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Destinations Middle East Iran

Adventure Holidays to Iran

An Explore holiday to Iran is full of surprises. The people of Iran are the country's biggest attraction. Everywhere you go you’ll find warm welcomes and people intrigued to find out where you have come from, and happy to show you their own country at its best. This is a hospitality culture unlike any other. On Explore's three week grand tour of Iran you will meet the people of North-West Iran, little visited by the outside world and even more friendly than their big city counterparts.

Straddling the border between East and West, Iran is home of one of the oldest civilisations in the world. Formerly known as Persia until the 1930s, it became an Islamic republic in the late 1970s following a revolution. It was this event that caused political problems with the West but in recent years relations have thawed.

What this has meant is that when you visit Iran, you find a country that has remained relatively untouched by tourism, providing travellers with an opportunity to experience a culture in its purest sense. Now, as part of an Explore group tour it is simple to travel to Iran and discover this highlight of the Middle East. Melissa Garland, Sales Consultant at Explore discusses her travels to Iran and talks about the key highlights of this intriguing destination.

The capital Tehran is an ancient city, bustling with marketplaces and cultural highlights. Stroll around ancient sites and take a tour of Persepolis and Naqah-I Rustam on the outskirts of beautiful Shiraz. Explore Isfahan, the centre of Iranian architecture and known locally as ‘half the world’. Travel to Naghsh-e Jahan Square, one of the largest squares in the world and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, filled with world famous mosques, many of which have been standing since the days of Genghis Khan and even Alexander the Great.

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Adventure Holidays to Iran

A visit to Persepolis is a must for anyone considering an adventure tour of Iran. Dating back to 512 BC, this UNESCO World Heritage Site was arguably the most impressive construction in the ancient world. On an Explore holiday to Iran, a guided tour of Persepolis will tell the story of Alexander the Great sacking the city ,as you wander through the ruins of the terraces, pillars and famous bas reliefs. A short drive from the ancient city of Persepolis are the rock hewn tombs of Naqsh-e-Rustam, where Darius the first, the creator of Persepolis, is buried.

Iran is a traditional Islamic country and a strict dress code is enforced throughout the holiday, don't let that put you off though, you don't need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe (unless you want to!)

For women a headscarf must be worn by women at all times, preferably tied under the chin. Some hair can be shown and grips to keep your scarf in place are a great idea! A traditional Iranian manteau is an ideal option, a hybrid of a coat and shirt this knee-length garment hides the shape of the body and is exceptionally comfortable. Trousers or a long skirt should be worn to cover your legs. The chador - a black coverall garment is only worn at holy shrines and can be borrowed locally. You will notice that Iran's dress code is more relaxed in some towns and brighter garments are being worn by the younger generation.

Men must wear long trousers. Short sleeved shirts are acceptable but most Iranian men wear full length sleeves. April to September can be hot in Iran (approx. 30 degrees plus) - Pack for hot conditions during this period of the year. March, October, November can be cold (approx. 12 degrees) - warmer clothing is needed, you will need a warm fleece or jacket for cold nights. If visiting Iran between Oct-Apr, be sure to bring waterproofs.

You may find when you arrive in Iran that some Iranians do not dress as traditionally or strictly as we have suggested above. Explore feels that it is socially correct for our travellers to be responsible in the way they travel and respect all country traditions so we would advise that you try to stick to our advice as closely as possible and then once in Iran you can make your own decisions as to how much is appropriate to cover. Your Explore Leader can also advise you on this in each location to cover.

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