeting people. You may try traditional clothes and get familiar with traditions and customs.  You will have the chance to know each ethnic group better by living inside these local guesthouses. Find a list of them here.

This also can be a chance to support the locals’ culture, encouraging them to save their heritage and help rural economies.

Iran has many regions where you can experience a rural lifestyle. South and eastern south of Iran are good destinations for this purpose. Since these areas are less known even for Iranian tourists, they remained untouched and, most interesting Locals like to host you as a guest and show you their daily routine.

Here comes a list of where you can find each ethnic group in Iran.

Lurs: Lorestan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Khuzestan, Isfahan, Fars, Bushehr and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad provinces.

Arabs: Khuzestan Province

Baluchs: Sistan and Baluchestan province

Turkmen: provinces of Golestān and North Khorasan.

Turkic tribes (include Qashqai people, Khorasani Turks, Afshar people, and Qarai Turks): Fars, Khuzestan and southern Isfahan, North Khorasan, Razavi Khorasan, and Golestan provinces

Persians include the Mazandaranis and Gilakis: Tehran province, Isfahan province, Fars province, Alborz province, Razavi Khorasan, South Khorasan, Yazd province, Kerman province, Bushehr province, Hormozgan province, Markazi province (Arak), Qom province, Semnan province, Qazvin province, Hamadan province, North Khorasan, Khuzestan province, the northern half of Sistan and Baluchistan (Zabol), the southern and western half of Golestan province and also Mazandaran and Gilan provinces. Kurds: Kordestan province, West Azerbaijan province, Kermanshah, Ilam provinces, and  North Khorasan province

Staying with Nomad people (Bakhtiari, Qashqai, Shahsavan) will let you experience the feeling you can’t find anywhere else.

6. Altruistic Traveler

Want to help others on your trip? Making the world a better place to live calms you down the most and makes you feel you’re a better person? You are an Altruistic traveler. So you will enjoy service trips:

Sistan and Baluchistan, South Khorasan, and Kurdistan are where you can help others and also perceive the local sense by visiting rural areas and village life.

7. Nature Lover, Eco-tourist, Adventurist, sport style

Do you love nature? Do you prefer adventurous trips that harm nature less than others? You are an Eco-tourist. This kind of tourist Loves thrilling activities and Wants to be immersed in the great outdoors. You never stop moving! Love to stay Active!

You are an extreme traveler and should definitely visit all-natural wonders here in Iran:

Desert trekking and camping, Desert safari, off-road at Garmeh village, Mesr village, Bayazeh village, Tabas, Badroud, Maranjab. Described in more details at no. 8

Visit the Iranian UNESCO Geopark, Hara Marine Forests (Mangrove forests), Crocodile farm, Namakdan Salt Cave at Qeshm Island;

Learning how to dive at city and villages at the seaside of Persian Gulf;

Dark craggy mountains of Alborz Mountain, Alamut Valley and visiting Ovan Lake at Qazvin Province, Alamut;

Rudkhan Castle, interconnected houses in Masule village in Fuman city;

Visit Shiraz Canyon, Falak-ol-Aflak Castle, Bisheh Waterfall, Gahar Lake in Zagros Mountain: Lorestan province, Khoram abad city, Douroud city;

Hiking Alborz and Zagros Mountain range, described in more details at no. 9

Do Rafting at Zayandeh Rood River, Haraz River, Sefid Rood River, Arvand Rood River, Sirvan River described more at no. 10

Go skiing at downhills at Dizin, Shemshak, described in more details at no. 10;

8. Desert

Are you one of those people who can’t take their eyes off the mysterious world of stars at night? Do you like finding constellations in the sky?

Most of the tourists traveling to Iran, come to visit famous deserts in Iran. How about you?

The major part of Iran is a desert. In the past cities and villages in the areas has their own culture. You can stay in these cities and experience the life of the desert. Riding a camel, walking on yellow sandhills while watching the magnified shadow of yourself.

For having such experiences, you can go to Maranjab or Mesr. You can stay in the guesthouses with historical architecture. Other cities and villages in the deserts are Matin Abad, Zaman Abad, Mahan, Meybod, Ardakan and Tabas.

