Iran major Touristic Destinations
Iran best tourist cities for traveling

Iran 5 major Touristic Destinations and Activities you can do!

In this article, you can read about Iran major touristic destinations and all the activities you can do in them in detail.

Iran, with 26 UNESCO world heritage sites, (as of June 2021), is the tenth country in the world with regard to the number of such sites. Contrary to the perception of many tourists who haven’t read about Iran, it’s too much to even see its major highlights in a month. For this reason, most travelers prefer to make the main touristic cities of the country their main priority which includes Tehran, Kashan, Esfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz.  Also, Lonely Planet’s travel guide book, which is a reference for many travelers, has chosen these cities for Iran’s first-time visitors.

Iran Classic Route Map
Iran Classic Route Map

Also, Lonely Planet uses the term “CLASSIC” to describe a short travel itinerary for each country where travelers wish to visit a famous site. CLASSIC IRAN route is an overland journey that includes the main 5 urban tourist destinations of Tehran, Kashan, Esfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz with 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with a couple of other attractions on the route. You need two weeks to visit these 5 major cities but depending on the holiday time you have available, the season of travel and your interests, you may want to extend your visit to see more attractions or even if time is a problem, make it shorter. It’s necessary to be aware of Iran’s high and low seasons to enable you to create a successful travel itinerary according to the weather. In the guide below, we just want to give you a few ideas with the possibility of having different activities around each one of these classical cities if you are participating in the Iran Classic Route.

Iran world map

 

 

  1. Tehran (the capital)

Most travelers enter Tehran from IKA airport. Some buy their departure ticket from Shiraz to save one day but the majority return to Tehran. Tehran, with its population of 15 million, is one of the most crowded cities in the world.  A lot of travelers only spend a little time visiting this important destination, missing out on a couple of significant highlights like Golestan Palace which is the capital’s UNESCO site.

Tehran has many hidden attractions of special interest. You need a good local guide or a travel expert to show you around. If you are interested in Persian arts, there are a lot of public and private picture galleries, photographic shows, sculpture exhibitions, fine arts and theatres to enjoy.  Khaneyeh Honarmandan, (Artists’ house), located downtown is one of the best places you could add to your Tehran list.  Also, if you are interested in Persian music or modern Iranian music there are concerts in different parts of the city. There are a couple of cafés downtown that have live music in the evening.

As well as these interests, north Tehran, (Shemiran), an elegant area where a lot of foreign Embassies are situated, is one of the main focal points in the capital where we can explore many things together.

Tajrish Square could easily be the centre of your one full day sightseeing tour by visiting Tajrish Bazaar, photography of the Shrine (Emamzadeh Saleh), Darband (Touchal foothill), the Cinema-museum, Saadabaad Palace and the very welcoming cafés that abound.  Also, if you are interested in Persian handicrafts, Tehran’s Jomeh Bazaar, (Friday Market), is a huge bazaar where you can find anything you like at a very reasonable price.

Every evening there is a street market in Siyeh Tir street, (Gavaloal saltaneh), situated downtown nearby the National Museum of Iran. Trying out the local Iranian food, with so much to choose from, will be a memorable experience in itself. For those who are first time travelers to Iran and have limited holiday time, we advise you to spend two days in the capital to explore the main touristic highlights of the city.

Tehran Tourism Attractions List:

  • Tehran Grand Bazaar-(downtown)
  • Iran National Museum-(downtown)
  • Golestan Palace-(downtown)
  • Glassware and Ceramic Museum of Iran-(downtown)
  • Khaneye Honarmandan-Iran Artist Park-(downtown)
  • National Jewelry Treasury-(downtown)
  • US Den of Espionage-(downtown)
  • Milad Tower-(Centre)
  • Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art-(Centre)
  • Carpet Museum of Iran-(Centre)
  • Tabiat Bridge-(Centre)
  • Tajrish Bazaar and Imamzadeh Saleh Shrine-(North of Tehran)
  • Park-e Jamshidieh Stone Garden-(North of Tehran)
  • Darband and Mount Tochal-(North of Tehran)
  • Cinema Museum-(North of Tehran)
  • Niavaran Historical Cultural Complex-(North of Tehran)
  • Sadabaad Palace-(North of Tehran)
  • Azadi Tower-(West of Tehran)
  • Shahr-e Rey-(South of Tehran)

Activities

Along with cultural and historical sightseeing, there are a few important natural attractions inside the province which are not far from the city. Lar national Park, which is one of most famous of Iran’s national parks, is located only 60 km away from downtown. It’s the perfect place for a short trek, camping or having adventure mountain biking. Alborz Ski region is another important area which has the best Ski resorts in Iran and is only 65 km away from central Tehran.

