We are honored to have been a pioneer in operating cultural tours in Iran. Our exclusive tour itineraries and experienced team have provided memorable experiences for many travelers so far. However, just like many other businesses, we expanded our services to cover more diverse Iran travel packages later. Today, the IDT team is providing a diversity of Iran travel packages and there are also tailor-made tours available, in case our clients’ requests, which could be discussed according to their preferences. The most prominent types of tours we are offering right now include:

Cultural tours
Iran is the land of ancient culture and tradition, so the first thing the word Iran tour would bring to your mind is cultural tours. Cultural tours to Iran offer its own diversity. Some types of tours we are now providing include Persian silk road tour, Iran west to north tour, crossing Iran through Turkmenistan, Authentic Persian civilization, tours to Iran World heritage sites, Iran culinary tour, and Iran astronomy and stargazing tour.

Adventure tours
Believe it or not, Iran is a land of adventures! There are plenty of pristine landscapes and pure-adrenaline activities calling you here. ID adventure tours include Damavand ski tours, Dizin ski tours in Iran, mountain biking in Iran, Birdwatching in 10 days, trekking in Alborz and Zagros, and also caving tours in Iran.

Safari tours
You would have the opportunity of exploring a desert in which people historically believed that it could not be crossed when traveling to Iran. Although we have exact plans to deal with all difficulties, the nature of these trips is to expect the unexpected. Special dune riding techniques with optional activities like sandboarding and skiing on dunes will pump adrenaline into your veins. Campsites with panoramic views of sunrises and sunsets over spectacular oceans of dunes will make an unforgettable memory of a special expedition in one of the most pristine deserts in the world.

MICE tours
MICE Department at Iran Doostan is specialized in planning and organizing MICE events as well as arranging for post-meeting tours. Our team of qualified MICE staff members is dynamic, well-experienced, highly devoted, and cooperative who have held many events successfully so far. They are equipped with up-to-date know-how MICE expertise who are capable of coping with emergencies.

Medical tours
Iran is considered one of the main hubs of medical tourism in the Middle East. World-class medical services by professional surgeons and also the low costs of such reliable medical services have made this country a popular medical destination in the Middle East and around the world. The most common cosmetic surgery in Iran is rhinoplasty.
As an experienced travel agency, Iran Doostan Tours Co. is ready to connect you to the best medical centers with high-quality services in Iran.

Religious tours
Persia once was a land with great unity over the world’s most multi‐national, multi‐lingual, multi‐cultural, multi‐religious, and multi‐ethnic region. Iran is the pilgrimage destination for those who practice Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism.
Religious tours to Iran include the pilgrimage to the holiest shite shrines, visiting ancient mosques, and other holy sites such as important churches, fire temples, and Towers.

If you already have a call for sending package tours to Iran or book Iran travel packages, do not hesitate to get in touch right now via info@idt.ir.



The Traditional Persian Cuisine of Ramadan

Only a few days are left before the start of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and everyone fast in Iran just like in many Islamic countries. According to Shia Maraji, fasting will be ok for people with a strong immune system and those who follow a healthy nutritious diet. But those who are diagnosed with weakened immune systems may be prone to illness and should avoid fasting. Muslims break their fast on small Iftar tables. Stick with us to see what are the traditional Iranian Ramadan meals and diets.

Sahari or The Pre-dawn Meal

Eating the predawn meal is one of the indicators of the health of fasting. In this meal, which is served before sunrise, enough protein and water should reach the body. the regular Iranian foods, which are served in lunch meals during the year are usually served as the pre-dawn during Ramadan.

ramadan in iran

Sahari or Predawn meal takes place before sunrise.

Iftar Meal

Since those who fast do not receive the nutrients, sugars, and water they need during the day, they should make up for this deficiency by eating nutrients at predawn and iftar so their health is not endangered. Iftar meal should include a variety of foods that are good for the body and maintain the strength of the fasting person, so it is better to get acquainted with foods and beverages that have these characteristics. Iftar meal includes 3 parts:


In the first half of the year, the fasting hours may long up to 18. Fasting people do not break their fast at once, but first, they drink a hot soft drink as an aperitif. The most popular aperitif of Iranians is hot tea with rock candy. But warm milk, herbal teas, with rose and saffron syrup, and dates are also served before the appetizer.

Iranian tea

Drinking tea is an inseparable part of Iranian culture.


Ash Reshteh

Ash Reshteh is the traditional Iranian version of noodle soup, cooked with beans, peas, and vegetables. With a strong taste of the dried mint powder. The Ash is garnished with a salty dairy sauce named “Kashk”. That’s why it also is called Ash-e Kashk.

Ash reshteh

Ash Reshteh, or Persian noodle soup.


Halim is a nutritious and stodgy food that is served as breakfast on regular days and a small amount of it is served as an appetizer during Ramadan. There are various versions of Halim in different countries, but in the Iranian one, the main ingredients of Halim are wheat and mutton. The word Halim means patience and endurance because cooking Halim requires patience. This dish is cooked slowly for seven to eight hours, which results in a paste-like consistency ― blending the flavors of spices, meat, barley, and wheat. Finally, you can add cinnamon with sugar or salt up to your choice and taste it.

Persian Haleem

Persian Halim of meat and wheat, is a strong appetizer.

Main course

The main course food varies for different families with different tastes. Some people eat only bread, cheese, and fresh herbs while others prefer rice and chicken for example. But the popular main course in most Nazri (Cooking and distributing free foods on holy days) ceremonies are Persian kebab and Gheymeh:


Often cooked in enormous copper pots over wood-burning fires, is beef and split pea stew with the reddish tune of tomato sauce, in addition to some saffron and rose water. This luscious stew is served with white rice.


