Iran Doostan Tours Co. has the honor of being a pioneer in operating cultural tours in Iran. We were one of the first few travel agencies that started operating incoming tours to Iran. Through 30 years of experience, we managed to expand our service to cover more diverse package tours to Iran. Today, we offer nearly all sorts of Incoming tours to Iran, any type of tour our dear clients request ranging from cultural to adventure, MICE, medical and tailor-made tours.
No matter you are looking for tours to Iran from India, tours to Iran from USA, Cheap Iran tour or luxury tour,
Iran 7-day tour or 14-day tour, we are ready to offer you the best travel experience you could ever have in the ancient land of Persia. Iran’s land tour and escort tour are also among our experiences you can count on.
All sorts of tours at any price and quality range, from any country, would be managed by our professional experts at Iran Doostan. Having handled a variety of situations and operating a diversity of tours to Iran, our staff are quite reliable for consultation and operating incoming tours to Iran.
Covering all travel services tourists might need including itineraries, visas, tour guides, transportation, accommodation would be provided by Iran Doostan tours Co.
If you have any concerns regarding Iran visa, it should be noted that the procedure is quite fast and convenient and the tourists can apply for a visa online. Iran e-visa has been launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make it easier to apply for an Iran tourist visa online. However, If you still happen to have any problem with the process, our professional colleagues are ready to help you.
Have you made up your mind for a holiday in Iran? Get in touch with us via info@idt.com. We will be at your service.

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Best rhinoplasty in Iran

Best rhinoplasty in Iran

Have a call for rhinoplasty? If you are reading this article, you have probably heard of Iran as an ideal destination for rhinoplasty in the world. Then welcome! You are at the right place for the best rhinoplasty in Iran. A great number of candidates, Iranian or other nationalities, go under rhinoplasty in Iran every day. Obviously, there are reasons we will mention in this article. However, even to have the best rhinoplasty in Iran, the capital of nose job, you should consider some steps. Have you ever thought about what factors would result in the best rhinoplasty result? Stay with us to know more.

Why consider Iran for the best rhinoplasty?

You may be surprised to know that, Iran is the “nose job“ capital of the world, due to the great number of candidates every day. More interesting is the fact that you can receive a world-class surgery, as high quality as those in the US or Uk, for quite a reasonable price, starting from only 800$!

Plastic nose surgery is so widespread in Iran that many candidates travel from abroad to go under different types of rhinoplasty, cosmetic or curative, in this country. Being well-known for high-quality medical services in the Middle East, Iran enjoys highly equipped hospitals and clinical facilities and also world-class plastic surgeries in the world.

But there is still a long way to go. Your next step is to search for your ideal specialist.

How to choose a surgeon for the best rhinoplasty in Iran?

The highest cosmetic surgery rate has brought about the most experienced plastic surgeons in Iran who are quite trustworthy. However, there is exactly one significant point you should keep in mind, Look for your ideal specialist!

Your preferences express your taste for the type of nose you would like to have after rhinoplasty. Therefore, to have the best rhinoplasty in Iran, first decide about your favorite nose type (fantasy, semi-fantasy, or natural). Then, the real result of different surgeons, either on their website or Instagram page, would make the decision-making process much easier for you. Software like “photoshop” is the best way to know how will your nose look like after the surgery. You should rely on the doctors’ previous real results. Each doctor has special technics that stick to them all their professional career, that would lead to about the same results. So, make sure the previous results of the specialist you have chosen matches your taste.

Who to trust for the consultation?

Once you have decided about your ideal specialist, just let us know! 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. Get a Free Consultation for the best rhinoplasty in Iran by sparing a few seconds to fill out the form for us. We will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

It would be much better to rely on a professional agency to arrange everything for you. You will not only get a free consultation but also the tour, accommodation, flight, hospital and even post-surgery appointment will be arranged for you.

A 7-day tour would be ok for nose surgery in Iran, except that you ask for a longer stay in Iran which we would take care of it. We would welcome any inquiry you may have about traveling to Iran, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@idt.ir.

How to prepare for nose surgery?

By the time you are connected to your doctor, Your doctor will ask about your medical history and examines if you are eligible for the operation. Then, they will capture high-quality photos of your face and nose from different angles to make your portfolio complete.

Before the operation, you would have a set of tests and checkups pre-operation physical examinations such as height, weight, and blood pressure. Blood tests and Electrocardiography are also the necessary medical tests you would have before the operation.

