Pooladkaf tourism complex is located about 80 km north of Shiraz, around the Zagros Mountains (2830 high) in Shekarak Region.
Pooladkaf 4-star Hotel is located in a 5000 square meter land and consists of 52 rooms (2/3 bed), 4 suites, and 10 Mongolian Yurt (chadors or tents)
Summer Facilities in Pooladkaf
The fresh weather of the mountains can furnish this astounding experience with a delightful and pleasant, relaxing atmosphere away from the city hustle and visitors can enjoy their summer vacation with provided facilities such as Horse riding, Cycling, Paddle-boat, Zip-line, Cable-car, Theme-park, Buggy-cars, off-road cars, etc.
A traditional “Yurt” or “Ger” is a round tent as originating in Central Asia (Genghis Khan and his horde used them) used for dwelling for at least the past few thousand years. For the first time in Iran, the Hungarian company of “Domus Living Solutions” has invested in building ten luxury accommodation units, in the form of Yurts. The Yurts can now be offered to the guests enjoying a five-star service and facilities.
Experience a nomadic life at the largest camp in the province. you can enjoy listening to ancient Iranian folk music of the Nomad tribes belonging to the region, as well as tasting the local gourmet and the herbal drinks of the Nomads.
Winter Facilities in Pooladkaf
At winters, the resort turns into one of the major attractions of Fars Province and the south-west region of Iran. You can enjoy the ski facilities of the resort either as a professional or amateur skier using the cable-car and the ski lift. The cable car runs at a length of 2200 meters, under the license of Puma, France. You can also have the chance to rent the ski gears, snowmobiles, and Mini-Bobs and can start learning the fundamentals of skiing at our ski-school.
Iran’s main international airport, Imam Khomeini Airport (IKA), is located about 30 kilometers to the southwest of the capital, Tehran. IKA covers over 13,500 hectares and has been in operation since 2004.There is another airport in the capital, Mehrabad International Airport, which mainly operates domestic flights.
Services and Facilities Available inside the Imam Khomeini Airport:
Banks and Currency Exchange: There are several banks and exchange offices at the Imam Khomeini International Airport offering different services such as currency exchange services; Tejarat, Meli, Saman, Post and Mellat Bank and Sorena money exchange agency.
ATMs: ATM machines are available at the airport. Although due to sanctions against Iran, ATMs don’t work with international cards, So IRR (Iranian Rial) is the only cash you can receive from ATMs.
Wi-Fi: At Tehran Airport free Wi-Fi is available in the arrival and departure lounges. To be able to receive a password via text message, a mobile phone number is required. There are also internet cafes for printing, copying, scanning or other related services and also activation of sim cards. Internet Cafes are located at entrance hall.
Medical Services: The airport has a long distance from medical centers, this is why there are emergency medical services available round-the-clock for emergency situations.
Mobile Charging: Charging stations are available in the departures and arrivals areas.
Baby Care Services: There is a baby care room for families with children.
Duty Free & Shopping: There are about 40 shops at IKA and few of them are open round the clock.
Food & Drinks: There are several restaurants and cafes available in all terminals, some of them are open 24 hours for snacks and drinks.
Services for Elders: At passenger terminal at Tehran airport, special services are available to accessible people such as disabled and elderly people.
Prayer Rooms: There are 17 prayer rooms available to all passengers in different areas.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From the Imam Khomeini Airport
Travelers can reach Imam Khomeini international airport through Tehran-Qom Freeway and Tehran-Saveh Freeway. It is accessible by following options:
Taxi Service Companies are available outside the arrival hall. They are ready to give any group of travelers a private drive to different destinations. Based on the vehicle you choose; the price will be different. It takes 45-60 minutes to arrive in downtown.
Snapp/Tap30 OnlineTaxi BookingApplications are another kind of private taxis which costs less than the airport ones.
Tehran’s Subway System(Metro) is the cheapest and fastest way to reach the downtown Tehran. IKA is connected to this system through Line 1.