Gheymeh, Iranians’ favorite Nazri.


Sholeh Zard

This Persian Saffron rice pudding is very delicate and light in texture, mild in sweetness and it gets its golden color from saffron. Sholeh Zard is served as a dessert in Iftar, garnished with designs made with ground cinnamon and slivered pistachios or almonds.

Sholeh Zard

Sholeh Zard, the Persian saffron rice pudding.

Zulbia and Bamiyeh

These sticky sweets are going to make your sweetest memory of Ramadan in Iran. Bamieh is a small fried sweet, maybe a kind of donut, which is rolled in rose water and Saffron syrup. The same way is cooked Zulbia, but it’s thinner and crunchier. Diabetics bear in mind that if you start eating one of these sweets, you can’t help the rest!

zoolbia bamiyeh

The crispy Zulbia and tasty fluffy Bamiyeh are among the most popular Ramadan sweets.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.


Coronavirus and travel industry: Iran Doostan story

The travel industry is experiencing the hardest hit by the unexpected wave of COVID-19 outbreak. We are all facing a situation that was quite unimaginable some weeks ago, but rarely people ask how about the future? What will the travel industry look like after the coronavirus?

Iran Doostan Tours Co.: The best tour operator in Iran

About 30 years ago when we decided to start our business with cultural tours to Iran, we were totally aware of how sensitive the industry might be to different circumstances ranging from political tensions to social unrests, health issues, and etc. We have either experienced or witnessed many of these obstacles as a tourist company in Iran over these years. Yet, what made us continue to struggle was the passion for our work!
Today, Iran Doostan has been expanded in spite of all the restrictions. There are various departments handling a diversity of package tours and services including cultural tours, adventure and eco-tours, medical tours, and Mice tours. Besides these, there are supporting departments as well, such as accounting, operation, human resources, IT, and digital marketing.


How do we deal with the situation?

Until some weeks ago we were growing, but now we are witnessing changes in travel demand. Well, it is a tough situation but not happening for the first time! Fortunately, Iran Doostan Tours Co. was the first Iranian tour operator that adopted a fully fleshed out remote infrastructure for its employees to work from home in order to care for their health and prevent the transmission of the virus, by the time the first few cases were identified in Iran, we continued to work online. My colleagues are online at home to deal with any phone call or email and they are pleasantly ready to assist you with any requests.

Nearly all of our tours have been canceled until the end of July, which was quite unpredictable by the beginning of 2020. To deal with it, we kept negotiating with our service providers, mainly the hotels, not to receive cancellation fees.

Although many companies decide to shut down over the epidemic, we are optimistic toward the future of the travel and tourism industry and we do not mean to ruin what we have built over all these years. To make better use of this time, we came up with a creative solution that is taking the situation as an opportunity for our organization to train the personnel through online sessions. This is how we will make ourselves prepared for the productive tomorrow.


What do we think about the future of the travel industry?

We do believe despite what is happening, being optimistic in an integral part of our business. The travel industry has rebounded from past crises and it will bounce back again. After all, people would always dream about more traveling and new experiences and we would be there to offer the desirable service they wish for.

We would overcome the situation pretty soon; hope the remaining months of 2020 would be productive and successful for all tourism businesses around the world, and that we continue our fruitful cooperation more than before.

Are you planning to travel to Iran and looking for an Iran travel agency? Check out our Iran tours and contact us.

Hospitality tomorrow

Hospitality Tomorrow: The virtual Conference on the future of Hospitality

As many as 5000 hospitality professionals participated in the virtual conference called “Hospitality Tomorrow” yesterday on 7 March to unite as “one” community encountering the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and society.

Although assessing the impacts of the pandemic on the hospitality industry is not certain right now, the tourism and hospitality professionals took part in the conference to discuss three main concerns regarding the world’s unprecedented situation:

  1. Changes in our world and people – operationally, financially, and psychologically
  2. Where, when and how signs of recovery can be anticipated
  3. The role of Travel & Tourism in accelerating momentum for recovery

Most of the specialists who gave a speech in this show expressed an optimistic view of the future of the hospitality industry.

Paul Stoltz, chief executive of Peak Learning and a leading resilience analyst argued that “companies should grab this opportunity to create a new experience, one that is safer, better, more relaxed and enjoyable than even a guests’ own home.”

Roger Bootle, chairman of Capital Economics, a leading independent macroeconomic research firm also stated his optimistic view on the crisis: “although some countries will see falls in GDP of 20 percent or more in a very short period, there is every chance we will get a ‘v’ shaped recovery – a very fast pick-up once the worst is past.”

Discussing changes in our world and people he believes that the situation may damage the personal finance of people even for a year or two, but after this time the memory will fade in the longer term.

Roger Dow, chief executive of the United States Travel Association said: “tourism would be a key part of the economic recovery.” Regarding the anticipation of a recovery, he stated: “we must be prepared in the right time for the recovery”. However, as he argues the recovery will also come in waves, first shows itself in domestic tourism and then internationally.

Richard Haddad, chief executive of Jannah Hotels & Resorts pointed out that the “hospitality industry is facing, joining hands and knowing that everyone is working globally towards the brighter ‘tomorrow’ is vital for the travel and tourism world.”