Dizin

Also, there are a couple of mountains around the ski resort which are perfect for power skiing or ski touring around the capital. During the ski season in winter, Shemshak and Darbandsar villages which are also situated in the Alborz Ski Region, (central Alborz Mountain), having various peaks above 4000m altitude are also ideal for trekking and mountain biking from April to November. Varjin natural protected area just 40 km from the capital is another region to have a short and easy hike inside the canyon or a moderate trek up to 3000m for nonprofessional hikers.

Iran Trekking
Darbandsar Trekking, Alborz Ski Region, Iran

Lavasan, a small town situated in central Alborz mountains, about 30 km northeast of the capital, is the home of wealthy people and where it’s interesting to see how the new generation live. There’s a lake, (Latian), as well as a couple of cycling routes, single track mountain biking and a short hike to participate in around Dasht-e Havij which would provide an excellent excursion for nature lovers. You can also rent your bicycle from Adventure Iran’s Office which is conveniently located in the main street of Lavasan town.

Lavasan

 

Another rewarding experience available in Tehran is a 4×4 desert safari tour to Kavir National Park which is a desert region protected area with plenty of wildlife and birds. It’s southeast of Tehran with the entrance gate 130 km away from the capital.

  1. Kashan (the city of historical houses)

Kashan is the second major touristic city of Iran and is famous for having an abundance of historical houses.  A visit to the old part of the city with its narrow alleys surrounding the houses is a must. The Grand Bazaar of Kashan and Aghabozoorg Mosque are main attractions and should definitely be on your “to see” list. Also, a tour of Fin Garden, (a UNESCO Heritage site), which is one of the Persian Gardens of Iran, would be another part of your sightseeing excursion.

If you are only on a short holiday here, one day is rather tight to sightsee some of these very worthwhile attractions especially if you want to explore other stunning places in Iran. If you have more time, we recommend you visit Noushabaad underground city, a fascinating place located only 13 km away from the north of the city.

There are plenty of choices for your accommodation from the economic guest house up to luxurious renovated historical houses. There are many local handicraft shops, which recently opened, offering local arts for sale.  If you are looking to buy souvenirs, this is the place for you.

Agha Bozorg Mosque Kashan Iran

If you are visiting this famous city during spring, travel to Gamsar would be another significant experience by stopping by Golab Giri which is the most important activity of locals at this time.  Golab Giri is a Rose Water Festival which is a bridge between art and Persian culture as an ancestral profession.

Kashan Tourism Attractions List:

  • Old town and historical neighbourhood
  • Kashan Bazaar and Timche-Aminoddole Caravanserai
  • Abbasian Historical House
  • Agha Bozorg Mosque
  • Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse
  • Tabatabai Historical House
  • Teppe Sialk (Sialk Hill)
  • Borujerdi Historical House
  • Noushabad Underground City
  • Fin Garden (UNESCO Persian Garden)

On the Road to Esfahan

Abyaneh is a historical village situated between Kashan and Esfahan. It’s located 85 km south of Kashan and 170 km north of Esfahan. It’s a mountain village at an altitude of 2200m attached to the west of Maranjab desert (Dasht-e Kavir) at a distance of 40 km. When there’s a high temperature either in the desert or even in Kashan city, in Abyaneh you still have to wear a jacket as it’s surrounded by many towering mountains. Abyaneh is on the list of most Iran Classic Tours as the majority of visitors wish to see this distinctive village. The unusual historical architecture of the houses, the unique clothes of the locals and their languages makes this village one of Iran’s most characteristic and beautiful.  It would be an exceptional experience to spend a night in the village.

