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Reserves and Wildlife


With a rich history stretching back thousands of years, Iran is the Middle East’s best-kept secret. Packed with cultural splendours, incredible architecture, bejwelled mosques, ancient palaces, vibrant bazaars and beautiful landscapes, it’s also one of the friendliest nations. Activities are diverse, ranging from hiking and skiing in the Alborz and Zagros mountains, to relaxing on beaches by the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea.

The northern city of Tabriz, one of the country’s historical capitals, is known for its handicrafts such as hand-woven rugs and jewellery. It’s home to a magnificent bazaar, a fascinating labyrinth of lanes weaving its way across 7 sq km. It’s one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East, the largest covered bazaar in the world and one of Iran’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s been around since the 13th century and was a hub of Silk Road commerce in its heyday.

The stunning snowcapped Alborz Mountains stretch for nearly 600 miles across northern Iran. The capital city of Tehran, nestled on the lower slopes, is a metropolis with an ‘east meets west’ buzz about it. Experience a journey through Iran’s long history with its glittering palaces, grand bazaars, museums and gardens. Being nearly a mile above sea level, Tehran is cooler than many other Middle East cities.

Hike in the Alborz foothills where you may see ibex, fox, deer, wild boar, brown bear, leopard and wolf which roam wild in the mountains, while overhead look out for buzzards, griffon vultures and eagles. Most of the last few remaining Asiatic cheetah, also known as the Iranian Cheetah, live in Iran’s Kavir desert region, some can be found in Pakistan. Critically endangered, it’s estimated there are only 70 to 100 remaining. The Persian leopard, which is the world’s largest leopard subspecies living primarily in northern Iran, is also listed as an endangered species.

Travel Seasons

  • Summer – dry and hot in the northwest, very hot in the south where the average daily temperature in July exceeds 38°C (100°F).
  • Winter – cold in the northwest with heavy snowfall and subzero temperatures Dec-Jan. Milder in the south. Most of the relatively scant annual prcipitation falls Oct-Apr.
  • Spring & Autumn – relatively mild in the northwest.

General Information

  • Currency – Iranian rial
  • Languages – Farsi (Persian) and ethnic languages
  • Size – 1,648,195 km2
  • Population – 80.28 million (2016)

Health & Safety

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:

  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Iran: hepatitis A, typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.



  • Warm, welcoming people
  • Steeped in history
  • Incredible architecture
  • Beautiful, varied landscape
  • Delicious cuisine



  • Wildlife is harder to see, so think of it as a bonus to a trip
  • Be aware of and adhere to local customs and laws

Arriving in Iran

  • Most travellers fly into the international airport in Tehran, Imam Khomeini International Airport, which is 37km southwest of the city. The domestic airport Mehrabad is within the city. There are 70 smaller regional airports including Shiraz, Mashhad and Isfahan.
  • There are direct flights to Iran from numerous European, African, Middle Eastern and Asian cities. However, there are no direct flights to/from North America or Australia.

Getting Around

  • Local transport is of high quality and is very affordable, although not as not as comfortable or fast as in Europe or North America. There’s a wide bus network, the train network is limited but comfortable and reasonably priced, internal flights are affordable and a good option when travelling large distances.


  • Travellers from the UK, USA and Canada need to apply for a visa in advance to travel to Iran. You must be travelling as part of an organised tour – your tour operator will help you with the visa application process. Check with the Iranian Embassy for more details.
  • For other nationalities, a 30 day visa on arrival is available on arrival at international airports. Please check which nationalities this applies to with the Iranian Embassy.
  • If your passport contains an Israeli stamp, or stamps from other countries’ border crossing points with Israel, you may be refused entry to Iran.
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