What you read and watch on Iran Travel Testimonial page are some of our clients who have traveled with us. They have been kind enough to talk about Iran and our services in front of the camera.
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During the years of guiding tours in Iran, I have provided travel services for a lot of people from different countries. They are the best witnesses who can tell you about their experiences in Iran. You can also ask them about the quality of their tours, services, etc.
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I traveled some 3500 km through Iran with a car and guide late May, early June 2013, and had the good fortune to choose the travel company Destination Iran to organize the details such as, my itinerary, the necessary visa application, and the overall cost of the trip, which they did with admirable efficiency.
My main interest was in visiting as many of the major historical places a time would comfortably permit, and the freedom of doing so outside the constraints of an organised group tour. I was also interested in meeting local people, and the ambiance of the local bazaars and markets.
Despite the many dire warnings against travelling, and visiting Iran, I had a marvelous trip. The people were welcoming and friendly, and not once in my travels did I at all feel intimidated or threatened.
Being a ‘creature of comfort’, I elected to stay at the better class hotels and guest houses, and was agreeably surprised at their value for money. In fact, the devaluation of the Iranian Rials made everything in Iran relatively inexpensive.
Many of the historical sites that I visited were UNESCO listed, well maintained, easily accessible, and not overwhelmed by hoards of ‘tourists’. The roads traveled were excellent, far better than the country roads of Australia. There was great food, other than the ubiquitous ‘kebabs’, and at very reasonable prices, even in the best hotels and restaurants.
I could not speak more highly of my guide Rahman, with an excellent command of English, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the ancient, and modern, history of Iran and Persia, he was indeed a pleasure to travel with.
Needless to say I highly recommend you visit Iran, and that you consider planning your trip through Destination Iran. Furthermore I would be happy to respond to any specific inquiries you may have about travel in Iran.
Chartered Civil Engineer and IP Researcher
I am still overwhelmed by the experience we enjoyed in Iran in September 2010. It was absolutely fascinating and destroyed many preconceptions and posed so many questions to which as yet I have found no answers.
Without your good humor, tolerance of interference and changes of plan, but above all without your substantial knowledge of your country’s past and present history and your forthright and informative comments on the current social and cultural situation the trip would not have been nearly as successful as it was.
In April 2010 my wife and I (65+ years of age) spent a stimulating and exciting 18 days traveling more than 3,500 kilometres through eastern-Iran (Tehran, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Andimesk, Ahvaz, Shiraz, Yazd, and Esfehan). During our travels we took almost 4,300 photographs to remind us of some of the highlights of the unique history (such as the Tchogha Zanbil ziggurat and the inscriptions at Bisotun and Tang-e-Chogan), architecture (such as Persepolis and the Anahita temple at Kangavar) and the religious/cultural sites within the country (such as the Varaham Fire temple, the tomb of Esther and Mordachi, and various mosques).
Even the mud-brick village centres contain fascinating architectural treasures such as wind-catchers, ice-houses and the caravansaries, along with the unique designs of the houses of the wealthier 19th century merchants with their ‘Persian gardens’ and internal running water.
The spectacular and wide variation of the topography more than justified travel by road rather than internal flights. Moreover, it provided an opportunity for us to see the life style of the non-urban dwellers (which, in our case, included attendance at a Kurdish country wedding!).
As Australians it was clear that we were not citizens of the country. Yet we saw no signs of resentment of our presence by members of the populace, but rather were warmly welcomed in both urban and country areas.
Accommodation was clean and comfortable and modern, with dimensions more like those commonly found in European establishments. The food was delicious, fresh, wholesome, varied and well presented in all of the hotels and restaurants we eat at (with special mention to be made of the pastries!).
We feel that the key to our level of enjoyment of the tour, however, was our guide – who was knowledgeable, helpful and committed to our learning about, and enjoying, his country and its culture.
With the past experience of having traveled in more than 30 other countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas, we whole-heatedly endorse Iran as a tourist destination.
Carla Ruske Pereira
I visited Iran in May 2010 with my daughter and a friend. This was the last leg of our thirty-day journey thru the middle-east. After spending three days in Istanbul and 15 in Egypt, we traveled over 3000 miles during 12 days in Iran.
Like most people, I did not have Iran as a country to be visited until my daughter decided to go there, alone ….. I made all the arrangements (and so did my friend) at work in a hurry and went for our “adventure”.