There’s a lovely, traditional style, hotel at the entrance to the village and also there are a couple of local families who let rooms in their houses to travelers. If you only have limited time, arrangements could be made for you to arrive in Abyaneh in the evening, after your visit to Kashan, spend the night there and early morning leave the village to continue your trip to Esfahan. For those who are interested in having a short walk in the village, there is a nice trek of about 15km leading to a Zoroastrian temple which gives you an amazing view of the village, and is perfect for photography.

Activities

If you are attracted by having an adventure activity along with your cultural-historical trip to Kashan, a short excursion to Maranjab desert would be another good idea. Maranjab desert is a part of Dasht-e Kavir and is 60 km away from the east of Kashan. We carry out three different types of desert trekking, mountain biking and camping tours inside of Maranjab desert during the various seasons.

If you visit our Youtube channel or Maranjab Photo gallery, you can see a couple of our photos or a video that we created from our trips. There is a remarkable renovated caravanserai, (Maranjab Caravanserai), inside the desert which would make your trip the unforgettable experience of a lifetime. A short walk towards the Salt Lake from the caravanserai would be your day’s activity and an exceptional opportunity to take photographs.

 

 

  1. Esfahan (the capital of Iran’s art & culture)

The third major touristic city is Esfahan which is the most popular destination in Iran and is included in all private and group tours. Even visiting for the second or third time there are many untraveled sites and hidden attractions to see. For those whose trip is very short, say less than two weeks, we advise you to spend at least two days to explore the main highlights of the city. If you have more time, three days is a reasonable duration to discover even more highlights.

There’s an abundance of accommodation in the city which gives you so many options to find suitable lodgings. There are many standard and good quality hotels in excellent locations downtown as well as a few boutique hotels together with traditional and historical renovated houses. For those of you who are interested in buying sweets, you should not miss the opportunity to buy Gaz, the world-famous nougat of Esfahan as a souvenir for your family and friends. You also have innumerable good restaurants inside and outside of the touristic parts of the city.

Iran Historical Caltural Tour

In the Arminian neighbourhood you have very fine as well as luxurious restaurants which are only a 45-minute walk through interesting streets (4.5 km) from Naghsh-e Jahan Square or a 20-minute drive. Esfahan is the capital of art and the University of Arts of Esfahan is one of the most important art university in the country . There are also two of Iran’s important UNESCO world heritage sites in Esfahan.

  • Meidan Emam, Esfahan (1979) – Naghshe Jahan Square
  • Masjed-e Jame Mosque (2012)

Naghshe Jahan site is a complex area with many noteworthy attractions.  Two of Iran’s most beautiful mosques are in this spectacular square. The first is the Shah Mosque, whose name was changed to Imam Mosque after the Islamic Iran Revolution and the second is Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque.  Both are masterpieces of Iranian architecture built during the Safavid dynasty. Ali Qapu Palace is another main icon of this UNESCO site that you should see.  You will have good visibility from the upper floor to take photographs of the whole Naghshe Jahan Square.

Naghsh-e Jahan Square UNESCO Esfahan

The grand Bazaar of Esfahan is one of the most important Esfahan tourist attractions together with the gate of the Bazaar also found here. The square and the big handicraft market around it is unique.  This heritage site is well worth exploring. You will see a wide range of workshops and art shops which you won’t find elsewhere.

The big carpet shops have a collection of the most magnificent carpets from all over the country and sell the most expensive carpets in Iran. If you have time, you should spend at least two days in this square. You’ll need one day only for visiting the historical part of the UNESCO site and the other one only for the Bazaar, shopping, photography and admiring Persian arts.

Massjed-e Jame Mosque is one of our most important mosques. It’s on UNESCO World Heritage site and is the only mosque in Iran registered on UNESCO’s list.  If you are an active traveler and time permits, you could do a walking tour from the magnificent Naghsh-e Jahan square through the grand Bazaar and stop briefly to see interesting places on your way to the mosque. Its only 2 km but with your stops and photography, it will take a couple of hours at least.