These are just some of the optimistic viewpoints expressed by the professionals of the industry in this virtual conference. We are all now united as “one” community gets prepared for a brighter future when tourism and hospitality will be flourished again. Hope we all benefit from sustainable tourism around the world once more.

west of Iran attractions

Things to do in west of Iran: Khuzestan, Lorestan, Kurdistan

Unlike the classic route of central Iran which tends to cross deserts, west of Iran, including the Zagros area, Kurdistan hills, and Khuzestan plain is so rich naturally and because of this excellence has always been populated during history, Which gives the second priority to the region: historically and culturally rich.


The name of Khuzestan might remind of the Iran-Iraq war, but the history of civilization in Khuzestan dates back to more than 7000 years, to the Elamite period. The historical sights aside, the tropical nature of this region has a lot to offer to its visitors.

Chogha zanbil, The Elamite Ziggurat

Chogha zanbil ziggurat known as the Elamite religious center in Shush is the largest ziggurat outside of Mesopotamia and the best preserved of this type of stepped pyramidal monument from 1275-1240 BCE. The word “Chogha Zanbil” in the local language means “large basket-shaped hill.” This well-constructed monument is a dedicated from Untash Gal, the Elamite King to their gods Inshushinak and Naapirisha. The monument was built on five floors, with a height of around 50 meters at the time. The first glazed brick of the world in gold and turquoise was used in the decoration of the outside walls, on which the king personally left a message for you: “I Untash Gal, carved the golden bricks and set up home for the gods and I have dedicated this sacred place. May my work which is a gift to the Gods Gal and Inshushinak be accepted.”

Choghazanbil ziggurat - west of Iran

Choghazanbil ziggurat, the Elamite religious center in Shush, and the largest ziggurat outside of Mesopotamia – West of Iran.

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

Intelligently constructed hydraulic systems of Shushtar including water mills, dams, tunnels were used for optimal use of water in ancient times. This aquatic structure which is considered one of the unique works of the Achaemenid period gives good information and statistics from ancient Iran. The first of the Shushtar aqueduct was built by Cyrus the Great in current Khuzestan. The Achaemenid era can be considered the culmination of Iranian civilization, art, and science. They built this industrial and aquatic structure with very precise engineering to overcome the power of nature. It was repeatedly rebuilt during the Sassanid, Seljuk, Qajar, and even Pahlavi periods. But a massive flood eventually destroyed a huge part of the structure in 1963. One of the most important architectural uses of Shushtar water structures was the diversion of Karun water to the other side. This was done in a fine manner and the floor of the creek was well sealed so that its bed would not be destroyed over time. The water would then have to collect behind a high barrier and eventually pass through the holes created on the rock and the Achaemenid plaster.

Shushtar hydraulic system

This aquatic structure which is considered one of the unique works of the Achaemenid period

The ritual ceremony of Mandaean in July

Not all Khuzestan citizens are Arab or Shiit. At the edge of the Karoon River, lives the ethnoreligious group called “Sabin” and also “Mandaean” who are adherents of John the Baptist. The public beliefs of Mandaean consider the natural fluid water as the sacred element which is a symbol of purity and cleaning impurities and guilt, that’s why Mandaeans say their prayers in sunrise and sunset beside Karoon river. Every year on 19 July Mandaean celebrates their new year’s eve which is their sacred day since it is considered as the nativity of Adam. On the mentioned day Sabein wears The white ceremonial robes and performs their baptism rite by immersing themselves in the river. It worth always participating in ritual ceremonies.


Mandaeans believe that fluid water is a symbol of purity and cleans impurities and guilt.

Apadana, the Palace of Darius in Susa

The palace was built by the order of Darius the Great, the Achaemenid king, in about 515-521 BC in Susa on the remained parts of Elamite artifacts. The walls of the palace are made of clay and its columns are made of stone. If we drive 40 km from Andimeshk on a lush and beautiful road, we will reach the city of Shush, which is one of the oldest cities in the world. Archaeological excavations show that the area was inhabited by farmers in 9000 BC. In 5,000 BC, people lived in the castle, and since 4,000 years ago, it has been the first place on earth to create urban life. As a noticeable point in the excavations of Apadana Palace, we can mention the discovery of an inscription related to the reign of Darius, which is written an inscription from the words of Darius describes the process of construction of Apadana Palace.

Apadana, the Palace of Darius in Susa

Apadana, the Palace of Darius in Susa

Ritual Arabic coffee drinking in Mozif

The literal meaning of “Mozif” is “the place of celebration”. As the guests are highly respected and sacred in Arabic culture, our Arab compatriots in Khuzestan build up some arched shaped rooms made of straw to host people for coffee drinking ceremonies. There are no doors in the entrance of Mozifs which means everyone is welcome. The coffee making and serving have a particular formality. For instance, when coffee is poured, the guest should drink it instantly without putting it down to show his respect, and shaking the cup means that the guest wants no more coffee. but that’s not all, there is a lot to learn before going to Mozif.


There are no doors in the entrance of Mozifs which means everyone is welcome.

Dehdez, The tropical paradise

If you felt like “Enough for history” in your Khuzestan trip, just take your backpack and go for a cool adventure in Dehdez riverside strict. Zeras is among the most amazing villages in Dehdez which is called “lost paradise”. Tucked between the green mountain ranges, the blue lake of Zeras offers a landscape like “get away from it all”. Surrounded by palm trees and green hills, just don’t sit on the sidelines watching people have fun. There a lot to do in Zeras: you can fish, hike, swim jet around the Lake, ride the boat, and use the water complex.  You’ve got 2 choices for setting your camp, on the green hills if the day wasn’t too hot and the humidity doesn’t bother, or getting back to the village and pick your own picturesque view. Zeras would be the best to travel in the first half-year period, especially from April to June.

