Iran Travel Blog

About this Iran travel blog

I spent 3 weeks backpacking through Iran in February and March 2017. My trip took me to the cities of Tehran, Kashan, Isfahan, Shiraz and Yazd. Mostly I stayed in hostels and cheap hotels, but I also did a small amount of couchsurfing.

If you have any questions about travelling through Iran, catch me on my Facebook page or in the comments sections of any of my posts.

If you are after more of a guide to Iran rather than a travel blog, check out my Iran Travel Guide.

I decided to leave Tehran after a few days. I will be back in Tehran before I fly out at the end of my trip and plan to write about it in more detail then. I only have 19 days and I wanted to make sure I have enough time to see the other cities in […]

The story goes that Kashan, a city in Iran, was the home of the three wise men who followed the star that guided them to Bethlehem to witness the nativity of Jesus. I haven’t verified this story, but I suspect there are a dozen other cities in the middle east with a similar claim. What I […]

My accommodation in Kashan, Sadeghi House, was really well located. It was very near to the Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse as well as two of the historic old houses in Kashan. These two houses and the bathhouse can all be visited on a combined ticket for 350,000 IRR, about 9€ […]

While researching this trip to Iran I read several travel blogs. Almost every blog includes a glowing report about Iranian hospitality. One young man I had met in Sri Lanka told me that to find accommodation, you simply need to get off the bus in each new city and wait. Almost immediately people will come up to […]

The Iran Visa on Arrival information contained here is based on my experience in February 2017. I applied for a visa on arrival at Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. Once you disembark from your plane, you should immediately look for signs pointing you towards the visa area […]

I have read many times that Isfahan is ‘one of the most beautiful cities in the world’. If you search that phrase on google you will find Isfahan mentioned many times in various lists and blogs. It is immediately obvious to see why Isfahan is considered such a beautiful city. The first place I and most […]

Persepolis was the capital of the Persian Achaemenid Empire. An Empire that stretched from Greece to Pakistan. Persepolis isn’t to be missed when visiting Shiraz. Combined with a visit to Naqsh-e Rustam it makes for one of the best day trips you can do in Iran.

Iran is really beautiful, but you need to travel during daylight hours if you want to see any of it as you travel from city to city. Some of my favourite photos were taken in transit and from the windows of buses. Check them out inside the article.

Known colloquially as the Pink Mosque and absolutely one of the most beautiful mosques I have ever seen. Famous for its stained glass windows and oriented such that the sun’s rays illuminate the room in a way that puts Joseph’s Dreamcoat to shame.

Today’s post is all about the Shah Cheragh Holy Shrine in Shiraz. I didn’t know much about it at all before arriving in Shiraz however it really blew me away. I have seen my fair share of religious buildings in Iran but this one is right up there. Don’t miss it.

My next stop in Iran was the city of Yazd to see among other things, the town of Kharanaq a 4,000 year old abandoned town 70 km from Yazd. Kharanaq is a city built entirely out of mud brick houses. While the town has been inhabited for 4,000 years, the mud brick buildings you see in these images date back around 1,000 years.

As part of my day trip out of Yazd, I visited a Zoroastrianism mountain shrine known as Chak Chak. Chak Chak is not just a small village in the mountains, but a Zoroastrian fire temple and the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism.

Yazd is a destination in Iran that is packed with day-trip opportunities. One of those is Meybod, an ancient city that goes back to the pre-Islamic era of Iran and located 55km away. The centrepiece of Meybod, and the reason that it’s included in day trips, is the Narin Qal’eh castle. Narin Qal’eh is a mud brick fort built around 2000 years ago.

What the hell are the Towers of Silence? Essentially they are a Zoroastrian structure used for excarnation or the ‘defleshing’ of a dead body. This excarnation takes place inside the pits located on top of a Tower of Silence! As the bodies break down, carrion birds, Vultures typically, would perform the excarnation.

Abyaneh is a village in Barzrud Rural District, in the Central District of Natanz County. It is located about 80km south of Kashan by car. Abyaneh is characterised by a peculiar reddish hue that comes from the mud bricks quarried from the mountains nearby. Like many of the traditional villages in Iran, these mud bricks are used almost exclusively to build the houses in the town.

Another reason that I returned to Kashan was to make a day trip to the Maranjab Desert and a nearby salt lake. The salt lake is a remnant of the Paratethys sea along with the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The temperatures in Iran can reach up to 50°C during the summer months and there is very little rain and snow.