4. Car Rental is also possible at Imam Khomeini Airport, you can ask for a van or a sedan car from the Europcar office located inside the airport. To do so you will need to carry your international driving license, a valid credit card and your passport. Be careful while driving here 😊
5. Private Drive, the easiest and safest way would be to book your private transfer in advance. Inform friendlyiran agents about the detail of your transfer; the exact time, the destination and the preferred kind of vehicle and a professional driver will be at the airport carrying your name.
Tehran Imam Khomeini Airport Hotels
There are two side-by-side hotels at the Imam Khomeini International Airport, located at the main terminal: IBIS and NOVOTEL, 4- and 5-star accommodations with various amenities such as Spa center, Sauna, qualified restaurants and etc. It is also possible to book a room up to 3 hours or up to 6 hours at an affordable price. A free shuttle bus is available every 20 minutes to drive the travelers to the airport.
For short-time rests, Reclining chairs are available at the airport.
CIP Service and CIP lounge at Imam Khomeini Airport
To avoid flight problems, CIP services are available at Imam Khomeini airport offering various kinds of airport assistance. You can book CIP service in advance and shorten the waiting time at the airport with enjoying free beverage and snacks, the smoking room, newspapers and with free available WIFI.
The CIP service at IKA includes meet and greet at the airport, the check-in process, passport and visa control, luggage check or only a transfer by different vehicles such as standard car or van, VIP sedan or van, middle bus, and VIP buses. CIP lounge services also provide lifter and wheelchair for seniors or travelers with physical disabilities.
Iran is one of the best and the most popular skiing destinations in the Middle East. Since Iran is endowed with many high and mountainous areas with long-enduring cold weather, snowy season, and powdery snow, its ski resorts are welcomed by both local and foreign skiers. Moreover, the entrance fees and rental expenses are so affordable in all resorts.
There are two mountain ranges with different climates in Iran. The highest one is called Alborz. This mountain range, located near Tehran, stretched from the northwest to northeast of Persia, has got many popular skiing resorts such as internationalDizin ski resort (the most popular and the biggest), Shemshak, and Tochal which are the most accessible and have got the best equipment for skiers. The other mountain range is called Zagros, located at northwest and west of the country, covers 20 percent of Iran.
The most famous ski resorts of this zone are Pooladkaf (in the south near Shiraz) and Chelgerd (near Shahrekord).
Here is a glance at the most important Iran ski resorts.
Iran Dizin Ski Resort
The international and best ski resort in Iran is Dizin, which is located at the north of Tehran in the Alborz Mountain Range. It is in the list of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world. Its base is higher than the peak of many Alpine sites. The lifts get you to the altitude of 3700 meters above the sea level. Due to its high-quality snow, Dizin is welcomed and accepted by snowboarders. It should be taken into consideration that Dizin has run for any skier from beginner to professional, but it is more suitable for the more experienced ones. Here are some pieces of information about Iran Dizin Ski Resort. There are also facilities for grass skiing during the non-snowy seasons.
Dizin Hotels and Cottages
Dizin International Ski Resort offers affordable and convenient accommodation consisting of hotels, cottages, private apartments and villas near the resort which yearly host thousands of people.
Do not bring your ski facilities; you can rent what you need. Our ski school uses internationally popular and modern methods to make your ski learning more pleasant. These are the facilities you can get there: ski wear, ski and snowboard, mono board, and accessories. Kids ski teachers are also available. Tele-cabins, ski lifts, tele- skis and Hammer tele-ski are the resort equipment.
You can take the Chaloos Road to reach Dizin Ski Resort, and based on your group members and your car; sometimes it takes 3.5 hours in the winter.
Shemshak Ski Resort
After Dizin, Shemshak is the second largest ski zone in Iran. It is at the altitude of about 2500m to 3000m above the sea level. Shemshak is suitable for more advanced skiers.
Shemshak skiers and snowboarders have got two options for lodging. Shemshak Resort Hotel and Barin Hotel both located in Shemshak area, the first one has standard quality but situated in the heart of white-coated peaks. The second one is more luxury with modern architecture and located approximately 1 kilometer from Shemshak Ski Resort.
Shemshak Skiing Equipment
There are two main slopes with chair lifts. The piste also has lighting facilities for skiing during the night. The slopes are quite steep, and many of the runs are mogul runs. There are also ski, snowboard, and sleigh for renting.