If you like camping, there are some places like Matin Abad where you can set up your tent safely or you can stay in one of the ready erected tents. Find a desert and salt lake tour here.

9. Hiking, trekking

Can’t resist the temptation to hike every pick you see on the road? Enjoy visiting nature while hiking the mountains?

Did you know that Iran has two mountain ranges? Zagros and Alborz mountain ranges are located in Iran and many cities are built around them.

Alam Kooh is a great choice if you wanna go for rock climbing. Sabalan (Ardabil province, 4811m), Alamkooh (Mazandaran province,4851m) and Azadkooh (Mazandaran province, 4395m) are some of the most popular destinations for climbers.

Damavand is the highest peak in Iran (5610m). To climb Damavand, you need to be prepared mentally and physically.

It might be interesting to know that Tehran, as a metropolis with a population of 12 million, is located very close to Alborz mountain range and you can reach the hillside and enjoy hiking only 30 minutes from the city center. In Isfahan also you can hike mount Sofeh and enjoy the view when you reach the top. You can also hike mountains around Tabriz, Sanandaj, and Shiraz.

10. Rafting, skiing

Do you like to add more excitement to your journey? Are you looking for a unique experience?

Rafting can be an unforgettable episode of your trip to Iran. Nothing would compare the excitement of river rafting while enjoying the view of the forest around you.

There are some rivers in Iran where you can enjoy rafting. Zayanderud close to Isfahan during spring is recommended. You can also go rafting Haraz River in Mazandaran province. There is also a river proper for rafting in Karaj. It’s not far from Tehran and you may go there while staying in Tehran.

Moreover, if you like skiing you can try it in different ski resorts around Tehran. Tochal, Dizin, and Shemshak resorts are proper for snow skiing, no need to mention that winter is the season!

11. More Luxury and business style travel

Do you prefer to lie on a bed at a five-star hotel and Enjoy fascinating interior and exceptional services? Or do you travel to Iran for your business goals and need time to relax and stay concentrated on your work?

You might have heard that there is no chained-brand hotel in Iran. But you can still find five-star hotels in big cities of Iran which offer you services according to the world standards (exclude serving alcoholic drinks). Cities like Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, and Tabriz are ready to host you for your luxury vacations and business meetings.

12. Tech and Startup guys

Are you a techie who follow businesses and startups news? Is it interesting to know about the startup ecosystem in Iran?

Yes! Iran is really booming in this area! And Tehran as the capital is the best place to get updated in brand new businesses and the startup community of Iran. Many IT events and exhibitions are held in Tehran and, moreover, many incubators and accelerators support startups and help them to grow and improve their business. FINNOVA, DMOND, and AVATECH are a few of them.

IranbyBit (More about our business) is also a fin-tech startup which is providing services for travelers to Iran, services like booking hotels, Hostels and local lodges and also tours with offering new payment methods.

13. Shop Lover

Many people like to shop. If you never get enough of shopping and window shopping, we have a lot of bazaars! Some never end!

There are destinations a shop lover may like: Iranian carpets, Termeh, Mina Kari, and Khatam Kari are made with Iranians artistic passion and will always help you remember how fabulous your trip was.

Visit great Bazaar of Tehran, Tabriz Bazaar, Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz and Reza Bazar in Mashhad, to buy souvenirs and handicrafts.

14. Harmonious Traveler

Need a journey full of “Me time” and looking for a place to relax?

If you need your “me time” back, you are a harmonious traveler. If you care about peace all the time and you might feel a responsibility to others, so you may need a journey for retreatment.

There is a handful of choices in Iran for relaxing and seeking the meaning.

Staying in a desert and being away from all the buzz in the crowded cities can be a touching experience for you. Being alone with your thoughts and feelings is more possible in the deserts where there are no distractions.

To relax and feel healthier you can also experience Salt cave in Qeshm Island, get water therapy in Sarien Ardebil, and Sabalan, use Mud volcanoes in Chabahar and Sistan va Baluchestan.