Landscapes in the west of Iran

Tucked between the green mountain ranges, the blue lake of Zeras offers a great landscape in the west of Iran.

The cuisine of Khuzistan

The Arabic coffee of Khuzestan aside, the other must-taste of the region is “Ghaliyeh Mahi” which is a delicious spicy chopped fish baked in vegetables.


Falak-ol-aflak castle

Atop an ancient hill in Khoramabad is located Falak-ol-aflak castle, known as the engineering and architectural masterpiece and which is registered in the list of Iran’s National Heritage. Although the original date of construction of the castle is yet unknown it’s been speculated that Shapur Sassanid is the founder. This hexagonal building was used as a military fortress, treasury, and prison for centuries after the Sassanid area up to the Qajar period. When Alexander invaded Iran, the rulers of the time decided to hide valuable gold and silver objects in them and thus protect them from Alexander. Two thousand years later, antiques were accidentally found by thieves and are now preserved in the Anthropological Museum of the castle. The visiting hour change in different seasons but it is almost possible every day from 9:00 to 17:00.

Falakolaflak castle

Falakolaflak castle, known as the engineering and architectural Sassanid masterpiece.

Azna snow tunnel

My highest recommendation for adventurers during spring and summer would definitely be the Azna snow tunnel. The Lorestan province has snowy winters, the accumulation of tons of snow in Oshtorankuh over many years, has formed this spectacular natural wonder in Azna area. Huge masses of snow accumulate in the winter and as the weather warms up in the spring and summer, the snow masse starts to melt slightly which makes a hole in it and forms the snow tunnel. Azna valley gives the chance to experience strolling through an 800 meters snow tunnel while the melting drops whisper and the froze strokes the face skin.

Khazineh valley

“Darreh Khazineh” or “Khazineh Valley” is located near the namesake village in Lorestan Province in the west of Iran. Although it gets a little chilly in fall and winter, summers are gloriously temperate affairs in Lorestan. So many people claim that Khazineh valley and Grand Canyon could be twins in another world, well who knows! The spectacular stone forms, shaped by erosion in this valley enchants every visitor. Then check your camera twice before leaving for Lorestan!

Khazineh valley

Khazineh valley is called the Iranian twin of Grand Canyon.


The Kurdistan Region located in the west of Iran embraces three provinces: Kurdistan, Kermanshah, and Ilam, the majority of people in these provinces are Kurdish and culturally so close, here are the most remarkable sights to visit in the great region of Kurdistan :

Taq-E Bostan

Taq-E Bostan” or “The Arch of the Garden” is a collection of inscriptions and rock paintings from the Sassanid period, which is located five kilometers northwest of Kermanshah. These inscriptions picturing the coronations of several Sassanid kings such as Khosrow Parviz, Ardashir II, Shahpur II, and Shahpur III, remained almost 1800 years. Being located on the path of the silk road and the and the agreeable climate and nature made the Tagh_E Bostan region very populated and persuaded the kings to make carve their inscription there, why don’t we call it the royal billboard then?

attractions in the west of Iran

A collection of inscriptions and rock paintings in Tagh-e Bostan, West of Iran

Uraman Takht

Located in the green mountains of Kurdistan, this hilltop village, is famous for its stunning nature as well as ritualistic music, dance, and ceremonies. The greatest event which takes place in Uraman Takht is the wedding of “Pir Shalyar”.

festivals in the west of Iran - Kurdistan

PirShaliyar festival is a festival in the west of Iran held by playing rhythmic music, singing religious chants, and doing ritualistic dances.

This musical festival is held twice a year in mid-spring and mid-winter, for 950 years, in honor of a wise old man, called “Pir Shalyar”.The legends say that the King of Bukhara had a deaf-mute daughter.  The more he sought the cure for her, the less he found it.  The king decided to send the princess “Shah Bahar Khatoon” to Kurdistan, to find the cure. When she arrived in Howraman, Pir Shalyar healed her with his special powers and married her. the midwinter festival is the anniversary of their marriage. Which takes place by a group of Dervishes, playing rhythmic music, singing religious chants, and doing ritualistic dances.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.

WTTC updates on coronavirus

WTTC Coronavirus Brief External 25.03

We expect your world is really tough right now, so, we find proactive sharing of information quite beneficial in this situation. Through this post, we would like to publish a brief document shared by the World Travel and Tourism Council with governments across the globe advocating supporting all impacted businesses in the Travel and Tourism sector. What appears significant in the current tough situation, is to work side by side to minimize the impact and search for alternatives to support the most impacted and aim for a quick recovery.

WTTC has reported 424,048 Coronavirus cases around the world by 25 March, with 18,947 deaths and 109,145 recoveries. Although COVID-19 is less infectious than similar diseases such as influenza, it leads to more deaths. According to the latest research by WTTC, it is estimated that up to 75 million jobs are at immediate risk. A potential loss of up to $2.1 trillion in 2020 is taking place in Travel and Tourism GDP with a staggering one million job being lost every day in this sector due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Many countries seem to be affected by the epidemic.

COVID-19 is no longer the challenge of individual countries, but rather a global issue. All countries must take part in finding solutions for the survival of the T&T sector. WTTC proposes three vital measures to support the T&T sector.