The ski resort is about 65 kilometers from Tehran. To get to there, you should go toward north, take Lashgarak Rd and pass Fasham to get to Shemshak.
Tochal Ski Resort
Tochal in the nearest ski resort to Tehran and can be reached via a 20-kilometer journey from the capital. It has one of the longest cable cars in the globe. It is the fifth-highest resort in the world at an altitude of about 4000m, from where you can see a glorious view of Damavand, the highest peak of Iran.
As Tochal is near the capital, you have many options for accommodation inside Tehran, but if you love to stay your night in the silence of the snow-covered mountains, we suggest Tochal hotel at the altitude of about 3,500 meters above the sea level. The hotel serves the skiers and snowboarders for about 7 to 8 snowy months.
Tochal Skiing Equipment
Besides the ski lifts, chairlifts, ski piste, and all available facilities related to skiing, Tochal is a sports complex containing Archer Club, ziplining, one of the best hiking pathways, paintball club, Bungee jumping and ….
Food and Drink
Since the resort is almost inside Tehran, there are several restaurants and cafes in the area and on your way to the top where you can rest, have food, and drink hot coffees.
Tochal is about 20 kilometers from Tehran center. To get there, you should take Velenjak avenue and drive toward the north.
Pooladkaf Ski Resort
Pooladkaf located in 90 km from Shiraz at the altitude of about 3200 meters from the sea level is major ski resort of the South of Iran and the second international resort after Dizin. All facilities of the resort (except the piste) is open in all seasons. It is interesting to know that sunshine is bright and strong even in January.
There is nomad camps and local houses where you can meet Indigenous people, be familiar with there customs, and listen to folklore music.
There is a 4-star hotel in the mountain for ski lovers and also a hotel apartment in the mountain skirt.
In the complex, you can find surface lifts, Tele skis, snowmobiles, and a 2100-meter length gondola lift. You can also rent skiing equipment. Besides the skiing facilities, you have got the opportunity to experience cycling, horse riding, and pedalo boat riding in the mountainous area of Zagros massif.
Chelgerd village is the home of Bakhtiari tribe community. The resort is located about 200 km from Isfahan and about 85 kilometers from Shahrekord in Chahar Mahale Bakhtiari province at the heart of Zagros massif. You can find summits with different altitudes in the region, some of them higher than 4000 meters. There are large slopes for professionals and small slopes for the beginners. The average slope of the piste is 20 percent and it is 800-meter-long. Chelgerd with its unique nature is also a popular destination for sightseeing including the virgin area of Koohrang, springs, natural glaciers, caves, wetlands, etc.
In Chelgerd and Koohrang area, there are some hotels such as Koohrang hotel and Keyno Hotel, and also villas, ecolodges, and restaurants where you can test local foods. There are also three lifters and skiing equipment for renting.
From Shahrekord drive west, after about 40 kilometers you reach to the Baba Heydar village. From there drive to the north, and after 50-kilometer driving in the mountainous road, you arrive in Chelegerd ski resort.
As I wait for my next connection back to Mexico City, I wonder about these past days in a very old country.
My trip to the Islamic Republic of Iran has been nothing short of wonderful, awesome, interesting, beautiful, fun, moving, mind-opening… and it seems like I could go on and on about what I am feeling now.
I might have known something about the history of this country and the Persian Empire with its greatness and sophistication; but being exposed to its remains, visiting the archaeological sites, the museums, the palaces, the gardens, the bazars, it is very clear that it was magnificent… and that its roots are still embedded in people’s minds and hearts, and each person you encounter on the way is a king opening up its palace to welcome you. The warm and kind hospitality are definitely beyond anything I had experienced, and confirm this fundamental principle of oneness in this brotherhood of sharing a planet. While watching things and customs and places that are completely different to anything I had known, I felt at home all the time.
I was not expecting my trip to be this beautiful.
For more than two weeks, I have constantly changed worlds. Each of them special. Each of them a beautiful slice of this amazing cake that we now see as one territory. And each of them, completely different from what I was expecting, took me by the hand to be touched at a very profound place within. Surprised.
I am moved.