Esfahan Tourism Attractions List:

  • The UNESCO site Naghshe Jahan Squire
  • Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
  • Ali Qapu Palace
  • Imam Mosque (Masjed Shah)
  • Qeysarieh Cafe and Gallery
  • Jameh Mosque (UNESCO)
  • Si-o-se-pol Historical Bridge
  • Khajoo Historical Bridge
  • Vank Cathedral
  • Abbasi Caravanserai Hotel
  • Chehel Sotoun Palace (UNESCO Persian Garden)
  • Hasht Behesht Palace
  • Bedkhem Church
  • Jolfa Nighbor and the squire
  • Menar Jonban (Shaking Minarets)
  • Music Museum and Sofeh Mountain

Kuhpa caravanserai

One of Iran’s main highlights is having many caravanserais that date back a few hundred years and are on the tentative list of UNESCO heritage sites of Iran. One of the most notable ones is Kuhpa caravanserai which is located in Kuhpayeh town, 80 km away and east of Esfahan. On the last day of your visit to Esfahan, you can arrange for a one-hour drive in the evening to reach the caravanserai.  You will be enthralled by the amazing atmosphere of this impressive caravanserai.

Also, if time permits, we recommend you to have a short drive to Qehi village, which is another historical, off the beaten track region, to see an example of the celebrated village of Dasht-e Kavir desert. Qehi was the centre of camel breeding during the Silk Road period. From this region you can continue your Classic Route towards Yazd.

Iranian caravanserais
Silk Road Route

Naiin historical city

Many tours from Esfahan to Yazd stop in Naiin city. The main highlight of Naiin is a historical mosque which is one of oldest mosques in the country preserving its original architecture.

Activities

Sofeh Mountain Trek

A very popular activity of Isfahani citizens is taking a trip to Sofeh mountain during the weekend which has a 2241m altitude. The altitude at the base is about 1700 m.  From the base there is a trail up to the 1st station, (1952m), and 2nd station, (2022m), after which there’s a mountain trek to the peak. The last part of the trek has a steep slope but it’s not challenging.

If you have free time in Esfahan, you can relax by having a half hour drive to the mountain. For those who have limited time, we recommend going there for a couple of hours before sunset to see the stunning view of Esfahan from the peak. We advise you to be cautious if you decide to hike to the peak after dark because there are a couple of treacherous precipices before the summit. The view of the moon is spectacular from the peak.

As well as hiking, there are two cable cars in the Sofeh mountain. The first line, (1), reaches a height of 300 m with a length of 1850m. It takes about 12 minutes to arrive at the 1st station. The speed of this line is 2.5 m/s. The length of hiking of this line (1) is 2200m.

The second line, (2), extends to a height of 70m from the first station and has a cable length of 650m. It takes about 10 minutes to reach this last station. The speed of this line is 2.2 m/s with a hiking length of about 2200m. There’s a restaurant here which is ideal for a coffee break.

 

Varzaneh Desert

If you are interested in experiencing a desert activity, this desert is only 100km away from the city via a side road.  Apart from exploring the desert, there are a couple of historical attractions in the area such as Guvchah, an industrial irrigating system using one or two cows to water the agricultural lands. Asiab Shotor, dating back at least 300 years, is a mechanical system to grind wheat, which is an absolute “must see”. Ghurtan Citadel, dating back to 1100 years in the Deylamian era, and registered in the National heritage, contains 14 monitoring towers, 3 mosques, 1 local bath, 2 castles and a bazaar.

Mesr & Farahzad Desert

Along with Varzaneh desert, which is not far from Esfahan, another important desert region is the Mesr & Farahzad oases which is located in the Khor and Biabanak district of Esfahan province. This region recently became one of the desert hubs of Iran for domestic travelers and is also listed as one of the main top experiences of the Lonely Planet. The distance from Esfahan is about 450 km, (5 hours), away towards the East and is one of the desert regions of Dasht-e Kavir.