If you like to experience Islamic style beaches, two islands of Persian Gulf, Kish Island and Qeshm Island and also Caspian Sea coast at Ramsar city, “Chaloos”,” Namak Abrood”,” Bandar Anzali” city have lots of spots. (More about the dress code, tip no. 4)

15. Traveling for Medical Reasons

Did you know Iran is one of the most rewarding destinations for Medical and health tourism?

You can take a trip to Iran for low-cost medical treatment. Highly experienced and skilled doctors make Iran one of the popular destination for medical tourists. Many people each year choose to come to Iran for different medical purposes such as rhinoplasty, plastic surgery, eye surgery, etc.

These are the places you should go to:

Gandi hotel hospital and Moheb Mehr Hospital in Tehran, Mehr Hospital in Mashhad, Namazi hospital and The Central Hospital of Shiraz in Shiraz, they are cheap and have great medical facilities for Rhinoplasty (Nose Job), Plastic Surgery, Weight Loss, Cosmetic Dentistry, Cardiology and Medical Dentistry.

16. Family trip

Are you planning a trip for your family? Do you want your children to enjoy the trip as much as you?

The good news is that you can find many family-friendly destinations in Iran.

Iranians love children. You can see this in a day walk through the city. If you plan to stay in local guesthouses (Boom Gardi) you can let your children feel free and discover the place by themselves. They might end up finding some friends while playing (and yes, it`s safe).

Good news for family travelers, a brand new experience, staying at a museum, a journey to puppets world, a flashback to childhood, all in one fantastic place in the heart of “Kashan” historical city. If you are willing to being familiar with Iranian toy history and watching especial Iranian puppet shows or play gracefully and freely as a little child by your own or with your children, It would be the best option for you, a museum and a traditional guesthouse and hostel all in one historical house named “Puppet & Toy Museum Guesthouse”

17. Gastronomy Tourist

Do you call yourself a food lover? You are a gastronomy tourist. No matter you are a meat-lover or seafood fan, you can get the best of them in Iran.

Rice, meat, vegetables, nuts, and herbs are Iranian main dishes combinations. Saffron, dried lime and other sources of sour flavoring, cinnamon, turmeric, and parsley are used in Iranian dishes.

Kebab, Khoresht (Stew), Polow, are some of the main courses of Iranian food.

You can go south to taste new kinds of spicy and fried food. None of them? Are you a meat-lover? Go west and eat the best of meat dishes there. If you are into seafood you will love those incredible foods in Coastal areas of Iran north and south!

(Find a Persian Food Tour here)

18. Vegetarians

If you are a vegetarian and have a plan to visit Iran, don’t worry at all.

However, going out to eat can be tough in Iran for vegans as veganism but there are some vegan restaurants in Tehran, the capital, and other major cities.

Although, you could find so many traditional foods that are vegetarian. As Iranian cousin has a wide range of variety, it can cope with everyone’s taste and desire.

First of all, there are so many foods made of eggplant. Kashke bademjan, a popular meal made all over the country and made of eggplant, whey, fried mint, and onion.

Mirza Ghasemi, an especial food originally for the north of Iran but cooked everywhere in the country. It is made of eggplant, tomato, garlic, and egg.

Another category is kuokuo, an Iranian egg based fast food. It is made of potato, flour, and egg. It can also contain fresh vegetables instead of potatoes. Falafel is another Iranian fast food originally for the south of Iran which is popular and you can find it in every corner of the streets. Samboose from the south, made of potato, herbs, onions, and spices. If you like spicy foods, then you’d better buy some from vendors in the south.

The other popular recipe is a especial soup called Aash. It literally has everything on it! Different beans, vegetables, noodles, and whey. Each city has exclusive Aash which is worth to try.

In the soup category, there are also some traditional foods like Eshkeneh and Kale joosh. You may find them in some lodges in small cities.

The last category is for Plow. Plow means rice and is considered anything with rice. It can be Adas polow, which is lentil rice; loobia polow, beans with rice or even Shirin polow, sweet rice with pistachio, almond, cinnamon, and sugar.

If you visit Iran, don’t miss these delicious foods and If you couldn’t find any of them, just ask your host or the restaurants to easily cut the meats out. As Iranians are known as their hospitality around the world, they won’t let you get disappointed.

