Everything you need to know about Iran before you travel

Iran international tourism


Iran is a safe and pleasant country to travel. The main thing is to observe customs and laws, which naturally differ greatly from European ones. In 2012, 3,834 thousand foreign tourists visited Iran - a lot for a country against which international sanctions are in force. Iran is, first of all, the most ancient history, starting with the Elamite kingdom about 5,000 years ago, the richest architecture and culture, diverse nature, hospitable and friendly people.

Iran is the heir to one of the world's greatest civilizations. This is a country of striking natural beauty, unique historical cities and friendly people. Iran's natural areas and landscapes are incredibly diverse, as well as a rich and turbulent history dating back millennia.

Geography Edit

Iran, which until the 20th century was called Persia, is located on the border of the Middle East and Central Asia, in the north the coast of Iran is washed by the waters of the Caspian Sea, and in the southwest of the Persian and Oman gulfs of the Indian Ocean. Iran is bordered by Iraq to the west, Turkey, the Nakhichevan Republic of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Azerbaijan to the northwest, Turkmenistan to the northeast, and Afghanistan and Pakistan to the southeast.

Climate Edit

History Edit

Population Edit

Religion Edit

Administratively, the country is divided into 31 ost (region). Ostans, in turn, are divided into shahrestans, and those, in turn, into smaller administrative formations - bakhshi.

Visa Edit

To visit Iran, Russian citizens require a visa, which can be obtained either at the airport of arrival (subject to certain conditions) or at the consulate in Moscow. After visiting Israel, at least a year should pass.

By plane Edit

Features of recreation in Kostroma and the Kostroma region

Iran, with its attractive natural conditions and historical sights, is among the top ten countries in the world most attractive to tourists [1].

Iran's natural conditions create conditions for a wide variety of recreational activities - from hiking and skiing in the Elburs mountains to a beach holiday on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Over the next five years, the most rapid development of tourism infrastructure on the Persian Gulf coast, mainly on the island of Kish, where currently more than 1 million tourists, mainly Iranians, rest annually.

Until the late 1970s, Iran enjoyed significant popularity among tourists, but due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, the flow of tourists fell sharply. Since the early 2000s, despite international tensions, the country's leadership has been pursuing a policy of stimulating tourism and developing tourism infrastructure.


Inbound tourism [edit]

According to the World Tourism Organization, Iran is currently ranked 68th in the world in terms of tourism revenues. According to Iranian officials, in 2004, about 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran (although government statistics do not single out tourists, businessmen and religious pilgrims separately), most from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, about 10% from North America and the countries of the European Union (in particular, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, France, Belgium). The most popular tourist destinations are Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz. Iran has great potential to attract tourists from Muslim countries, as well as China and India [2].

In 2003, the Iranian authorities issued 300,000 tourist visas, most of them issued to Muslims from Asian countries who intended to visit places of pilgrimage such as Mashhad and Qom. Organized tours from Germany, France, Great Britain and other European countries focus mainly on archaeological sites and monuments.

Since 2004, Iran has seen a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists every year; by mid-2008, their flow increased to 2.5 million people. The flow of tourists from Germany grew especially rapidly. [3]

Estimated by the International Travel and Tourism Council (English) Russian. , the growth of business tourism and individual tourism in Iran amounted to 11.3% and 4.6% in 2007, respectively, compared to the previous year [2].

(Source: EIU) [2] 200420052006 Arrivals of tourists from abroad, million people 1,6561,7201,769 Inbound tourism turnover, $ billion , 9170,9711,022

Visa Policy [edit]

Currently, the Iranian authorities are taking steps to simplify the procedure for obtaining entry visas, in particular, the practice of issuing weekly visas directly at Iranian airports for citizens of 68 countries has been introduced, and an online booking system for Iranian hotels is in effect. Visas can now be obtained electronically from Iranian consulates or international airports. [four] . Iran has 15 road border crossing points on the borders with Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as border points on the railways connecting the country with Turkey and Turkmenistan. Of the number of tourists arriving in Iran, about 70% arrive by land, about 29% by air, and less than 1% by sea (2002 data). In April 2005, Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport came under the control of a consortium of four local airlines - Mahan Air, Aseman, Caspian Air and Kish Air.

