Everywhere you look in Iran, there are reminders of the rich history and vibrant traditions of the Persian Empire, from the remains of King Darius’ palace at Persepolis to the Zoroastrian ‘Towers of Silence’ in Yazd. Our Iran tours highlight some of the finest ancient architecture found anywhere in the world. Isfahan was described as “half the world” and with its stunning mosques, bridges and squares it’s not difficult to see why. Other architectural highlights include the intricately carved domes and madrasas of Shiraz and the ingenious wind towers of Yazd. With 21, it is home to the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites for Culture in the Middle East.
Contrary to the media perception of Iran, the country has always been outward looking and has a long history of learning and poetry. Visiting the tomb of Hafez in Shiraz you will find old and young gathered to pay tribute and to read his words of love and wine. Travellers on our tours in Iran are invariably overwhelmed by the friendliness and hospitality of the people, and it is the one thing our guests comment on again and again – how welcome they were made to feel. This is a country with a strong cultural heart and a long tradition of Persian hospitality.
Iran’s capital of Tehran is a bustling contemporary city with luxury retail outlets, fashionable restaurants and modern skyscrapers, while the ancient cities of Shiraz, Yazd and Isfahan offer a more traditional Persian experience, with their winding streets, coffee shops, peaceful gardens and impressive mosques. Iran is a very youthful country, with over 65% of the population being under 35, and in the cities you will find locals pushing the dress code as far as they can. In the countryside meanwhile, you will find a more conservative but equally welcoming Iran.
Highlights of rural Iran include the Bavanat valley, a beautiful and fertile region of apple orchards, walnut forests and alpine scenery, which is a great place to experience a homestay. Journeying north to the shores of the Caspian Sea is the perfect antidote to the frenetic pace of city life, where you can explore “assassins’’ castles”, the striking Alborz mountains, pretty towns including Bandar-e-Anzali (famous for its caviar fishery) and meet nomadic people. Head east for the Lut Desert, where you can discover ancient Zoroastrian cave dwellings, forgotten strongholds and vast landscapes containing a timeless beauty.
Although it may receive headlines in the media, there is so much more to Iran than what is seen on the frontpage. It’s a nation of fabulous cultural wealth and historical significance whose people are friendly, and rightly proud of their long heritage. Why not step off the tourist trail for your next holiday, and experience Iran with Wild Frontiers.
Read our guide to visiting Iran, including information about obtaining visas, safety, dress code and FCO advice.
UK Passport holders require a visa to enter Iran.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the end of your trip, and have at least one blank page for each visa required. Please ensure the passport details we hold for you are correct.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa documentation when starting your trip. Country entry regulations can alter daily and it is best to check with the relevant embassies for any changes.
BE AWARE you will not be issued a visa if your passport shows any signs of entry or exit to Israel. This includes solo exit/entry stamps from neighbouring land borders into Egypt or Jordan – that signify entering/exiting Israel although with no official Israeli stamp. Should this apply to your passport then you will require a new passport before making your application.
Anyone applying for an Iranian visa in the UK will need to make an appointment to go in person to the Iranian Embassy in London to be fingerprinted and submit your form. WF will apply for an authorisation code two months before your scheduled departure and although this can take some time to arrive once it does the process takes around 5 days. Upon booking you will need to send us the below info:
• A copy/scan of your passport (the photo page)
• Occupation (to not include words that could be politically sensitive i.e. communications manager. If retired previous employment is required)
• Your father’s name
• Whether you have visited Iran before
• Which Iranian consulate you will be applying to for your visa.
If you are travelling on a non-UK passport, please contact your nearest embassy for up to date visa information.
The weather conditions in Iran can be extremely varied, however, May and September tend to be the best time to visit when the days are mainly warm and sunny.
There are no mandatory immunisations for Iran though you should be up-to-date with Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A. We recommend you seek advice from your local GP or travel centre as to the correct immunisations and preventative treatments.
We also recommend:
• A dental check-up prior to travelling.
• You inform us of any pre-existing medical conditions or medication.
To be on the safe side you can also check here.
If you like shopping, Iran has plenty to offer. Be sure to take cash, as credit cards may not be accepted.
Take football memorabilia - young Iranians love the English Premier League!
Wear socks when visiting mosques; whilst it is customary to remove your shoes on entry, it is disrespectful to enter in bare feet.
Be sure to wear sturdy shoes when visiting the Assassin castles of Northern Iran - there's a fair amount of climbing involved.