Khalvat guesthouse, a 100-year-old mansion is the first and only accommodation in Iran which is vegan friendly, and it is located in Isfahan.

19. Offbeat Traveler

Do you often search for meaning? The offbeat traveler you are; you can have the most of the Iranian’s spirituality.

Iran’s religious pilgrims will give you a new taste of Eastern historical mysticism.

So you must take a trip to Bastam, Yazd, Mashhad, and Qom (Islamic), Jolfa in Isfahan (Christianity), Chakchaku (Zoroastrian) and Pir Shaliyar (Mithraism and Zoroastrianism).

Kashan

  • Famous for: Kashan is known for Maranjab Desert and Caravanserai located near the salt lake, and also producing silk, carpets, velvet, rose water and potteries
  • Good for people with the personality of: history lovers, desert trekkers
  • Climate: Desert climate
  • Language/Dialect: Farsi with Kashi accent
  • population: 304,487
  • Famous dishes:  Khoresht Nokhod Alleh, Kateh Moatar
  • Handicrafts and souvenirs: Kashan carpet and rugs, Rosewater and Herbal Essences, Baklava, pottery, Giveh
  • How many days to stay: 1-2
  • How to get there: By taxi or bus(about 240km from Tehran), Kashan railway station(2.5 hours from Tehran), Kashan airport
  • Places to see/activities to do: Fin Garden, Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, Tabatabei House, Borujerdi House, Bazaar of Kashan, Maranjab Desert and Salt Lake, Underground City of Nushabad
  • Good to know/not to do: Kashan is one of the oldest human settlements in the world. Archaeological remains of artifacts and buildings dating back 9,000 years can still be found in the city
  • Suggested Tours/local guides: Maranjab Desert and Salt Lake tour
  • Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges: Arge mohtasham hotel, Morshedi house, Manouchehri House, Puppet and toy museum guesthouse, Sadeghi house, Aveila guesthouse

Kerman

  • Famous for: Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage
  • Good for people with the personality of: History lover and those who are interested in local cultures
  • Climate: Desert climate
  • Ethnic groups: Fars, Balouch, Kord, Lor, Arab
  • Language/Dialect: Farsi with Kermani accent
  • population: 738,374
  • Famous dishes:  Bozghorme, Motenajbe Abgoosht, Alooche Kermani Stew, Ash Sholi or Amaj, Ash Reshte
  • Music: Kerman local music
  • Handicrafts: Patteh, carpets, rugs, Jajeems, Kilims (a coarse carpet), and other hand-woven articles
  • How many days to stay: 2-3 day 
  • How to get there: Taxi about 900 km from Tehran, Flight( 1 hour 30 min from Tehran), Kerman train station
  • Places to see/activities to do: Kaluts / Lut Desert, Ganjali Khan Complex, Jabalieh, Fath Abad garden, Shazdeh Garden, Rayen Castle, Arg-e Bam, Aramgah-e Shah Ne’matollah Vali, Rocky Village of Meymand, Fathabad Garden
  • Suggested Tours/local guides: Shahdad desert trekking
  • Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges: Kashkiloo ecolodge, Meymand guesthouse, Khorram hostel

Shiraz

  • Famous for: Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine, and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city, for example, Eram Garden.
  • Good for people with the personality of: History lovers, nature lovers
  • Climate: Hot semi-arid climate
  • Ethnic groups: Fars, Lor, Qashqai Turks, Arabs, Tajic
  • Language/Dialect: Farsi with Shirazi accent
  • Population: Urban 1,565,572, Metro1,869,001
  • Famous dishes: Kalam Polo, Ash-e Sabzi (Vegetable Soup), Halva-ye Kaseh, 0Masghati, Koofteh Sabzi (vegetable rice balls), Youkheh, Faloodeh Shirazi, Dampokhtak Adas-o Kalam (Rice with lentils and cabbages)
  • Handicrafts: Khatam, Silver objects and dishes, Glassblowing, Ceramic dishes and objects, Wood carving
  • How many days to stay: 2-4
  • How to get there: By taxi(about 900 km from Tehran), shiraz rail station, Flight(1 hour 20 min from Tehran)
  • Places to see/activities to do: Vakil Bazaar, Eram Garden, Shah-e Cheragh Mausoleum, Nasir ol-Mulk Mosque, Tomb of Hafez, Tomb of Sa’di, Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rostam and Naqsh-e Rajab, Pasargadae, Karim Khan Citadel
  • Suggested Tours/local guides: Shiraz free walking tour, Margoon waterfall tour, Maharloo lake tour…
  • Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges: Sirah traditional guesthouse, Sohrab traditional guesthouse