Tourism Infrastructure [edit]

Sights and entertainment of Kostroma and the Kostroma region. How to get there, where to stay, where to eat and what to see in Kostroma.

The main difficulty in traveling to Iran is the lack of information. Yes, even now. There is very little of it, it is contradictory, in some places frankly unreliable and is often outdated and no longer relevant. Bloggers periodically make trips to Iran, but their recordings from five years ago are not always practical. Therefore, I decided to create my own IRAN FAQ, which would have answers to all the questions of a potential tourist. At one time, I really missed such explanatory work, which is why my trip to Iran was postponed for almost two years. While I was gathering my courage, the situation in the world situation changed several times, fortunately - for the better for Iran. Today he opens up to the world and right now is the best time to see him as he is. And not how Iran will be ennobled for tourists in the near future.

Optimal route through Iran

I am not a supporter of gastronomic tourism and beach recreation, so the main emphasis in my trip to Iran was on historical sites. There are 4 cities that every self-respecting tourist must see within one trip - Tehran, Isfahan, Yazd and Shiraz. If you have more than a week of free time and you like to slowly explore a new city and country, I recommend traveling to Iran from north to south in the following cities:

  • Tehran
  • Qum
  • Kashan
  • Esfahan
  • Yazd
  • Kerman
  • Shiraz
  • Tehran

You can quickly get to them by purchasing a plane ticket in advance. Domestic flights within Iran can be purchased from Iran Discovery. This route captures all the most interesting tourist places and sights of Iran "from Tehran and below." In addition, you will have plenty of free time for leisurely walks around the city, getting to know the Persians, and restful sleep in a hotel rather than on an overnight commuter bus. For me it was extremely important, because spontaneously moving from one city to another, you get tired, annoyed and cannot truly immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Persia.

Tours to Iran - is it worth it? My opinion is no. All the programs offered by Russian travel agencies are fabulously expensive and overwhelmingly rich. This is exactly the option when you need to see seven cities in a week. At best, you will get tired, at worst, you will bring with you a completely misconception about Iran. There are individual tours with a personal Russian-speaking guide and driver. It is quite a convenient option for a comfortable trip to Iran. Professional guides can be found at Iran Discovery, but they are too much for my budget. There are group budget tours, but, as a rule, they involve the rest of the savages in the region of the Persian Gulf coast. So the ideal option is to plan your trip to Iran yourself and go yourself.

Visa to Iran for Russians

On June 26, 2017, Iran canceled visas for organized tourist groups from Russia. But for solo travelers it is still needed. There is nothing complicated in the process of obtaining a visa to Iran. Confused only by the abundance of outdated and inaccurate information on the Internet. I honestly tried to google everything myself, but I ran into contradictions all the time. As a result, I turned to the Iranian Embassy in Moscow and everything turned out to be ridiculously simple. Today there are three ways for Russian tourists to obtain a visa in Iran:

1. Officially submit documents through the Embassy in Moscow

2. Get a visa upon arrival at Tehran airport

3. Get a visa through intermediaries

Sea adventures in Iran

The unique flora and fauna of the Persian Gulf islands may be of interest to fans of exotic tourism.

The pristine nature of the islands of Qeshm, Hengam and Hormuz is becoming more and more popular among tourists.

The blue waves of the Persian Gulf, fishing vessels and fresh catch, Martian landscapes and the indescribable flavor of local peoples and traditions - all this is combined on the Qeshm Island. The largest island in the Persian Gulf, it was under the control of Portugal for a long time. Now it is one of the main natural reserves of Iran. Unique sandy reliefs, salt caves and valleys with bizarre curves and shapes, Hara mangrove forests and picturesque beaches - all this has been declared a National Geopark and is protected by UNESCO.

One of the most impressive natural attractions of Iran on the island is the Valley of Stars. These majestic canyons, reminiscent of Martian landscapes, were formed about 2 million years ago by rain and wind.

Even despite the status of a free economic zone, the centuries-old way of life of local residents - Bandari - has practically not changed. Fishing remains the main activity on the island. Locals still wear traditional clothing, live in houses cooled by badgirs (wind towers) and work in boatyards where they build lange wooden boats, just like those that have crossed the bay for centuries.