To know more about these measures and also the latest update on the Coronavirus pandemic, please find the attached file in the link below:

WTTC Coronavirus Brief External 25.03

The silk carpet of Qom

A practical guide of buying Persian carpet

Iran is among the most professional oriental rug producer countries, known as the “rug belt”. The most famous and oldest carpet in the world, Pazyryk, woven in 400 BC in Persia, proves the brilliant background of the Iranian art of carpet weaving. The largest handwoven rug in the world was knotted in Tabriz by 230 weavers in 2019. Setting a new Guinness record for Iranian artists. The highest quality wool and handmade silk rugs are still produced in traditional Persian rug weaving workshops in Qom, Kashan, and Tabriz. Differentiating the various qualities of carpets for novices can be somehow confusing. It would be wise to get familiar with the wide variety of Persian hand-woven textiles before choosing one to buy.

Different types of Persian carpet

Tabriz Carpet

You’ve probably heard of Tabriz carpets since they made a name for their soft and silky quality. First, they have the most beautiful designs you could ever find on a carpet. Then, the Raw materials used in Tabriz carpets are usually wool and silk. People know Tabriz carpets for their vast diversity of designs (medallion, Herati/Mahi, figural, pictorial, and so on) in addition to preserving the highest technical standards. Turkish knots are usually used in these Persian carpets, which are woven in large sizes.

Iranian carpet

Tabriz woolen rug, with all those gorgeous designs.

Naein Persian Carpet

In hundreds of villages around Naein, locals weave Naein carpets. Traditional Naein carpets remind us of nomadic textiles, while the modern versions have more intricate and precise designs due to the high quality of the workshops in the area. Most Naein carpets have a knot density of between 300 to 700 knots per inch of Persian knot. The foundation of the Naein rug is usually cotton with very soft wool or just wool & silk pile dyed with natural colors. Therefore, this classic Persian carpet will be a fine choice if you want to fill a room with warmth and elegance.

Naein carpet

Traditional Naein carpets remind us of nomadic textiles

Qom Carpet

It is no surprise that the “Fine” word is always coming after the “Qom carpet” this exquisite carpet called silk flower. Weavers weave Qom carpets with fine silk yarns and precise patterns. Qom carpet is the most colorful Persian carpet, for sure. Despite the short history of the Qom carpet, without exaggeration, it is the most elegant and exquisite Iranian carpet. The Qom carpets will breathe new life into a soulless environment.

Persian carpet- The silk carpet of Qom

The most elegant and exquisite Iranian carpet

Qashqai Persian Carpet

Lastly, we have the astonishing Qashqai carpets. If you’re unfamiliar with Qashqai carpets, you’re in the right place. There is a touchable mental picture of nomad women on tribal rugs of Qashqai. These wool rugs owe their spontaneity and aliveness to the fact that they have been woven creatively without any pattern. Nomadic Qashqai women dissemble the simple story of their lives, mostly nature and animal pictures, in their textiles. Qashqai carpets are not only beautiful in themselves, but they also add beauty to any room where they lie.

Persian carpet- qashqaei carpet

carpet without any pattern

Pricing factors

knot density

There are many factors to measure the quality of a carpet. The most important among all is knot density. That is to say, the number of knots per unit of the surface area determines the quality. The most common units of knot density in Iran are KPSC(Knot Per Square Centimeter), KPSI(Knot Per Square Inch), and KPSM(Knot Per Square meter). The higher density of knots is proportional to the price. In addition, low-quality Persian carpets are woven with less than 120 KPSI, while high-quality ones are woven with more than 330 KPSI.

Persian carpet- Pazyryk rug

Pazyryk rug, the oldest rug in the world, remained in ice since 400BC.


The finest Persian carpet material consists of golden, silver, and silk fibers. In exceptional cases, suchlike royal carpets, the weavers use gold and silver among the patterns. The most common material, silk fiber, allows more knots per square and makes the design look more precise. Although silk gives a beautiful appearance to the carpet, it can’t compete with wool in terms of strength.


Oriental rugs usually come in relatively standard sizes. “Ghali” in Persian, are carpets larger than 6 square meters. Ghali comes in a rectangular shape and particular sizes. Most products are 3*4 sqm/ 2*3 sqm, and the less common size is 5*7 sqm. It goes without saying that the bigger the carpet size, the higher the price.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.

Gahar Lake- Iran local attractions

5 Best Hidden gems in Iran (Photos, Info)

What does Iran remind you of? Probably the Persepolis or the Pink Mosque. But this is not all about Iran, there are loads of hidden gems in Iran only known by the locals. This article introduces some of Iran local attractions you should not miss while traveling to Iran.

Alamut Castle

Have you ever been to an eagle’s nest? Alamut means eagle’s nest, due to its strategic position and design of the castle structure and walls, it is given this name. Located in the northwest of Qazvin province and close to Gazer Khan Village,  Alamut Castle was built by Hasan Sabah, the propagator of Shiite Ismaili, who chose this area for himself during the Seljuk period. The castle was taken by Mongolia Hulaku Khan in 654 AH and there are still the remains of it where visitors can pay a visit. In order to visit castle, you should go by van, it usually takes about four hours to get there, at some points the altitude is 2200 meters above the sea level. Alamut region has a mountainous winding road with a spectacular and picturesque landscape that you can enjoy relaxing in such pleasant weather.


