Iran is located in the Middle East and is one of the largest countries in that region. Known to the world as Persia until 1935, Iran was the largest and one of the most powerful civilizations for thousands of years. It was also one of the major centers of Islam during the Islamic Golden Age. In spite of what may seem to be a barren country with rural dusty roads, there is actually a lot to see and do in Iran. The country has a very diverse landscape, ranging from ski slopes and beaches to rocky mountain ranges and island resorts. From lovers of architecture and history, to those who are looking for a family vacation, to those who want to try skiing in one of the highest ski resorts in the world, Iran has something for everyone to enjoy.
- Hafez Tomb, Shiraz
Built in the 15th century with major expansions and renovations in the 1950s, this is the mausoleum of one of the most favorite sons of Shiraz – renowned poet Hafez. The tomb is set amidst a beautiful garden. Placed near the tomb are pages of Hafiz’s poetry.
- Milad Tower, Tehran
Standing 435 m high, it is the 6th tallest tower in the world and is visible from almost all corners of the city. The tower was opened to the public in 2008 and has 11 food courts, an exhibition space, observation decks, revolving restaurant, mechanical floors, a public art gallery, a hotel, and a sky dome.
- Qur’an Gate, Shiraz
Located at the northeastern entrance of Shiraz, the Gate was an architectural wonder and was named for the 2 Qurans that were placed inside the tower room. Years of dilapidation forced the gate to be rebuilt in the 1950s with a new gate that has since won numerous awards for its architectural beauty. The 2 Qurans have been shifted to the neighboring Pars Museum.
- Treasury of National Jewels, Tehran
Home to the Crown Jewels of Persia, it is the largest collection of jewels in the world. It is housed in the Central Bank of Iran and is open to the public from Saturday. This dazzling collection has some of the most precious jewels in the world including the world’s largest uncut ruby and a 34 kilogram gold globe! It also has the Darya-e Noor Diamond, sister diamond to the legendary Kohinoor Diamond.
- Shah Mosque, Isfahan
Built in the first half of the 17th century, the Shah Mosque – also known as Imam Mosque – is one of the finest examples of Persian architecture. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Naqsh e Jahan Square, the mosque is featured on the 20,000 rial Iranian bank note. Designed in the four-iwan architectural style where the arched gateways were bigger and often more decorated than the actual building, the mosque inspired many other buildings of that era.
Capital of the province of East Azerbaijan in Iran, Tabriz is one of the most ancient cities of the region with archaeological findings dating back nearly 4500 years. A former capital of the Persian kingdom, Tabriz is situated at an altitude of 1.3 km above sea level, near the junction of the Aji and Quru rivers at the foothills of the Eynali Mountain. Its geographical location and cool climate makes it an ideal summer resort in Iran.
- Saadabad Palace, Tehran
Built in the early 20th century by the Pahlavi Dynasty, the Saadabad Palace is presently the official residence of the President of Iran. Parts of the palace complex have been transformed to a museum and are open to the public. Within the compound is the Kakhe Malakeye Madar Palace, used to host foreign dignitaries and state guests. The palace compound has 18 palaces that include the White Castle, Mother’s Queen Castle, Shahram Castle, Black Castle, and Ali Reza Castle, to name a few.
- Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, Isfahan
Also known as Imam Square, this square is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The square has an area of nearly 90,000 sq m and is located right at the center of the city. The 30 years of construction of this square started in 1598 when the ruling shah – Shah Abbas – decided to move his capital to a more central location and chose Isfahan. The sheer presence of the number of historical buildings on this square makes it a must-see place when visiting Isfahan.
- Golestan Palace and Museum, Tehran
Granted a World Heritage status in 2013, this magnificent masterpiece of Persian craftsmanship is a must-visit during a trip to Tehran. This walled complex is actually a group of palaces that was the royal court and residence of the Qajar family, who ruled Iran for nearly 150 years from 1785. The Golestan Palace, which has been witness to many royal proceedings and receptions over this period, is one of the oldest historic monuments in the Iranian capital. The complex is home to 17 palaces, grand halls, and museums.
- Kish Island
With a land area of about 90 sq km, the Pearl of the Persian Gulf – Kish Island – is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Iran. This trade-free zone is located about 17 km offshore from the southern coastline of the country. Kish Island offers some of the best opportunities for water activities. It has some of the most ideal conditions for snorkeling and scuba-diving. Coral-viewing, water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, and reef walking are other popular activities with the visiting tourists. The island has many pristine white sandy beaches.
- Dizin Ski Resort
Located in north Iran in the Alborz Mountain range, the Dizin Ski Resort is the most popular ski resort in the Middle East with a ski season longer than those of many of the popular European ski resorts. Perfect altitude, excellent snow, and drier air (makes the snow ideal for skiing) makes Dizin one of the best snow resorts in the world. The ski resort is about a 2.5hr drive from Tehran and is often a preferred day trip from the capital.
- Persepolis Archaeological Zone
Located about 70 km northeast of Shiraz is one of the most visited attractions of Iran, the ruins of Persepolis. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1979 by UNESCO, the earliest remains found in this site date back to around 515BCE. The ruins of Persepolis are one of the tourist highlights of Iran and can take up the good part of a day. Located on the foot of a small hill in a secluded area, it is best reached from the neighboring town of Marvdasht which has regular connections with Isfahan.
Originally posted 2017-04-03 06:26:19.