Of nomadic origin thousands of years ago, Iranian people are still nomads in their minds and hearts. They can set up tents to sleep at places we would think impossible, from parks to parking spaces, in sidewalks and in the middle of nature… and, as we said during our journey, they are the “picnic kings”, with an amazing ability to “camp”, prepare tea (or a full banquet) and enjoy themselves almost anywhere where permitted (but it is permitted in the most unbelievable places), just by unrolling a carpet or a plastic to define the space they will be used, and for which they always seem to be prepared. They simply remove their shoes to step onto this rug and enter a world of human connections that take place inside the rug.
By simply passing by, the shower of invitations to join them is truly touching. Their warm gaze and huge smile makes it very clear they mean it. They are willing to share what they have with you…
During these days, I received tea, coffee, biscuits, ghalian (the Iranian word for water pipe), water, an energy drink, candy, together with many more invitations I could not accept due to our program, and countless smiles from “strangers”.
Where else in the world does this happen?
The origin of the Persian Empire dates more than 2500 years ago. Their history is mind blowing… with numerous conquests, battles, alliances and defeats. Worthy of mention is the battle of Chaldiran (1514) where they fought the Ottoman Empire, which had gunpowder weapons. The Persian king ordered his army to fight fair and with an equivalent number of people as their enemy; because outnumbering was not playing fair. And while they lost the battle, it is regarded as the “King of Battles”, because the Persians fought the way they considered well and made space for honor in combatting, meeting their duty of honor and creating (or strengthening) their sense of identity. Whether true or not, the mere fact that this is what has come down more than 500 years ago is worthy of consideration.
From the foundations of Persepolis (and many of the symbols incribed in its walls and sculptures), being true and truthful to one’s principles has been a fundamental part of life and this is still something that continues alive and pumping. During all this time, I never felt that I was in any kind of stressful situation and, far from it, I felt completely safe at all times. Stuff was left unattended in situations that are unthinkable for us; and nothing happened. People are honest and my feeling is that they would never lower themselves to anything that would put their entry to heaven at stake. As if lies were not an option. Things are what they are, and they are not striving to make things look like what they are not.
Iran is safe , clean. Its people are innocent, pure, kind. There is a beautiful sense of pride and a strong sense of community.
Many of the things that we visited are truly very beautiful, with craftsmanship that exceeds anything one could possibly imagine. I thought that if we put all the time that has taken to do all the hand work that there is in Iran in a single line, we could definitely go back to the origins of time… Millions of years… Stone worked like lace, bricks used like embroidery, wood carved like filigree, metal worked so intricately that it defies belief, mirrors used like miniature tiles, gardens put together with perfection and balance, food served like a piece of art… Worthy of note on this regard is a hair with an inscription in Armenian language that reads: “Learn wisdom, follow advices and understand the intellectuals’ speech” written in 1974 with a diamond tip on a single hair (It is possible to see it through a microscope at the Armenian Cathedral of Saint Joseph of Arimathea. Everywhere, things have been made beautiful with symbols to remind us of paradise.
Isn’t it all about creating paradise here and now?
They have had an impressive past of noteworthy poets and scientists and astrologers and astronomers and engineers and strategists and artists and politicians and people that have made amazing contributions to what we now are and take for granted… and these people are all integrated into their lives and given due respect in their mausoleums and tombs and monuments… People still gather around the tomb of Omar Khayyam to read his poems (he passed away in 1123), and his writings remain current up to date.
Another “weave” can also be seen in their human connections and history. Throughout the country, much bigger than I expected (around 1.7 million square kilometers), one can see people from different nationalities and religions. While predominantly Shia Muslims, there are also Zoroastrians, Christians and Jews (these three have seats in the current parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran). Several languages are spoken in Iran. Many of their traditions and their sense of identity have to do with their Zoroastrian past and, at the same time, this takes us back to the Mithraic beliefs. Sufi mysticism still exists in Iran and has existed for hundreds of years and has still left its footprint in the life of this country.
Iran seems to have a passion for flags. The flag of the IRI can be found everywhere, and they use it without restraint, sometimes with dozens of them flying in the wind, next to some other banners bearing, at this time of the year, flowers to celebrate the arrival of spring. The result is stunning. There is something special about seeing flags dancing in the wind. Like prayers being released.