So, a couple of days free time is needed to go to this region and stay at least one night. There are many inexpensive guest-houses and local houses available that have been operating for many years. In the main town of Khor, there’s a hotel situated close by the main roundabout. You can do both short and long desert trekking inside this region between the oases and also have a 4×4 desert safari or desert cycling excursion. For those of you who are following the Classic Route of Iran, we advise you to continue your trip toward Yazd. There is another road passing by a small village which takes 4 hours, (370 km), to reach.

 

  1. Yazd (UNESCO city)

Iran’s fourth main touristic city is the historical city of Yazd situated in the middle of the Iranian plateau in the desert region of Dasht-e Kavir. This city was close to the famous ancient Spice and Silk Roads where many caravans, traders and travelers passed through for numerous years. It may be hard to believe how a city like Yazd could have survived being in the middle of a desert to become a UNESCO-selected city. Yazd is a living example of human survival who created a civilization and to live with limited resources.

YAZD City
YAZD UNESCO City

Water was supplied to the city through long underground canals of water, (Qanat system), from high and mountainous areas. As the result of this huge construction, you can see a lot of innovation in this region.  There are countless treasures such as traditional houses, historical gardens like Bagh-e Dolat Abad, which is one of the Persian Garden registered in UNESCO sites, Bazaars, Traditional baths (Hammams), historical mosques like Masjedeh Jameh, Zoroastrian temples, synagogues, castles and caravanserais which are just a few examples of this heritage city. In 2016 UNESCO registered 11 Persian Qanat in different locations of Iran.

The historical part of Yazd is one of the main attractions of the city for travelers. You can walk through the old part of the city and take photographs of ancient houses made with clay and mud and which have special architectural features. The locals still keep to their traditions and characteristic shops while able to enjoy the silence of the city.

 

 

There are countless traditional houses renovated as boutique hotels or guest houses with varying prices which are perfect for your stay in Yazd. If your Iran cultural-historical trip is less than 10 days, we advise spending only one night in Yazd. If you are staying longer, however, two nights would be a perfect time to visit and explore the main highlights of this ancient city.

Yazd Tourism Attractions:

  • The Old town
  • Amir Chakhmaq Complex
  • Saheb A Zaman Zurkhaneh
  • Zoroastrian Fire Temple (Ateshkadeh)
  • Towers of Silence (Zoroastrian site)
  • Jame Mosque (Masjedeh Jame)
  • Bagh-E Dowlatabad
  • Water Museum
  • Alexander’s Prison
  • Khan-e Lari House

For those of you who are interested in buying souvenirs for your friends and relatives, Yazd is famous for having some of the best traditional sweets.  For example, there are Qottab, Cake Yazdi, Baklava, Loz and Haji Baadaam (almond) which makes for a mouth-watering gifts.

Caravanserais

Iran applied for 25 caravanserais in 2017 under the name of Persian Caravanserais to be registered on UNESCO’s list. The ones selected are from hundreds of Caravanserais located all over Iran. Yazd was surrounded by many caravanserais at the time of the Silk Road but nowadays, unfortunately, most of them have been destroyed with just a few of them left. Yazd tourism authority also sent documents of 9 different caravanserais to Iran tourism board to await approval.

There are two important caravanserais which survived and are still in service.  They are highly recommended for your accommodation while staying in Yazd province.

  • Zein-o-Din caravanserai

The Ribat of Zein-o-din or Zein-o-Din Caravanserai is located in Mehriz, 60 km south of Yazd. This caravanserai dates to the 16th century and its one of two caravanserais built with circular towers. In 2006 it was renovated as an inn for travelers who would like to experience a very different type of accommodation from the norm.

Zein-O-Din caravanserai Iran Yazd

  • Kharanagh caravanserai

Kharanagh is also another caravanserai which is still working as inn and is located in Kharanagh village 75 km northeast of Yazd. It’s very basic but is presently under renovation. If you are travelling to this desert region, it’s worth stopping to visit this historical place.