Tehran

  • Famous for: Tehran is famous for Azadi tower, historical palaces and several museums
  • Good for people with the personality of: History lovers, for those who are seeking exciting entertainments, nightlife and hustle & bustle of a large metropolitan
  • Climate: Semi-arid climate
  • Ethnic groups: Persians, Azerbaijanis, Lurish, Kurdish, Arabs, Armenians, Baluchis, Bakhtiaris
  • Language/Dialect: Persian
  • population: Urban: 8,693,706; Metro: 15,232,564
  • Famous dishes: Sar Gonjeshki, Eshkeneh, Aash
  • Handicrafts: Glass blowing art
  • How many days to stay: 2-4
  • How to get there: Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tehran railway station, Beyhaghi Bus Terminal, Western Bus Terminal of Tehran, Tehran East Terminal, Tehran South Terminal
  • Good for camping: Out of the city
  • Places to see/activities to do: Golestan Palace, Sa’dabad Complex, Azadi Tower, Milad Tower, Niavaran Complex, Carpet Museum of Iran, Tabiat Bridge, Tochal Complex, Treasury of National Jewels
  • Suggested Tours/local guides: Mountain trekking tours,  Persian Food Tour, Free Walking Tour –Tehran, Tehran On Wheels
  • Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges: Arian hostel, Vono hostel, See you in Iran hostel, paradise hostel, cedar hostel, Bibi hostel, Pamchal hotel, Tehran heritage hostel, Milaveh hostel, Iran cozy hostel

Isfahan

  • Famous for: Islamic architectures, Persian Gardens,  picturesque bridges, Persian Carpets, Bazars
  • Good for people with the personality of: Architectures lovers, Classic Travelers, Artsy travelers, Shop Lovers
  • Climate: cold desert climate/ arid climate
  • Best time for visit: All seasons
  • Ethnic groups: Persian, Lor, Turk, Azari, Armenians, Georgians
  • Language/Dialect: Farsi with Esfahani accent
  • population: 1961000
  • Famous cuisine/food: Beryani, Kale joush, Halim bademjan, khoresh Mast, Khorosht morgh Alou,  Vegetarians: Kashke bademjan
  • Music: Isfahan Music
  • Handicrafts/to buy: Carpet, Ghalamzani, cooper dishes, Gaz (sweetie)
  • How many days to stay: 2-4 days
  • How much to spend per day: Budget stay
  • How to get there: Flight: Esfahan international airport, Bus: Kaveh bus terminal, Soffeh Bus terminal, Train: Estgahe Ghatar Esfahan, Taxi: Tehran (400 km) to/from the north, Shiraz (200 km) to/from the south
  • Good for camping: Outside of the city
  • Places to see/activities to do: Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Unesco-listed central square, Jameh Mosque, Si-o-Seh Pol, Khaju bridge, Choobi (Joui) bridge, Vank Cathedral, Menar Jonban, Shah Mosque, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Ali Qapu, Chehel Sotoun, Hasht-Behesht
  • suggested Tours/local guides: Persian bath, minakari, varzaneh, Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges, Hotel abbasi, Mahbibi
  • Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges: Aveila guesthouse, Sadeghi house, puppet and toy museum guesthouse, Manuchehri house, Morshedi house, Arge Mohtasham hotel, Rohab guesthouse, Negar varzaneh guesthouse, Anarak ecolodge, Hafez varzaneh guesthouse, Pava hostel, Ghaeli guesthouse, Anar guesthouse, Ragrug hostel, Amu Ghodrat guesthouse, Chapakar guesthouse, Gareh Dezh guesthouse, Birahe guesthouse, Javaheri ecolodge, Tak Taku guesthouse, Khalvat guesthouse, Mahbibi hostel, Kianpour hotel, Abbasi hotel, Aseman hotel