Hidden gems in Iran: The impressive Alamut Castle

Raghe canyon

Rafsanjan is one of the important cities in Kerman province, located 100 km near Kerman. Raghe Canyon has situated a short distance from the city of Rafsanjan, which is a fascinating natural phenomenon in Iran also known as the “dead valley”. This valley is created by alluvial erosion caused by the Guivdary River, for several thousand years. The length of the valley is about 20 km and the depth is 70 meters, the opening of the valley is about 180 meters. Diversity of wildlife here is amazing due to being close to a protected area; eagle, partridge bird and gazelle are some of the wildlife species in the region. Another interstring point about Raghe is that it is in the middle of a path where two important natural historical attractions of Kerman (the village of Meymand and the Lut desert with its spectacular Kalouts (enormous and extraordinary geological figures emerged as a result of severe erosion) as the UNESCO World Heritages are located.

Rage canyon- Unknown local attractions in Iran

Hidden gems in Iran – Rage canyon: A natural attraction created by alluvial erosion caused by the Guivdary River.

Babak castel

Let’s visit Babak castle, a castle belonged to a national hero! Located 16 km southwest of Kaleybar, East Azerbaijan province, Babak Castle is also known as the Immortal Castle, was constructed on top of a mountain with 2600 meter height. Babak Khoramdin was an activist and a militant leader who fought bravely against Arab invaders. There are facilities on the east side of this two-story castle including some rooms and reservoirs, the roofs of reservoirs are chevron and rocking. There is a corridor right before the entrance gate of the castle which used to be under the control of guardians in the past. Having passed this corridor, you will face another entrance with irregular steps through which you can reach the castle. In the northwest side of the palace, there are some stairs which were used to make arriving at the castle more convenient, however, not much has remained today. It takes about two hours to get to Babak castle from Tabriz and the best time to visit is from April to September.

Babak Castle- Iran local attractions

Hidden gems in Iran – Babak Castle: A man-made fort built on top of a mountain in the northwest of Iran.

Gahar lake

In the heart of Zagros mountains, beside Oshtorankuh massif, in the province of Lorestan, there is a lake with gorgeous scenery attracting many visitors to the off-the-beaten-path region all around the year. It is 2360m above the sea level, 1700m long and 500m wide. The depth of the lake is 28m maximum. The region has been under good protection lately, so the environment, the flora, and fauna in the area have almost remained unharmed. Located among Oshtorankooh mountain chains which have a striking similarity to glacial lakes, Gahar lake has come into existence as a result of a landslide. The area is accessible through Dorood and Aligoodarz cities and the lake is feed from rills and springs flowing from the near highland. The thousands of visitors visit Gahar lake every year. The area is strongly recommended for staying overnight. You can easily set up your own tent and have a picnic while enjoying fishing in the lake. The best way to get there is a climb to Tpaleh Straight from Aligoudarz and then enjoy hiking to the lake.

Gahar Lake- Iran

Hidden gems in Iran – Gahar Lake, Lorestan: A natural attraction mostly visited by local people.

Izadkhast Castle

located on the ancient Silk Road between Shiraz and Isfahan, Izadkhast is not only a castle but also a whole complex consisting of Castle, a caravanserai, and a bridge dating back to Safavid period in Iran. Different architectural styles from different periods of Iran history including the Sassanid and Qajar periods have been incorporated into the castle which has brought about a valuable and unique construction and made it worth a visit.  Many travelers heading Isfahan or Shiraz enjoy a stop on the way and have a picnic lunch around the beautiful scenery of the construction.

Izadkhast Castle - Iran

Hidden gems in Iran: Izadkhast Castle

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Maranjab desert

Maranjab Desert, Iran: Photos, Things to do, Location

Varzaneh, Mesr, Chah Aroos, and the Maranjab Desert are the well- known Iran deserts, among which the Maranjab Desert is an astonishing one. The desert consists of so many cultural and historical monuments such as Shah Abbas Carvensarai, Dastkand Wells, Salt Lake, and huge sand dunes which makes it the best. The magnificent Maranjab Desert is located in the north of Aran va Bidgol County in Isfahan Province and is an inevitable part of top Iran tours. Besides, you can reach the astounding Matianabd Desert in a thirty-minute ride.

The stunning high dunes, being adjacent to a salt lake and a national park makes it a perfect destination for desert lovers. The vegetation is mostly covered with Haophyte plants like Tamarix trees, laoxylon trees, and Zygophyllum bushes. Wolf, fox sand, sand cat, lizard, snake, eagle, and hawk are the main animal coverage in this desert.

In case of traveling without a guide, don’t forget to download the latest version of the desert map and also carry both light and warm clothes with you since the weather is extremely either hot or cold.

Sand Dunes

In the eyecatching Maranjab desert, you can wander around the beautiful sand dunes for hours. The height of the sand dunes in some areas reaches to 70 meters. Besides, you can hike “Kolang Mountain ” that has a breathtaking view of the desert. We highly suggest you not miss walking barefoot on the sand dunes which relieves all the daily stresses and tensions. Notice that the temperature is so high in the middle of the day, so roam around there in the early morning or late afternoon.

Maranjab desert

Golden sand dunes are the most popular feature of the deserts.

Shah Abbas Carvensarai

The beautiful Shah Abbasi Caravanserai is a famous Iranian Caravanserai and is one of the features of Maranjab Desert. Being right on the Silk Road, this caravanserai is built under the command of Shah Abbas in the Safavid epoch as an accommodation for travelers passing the desert. This caravanserai used to function as a trading center with about 500 soldiers on top to watch over all the trading between China and Europe. A prominent feature of this is its Qanat which provided fresh cool water right in the heart of desert. These days, this caravanserai is a traditional guesthouse where you can enjoy living in the heart of an amazing desert of Iran. The square structure has an area of 3500 square meters and entails 29 rooms.