Tea is a very important part of their life. There are samovars everywhere, teapots, thermoses. You are constantly offered tea, which is often served with different kinds of sugars and/or candies, some sweets and always with a smile. And they put spices on their black tea, giving it a very Iranian character. Or make herbal infusions out of the most unbelievable things, always aware of their properties.
At gas stations, one can purchase a “hot water refill” to brew tea on the way with your thermos… and a greeting and kind exchange of words will lead to being offered a glass of tea as soon as it is ready to be served.
Sugar and rice are very important part of their life, too. There are many different kinds of sugar that are traditionally served with tea. Candied sugar (sometimes with saffron), crystal sugar, white sugar, sugar cubes, some caramel-like candies that are eaten together with tea. And they have elevated cooking rice to a new dimension, achieved with a very complicated process that yields wonderful results. And that takes hours…
Food is seen not only as a pleasure, but also as a means to stay healthy. Everything is regarded for its medicinal properties and food is planned not only in terms of its flavor
, but also in terms of its contribution to health and well-being.
Irani people have developed a spectacular approach to fruit and/or flower based drinks (which they call “sharbat”)… rose water mixed with saffron and cucumber… or sour cherry mixed with honey… willow with lemon or lime… a type of vinegar-based syrup mixed with seeds… the colors are spectacular and the result is amazing. Something refreshing and delicious. Fragrant and good.
Under the most watchful eye of my travel companions, I also experienced great food from different regions in Iran, which constantly surprised me in every possible aesthetic way. Hmmmm….
And I could go on and on…
This trip has also been important in the sense that I decided that I was going to travel with you this time. And it has been wonderful realizing here we are, holding hands, and moving forward in this spiral of life, with summersaults of joy and an experience that makes me want to think that this is just the beginning, and that the rest (and the best) is yet to come. Thank you for being with me this time and for making it so special…
Iran is about beauty and reflecting this beauty, whether in their mirrors which they use abundantly in decoration or as symbols by the entrance or in ponds and fountains. Iran is about roses and orange blossoms and wall-flowers and jazmines and wisterias, whether as scent in the air or in drink s or as theme for poetry. Iran is about pistachios and dates and lamb and different kinds of rice. Iran is about amazing crafts, craftsmanship and seeking perfection. Iran is about depth and wonder and love and poetry. About meaning and growth in this path to making paradise happen here and now. Sharing and making you feel at home. Doubtlessly, their most favorite word, which we heard all the time , is WELCOME!
Although it is impossible to put iran trip into words in some paragraphs, because I really have no words to describe many of the things we did and lived, I cannot finish without thanking both my travel partners, our guides and the travel agency for making this an extraordinary life-changing experience, but especially all those smiles that I met along the way who reminded me of this incredible connection that we share, just for being here, now!
So, now, after these beautiful days, it is I who welcomes you to my life, Iran
Iran is a county that most people don’t know much about it and many websites present not trustable information about this county. Friendlyiran as a local tour operator provides you with the most important tips that you should know before starting your Iran tour.
Here are the most important tips you should know before your Iran trip.
Iran is a four seasons country with 2500 years of history, diverse nature, and unique culture. Nowadays, most of the people from all around the world know Persia or Iran through its carpets, caviar, or oil. Yet, Persia has one of the richest and oldest cultures in the world.
Here is some information about Iran.
Iran at First Sight
Population: 81.16 million
Area: 1,648,195 km2
Religion: Islam, mostly Shiaa
Time zone: (GMT+03:30)
Standard Voltage: 220 V
Standard Frequency: 50 Hz
Power Sockets: type C and F.
Dialing Code: +98
History of Iran
Recent discoveries indicate that the written history of Iran begun with the early Achaemenids in 3200 BC. Cyrus the Great, the man who established the charter of human rights, was the founder of the Achaemenid empire. In that era, Iran stretched from the Aegean coast of Asia Minor to Afghanistan, as well as south to Egypt. Greek Alexander overthrew the great Achaemenid Empire in 330 BC. In 641, Arabs invaded Iran and started a new alteration.