There are some tips helping you experience the best rhinoplasty procedure and would also lead to a better result:

Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol at least 2-3 weeks before the surgery.

Two weeks before the rhinoplasty, you should avoid taking certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as vitamin E, in order to prevent excessive bleeding during the operation.

Watch your diet. You are recommended to have more healthy food about two to three weeks before the surgery, particularly, increasing protein intake would accelerate the healing procedure.

If you are suffering from seasonal allergy, consult with your doctor to postpone the operation to another date. Allergy symptoms can be troublesome and may affect the result of the surgery.

Ramadan in Iran

Everything about Ramadan in Iran

Traveling to Iran in Ramadan offers an opportunity to see a different side of Iranians’ lifestyle such as serving Iftar, religious gathering in public places, and Iranian nightlife.

What is the philosophy behind Ramadan?

You might have heard that ” Ramadan is all about losing Sins not weight“! well, during this month the Muslims are supposed to fast from dawn to dusk, by avoiding food, drink, false words, evil intentions, bad thoughts, and behavior. It is considered a discipline to practice morality, introspection, and self-transformation; it is also meant to evoke a feeling of deeper sympathy with the deprived people. Muslims believe by reading Quran, praying, and practice fasting, God will forgive their past sins and by the end of this month, they are prepared to start a new life with a purified nature. Everyone except the children, the people with medical conditions, the pregnant women, and the travelers are supposed to follow this Islamic rule which would result in a new lifestyle during this month in Islamic countries including Iran. During this month each Islamic country offers its own traditions, foods, and lifestyle. But, how is Ramadan in Iran?

Ramadan in Iran - Mashhad

A view of Iftar during Ramadan in Iran.

How do Iranians’ lifestyle change During Ramadan?

Practicing all the obligatory Islamic rituals during Ramadan would certainly affect people’s lives in various ways. Even if you are not fast, you are not allowed to eat and drink in public during sunrise to sunset. So, if you travel to Iran during Ramadan, you should be aware of this rule, otherwise, you will be caught by the police.

Instead, the nightlife during the Holy Month is quite fascinating. All coffee shops, restaurants, and even cinemas would start working from the evening. So, it is the right time when people start going out, and the whole city witnesses a lively atmosphere all through the night and does not sleep!

The exact opening hour of Café and restaurants depends on the season during Ramadan, however, it is sometime around the sunset!

Working hours for other businesses and companies including public places such as the banks, also change. It starts an hour later than the usual time, which is often 8:30 instead of 7:30 in the morning.

Ramadan Events

There are some holy events and rituals, aiming either to celebrate or commemorate special days of this month.

Beginning of the Month

Ramadan month begins and ends with the appearance of the new moon. By the beginning of the month, people prepare themselves to stay awake at night for praying and eating a small portion of food just before the dawn.

Qadr Nights

It is believed among the Muslims that God revealed the Quran to Prophete Mohammad in order to guide his followers. Ramadan Month is meant to commemorate the first revelation which was sent down on Laylat al-Qadr. So, the night is of a particular spiritual significance to the Muslims.

Muslims try to stay awake overnight for praying and there are special rituals in all mosques around Iran.

It is also believed that the whole faith of people for the next year is determined this night. So, people especially pray for their family and themselves to be healthy and happy in the coming year.

Qadr night - Ramadan in Iran

Qadr nights in Ramadan are of a particular spiritual significance to the Muslims.

Eid-al Fitr

By the end of the Holy Ramadan, Muslims celebrate their spiritual rebirth and thanking God for a whole month of precious praying. Although Eid-al Fitr is only one special day, it involves different duration in various Islamic countries. Officially, Eid-al Fitr involves a two-day holiday in Iran, that people celebrate with a special praying in the morning of Eid and continue with having an elaborate breakfast with their family and also paying some visits to their friends and relatives.

Traditional Iranian Meals of Ramadan: We eat less but a more diverse diet!

Having the sunset prayer, Muslims break their fast with a meal called Iftar. It often begins with dates and milk, and some other traditional Iranian foods in Ramadan. Although traveling to Iran during Ramadan imposes some restrictions on eating and drinking during day hours, it would be a good opportunity to test varieties of delicious Iranian foods particularly prepared for Iftar. And the great point about Iranian food is its portion size which happens to amaze many tourists!

Iranian Iftar

This is a typical Iranian Iftar during Ramadan.

