Iran, also known as Persia, is a sovereign state in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Azerbaijan; to the northeast by Turkmenistan; to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan; to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman; to the north by the Caspian Sea; and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. It is the second-largest country in the Middle East and home to the highest volcano on the Asian Continent; the 5610m Mt. Damavand. The country’s central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, make it of great geostrategtic importance. Tehran is the country’s capital and largest city as well as its leading economic center.
Places of Interest
Tehran is a cosmopolitan city, with great museums, parks, restaurants, and warm friendly people. It deserves at least a few days of your Iranian itinerary.
This city in central Iran, south of Tehran and is the capital of Esfahan Province. The Persians call it “Nesf-e-Jahan”, meaning “Half The World”. Due to its beautiful hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An ancient town and capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722, it was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree. Today, textile and steel mills take their place. Its architecture, tree-lined boulevards and relaxed pace make it one of the highlights of Iran.
Shiraz and Persepolis
Shiraz (شیراز) is the capital city of Fars province and a treasure trove of Persian culture. It is also the former capital of Iran, during the Zand dynasty’s era (1747-79), and also the celebrated birthplace of the great Persian poets Hafiz and Saadi. It is also been said to be the origin of one of the best wines in the world called Syrah. The city has a population of about 1,300,000.
Takht-e-Jamshid (Persepolis) – the centre of the great Persian Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians and the showpiece of Achaemenian art, Persepolis (Capital of Persia in Greek) is a historic site in Fars Province, 60 km to the northeast of Shiraz. Iranians call it Takht-e Jamshid (The throne of Jamshid), Jamshid being the first, probably mythical, ruler of Iran. This magnificent court was the summer residence of the Achaemenian emperors and their official reception quarters.
Yazd is a city in central Iran and the capital of the Yazd province. It is an ancient city dating back to the Sassanian Period (224-651 AD). Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd has a unique Persian architecture. It is nicknamed the city of ￼￼windcatchers (Persian: شهر بادگیرها Shahr-e Badgirha) because of its ancient Persian windcatchers. It is also very well known for its Zoroastrian fire temples, ab anbars, qanats, yakhchals, Persian handicrafts, Termeh (Iranian handwoven cloth), silk weaving, and its high quality Yazdi confectionery.
Damavand and Alborz
Mount Damavand, a potentially active volcano, is a stratovolcano which is the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East as well as the highest volcano in Asia (the Kunlun Volcanic Group in Tibet has a higher elevation than Damavand, but are not considered to be volcanic mountains). It has a special place in Persian mythology and folklore. This peak is located in the middle of the Alborz range, adjacent to Varārū, Sesang, Gol-e Zard and Mīānrūd. The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, in Amol County, Mazandaran Province, 66 kilometres (41 miles) northeast of the city of Tehran.
On top of all these incredible places to visit, there’s still many more exciting things to discover in Iran ranging from Mashhad, the Qashqau nomads, Great Wall of Gorgan, the masked women of Bander Abbas and the traditional Iranian gyms called zurkhanehs.
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