Maranjab desert

Shah Abass caravanserai was built under the command of Shah Abbas in the Safavid period for silk road travelers passing the desert.

Dastkand Wells

Dastkand Historical Well is within a five-kilometer distance to the east of Shah Abbas Carvensarai. It is a storage for freshwater. The interesting point about this well is the high quality of the water. Since there are different layers of sand in the well, the salt and other stuff are extracted from the water and it purifies it as well.

Salt Lake

In a nine- kilometer distance to Shah Abbas Carvensarai, you can see a unique natural attraction of Maranjab -Salt Lake-. You shouldn’t miss this lake while visiting the Maranjab Desert. The lake’s surface is 1800 square kilometers and is shaped like a triangle. The depth of the lake varies from 5 to 50 meters. Its water mainly pours from the Rud Shur River. Since the water is mostly evaporated and the lake is dried and covered with salt, it is called Salt Lake. Remarkably, you can find various Polygons made of salt crystals in this lake.

If you are lucky enough to visit the lake during September, October, and November, you will visit the awe-inspiring flamingoes migration.  You can catch there either from Aaran or the Shah Abbasi Caravanserai. After passing about 35 kilometers on Aran- Maranjab route or in a 10- kilometer distance from Shah Abbasi Carvensarai, you can see the beautiful Salt Lake.

Maranjab Desert - Salt lake

The lake in Maranjab is usually covered with sal due to the excessive water evaporation and the lake is often dried.

Sargardan Island

Also known as Wanderer Island, right across the desert, you can find this floating island in the salt. It is actually not an island surrounded by water but salt. The movements are quite bizarre which makes it like a moving island. Since there are only about one to two months of rain in this area, the moving island is only visible during that time. The rest of the year, the island is nothing but a salt marsh.

The remarkable point about Sargardan Island is that when you watch it from a far distance, the ends of the island just disappear on the horizon and the island looks like a ship moving in the ocean; that is where the name Sargardan (meaning Wanderer) comes from.

How to get to the Maranjab Desert?

For reaching the Maranjab Desert, you can take the route from Kashan to Aran va Bidgol, it is a 45- kilometer distance and takes one and half an hour to reach there.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our safari tour to Iran.

isfahan music museum

Where to Hear Traditional Iranian Music? (photos, timing)

Music as the next trending diet? Sounds easy enough! According to research, the combination of soft lighting and music leads people to consume less food and enjoy it more. Iran has very rich music in every genre. From years ago, many songs have found their way to people’s hearts and became an undeletable part of their lifetime. Iranian music has always played an important role in Iranian culture, with each region having its own specific style and sound. Iran has different styles of traditional and folk music. In every city and village from north to south and west to east, there is no single place without its own traditional music. There are different places to get involved in Traditional Iranian music during your cultural tour to Iran.

Zoorkhaneh and Varzeshe-Pahlavani

Have you listened to music in the old reservoir? Varzeshe-Pahlevani is an Iranian sport dating back to ancient Persia. It is a place that Iranian athletes train with live music playing with Zarb (Persian drum) and poems of Shahnameh, the brilliant masterpiece consists of epic poems written by Ferdowsi thousands of years ago. Zoorkhaneh has completely a different atmosphere you have experienced in sports clubs; it has its own music, exercises, and equipment. The exercises take place in the Gowd, which is a round or octagonal shape hole in the middle of the place where the athletes with colorful uniforms exercise and show their performance. Their performance will be managed by Morshed (the singer). Saheb Al-Zaman Zoorkhaneh is the best example of Zoorkhaneh in Iran, located in Amir Chakhmagh square in Yazd, the place was built five hundred years ago. The building consists of four floors and five Badgir (wind catcher structures, typical of architecture in Yazd).

You may visit Saheb Al-Zaman Zoorkhaneh from 5 am until 8 pm.


Traditional Iranian Music – Zoorkhane was a traditional system of athletics originally used to train warriors in ancient Iran. Today, it is a place to practice a kind of sport.

Vahdat Hall

Let’s visit the biggest opera house in Iran! Opened in the year 1967, the whole complex was called Rudaki Hall, then after the revolution, it was given the name of Vahdat Hall. This stage is designed specifically for band and orchestras performance. The main stage consists of three levels and the auditorium has 1,200 seats and two tiers of boxes and balconies. The end of this stage is dedicated to performing choirs and orchestral groups. There was a restoration in 2007, during which the hall was equipped with modern sound and lighting systems.

It is located in Hafez Avenue, Shahryar, Tehran, Iran.

Vahdat Hall-Tehran

Traditional Iranian Music – One of the highest prestige and ranking halls of Tehran; a lovely place to sit and see plays and concerts.

Tehran Music Museum

Visiting unique musical instruments in a romantic garden is quite fascinating! Iranians are well-known for performing various types of art. Covering an area of 3650 square meters in three different stories, Tehran Music Museum is one of the best museums representing this taste for art and is quite worth to be visited. If you are one of those interested in music, particularly Iranian folk music, the Tehran Music Museum would be a perfect place to get to know Persian music and different types of instruments. The museum has been opened to the public in 2009 and started by presenting more than 200 different Iranian instruments from all over this vast land which are well representative of Iranian rich culture and also Iranians good taste for this valuable art.

It is located in Mouze Street, Darbandi Street, Tajrish District, Tehran, Iran.

Opening hours: Every day except Saturday 9 am- 5 pm

Tehran music museum displays different Iranian instruments from all over the country.

