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Cheap Flights to Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran, more commonly known as Iran, is a country that conjures up feelings of a great adventure. The contrasting images of a desert nation with a harsh climate with a majestic history is sure to attract adventure seekers. Home to one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, with settlements dating back to 4000 B.C, Iran has a proud history that dates back almost to the beginning of history itself.

Until the 1930s, this Middle Eastern country was known as Persia. Travelers to this fascinating place are rewarded with amazing sights that call to mind one of the greatest empires in the ancient world. It is traveling back in time to a place with splendid palaces, mosques and ancient citadels. Persian culture also boasts of having one of the world’s greatest and oldest literatures and poetry. Its art and craftsmanship is also evident in their luxurious rugs, mosaics and even their lush rose gardens with picturesque fountains.

Iran is located between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. It is bordered by Iraq to the west, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turmenistan to the north, and Afganistan and Pakistan to the southeast.

Tehran is the country’s capital and gateway. It is in this city, crammed with interesting sights, where most travelers begin their Iranian adventure. Tehran is a vibrant city moving a rapid pace yet retains a serene beauty. There are many gorgeous galleries such as the National Jewels Museum located in a vault beneath the Central Bank of Iran. Here you will find the 182-carat Darya-e Nur diamond and the famed emerald, sapphire and pearl-encrusted Peacock Throne.

There are a lot of things to see and do in Iran, from its extraordinary archaeological heritage, regal palaces, and elaborate gardens.

Isfahanis - This former capital is must visit on many Iran itineraries, with its Imam Square, one of the largest such urban space in the world. Around the square are examples of stunning architecture and landmarks which include the Lotfollah and Shah mosques, the seven-story Ali-Qapu Palace and the entrance portal to the huge Bozorg Bazaar.

Persepolis - The ruins of this magnificent ancient Persian capital, built by Darius the Great in 520 BC were buried under sand until the 1930s. Today it is a well preserved symbol of the might of the ancient Persian Empire. Its monumental temples, grand staircases, exquisite reliefs and imposing gateways are truly awe-inspiring.

Shiraz - This city in south-central Iran, home of such famous poets such as Hafiz and Sa'di, is also known for its rose gardens, historic homes, mosques and markets.

Yazd - This ancient city has one of the largest and best preserved medieval quarters in the Middle East. The portal of Jame Mosque is the highest in the country with towering twin minarets.

A must-try in Iran cuisine are its delicious vegetable and pomegranate stews, or the traditional Dizi, a lamb based stew. It is also worthwhile to try falafel and kebabs for an affordable and delicious treat. Drinking chay at a chaykhane or traditional teahouse is also a popular pastime for tourists and locals alike.

Shopping in Iran is a unique experience as it is one of the world’s largest producers of luxury food such as caviar, pistachios, and saffron. Its many shops and bazaars also offer a wide selection of quality and handcrafted items. Look out for bargains in silks, woodwork, carpets, leather goods, gold, silver, and ceramics.

How to get there

All international flights to Tehran land at the new Imam Khomeini International Airport, 37 km southwest of Tehran. Pilgrimage flights to Saudi Arabia still fly from Mehrabad Airport. There are also numerous other smaller regional airports in the country that have daily flights to many regional and international destinations.

Getting Around

Iranian transport is excellent and affordable. Their train network has a limited reach but bus services and taxis are plenty. There are also inter-city shared taxis that can be found in most bus and train stations.

Domestic air services are also available for moving around the country. Note that if you are planning to get to another Iranian city, you would have to change airports, from Imam Khomeini to Mehrabad, 40 km away, to get to your domestic flight.

Iran follows Sharia law. Women must cover their heads with a shawl and alcohol is strictly prohibited. Women travelers must remember to pack a headscarf in your hand luggage as you are required to wear this the moment you exit the plane and are officially in Iran.

Iran has a diverse climate. In the northwest, winters are cold with heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures during December and January. Spring and fall are relatively mild, while summers are dry and hot. The best time to visit Iran is between April to June and September to November. It is also advisable to avoid travel during the month of Ramadan.

Beyond the stereotypes of this Islamic country, the reality presents a diverse and beautiful Iranian culture that makes this country and attractive destination for those seeking an exotic adventure. Most people are genuinely friendly, hospitable, and ready to welcome you to their home.

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