Yazd

  • Famous for: Various delicious sweets, silk fabric like Termeh, wind catchers, great mosques, mud-brick old town
  • Good for people with the personality of: Historic lovers, nature and desert surfers
  • Climate: Hot desert
  • Ethnic groups: Persians
  • Language/Dialect: Farsi with Yazdi accent
  • population: 529,673
  • Famous dishes: Ash-e-Shooli (Shooli Potage), Ashe- Gandom (Wheat Potage), Ash-e-Aloo (Plum Potage), Ash-e-Abghooreh (Verjuice Potage), Ashe- Mash (Mung bean Potage), Ashe- Anar (Pomegranate Potage), Gheimeh-Nokhod Stew, Beh-Aaloo Stew
  • Handicrafts: Termeh, Gelim, Pottery and Ceramics, carpet, Zilu, giveh, Metal forgery, tile masking
  • How many days to stay: 3-4
  • How to get there: Bus: Alghadir terminal, Train: Yazd railway station (express train only takes 6 hours from Tehran), Taxi or personal car: about 620 km from Tehran, Flight: 1hour from Tehran
  • Places to see/activities to do: Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Towers of silence, Old City, Dolat-Abad Garden,  Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Amir Chakhmagh, Kharanagh, Water Museum, Yazd Art House, Museum of Zoroastrians History and Culture
  • Suggested Tours/local guides: Desert trekking, visit Kharangah village, visit Fahraj village
  • Suggested Hotels/hostels/lodges/eco-lodges: Bidsokhteh guesthouse, Qashqai hostel, Sarv-e-Kohan ecolodge, Termeh hotel, Moshir al-Mamalek hotel, Mehr hotel, Malek o Tojar Antique Hotel, Kohan Hotel, Jungle hotel, Badgir hostel, Fahadan Museum Hotel, Koobe ecolodge, Mostofi guesthouse

Traveling Iran during Muharram

Muharram, the first month of the lunar year, has great value among Muslims. In commemoration of the Prophet Mohammad grandson’s martyrdom, Hussein ibn Ali, all Shia Muslims and believers take part in mourning ceremonies.
Prophet Muhammad’s family took part in an injustice battel against Yazid, the caliph of the Umayyad caliphate, about 1400 years ago. In the battle which held in Karbala plain, men were head cut, women and children were captives and hostages took to Dameshgh in Syria with humility.

For their bravery and oppressed manners, Shia Muslims in Iran and all over the world mourn from 1st of Muharram and it’s climaxing in the 10th of Muharram, the martyrdom day. People engage in mourning rituals by gathering at mosques, crying over Hussein ibn Ali’s martyrdom and do chest-beating and zanjeer zani.
Each city in Iran has its mourning rituals due to their cultures and traditions.

  • Yazd: Yazd is known for their special ritual of “Nakhl gardani”. Nakhl in Persian means palm but it has got nothing on a palm tree. It is actually a great wooden coffin decorated with mirrors, lights, and swords and rotating by the group of mourners as the symbol of Hussein ibn Ali’s coffin.
  • Mashhad: A large group of mourners gathers in Imam Reza’s holy shrine. At the eve of the 10th of Muharram, they hold candles, sing religious songs and cry.
  • Zanjan: Zanjan is known as the capital of Muharram mournings. At the beginning of Muharram, all people wear black clothes. Great punctual carnivals at the great mosque of the city are extraordinary.
  • Bushehr: They play especial traditional drums called Dammam. This ritual is held in the south part of Iran include Bushehr and Ahvaz.
  • Lorestan: In some west part of the country they hold an interesting and weird tradition as well. They make a large container of soil and rosewater and covered themselves in the mud. Then, they go on mourning carnivals.

Distributing Nazri, an offering food, among mourners and mostly poor people is common in every part of Iran.
Moreover, you could watch Tazie, a theatrical re-enactment of the Battle of Karbala. Its antiquity goes back to the Qajar era and is quite popular among Iranians.

On the 9th and 10th of Muharram which is called Tasua and Ashura, almost every place like museums are closed but restaurants and groceries are mostly open.
If you are hesitating whether to travel Iran during Muharram or not, don’t lose the chance of this annual must-visit ceremony.