I had previously a very slight idea about what we would find there, and started reading about Iran a few days before the trip. It’s amazing how we let ourselves be influenced by media and by tendentious news, almost always telling us this is not a peaceful place. My friend’s husband thought we’d find only war debris and terror action there!!!
But how ignorant we were, and what a pleasant surprise we had there! Iran is a very beautiful country, full of history, rich in culture and with friendly and loving people.
I loved the cities! Clean, organized and shaded by leafy trees. The parks are beautiful, and the bazaars …. well, those are amazing!
I never felt afraid of anything or insecure. People are super nice and do everything to make themselves understood.
I can only recommend a visit to Iran, a country with beautiful landscapes (even traveling 500 miles each day, I could not nap in the car), lovely people, delicious food, cozy hotels and great shopping.
Technical Operator Manager
We made a trip to Iran in April 2006. Nature was in full flourish with spring wildflowers and it was not too hot for “northern people” like us.
We flew from Teheran to Shiraz and from Shiraz back to Teheran we travelled by car with a guide/driver.
Our route was Teheran-Shiraz-Persepolis-Esfahan-Natanz-Abayaneh-Kashan-Teheran.
On the way we experienced architectural, archaeological, historical and cultural places: noble mosques, interesting museums, royal palaces, unique ruins, stone bridges, ancient village
with mud-made houses, gardens dating back to 17th century, houses of 19th century merchants, colorful bazaars etc. Also we went to see how nomads live in their tents.
Iran provides good hotels, with all modern facilities. In Esfahan we stayed in Abbassi hotel, a former caravanserai. We had a room overlooking the central courtyard with rosebushes and persimmon trees. The view from the balcony was just stunning. Iran has also pleasant restaurants and teahouses likewise Internet cafes.
The traffic of Teheran is chaotic and it’s not a city for a nice walk. We were surprised at seeing no accident. Instead Esfahan, Shiraz and a small village Abayaneh are nice places to go to walk and to have a break in some of their fascinating teahouses. It was so great to sit down for tea or rose ice cream and look at people around.
Before our trip we got a lot of warnings and surprising comments on Iranians’ hostility toward Westerners. Anyhow in every city, town and village we felt ourselves very welcome and every person was polite and hospitable to us.
Our guide was the best possible guide. His knowledge of Iran, the past and the present is enormous and his driving style is convincing, especially in Teheran with millions of cars. As Iranian he gave us “inside information” about modern Iran and everyday life of people. A trip with him was like a trip with a friend not with a formal guide.
Mariana RuskeArantes Pereira
Oil Well Engineer
I decided to travel to Iran after meeting amazing Iranians and having the chance to chat about their country and culture! After reading a little about this fascinating place, I could not wait to be there and see it personally!
Since it is not a very traditional travel destination to Brazilians, most people are afraid of an eventual cutural shock traveling in a Islamic country, and don’t know what to expect! My mother and her best friend (my travel partners) were also worried, until we landed in Tehran @ 3 am April 25 2010…
Right from the beginning Iran was an amazing surprise after the other! All the people we met were extremely friendly and welcoming, all cities are so clean, safe and well taken care of, full of water fountains, trees and flowers! The history and culture are endless and so alive!
I am very fortunate to have visited many countries, but Iran has certainly been a special one!
The trip was also very well organized! Since my very first contact with Destination Iran they helped me taking care of each detail, with all the patience in the world! Our guide (and now, a friend!) knew absolutely everything gifting us with conversations about Iranian history, culture and lifestyle while driving through breathtaking landscapes in the desert. It is amazing how absolutely everything came out perfect (itinerary, monuments, villages, hotels, restaurants, museums etc ), making this a memorable trip!
Our taylor made itinerary took us to Abianeh, Yazd, Meybond, Shiraz (Persepolis), Esfahan, Tehran and Tabriz giving us a chance to see different aspects of such diverse and complex country. Iran is a true must see, and will surprise you during every minute of your trip!
If you want to meet an amazing place, visit Iran! And if you want to make the most of it, go with Destination Iran!
British, Author on local history and Head of History (1978-2000)
I have traveled widely in the north, center and south of Iran, and have wandered cities such as Esfehan and Shiraz on my own. Some people – often the younger ones – are inquisitive and approach to ask questions, but they are never intrusive or aggressive. On all those visits I have never encountered anything but friendliness, good humor and hospitality from the Iranian people.