Consequently, Persians, who were Zoroastrian, turned to Islam. The dynasties that were born after that are Parthian, Sassanid, Samanid, Ghaznavid, Safavid, Zandiye, Afsharid, Qajar, and Pahlavi. After all, In the Safavid period, Islam (Shia) became the official religion of Iran. In 1979, after the Iran revolution, the current Islamic Republic of Iran was founded.
Throughout Iran’s long history, in spite of different devastating invasions, the country has always maintained its national identity. It has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.
Shia Islam is the dominant religion in Iran, although other minorities such as Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrian has been also welcomed and formed societies that peacefully live together. So, during the long history of Iran, these societies of thave built many mosques, churches, and fire temples in different cities of Iran.
Iran Friendly People
Lovely and kind people who host travelers is the most valuable thing that you will find in Iran. There is an unbelievable pleasure in meeting local people and getting to know their lifestyle. Hospitality and Kindness have been the main goal of the Persian nation’s lives. Iranian people are open-armed to welcome guests and making friends.
Climate in Iran
Iran is a four-season country with unique climates. Generally, winters are cold with snowfall and subzero temperatures during December and January. Spring and fall have relatively mild weather conditions, while summers are dry and hot. However, Iran is a great destination to travel for the whole year. If you travel during the summer, you can enjoy the sunshine and mild mountainous areas. During winter, you can go to the islands or have a ski tourin Iran unique ski resorts. In spring, you can visit a variety of festivals as Nowrooz.
Iran’s landscape is dominated by mountain ranges. The populous western part is the most mountainous, with ranges such as Zagros and Alborz Mountains. The northern part of Iran is covered by dense rain forests called Hyrcanian forests(UNESCO site). The eastern part consists mostly of deserts such as the Dasht-e Kavir, which is Iran’s largest desert in the north-central portion of the country, and the Dasht-e Lut, in the east, as well as some salt lakes. you can enjoy desert toursduring spring and fall.
Persian cuisine has one of the complete ingredients. The traditional dishes consist of various types of meat like chicken, fish, lamb, turkey, and shrimp. Note that pork, and alcoholic drinks, are forbidden religiously in Iran. In this regard, all kinds of food in Iran should be halal (religiously approved). Moreover, you can find several good international restaurants which offer international foods and all kinds of fast food in this country.
Restaurants in Iran
Breakfast time: around 7 am till 11 am
Most of the hotels in Iran are B & B and include breakfast. You can also have your breakfast in a local café or restaurant. Halim, Ash, and Kall-e Pache (Sheep’s head) are a famous Iranian breakfast that usually is not served at hotels.
Lunchtime: around 12 till 3 pm
Dinner time: around 7:30 pm till 10 pm
Most Famous Iranian Dishes
Zereshk Polo: Barberry and rice served with chicken
Kebab: Barbecued Lamb, Chicken, Lamb Liver, and Ground Meat
Gormeh Sabzi: Rice and Herbs Stew, usually served with meat pieces and beans, tastes a little sour
Dizi and Abgoosht: A Persian stew includes meat and beans usually made in a stone pot
Baghali Polo (Rice with broad beans and chicken)
Ash: A kind of soup, and depending on the ingredients are:
Reshteh: With Herbs, Noodles and sour yogurt
Sabzi: With Herbs, Beans, Chickpeas, etc. (best to taste with lemon)
Doogh: With Herbs, Yoghurt juice, etc.
Kardeh: With Herbs, meats, etc.
To get more information about Iran Food and Cuisine, please click here.
Iranian Traditional Sweets and Desserts
Ranginak: National sweet, mostly made in Ramadan
Faloodeh Shirazi: A dessert, which its famous one is from Shiraz
Bastani Sonati: Traditional icecream
Shirini Yazdi: Local sweet of Yazd
Sohan: Local candy of Qom
Gaz: Local sweet of Esfahan
Halva: National sweet, mostly eaten as the dessert
Kolompeh: Local cookie of Kerman
Masghati: Local sweet of Shiraz
Zoulbia & Bamieh: National sweet, just eaten during Ramadan
Iranian Foods for Vegetarians
With good knowledge about local Iranian dishes, vegetarians/vegans can also enjoy the variety of local Persian cuisine during their Iran tour.