Iranian traditions During Ramadan

There used to be some traditions practiced by Iranians during Ramadan which has been disappeared now due to the spread of technology and media; the most interesting one is making a sound with drums in the predawn hours to wake the neighbors up for Sahari, the meal Muslims have before the dawn to start their fast.

Another lovely tradition is inviting friends and relatives for Iftar during this month which is still practiced by many Iranians. They usually enjoy having Iftar together in the evening.

Coronavirus effects and this year’s Ramadan in Iran

It is no doubt that this year’s Ramadan could be different in some ways due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Practicing “social isolation” would not let people get together for Iftar at home and there would be some restrictions during “Qadr” nights for public gathering in mosques or religious places.

However, we all hope for the disappearance of the coronavirus and getting back to normal life very soon.

Tips for traveling to Iran in Ramadan

You may not be capable of traveling to Iran this year, but here are further tips for tourists having a call for traveling to Iran during Ramadan:

The tourists are not expected to fast or follow Islamic practices, but they are expected to respect the Iranian Muslims’ rituals by refraining from eating, drinking, and smoking in public during the day. However, some restaurants and fast-food outlets, especially the restaurants and cafes in the hotels, highways, airports, railways, and bus stations are open; so, they can have meals there. Some fast-food chains offer takeaway food as well. So, do not afraid of traveling to Iran in Ramadan!

Moreover, many tourist sites are open during the day except on special events such as the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Ali on the 21st of Ramadan. There is no need to worry about changing your travel itinerary in Ramadan.

Ramadan

The traditional Persian cuisine of Ramadan

Only a few days are left to the start of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, and everything in Iran likewise the world is overshadowed by the outbreak of a Coronavirus that has infected nearly two million people and claimed many lives in Iran and around the world. In recent days, some of Shia Maraji have announced that fasting will be ok for people with a strong immune system who are home quarantined and follow a healthy nutritious diet. The mentioned group can fast and perform their duties as in previous years. But people with weakened immune systems that doctors diagnose fasting makes them more prone to illness should avoid fasting.

This year Muslims are breaking their fast on smaller Iftar tables, but more solidarity to save lives. Stick with us to see what are the traditional Iranian Ramadan meals and diets and how will Coronavirus affects them.

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.

predawn or sahari

Sahari or Predawn meal, taking place before sunrise.

Iftar meal

Since fasting people 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 that they do not have the ability to fast and 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 the foods and beverages that have these characteristics. Iftar meal includes 3 parts itself :

  • Aperitifs:

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 and dates, herbal teas, rose and saffron syrup, are also served before the appetizer.

Iranian tea

Tea drinking is an inseparable part of Iranian culture.

  • Appetizers:

Ash Reshteh

Ash Reshteh is the traditional Iranian version of nuddle soup, cooked with beans, pea, and vegetables. Whit a strong taste of the dried mint powder. The Ash is garnished with a salty diary sauce named “Kashk”. That’s why it also is called Ash_e Kashk.

Ash reshteh

Ash Reshteh, or Persian noddle soup.

Halim

Halim is a nutritious and stodgy food that is served as breakfast on normal days and a small amount of it is served as an appetizer during Ramadan. There are various versions of Halim in different countries, but honestly 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 on different families with different tastes. Some people eat only bread, cheese, fresh herbs while others prefer rice and chicken for example. But the popular main course in most Nazri (Cooking and distributing free foods in holy days) ceremonies are Persian kebab and Gheymeh:

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

Gheymeh, Iranians favorite Nazri.

  • Desserts:

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 cookies 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 the 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 cookies, you can’t help the rest!

zoolbia bamiyeh

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

 

 

Irandoostan

Coronavirus and travel industry: Our story of dealing with the challenging situation

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.

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

A complete guide to travel to west of Iran

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.

Khuzestan

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.

Choghazanbil, The Elamite Ziggurat

Choghazanbil 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 dedicate 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

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.

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.

Lorestan

Falakolaflak castle

Atop an ancient hill in Khoramabad is located Falakolaflak 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 Oshtoran Kooh 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.

Kurdistan 

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 :

Tagh_E Bostan

“ Tagh_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

Houramanat

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 Howramanat 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.

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

7 Best documentaries to watch before travelling to Iran

Keen to learn a little more about Iran before you visit? Thankfully, a bunch of insightful documentaries has been made about this little-known great country, covering everything from politics, to history, and gastronomy on the run. we’ve compiled a list of great documentaries for those who are interested in the real Iranian lifestyle.