I have been impressed by the guides who have always proved knowledgeable, friendly, accessible and reassuring.
Iran provides good hotels, with all modern facilities (for both the ordinary travelers and businessman) and varied restaurants, where language is rarely a problem. The Shah Abbasi in Esfehan is one of the world’s outstanding hotels – it has developed from a former caravanserai, and reflects Iranian hospitality at its best. A room overlooking the central courtyard is memorable – and, if you do not get one on arrival, the manager can be persuaded by your persistence to change your room!
The way to travel internally is by Iran Air. I have taken several journeys with the company and have always found them punctual. Their in-flight catering may leave a little to be desired, but your flights are never long enough for it to matter!
If you travel overland, there is much desert in Iran, but even that has its enticement. After miles of vacant sand lush, brilliant green oases emerge that are skillfully irrigated from the land, and the Persians were masters at establishing cities such as Shiraz and Esfehan out of bare, barren wastes. The desert has its charm. One British adventurer, traveler and correspondent for The Times, who spent many years in (the then) Persia at the start of the 20th century, undertook a horseback journey from Teheran to Bushehr, and wrote: The pilgrim and the camel are eternal; and they are the magic of Persian travel. To sit in a camp on a still, starlit night, and hear the faint enchantment of the bells, as they die away upon the desert road, is the best of all rewards for weariness and thirsty days.
Iran has a considerable amount to offer of architectural and historical interest, ranging from the ancient era (such as Persepolis or the fire temple at Esfehan) to the present day (such as the Azadi monument and the Sa’ad Abad Palace in Teheran). There is a respect for the ancient as well as the modern, linked for example by the Zoroastrian Ahuramazda symbolism at Persepolis and the modern temple in Yazd.
Amongst the ‘jewels’ that await the visitor are the impressive range of age and styles in the Friday Mosque (Masjed Jame) in Esfehan, with its winter shabistan designed as the tents of the Mongols; the individuality and stunning charm of the Lotfollah Mosque in the massive meidan of Esfehan, and the Masjed Jame at Yazd; the literally dazzling brilliance of the Shah Cheragh Mosque in Shiraz; the restored uniqueness of the desert fortress at Bam; and the endurance of the palaces and bridges of Esfehan (deservedly appointed a World Heritage site).
There is a large range of museums, which display not only the usual historical and archaeological artifacts, but also specialist centers such as the engaging Carpet Museum in Teheran. It is still possible, in such cities as Yazd, to see the skills of carpet weaving being conducted domestically.
Amongst the others skills manifested by the Persians are the qanat, or extensive underground irrigation channels, which ensure the survival of many widespread and remote communities. One of these is briefly exposed at Natanz, and reveals how skillfully they are cut; the slope to ensure the movement of water is imperceptible, yet essential, as it has to travel often hundreds of miles – underground. Such surprises are typical of the memories of a nation with an impressive history.
I really enjoyed my stay in Iran, and I recommend it to all my friends. I found people’s attitudes in general very positive, relaxed and friendly toward tourists. They were helpful to tourist and eager to take contact and practice their English words.
I would like to mention that when I forgot my handbag with money, passport and video camera on a bench in a park, it was found and returned to me five minutes later by a friendly man on his bicycle. As a tourist you are often satisfied that there are not too many of that kind! That was the situation in Iran.
Iranian culture, both temporary and historical, is interesting and impressing. So is the nature. The historical sites and their stories are very interesting compared to ancient European history, especially the Greek.
I found the Iranian mosque-architecture and the underground aqueducts of special interest. They tell a unique story.
The cities were both green and gray, but the streets and pavements were clean and in very good conditions. Poverty was not a visible feature.
The tourist buses were very comfortable and the roads in surprisingly good shape.
Our tour guide spoke perfect English and did an excellent job. He was pleasant, attentive and informed on practical details, historical knowledge and details of Iranian everyday life.
English Teacher in Muscat
I visited Iran in February 2010 for a week. We flew into Tehran, travelled overland to Esfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz before flying out of Shiraz. I absolutely LOVED Iran, and would go back like a shot.
I did have some of the common misconceptions and apprehensions about being a Westerner in Iran, but like the other reviewers on this site, I found Iran to be a warm and welcoming country with genuinely friendly people. Not once did I feel uncomfortable or concerned for my safety.
As a western woman I did attract a little attention from time to time, particularly in the more conservative city of Yazd, but it was never more than a curious stare and I didn’t feel threatened by it. The dress code is obviously limiting for women, and I’m glad I went in February.