12 comments

  1. Comment by Will - monkeystealspeach

    Will - monkeystealspeach Reply March 24, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Iran looks absolutely fascinating. I’ve really enjoyed your blog. I have some Iranian friends where I’m living in China, and I hope I can visit sometime – and write about it of course!

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply March 31, 2017 at 10:06 am

      Thanks Will. I noticed quite a few travellers from Asia in Iran. Met a guy from Indonesia, a few from Malaysia, Japan and China. A great cross section of travellers.

  2. Comment by saeed

    saeed Reply May 22, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    hi, Im from IRAN, Shiraz city, i liked the comments and ur blog, i like to offer our Guesthouse in Shiraz, and also tour package, if its ok you can publish it in tour page, i’ll be happy to answer your questions….
    saeedbabaie18@yahoo.com

  3. Comment by Courtney

    Courtney Reply July 26, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Hi there Hayden first of all I would like to thank you and commend you on your comprehensive blog, I like that you have included the history as well As well as the experience! I am looking at doing a similar route in the new year and travel much the same as you (cheap hostels/couchsurfing). Im a solo female traveler doing my own thing (no tour companies), how easy do you think it would be as in safety wise and did you meet any solo females on your travels? And second question, you mentioned there were areas north of Tehran you were interested in visiting but didnt get the chance, could you kindly divulge these places 🙂 ?

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply July 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Courtney!

      Excellent questions! The general make up of travellers in the hostels in Iran I found to be not that different from what you would see in other areas of the world. The majority were solo travellers, and of them, a bit less than half would have been female. You will meet other solo female travellers in your very first hostel guaranteed. In fact, I spent about half of my time travelling with a girl I met there. If you are looking for company, you certainly won’t need to look that hard to find some.

      The solo female travellers I spoke to were very happy with the safety in Iran. My personal experience is that it is a very safe and incredibly friendly country. If you read a few of the other travel blogs on Iran about the place, you will that same statement being made time and again. It really is true. Very safe and very friendly. The girl I met and ended up travelling with actually writes her own blog and has written a lot about Iran. I met her in a hostel in Shiraz. Check out her blog at http://travellingtheworldsolo.com. She is lovely and I am sure will answer any questions about solo female travel that you have.

      If I had more time I would certainly have liked to get to Masshad. It is the second biggest city and an important pilgrimage city for Shia Muslims. However it is in the far north-east and not as convenient to get to as the other main cities. If I had more time I would have like to travel to Tabriz as well in the north-west. If you are heading to or from the Caucasus, stopping in Tabriz would make a lot of sense!

  4. Comment by Reza Abbasi

    Reza Abbasi Reply August 19, 2017 at 8:39 am

    thanks for your post.I hope to see you again in Iran

  5. Comment by André Oliveira

    André Oliveira Reply November 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Salam Hayden, just wanted to say THANK YOU for putting together such comprehensive blogs of Iran. I used them at length to plan my own trip, which unfortunately ended a few weeks ago. I stayed in the vast majority of places you recommended and am glad to say Sadeghi House in Kashan and the Oasis Hotel in Yazd were definite highlights of the trip. Thank you for the (tips and) recommendations, and safe travels!

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply November 25, 2017 at 2:52 am

      Thanks alot André!

      That is fantastic feedback to get back. I am really glad you had a good time in Iran. It’s an amazing country to visit.

  6. Comment by laura

    laura Reply January 12, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Hey Hayden,
    Sounds amazing. Your itinerary is essentially what I am planning to do in June/July this year. My question is, do you think it would be possible to do it in 15 days? I can see you were there fore 3 weeks…. Would it be too much to try and do it in 15 days?
    Thanks
    Laura

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply January 13, 2018 at 5:32 am

      Hi Laura,
      In actuality, I think my trip was 18 days. So a little bit less than 3 weeks. Yes, it would be possible to do it in 15 days. Because I started and finished in Tehran I had to backtrack at one stage. As a result, I visited Kashan twice for example and also spent more time in Tehran than is needed. So yes, 15 days is doable.

      One idea to save time is to fly into Tehran but leave from Shiraz. That way your trip is in one direction only. Or you could fly domestic from Shiraz to Tehran to connect back up to your flight from Tehran. That saves a bit of time that would otherwise be spent on buses.

      -Hayden

  7. Comment by Hayden

    Hayden Reply January 13, 2018 at 5:17 am

    Test comment.

    • Comment by Hayden

      Hayden Reply January 13, 2018 at 5:18 am

      Test reply.

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