Zoroastrian Neighbourhoods

Zoroastrianism was the main religion in Iran before the Arab conquest. Numerous Zoroastrians migrated to Yazd after the conquest and so it became the center of Zoroastrianism at that time.  Afterwards, however, many of them left Iran. As Zoroastrianism, rooted in this ancient religion, is not so popular in Iran nowadays, it’s interesting to note that many historical costumes, traditional celebrations and events in the Persian calendar remain. Although the population of Zoroastrians has greatly decreased in Yazd, some parts of it are still inhabited by them.  A walk through their neighborhood during your trip would be meaningful and a wonderful opportunity to meet and socialize with a Zoroastrian family.  Chak Chak is the main temple of all Zoroastrians around the world and is situated 100 km north of Yazd.

South of Yazd (To Kerman)

If you are traveling to Kerman or south of Iran from Yazd, there are a few attractions on your way which are a “must see”.

  • Fahraj

Fahraj is one of the oldest villages in Iran located on the edge of Dasht-e Lut desert, 30 km south-east of Yazd. This agricultural village has a few focal points of great interest. Masjed-e Jameh, the oldest mosque in Iran dating back to the Sassanid period, Hammam (a historical bathroom), Ab Anbar, (a water reservoir), and Four Badgir (wind Towers) are attractions in this unknown village.

  • Pahlavanpour Garden (UNESCO)

Pahlavanpour Garden is one of the 8 gardens of Iran that were registered by UNESCO in 2011 under the name of the Persian Garden. This garden is around Mehriz town situated 47 km south of Yazd.

 

  • Saryazd

Saryazd, also written Sar-e Yazd, is a town that was the final stopping point on the ancient Silk Road route on the way to Yazd, hence its name in Persian is ‘head of Yazd’. It’s located 50 km south of Yazd, not far from the main highway of the south. The most important sites are: Sar Yazd Fortress, Ab Anbaar, (a reservoir), two historical caravanserais dating from the Safavid era and another dating from Seljuk times.

  • Meymand (UNESCO site)

If you would really like to experience something quite different, you should travel to Meymand valley. Meymand, also written Maymand, is one of the best examples of Iran’s off the beaten track destinations. Meymand is a unique troglodyte village situated inside a canyon with a long history. The lowest estimate is that it was founded about 2,000 years ago but according to another narration, it may even have been 4,000 years. There are about 400 caves in the village with people still living there.

There is a mosque inside one of the caves, a restaurant and also the village school. Meymand has phenomenal scenery from any of the surrounding mountains. There are a couple of interesting villages close to Meymand which are perfect for one-day trekking. Lashkorgo Cave, is also another interesting place where you can have a short trek.

This extraordinary UNESCO site is not on the travel itinerary of most travelers or Iran tour operators as only a minority of visitors, who wish to see non-touristic destinations, come to this incredible place. If you check Iran’s map, Meymand is located in the middle of the touristic triangle of the cities of Shiraz, Yazd and Kerman. It’s 300km south of Yazd, 230 km west of Kerman city and 390 km west of Shiraz.

Your best plan would be to add two days to your classic itinerary leaving Yazd in the late afternoon setting off towards Mehriz, spending the night in Zio-o-Din caravanserai and, in the early morning of the next day, head to Meymand. This would allow you to have a full day’s visit to the village, then have a memorable stay in the guesthouse which is a handmade cave and then continue your journey towards Shiraz the next day.

North of Yazd (to Esfahan)

There are three interesting places to see around Yazd. You could arrange to visit them when you travel from Esfahan or vice versa.

  • Meybod ancient town

The origin of Meybod predates the Sasanian era and the oldest part of the town still remains. The most famous place is Narin castle which is one of the oldest castles in Iran dating back to the period before the advent of Islam to Iran. The construction of this castle is a mud-brick fort inside of the old town of Meybod. Other places to visit in Meybod are Kelar Ab-Anbar (cistern), Ice House and the pigeon tower, (dovecote). Meybod is located 50km away, north of Yazd.

  • Kharanag village

Kharanag is a mud-brick village located 80 km away from north east Yazd. It’s one of Iran’s important villages with wondrous architecture dating back to a thousand years. Most parts of the village have been destroyed but what’s left is still exquisite and worth a visit. There is an old caravanserai located inside the village, (Kharanaq Caravanserai), that was one of the major spots on the ancient Silk Road.