Here are some local foods that are proper for our vegetarian friends:
Kuku Sabzi: The mixture of vegetables and eggs
KuKu Sibzamini: The mixture of potato and eggs
Kashke Bademjan: Fried eggplant with onion and yogurt
Kate Gojeh: brewed rice with tomato and potato
Samboose: Potato and herbs wrapped in the fried bread
Lubia Garm: boiled Beans with mushrooms
Dopiazeh: Mixture fried potato and onion
Yatimcheh: Mixture of fried tomato, garlic, and zucchini
Due to the possession of the oil and petrochemical industries and natural gas, Iran is an imperant country in the global economy. Generally, Iran’s economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil, agriculture, and private trading and service.
Rial (IRR) is the currency of Iran in global transactions. Iranians commonly express amounts of money and prices in Tomans, (One Toman equals 10 Rials).It means one zero is skipped when Toman is used. So, it may be a little confusing for foreign tourists.
You can see more about Iran currency here. You can change the US dollar and Euro in the banks and exchange offices, which can be found at the airports and the main cities.
Iran Tourist Card
Consequently, you cannot use your credit, debit, visa and master cards, traveler’s cheques or ATMs in Iran. If you don’t like to carry lots of cash with you, you can get a type of debit card, which is called tourist card, and use it in all payment devices such as ATMs, POS, etc. These cards have a little service fee, but it is a safe way of carrying money.
Iran Dress Code
Maybe the dress code in Iran is different from yours, but sometimes trying new and different clothes could be a pleasant experience. So, you have a chance to taste it. Generally, in Iran, women wear a dress called “Manto” that is the same as your spring coat. They also wear a scarf and pants. Another usual form of clothing in Iran is chador. When you want to visit holy places, you should wear Chador that is accessible at the gates of these places. Iranian dress code for men is more comfortable than women. Their dressing is the same as male dressing all around the world, but wearing walking shorts and tanks are forbidden. However, you are free to choose any colors that you like. You can get more information about Iran dress code through the link below:
The handicraft is the art of every country that sometimes we take it as a symbol of that country, or we get it as souvenirs. Due to Iran’s ancient civilization, rich cultures, and also geographical location, you will face a variety of choices that are even different in each region.
The Most Famous Handicrafts
Persian Rug: bests are in Tabriz, Isfahan, Shiraz, Kashan, and Tehran
Minakari: Engraving on metal, best is in Isfahan
Khatam: Inlaid work, the best is in Shiraz and Esfahan
Copper work: The bests are in Shiraz and Isfahan
Cotton and Termeh: The best is in Yazd
Ceramic and Pottery works: The bests are in Yazd, Shiraz, Kashan, and Isfahan
Miniature: A kind of Persian paintings that the bests are in Shiraz and Isfahan and Tehran
In addition to magnets of attractions and plaster statues of them, you can also buy handicrafts and delicious local sweets as gifts for your beloved ones back home. While purchasing any Iranian style product, make sure that they are made in Iran because there’s lots of imitation merchandise in the bazaars.
You can have a long list of choices for buying a souvenir. Apart from handicrafts, Iran’s agricultural souvenirs are known as saffron, pistachios, and caviar.
If you travel to Iran for the first time, you should know that Iranians have their customs. They are warm, friendly, and generous individuals with a keen interest in foreigners and other cultures. One of their unique costumes is “Tarof”, their traditional behaviors. This is a kind of behavior for showing hospitality and politeness. A host repeats an offer several times, although the guest is free to accept or not, it shows politeness to accept after 3-time asking.
WiFi Internet and Social Network in Iran
During your Iran tour, although you can use the hotel’s WiFi free Internet connection and there is WiFi Internet available in most cafe shops, restaurants, and malls, you will need a local SIM card for cheap domestic and pricey international calls and internet connections. Upon arrival, you can buy a SIM Card, at the Iran airport or from reputable mobile internet services stores. MTN Irancel and Hamrah Aval are two valid sim cards in Iran that you can buy temporary (Etebari) sim card at reasonable prices. Your mobile number will be activated as soon as the registration is complete. Through the manual of your Sim card, you can buy internet charges, mobile charges and also check your account balance.
