Time to Visit Iran
Iran has always been intriguing and exciting to talk about. Just not because I am a Zoroastrian Irani by faith, the reason goes back to my childhood days. I have grown up on Iranian dishes and stories since childhood. My grandfather came from, Shiraz Iran. Moved to India in his youth, started a bakery business here with his brother and rest is history. He lived with us and was a kind caretaker. I have beautiful memories of him making us scrambled eggs and also narrating Iranian folk tales at bedtime. God bless his departed soul!
So now check out my Iran Travel Blog.
Iran is interested in every way. Has all the answers to my unanswered questions. Its been on my travel bucket list for a long long time. Zoroastrians in Iran still survives, being the oldest religious community. Even though the majority of the Iranian Community is of the Shia Sect.
Yazd is the historic capital of Zoroastrianism
Iran’s oldest city is Yazd (Even Marco Polo has made reference to it), Yazd is picturesque with winding lanes, wind towers, earth-sculpted buildings and an evocative atmosphere of the aged past. In fact, everywhere you look in Yazd, 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. The province of Yazd has Iran’s only Atash Bahram, a fire temple that houses the highest grade of consecrated fire used in Zoroastrian worship.
Iran Tours From India
One such Tour Company – Spenta Tours have been successfully conducting Iran Tours for Parsis every Summer. This planned itinerary covers Iran like no other travel company. It’s not rushed and even covers all costs other than your personal shopping. The places of interest for Zoroastrians, would be Shiraz (Pasargadae, Naqsh-e-Rustom, Persepolis and Firuzabad), Yazd (especially the villages of Cham, Zainabad, Moborake, Taft, Sharifabad and the six great Pirs or mountain shrines and the many village fire-temples and shrines), Kermanshah (Taq-e-Boustan), Hamadan (the Ganj nameh),Behistun (to see the great rock inscription of Darius the Great), Mount Damavand. And if time permits, then the Caspian Sea and The Tehran museum. Trying to arrange your itinerary in Iran without the help of a travel agent is almost impossible.
Iran Travel Blog
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 with cooler evenings. Traveling during Ramadan on a holiday may not be a good idea because visiting Iran during the month of Ramadan may pose some inconveniences. The overall vibe throughout the country is rather subdued at this time, so many attractions are closed early due to a breaking of fasts. Eateries and food places also remain shut.
Now Indian Nationals can easily apply for an Iranian visa at the Iran Visa Application Center, New Delhi. The online portal is self-explanatory and the procedure is easy. Getting the Iran Visa on Arrival is another option, however, do remember Iran visa on arrival is usually issued for 30 days and would require requisite documents. Its best to go through a travel agent.
Top Iran Travel Blog Tips
1. For Shopping
If you like shopping, Iran has plenty to offer. Be sure to take enough cash with you, as credit cards are not be accepted by local traders or shopkeepers. Iran is famous for its Persian carpets, saffron, nuts, sweetmeats, and pottery.
2. For Dressing
One must wear socks when visiting mosques; whilst it is customary to remove your shoes on entry, it is disrespectful to enter in bare feet. Iran is the Islamic Republic and both women and men must follow the dress code rules. Men cannot wear shorts, and women need to cover up their hair with a headscarf and wear loose fitted clothes.
3. The Toman and Rial confusion
Everyone must know that Rial is the official currency and Toman is more commonly used by locals. Just add one zero to the price (in toman) you’re quoted, and you’ll get the price in rial. For example, 10,000 toman is 100,000 rial. Also, carry Euros and not US Dollars for the safer side for exchange.
4. Wear good shoes
Be sure to wear sturdy shoes when visiting the Assassin castles of Northern Iran – there’s a fair amount of climbing involved. Open shoes like sandals cannot be worn in Iran.
5. Get used to squat toilets
In Iran, don’t ask for a toilet. Ask for a WC, as that’s the word to use. Be prepared to Squat in the toilet and carry your own toilet paper. Not every place provides it and its available tad bit expensive in stores.
6. Learn some Persian words
This applies to all Arabic countries that you travel to, really. Learning some Persian/Farsi words (and also the numerals). It feels good to greet someone by saying “salam” and thank them by saying “merci”. Carry a small translation guide in your bag if you are a solo traveler.
7. Ask permission before taking photographs
Between its magnificent sites and beautiful nature, Iran can no doubt provide a great deal of fodder for your camera. But be careful when photographing people. Some may not want to be photographed because they don’t know where the picture may end up, so just ask their permission first. They’ll appreciate it and may even want to take a picture with you as well!
8. Buy a local SIM card and internet access
You can purchase a local SIM card with internet services when you land at Tehran Airport. Iranian SIM is cheap and you will definitely need Google Maps, Instagram and messaging apps like WhatsApp.
9. Hotels Will Keep Your Passports Until You Check Out
Generally all Hotel receptions will keep your passport and give it back to you upon check out. Don’t be afraid of that, as they really keep it safe. Make sure you always have a copy of your passport though!
10. No Alcohol in Iran
Iran doesn’t offer any kind of liquor on the menu, if you read beer, it gotta be nonalcoholic.
Hope you all enjoyed reading my Iran Travel Blog? Just get rid of all myths and breathe the fresh air, the history and the mystery of Intriguing Iran.
This post is written for Letter I #BlogchatterA2Z and #AtoZChallenge for April 2019 Here is my Letter H post on Historic Hyderabad.
Photo Credit – Minoo Gazdar, Photos for his Iran Travel Blog 2018.