Vegetarian Foods in Iran!

Vegetarian Foods in Iran!

Post from Saboktar By Maryam Raha

If you are a vegetarian and planning to visit Iran, the food might be one of your biggest concerns. Many people suppose that Iranian food is all about Kebabs, so finding yummy Iranian vegetarian foods is a big deal while traveling in Iran. However, this idea is not true!

Don’t worry about being a vegetarian while traveling to Iran! Be sure that you might gain weight in Iran but not lose even a gram!

First tip: Know Iranian food and get the part you can have!

First of all, I should say that Iranian general cuisine is a combination of rice with a stew called Khoresh. Different stews have different mixture of beans, herbs, vegetables and meat, chicken or fish. People usually have the stews as a sauce for the white rice.

To be honest, although these stews are mostly non-vegetarian, trying them is a part of your Iranian cuisine experience. Therefore as a help, some restaurants cook the meat and chicken separately and just add it to stew when they are serving it. As a result, you can easily order your stew meat/chicken free!

What are famous Iranian vegetarian foods that you can find in restaurants?

1. Falafel kebab, cheap and yummy!

Falafel kebab is one of the Iranian vegetarian foods that you can find almost in every street in Iran. This food is really cheap in Iran and you can find a tasty falafel sandwich! Moreover, most of the falafel kebab restaurants are self served so you can fill up your sandwich with as many falafels and sides as you like! Don’t miss trying pickles with your falafel.

2. Aash, a green herbal soup!

In Iranian cuisine we have a variety of herbal green soups which are called Aash. Aash Reshteh is one of the most popular Aash that you can find almost everywhere in Iran. This Aash is a mixture of noodles and herbs and a top up special whey. So if you are vegan, don`t forget to ask it whey free.

3. Kashk bademjan and Mirza ghasemi, tastes like heaven for eggplant lovers!

If you are an eggplant lover, you should definitely try these two foods. Mirza Ghasemi, a local food for north of Iran is what I always have in my pocket to impress my non Iranian friends! Smokey eggplant plus garlic, tomato and egg are what make Mirza Ghasemi a super yummy vegetarian food! What If you are vegan? just ask it without eggs!

Another especial eggplant base food that you should not miss in Iran is Kashk Bademjan. This food is actually a mixture of eggplant, whey and fried onion!

4.Baghali Ghatogh, faba (fava) beans meal!

If you travel to Rasht or its surrounding, you can enjoy Baghali Ghatogh in most of the restaurants. This food is a famous mixture of fava beans, dills and eggs and you can have it with rice or bread.

5. lentils soup, pinto beans meal! (Adasi, Loubia)

These two meals are similar to plain dhal and Iranian people usually have them for breakfast. Both of the foods are vegan and really nutritious.

6.Adas Polo, (lentil rice)!

Polo in persian means rice. There are plenty of mixed rice recipes in Iranian cuisine and Lentil rice -Adas Polo- is one of the best ones. Iranian people serve Adas Polo with fried dates, fried sultanas and minced meet. Therefore, You can easily order it without minced meat as the meat is not cooked with the rest of the food.

7.Kuokuo! A new veggie patty!

If you are a burger lover and you feel like missing the burger experience since you are a vegetarian, kuku is probably a food for you. Kuku is a mixture of herbs or potato with eggs. It goes very well with salad or pickles.

Although vegetarian diet is not that much common in Iran, there are some restaurants or cafes which serve only Iranian vegetarian foods. Hence if you are looking for some more Iranian vegetarian foods, ask for these cafe or restaurants. I`m sure that they will add some new tastes to your journey!

If you are a food lover and specially a vegetarian one, you should definitely travel to Rasht in North of Iran. This city has recently joined to UNESCO creative cities network for its creative cuisine. Therefore, if you are planning to go to North of Iran and visit Caspian Sea, you will be delighted with the food there, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.

To sum up,  traveling as a vegetarian to Iran might seem like a challenge at first, but it won’t be a big deal. Just don`t worry and  give it a try and add some more vegetarian foods to your recipe book!