Social Media and Websites in Iran
You can use Whatsapp, Linkedin, and Instagram in Iran easily and without filtering. But Telegram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are blocked in Iran, but you can install VPNs to bypass the filtering.
Citizens of all countries except Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Georgia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, and China & Hongkong Macau, need a visa to visit Iran. All citizens can visit Kish and Qeshmislands without getting Iran visa and stay there for at most 14 days.
4) Get your visa stamped at the Iran consulate or embassy or Iran airports
Iran Traditional Houses
Iran is famous for its traditional residents and boutique hotels. In most of the main cities, you can find these kinds of residents, which used to be Caravanserais and royalty houses dating back to the hundreds of years ago or newly built ones that have the same characteristics.
Therefore, Do not miss the chance of staying in a traditional hotel or even a local house in small towns and villages where you can experience the hospitality and friendly temperament of Iranians.
If you are interested in budget tours, you can stay in hustles and homestays that usually have shared bathrooms and toilets. Some Eco lodges and homestays have a mattress instead of beds and shared baths. Even in the springs and autumns, you can stay in the Nomad tents.
The workweek in Iran is from Saturday till Thursday 12 p.m. All Ministries are closed on Thursdays. It is interesting to know that the weekend in Iran is Friday and all the old bazaars in different cities on closed on this day. for different businesses opening and closing times can be erratic, but you can expect most businesses to be closed Thursday afternoons and Friday. Embassies and consulates in Iran are close on Friday and one other day of the week usually Saturday and also on the national holidays.
Events in Iran
During a year, there are national and religious holidays in Iran. Here we introduce the most important Iran events, which very critical in planing the Iran tour.
Nowruz is a very ancient ceremony celebrated in Iran in the loveliest way, starting on March 21st, and lasts for 13 days. During this interval, the tourist sites are more crowded. On the first day of the Persian new year, families come together around a particular table called Haft Sin, pray for a happy new year, eat sweets and special dishes and give gifts to each other.
Mourning Ceremony for Imam Hussein
the ceremony is held on three days called Tasua, Ashura (Augst 29th and 30th, 2020), and Arbaein (October 8th, 2020). People come into the street to show their respect to Imam Hossein. Most of the attractions are closed during these days.
The holy month of Muslims when people do fast from sunrise to sunset. Eating and serving meals in public is restricted during day time. Hotels and Takeaways serve food for lunch, and restaurants are open from sunset. The grocery stores and supermarkets are also open to buy fruits, drinks, and whatever you need during the daytimes.
Medical Tourism in Iran
From so many years ago up to now, Iran became famous for its skillful doctors! Nowadays many people from all over the world travel to Iran for medical issues. The major cities in medical tourism are Tehran, Shiraz, and Mashhad.
Shopping Centers and Bazaars in Iran
Iran’s traditional bazaars are closed on Fridays. Also, these market places are usually open until sunset.
In Tehran, modern malls are usually open full day. In other cities, shopping centers typically have a siesta between 1–4 pm.
Drivers and Guides in Iran
Full-time Tourist Guide: The Iran tours with a Full-time guide are accompanied by an expert guide for 8-hours on each day. This guide will help you in arrival, departure, check-in, and check-out formalities as well as explaining the information of all sites.
Local Tourist Guide: This kind of guide will be with you only in the main cities for 8 hours n each day.
Driver: you can have experienced drivers who are familiar with roads and attractions locations. They may have English knowledge only to communicate routing-related matters and help you with your essential needs. Their working-hour is 8-hour per day.
Vehicle: VIP Cars, Normal Sedan, Van A36, Van A50, Middle Bus, VIP Bus, and regural Bus.
Iran is one of the few four-season countries on the earth. Spring starts from mid-March and ends in mid-June. Then the summer starts and lasts till mid-September that is hot and dry in most parts of the county. The next three months form Fall that has mild weather. Finally, winter that starts in December and ends in February, is very cold with snowfall in most regions, except the south of the county.
Instagram is the popular social media in Iran. Iranians also use WhatsApp while Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Telegram are banned in Iran. Please note that Google and its applications are not banned in Iran. Using Virtual Private Network (VPN) helps you access those banned medias in Iran.