The island is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including migratory birds, reptiles, dolphins, sea turtles and snakes, as well as herds of camels that slowly roam the desert landscapes.


This small, almost uninhabited piece of land, located 20 kilometers from Bandar Abbas, amazes even the most experienced travelers. Despite its small territory, the island was once an important center of trade with India and China and was even part of the Mongol and Portuguese empires, as evidenced by the ruins of a 16th century Portuguese fortress built of red brick.

Now there is only one small settlement on the island, the main activity of which is fishing and tourism. The territory outside the settlement is uninhabited. It is there that the main attractions of the island of Hormuz are located - these are amazing, unearthly landscapes, formed by natural phenomena. Due to the huge amount of natural resources, the soil has 80 shades, from ash to brown, which, combined with the mountainous relief, makes this area look like a Persian carpet.

Many travelers come here with tents to enjoy a vacation on the sea of ​​Iran with amazing wild coasts, of scarlet sands, magnificent sunsets, clear starry skies and glowing waves of the Persian Gulf (this effect can be observed off the coast due to accumulations of fluorescent microorganisms).


The population of this island is about a thousand people, and almost all of them are related by family ties. The main occupation of the local population is fish and shrimp farming. Tourists come to the island to taste the freshest seafood catch. One of the main attractions of Hengam, or rather its coastal waters, is a flock of dolphins. To observe the life of marine mammals, it is better to come to the island in the early morning, where you can book a boat tour along the coast.

Tehran Tourism

Tehran is one of the leading tourist destinations in Iran. The city is home to several famous landmarks. In 2016, Tehran received 1.4 million foreign tourists. There are several art, history and science museums in Tehran, including the National Museum of Iran, the Carpet Museum. there is also the Museum of Modern Art, which displays works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Van Gogh. The National Jewelry Museum from Tehran displays the regalia of the monarchs of Iran. Tehran hosts a number of cultural and commercial exhibitions, many of which are attractive from a tourist point of view. Tehran International Book Fair is renowned by the international publishing world as one of the most important publishing events in Asia. There are many parks and open spaces within the borders of Greater Tehran. in Tehran can be reached from the international airports. Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad. The city has a lot of public transport: metro, high-speed tram, trolleybus, an extensive network of roads with taxis.

★ Tourism in Iran

Iran, with its attractive natural conditions and historical sights, is among the top ten countries most attractive for tourists.

Iran's natural conditions create conditions for various types of recreation, from hiking and skiing Elburs to beach holidays on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. It is expected that in the next five years the most rapidly developing tourist infrastructure on the shores of the Persian Gulf, mainly on the island of Kish, where it currently hosts more than 1 million tourists annually, mainly Iranians.

In Iran, tourism is developing such as ecotourism, restoration of historical buildings, acquaintance with crafts and health tourism. The country is developing various types of tourism - cultural, religious pilgrimage, nature, sports, health and eco-tourism.

Until the end of the 1970s, Iran was very popular among tourists, but due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, the flow of tourists dropped sharply. Since the early 2000s, despite international tensions, the government has pursued a policy of tourism development and tourism infrastructure development.


According to the 2015 World Tourism and Travel Council, tourism, culture and the environment as key components are assessed as having great potential to create jobs for 1.285 thousand people.

The industry growth rate is estimated at 4.% per year. according to these calculations, it could generate 1,913,000 vacancies by 2025.

Much attention is paid to the development of tourism in Iran to the organization of cultural heritage, tourism and crafts of Iran, which is responsible for the creation, development and operation of tourism facilities in Iran, repair and reconstruction of tourism facilities through direct investment or the provision of loans to the private sector, issuance of licenses, control over the creation and operation of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and their assessment.

Investments in free economic zones of Iran will be exempt from taxes for up to 20 years.

Currently, 1.% of the number of jobs created in Iran in the tourism sector. The Iranian government has adopted a "20-year vision of the tourism industry", which provides for investment in this industry $ 32 billion and reaching 20 million tourists by 2025. In order to stimulate domestic and foreign direct investment in this sector provides a 50% tax reduction in previously established travel companies, including five-star hotels.

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