  • Chak Chak temple

Chak Chak is the name of the most important Zoroastrian shrine.  It’s a fire temple, (a fire is always burning), located inside a mountain 95 km from Yazd. There is a famous annual festival called Mehregan.  This celebration takes place on 24 June when pilgrims come from all over the world to pray at this holy shrine.

Activities

Yazd is a desert town, totally surrounded by desert in all directions. If you would enjoy having a desert activity here, you can have a 140 km drive towards Tabas road.  Here you will find an interesting desert area with striking sand dunes that give you a taste of the desert.

Another desert location is Bafgh, located125 km southeast of Yazd. Mount Shir kooh with an altitude of 4075m is the highest peak in Yazd and is located 50 km away, south west of the town. From the peak, you have stunning views of both the smooth desert and the sand dunes which are a phenomenon of this most captivating place.

  1. Shiraz (City of Poets)

The fifth and last of Iran’s major touristic destinations is Shiraz which was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. The city is approximately in the south of the country and is 920 km from the capital. Shiraz has an international airport with many airlines having flights to and from there.  Some travelers fly to Tehran to start their Iran Classic Tour and fly out from Shiraz or vice versa.

Also, if your air ticket is from Tehran and you have limited time, you could fly from Shiraz to Mehrabad airport, (Tehran’s domestic airport), and then catch your return flight from IKA international airport. Another possibility is the luxurious night train where a departure to Tehran is scheduled for every day. This would be another exciting trip to take advantage of.

Shiraz has various well-known places to visit. The main important sites located outside of the city are the famous Persepolis and Pasargadae which are the most celebrated of Iran’s historical sites and are on the UNESCO heritage site.

Another main attraction is its friendly, hospitable people. A trip to the great Bazaar is the best place for buying souvenirs and to get in touch with Shirazi people, finding out a bit more about them, getting to know them better and taking photographs.

If you are travelling during spring time, Bagh-e Eram, one of the best Persian Gardens of UNESCO, would be the ideal spot for photography on your trip. Shiraz is the city of lovers as the two famous Iranian poets, Hafez and Saadi are from here. People are cool and have a happy life.

The minimum travel time you should consider spending in this city is two days:  one day only for the UNESCO sites outside of the city and the other for visiting the sites and interesting places inside Shiraz.  There is a wide range of accommodation available from cheap backpacker guest houses up to boutique hotels and traditional historical houses.

Shiraz Tourism Attractions

Activities

Shiraz is located in the southern part of Zagros Mountains.  There are many activities inside and around the province, (Fars), to select from. A couple of gratifying short treks around Persepolis would be an active day trip before visiting the main important UNESCO sites. There is also a mountain biking route between the two UNESCO sites of Persepolis to Pasargadae which would be another memorable activity you could have in Shiraz.

Margoon waterfall is another interesting place you may want to visit which is 150km away and north of Shiraz. You could choose to have a full trek towards the waterfall to enjoy the cool weather of the Zagros Mountains.

If you would like to have a serious trek, the Dena chain in the subrange of the Zagros Mountain range, located north west of Shiraz, would be your best bet to complete your adventure holiday.  Dena National Park, also located in the foothill of Dena Mountains, gives you a lot of treks for your active trip in the park. You can have an easy day trek, or have a few days moderate trek inside the park or if you are looking for a challenging trek, “Dena long trail through the highest Peaks of Zagros Mountains” would be the best trek on the Dena Chains.

 

The Dena chain has around 40 peaks above an altitude of 4000m and is one of the foremost regions for trekking in Iran. Dena officially is in Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad province which is 210 km away from Shiraz. Apart from hiking, there are moderate to challenging trails for mountain biking inside and around the park.

If you check the photo gallery of our Dena region or watch our mountain biking tour in Dena on our YouTube channel, you will get more of an idea about the terrain and landscape of this exceptionally beautiful region.

If you are interested in having any trekking or mountain biking tours along with your Iran Classic Holiday trip to Iran, please contact us so our experts can provide you with the very best travel itinerary according to your travel time, weather situation and your fitness level.

iran main tourist cities map
Tehran, Kashan, Esfahan, Yazd and Shiraz

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