I am a keen amateur photographer and I found Iran to be a photographers dream. The architecture of the mosques, particularly in Esfahan is simply breathtaking. I strongly recommend visiting the main square at different times of day to take photographs in the changing light. I came back from a week long trip with just over 2000 photos…..! There are a few places where it is not acceptable to take photos, such as in a few mosques, but these places are always indicated. In cases of no photography places, our guide was very clear about when the cameras should be put away. It is important to respect this. Taking photos of people, especially women was difficult. Asking for permission before taking women’s photos could be a courteous gesture that may also yield to receiving a positive answer.
The hotels we stayed in were comfortable, clean, and of a much higher standard than I expected. We travelled around the country in a private car with our guide, and although the driving of the locals was a little ‘interesting’ at times, it was a good way to see the country. There were a few long drives between towns, but this was also enjoyable for the chance to see rural scenery and glimpses of ordinary life outside of the big cities.
Our guide was, quite simply, brilliant. He had a wealth of knowledge about Iran past and present. Official guides in Iran have to pass a guiding course, which if I remember correctly, is about 6 months. They certainly know their stuff! He was able to explain every historical site we visited, from different eras of Islamic art, to the technology of the qanats and ice houses. I learnt loads! He also gave us a real insight into the lives of ordinary Iranians and their everyday lives, from telling us about his own family, to translating when I was talking to a group of young girls about their day at school.
My only negative from the trip was food. I am (mainly) vegetarian. I found Iran to be absolutely meat obsessed, with no understanding of the concept of vegetarianism. Twice in the week I ordered a vegetable stew, only to have it arrive with lamb floating in it. On explaining to one waiter that I didn’t want to eat it because of the lamb, his response was merely to spoon it out onto a side plate!
I have travelled a lot, and was in danger of becoming a jaded “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” type of traveler, but Iran was something completely different and new to me. I strongly recommend anyone to visit Iran and to have all your misconceptions blown out of the water by a fascinating, friendly country with absolutely loads to see!
My recent 8-day trip to Iran was one of the most impressive and memorable travel experiences I’ve had, and there have been many over the years. I traveled with 4 friends from the USA, China and India, accompanied by our local tour guide and driver.
The tour was carefully planned by DestinationIran and impeccably executed by the reservations team. Visas were efficiently arranged for all of us and every detail of the journey was taken care of. Needless to say, our tour guide made the entire experience unforgettable through his passion for the country and extensive knowledge of Iran’s rich culture and history.
Given our time constraints, we had to limit ourselves to the Classic Iran itinerary: Tehran, Shiraz, Yazd and Esfahan. All an absolute must for first-time visitors, and the 4 cities can fairly easily be covered during the course of 8 days, although 9 or 10 days would certainly be better. Those with more time can easily include additional destinations in their itinerary without having to rush.
To save a bit of time we flew from Tehran south to Shiraz, where we spent 2 nights and explored local sites and cuisine. From Shiraz we traveled by van to Yazd, which is about 6 hours driving distance, plus some time for sightseeing along the way. We spent 1 night in Yazd, although 2 would have been better. From Yazd, it’s an easy 4-5 hour drive to Esfahan, where we spent another 2 nights before our final leg back to Tehran. We spent our last day with some fantastic local sightseeing in Tehran, including a couple of museums. The day ended with yet another delicious dinner.
Visiting Iran’s impressive cultural and historical sites, complemented by unforgettable visits of its many mosques and busting bazaars, was absolutely fantastic and was outshined perhaps only by the friendliness and openness of the Iranian people we met along the way. We came to Iran to learn about its rich culture, past and present history and experience all this amazing country has to offer. In the end we returned home with so much more: Memories, new experiences (and amazing pictures!) that will last a lifetime. One thing we all agreed on was that this definitely isn’t going to be our last trip.
Until then, we want to thank Destination Iran and our Tour Guide for making this trip unforgettable for all of us!
Andreas and I went to central Iran in September 2004 for the first time and to North West & North Iran in May 2006. So it was not long ago and although it was only for 2 weeks each time, we saw a lot, having chosen the option of having a guide all the way. It was worth it as we would have missed a lot otherwise. On both trips, we saw absolutely fabulous sights.
One thing is for sure: Avoid driving there yourself. The world of driving is a different one there and you wouldn’t be able to handle it. It’s completely different from what we’ve learned in the West.