Harandi Garden

Harandi garden, established by the Pahlavi dynasty is a beautiful and wonderful building of the recent period that gained its historical value since Reza shah Pahlavi stayed here in his last exile. Even the automobile used by Reza Shah during his short stay has been put on display at the site. The main building has got two floors, on the first floor there is an impressive array of musical instruments, and on the second-floor archaeological finds from sites near Jiroft and Shahdad. The Harandi Garden Museum was opened in 2002 with 250 musical instruments created by masters on display. The masters plan to purchase rare instruments in Kerman and other regions for the museum complex. If you are interested in music make sure to visit this museum. It is located in Kerman city quite close to the city center which is called Shariati Street.

Harandi Garden Museum: Iranian music

Traditional Iranian Music – The Harandi Garden Museum was opened in 2002 with 250 musical instruments created by masters on display

Isfahan Music Museum

Let’s play music in Half The World! The Isfahan music museum which has been operating for almost four years, it is the only music museum in Isfahan. There are different halls to show different types of national and local instruments. There are about three hundred instruments then you have a chance to see a live musical performance and also to try some instruments. It is located in Shahid Ghandi Street, Mehrdad Street, Towhid Miani Street, Isfahan, Iran.

Traditional Iranian Music – You will see a variety of ancient instruments and also how they are made in the Isfahan music museum.

Sharze Restaurant in Shiraz

Have you eaten Iranian cuisine while listening to music? If you want to get familiar with Iranian live music you can go to Sharze restaurant in Shiraz. You’ll help yourself with the salad bar, and you may experience some Iranian food and kebabs while listening to Iranian live music. The architecture reminds you traditional Iranian style. That is an interesting choice for those tourists who want to get acquainted with the real Iran used to be in the past. Furthermore, you may have vegetarian meals. It is located near Vakil Bazaar.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.


hitchhiking in Iran: Rules, Safety

If hitchhikers had a prophet to describe them a utopia or something, that dreamland would definitely be Iran! where people are exceedingly hospitable and always ready to help others. Iranians believe that the guest is loved and respected by the Lord and anyone who’s far from home for any reason is considered as a guest.
That’s why hitchhiking in Iran is no big deal at all. Drivers are already willing to pick you up!

1- Check the “Hitchability” of your chosen path

The fact that Iran is quiet easy to hitch around, doesn’t deny the necessity of getting informed about the roads before leaving. The best way to make sure that there would be cars to pick you up is to ask locals through Couchsurfing. Make some local friends there and demand the necessary information.
Since the access to this app has been blocked, your connection will require a VPN. Try to find a good one before coming to Iran.
You can also check hitchwiki website and ask for Hitchhiking groups link in unbanned apps. In this group chats, people share the most recent news and information about traveling and roads in Iran.

2- Dress up!

It may sound a little superficial, but wearing light-colored clothes would help you a lot to be easier picked up. People, including also truck drivers, are more into those who are different from their routine.

3- Stand in the right pickup location

That would be wise to wait for pick where cars are going slow and can easily pull aside. Hitchhikers in Iran usually choose the roadside near the pay tolls.

4- Make sure you and the driver are on the same page

Even though people are increasingly ridesharing in Iran, there are still people who have no idea about this travel type. You’d better prepare a one-minute speech_ better in Persian_ to explain who you are, where you go and why are you doing that to the driver.

5- Check if it’s an unofficial taxi

Not all the taxis in Iran are yellow or have the roof sign. This might put the driver and the hitchhiker in a confusing situation. The solution is to learn the magic word in Persian and ask every driver if he or she is giving you the ride “Majjani”? which means “for free”.

6- Overcoming the language gap

As a hitchhiker, you should be able to communicate with people. Note that most Iranians, especially truck drivers, do not know English very well. you would better install some translate and communication applications such as google translate and tourist app. No worries If you are going to somewhere with no internet access, you can easily learn the most comment and frequent expressions in Persian before the trip and memorize or write them for yourself.

7- Have a little offer to make a good impression

Sharing some nuts and fruits or buying tea or coffee for your driver is not going to cost you much. But it means a lot to the driver. Iranian show their respect by offering insistently foods and beverages, this custom called “Taarof” is the sign of respect and doing that will make the driver wiling to pick the future travelers up too.

8- Preparing for the probable problems

– Risk of being dropped by a crazy or dangerous driver:
Trust your feelings sometimes, if you don’t feel secure with a driver, do not get in the car. And don’t hesitate to call the police whenever you felt the danger.

– You might linger for hours:
if you were stocked in the road just stay positive and wait until you’ll be sure you won’t arrive at your destination at night. If it turned out that you won’t arrive at a good time just install Iran taxi apps like snapp and tap30  take a reasonably priced taxi.

– Avoid hitchhiking at night
– Do not talk about the amount of money you carry.
– save the emergency numbers:

Safety issue

Don’t torture yourself with the fear of safety given to you by mass media! There is no war in Iran, the country is generally safe and living standards are at a good level. We share some travelers experiences of hitchhiking  in Iran:

“During my hitchhiking trip from the Netherlands to Vietnam, I’ve hitchhiked through Iran. I experienced Iran as one of the easiest countries to hitchhike”_Rutger, the hitchhiker from the Netherlands experience of hitchhiking in Iran

“Never before have I been to a country whereby the preconceptions of it are so far away from reality.” _Kim Berghout’s experience of hitchhiking in Iran

“Iran is the most inviting country in the world and its people the nicest I have ever met in my entire life.” _Josh the American hitchhiker experience of hitchhiking in Iran.

Are you planning to travel to Iran? Check out our Iran tours.