Iran has extremely cold winters and really hot summers, which make for unpleasant conditions for tourists. Therefore the best times to visit Iran is from mid – April to early June and late September to early November. Iran is best avoided during Ramadan, the month of fasting, when most restaurants remain closed during the day between dawn and dusk and are open only at select hours in the evening, making it difficult for travellers to arrange for regular meals.
Due to its large size, varied topography and differing altitudes, Iran fluctuates between two extreme climatic conditions. December to February goes through biting cold winters in most parts of the country. July to August on the other hand is when temperatures easily touch 40°C (104°F). The north and the west parts of Iran witness regular rainfalls. They are also the coldest parts of the country.
Where to Stay in Iran
Tourist accommodation in Iran is available at all levels from luxury to mid-range and budget. There are hotels and inns in all big cities that offer regular facilities for both short and long stays. You can also find private accommodation with families in smaller towns but this is only on recommendation. The tourist bodies in Iran also have their guesthouses available at very affordable rates.
Getting around in Iran
Rail, road and air – all three modes of transport are active in Iran. However, travelling by air is considered the most practical. Air travel is fairly reasonably priced and connects most cities of tourist interests. The national airlines for Iran runs regular and frequent flights to and from Tehran, Tabriz, Esfahan, Shiraz, Mashhad, Ahwaz, Kish, Zahedan and other major cities. There are also private airlines running services between these cities.
Travel in Iran by road is the next best mode of transport. The road network is extensive with both paved roads and motorways running for almost 52,000 km connecting all major cities across the country. The two important roads A1 and A2 connect to the borders of Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey. Both buses and taxis are actively functional and extend comfortable travel time except during the Iranian New year and other festivals when it usually gets very chaotic. It is best to hire taxis around this time.
There are private taxis that are available easily but be sure that they are legitimate before hiring them.
For intercity travel, group taxis for up to 10 people functions the best. They are very safe and turn out much cheaper. Just make sure you haggle prices beforehand. Cars are also available on hire from all airports. It is suggested that you do not drive yourself around in Iran. Not only is it unsafe but it is difficult to find your way around in the country. Chauffer driven vehicles are available on hire and the natives know that network best. Driving is on the right in Iran.
The rail network in Iran has become functional only recently and is yet to offer good connectivity. The main line stretches from the bottom of Persian Gulf till the Caspian Sea in the South East connecting Bandar-e Khomaini to Bandar-e Torkman through Ahvaz, Dorud, Arak, Qom, Tehran and Sari. The rail service runs daily transport on all routes. The trains have air-conditioning, sleeping, dining and other facilities. There are a few places in the mountain villages, which are only accessible through the rail service.
Sightseeing in Iran
The capital city of Iran, Tehran, is the first and the most important destination on any travellers list for sightseeing in Iran
Activities in Iran
Trekking, skiing, water skiing, hang-gliding and swimming are some of the adventure sports common in Iran.
Eating Out in Iran
Luxury hotels have restaurants attached and serve international and local cuisine. Whatever be your budget, Iran’s food is mouth-watering, especially the rice and skewered meat dishes.
Festivals & Events in Iran
Iran celebrates a number of events and festivals all year round. Most of the festivals in Iran consist of religious ceremonies and rites.