Everywhere everybody was lovely and friendly and we were constantly stopped for a … chat!
To do absolutely:
- Have a tea in every Chaikhaneh you can! … little cafe. where the young mostly gather and sip tea and smoke water pipes! … apple is best
- Visit all the bazaars!
To see absolutely:
- Yazd: Old Zoroastrian quarter with wind towers, the old town is being abandoned.
- Persepolis: No comment! grandiose!
- Shiraz: the town of poets and roses. Impressive tombs for the most famous poets (Hafez and Sa’dy)
- Ispahan or Espahan or Isfahan or whatever! memorable except for the second most famous mosque in the world! The courtyard was full of tents ( too hot for the praying crowd) and restoration works with scaffoldings all over. so got no proper picture of it ! You will find here the most beautiful bridges and the walk along them is worthwhile. Some have a “Chaikhaneh” inside. Go and see the shaking towers just out of town!
- Abayaneh: probably a bit out of the way! old village in the mountains, protected (world heritage) delightful!
- Qom: impressive. I didn’t want to go there, but I don’t regret it. It’s also interesting to see all these worshipers coming from all over the country, camping around. If women want to get a closer look in the Mosque courtyard, they’ll have to wear chador.
- Tehran: pure hell! too big to walk! too crowded to drive, but must not miss a jewel of a museum: the Reza Abbasi museum, it’s an absolute must. If you have the courage, try the bazaar, we didn’t see much there as time was short.
There is, in my view, no better food in the world provided you find Iranian food other than the traditional kebab. Do try desperately to eat the local food and don’t forget to ask for Sabzi, a mixture of all kinds of greens with bread and cheese often before the main meal. Andreas loved it so much he had the ingredients brought to his office and offered all the staff a sabzi break for his birthday.
The food is very healthy and everything is washed again and again before cooking or eating raw. You can stuff yourselves and come back weighing the same!
There is, of course, much more to Iran: such as the Caspian Sea, or the south-west and Azerbaijan. Also, once upon a time, there was Bam! Bam was my goal when I first planned Iran! I didn’t make it and there is little left there now and needs plenty of restoration.
Senior Principal – Construction Services
New york, USA
A small group of us traveled to Iran in April 2010 for vacation. We arranged our trip through Destination Iran since one of the party members had previously visited Iran and used them for that trip as well with wonderful results.
From the moment we cleared Immigrations in Tehran until we parted company every detail of our trip was meticulously planned and went off without a hitch. Our tour consisted of flights, land travel, and hotels with guides well versed in local information and spoke fluently our language. The equipment used for the land travel was new, comfortable, well maintained and staffed with professional drivers. Accommodations were clean, welcoming, well located, and good values.
Any tour operator can show you the sights. It’s the substance that each operator provides to enhance the experience and understand the significance of each sight that distinguishes one from the other.
Destination Iran met all our expectations and needs.
New York City
contact information available upon request
I had the privilege of visiting Iran in November 2006. Never has a country so exceeded my expectations, so entranced me with its unique mix of ancient history, rich culture, physical beauty and compelling current events. My week-long itinerary included Tehran, Shiraz, Esfahan and the ruins of Persepolis, in addition to stops in Natanz, Abyaneh and Kashan. Each provided me a glimpse of a different aspect of Iran and together offered an excellent overview of this multi-faceted and complex country.
As an American I was somewhat concerned about visiting Iran, despite assurances that Americans are warmly welcomed. Indeed I was! My status as an American was never an issue and actually seemed to delight those who approached me. Nor was my gender a deterrent. Iranian women are full participants in society and with my headscarf firmly in place, I was too.
Our long drives between cities were actually a highlight of my tour … By the third day I planned a return trip to Iran next year, to visit Yazd and Kerman and see more of the desert.
The traffic in even the smaller cities is unpredictable and a bit scary. The limited ability to use credit cards and the amount of currency you must carry, given the Iranian preference for low denominated bills, are a bit of a bother. And yes, as a woman, you must cover your head and arms and legs in public – no exceptions. But these are small prices to pay to experience this country. Among my enduring images of Iran are those of the magnificent blue tiles of the mosques in Esfahan, the haunting remains of the caravansaries along the highways, the formidable Azadi monument in Tehran and the height of the majestic tombs at Naqsh-e-Rostam.
A visit to Iran is a must for the jaded American traveler. Be prepared to be amazed.