The taste of Iran

The former head of BBC Persian, Sadegh Saba has made a visual journey around Iran, named “A taste of Iran” which starts from his hometown Rasht and ends to the Persian Gulf during 4 episodes. These very informative and useful documentaries are highly recommended to discover the reality of Iran and the Iranian lifestyle before your travel. The documentary presents the culture, ethnicity, history, music, and beauties of nature and people of different cities from north to south of Iran, including Rasht, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd, and Hormoz Island. Saba explains his purpose in an interview: “I felt that the image of the Iranian people around the world was distorted and no trace of their rich culture and civilization could be seen in the midst of western television images of centrifuges and missiles. I decided to present a picture of Iranian cultural, ethnic, music and food diversity to a global audience.”

Persian carpet collection

The Persian carpet is the title of a collection including 15 masterpieces of best Iranian directors, proceeding different aspects of carpet weaving in Iran, among which exist a 32-min documentary of Abbas Kiarostami, the famous director in Iranian New Wave cinema. From animated to fantasy and surreal, realistic dramas to the comedies, all and all exist in this collection to present truly the Iranian carpet’s position in the Iranian lifestyle.

persisian carpet

Persian carpet collection

Iran documentary series

The almost new masterpiece of Hamid Mojtahedi and Farhad Tohidi is different from other tourism and historical documentaries shown in the past in the method of filming, directing and camera view for documentaries. Iran documentary series, with 11 seasons including 4 episodes each, is the longest and the most general documentary about Iran and presents not only historical and cultural aspects of big touristic cities but also smaller towns such as Hamedan and Ghazvin. Producing this collection has started in2004 and continues until now.

Grass, a nation’s battle for life

Produced in 1925, “The grass” documentary is the recorded story of Merian Cooper, following Bakhtiyari nomads in hillsides of Zagros mountains shows the big endless search of fresh grass for the herds. Merian Cooper traveled with Bakhtiari people for forty-six days to make this seventy-min silent film about the Haidar Khan family. Although the movie has been admired in both Iran and Hollywood at the time and is still the best documentary about Iranian nomads, watching a black and white silent movie might not be enjoyable for some people.

“The grass” documentary

Alone through Iran

The “alone through Iran” or ” 1144miles of trust” is the story of a Swedish woman, named Kristina Paltén who starts an alone running trip in Iran, in 2015. Kristina chose Iran as a destination Iran running project has not been only the Sportif challenge for Kristina, but also personal combat against Islamophobia and Iranophobia which is extended to the western world by mass media negative advertising. Explains Kristina herself before the trip: “Today I feel like “Muslim” has become synonymous with “terrorist” or “fundamentalist”. There are around 1,5 billion Muslims around the world today, and I’m guessing most of them are really nice. With this run, I want to question my own prejudices, learn more about a culture I know little about and meet a lot of people. I hope my run will contribute to more openness, trust, and tolerance both within myself but also in the world, says Kristina.” Christina’s trip to Iran lasted a total of fifty-eight days, the filmmaker accompanying her for eight days and the rest of it was solo travel.

Alone through Iran

“Today I feel like “Muslim” has become synonymous with “terrorist” or “fundamentalist”

The crossroad of civilization

The crossroad of civilization actually takes you on a journey of three thousand years in Iranian history. This seven-part documentary series produced less than 40 years ago by David Frost, which is been very less seen for some reason, provides the audience with an accurate picture of the Persian Empire. This documentary reconstructs historical events with the help of several archaeologists. From Cyrus to Alexander, from Ardashir to the Arab invasion, from the destruction of the Mongols to half the world, from the discovery of black gold to the modernity of Reza Shah. I warn you that after watching this documentary you might not have lots of questions to ask your leader in Iran as much as you paid for!

crossroad of civilization

A seven-part documentary series

The lover’s wind

The lover’s wind or “Bad_E Saba” in Persian is a French-language documentary depicting Iran from the sky with helicopters. The music of the film is the traditional works of Iranian musicians Hossein Dehlavi and Abolhassan Saba. The film was commissioned by the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Art which presents Iran’s history, art, and cultures. It should be mentioned that Albert Lamorisse, the filmmaker Lost his life in a helicopter crash during filming near the Karaj Dam around Tehran due to a technical malfunction. But his son and his widowed wife completed his unfinished project. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for the Best Documentary. About 85 percent of the film was filmed on a helicopter.

The most unusual foods in Iran you should not miss

Enjoying local food has always been the best part of any traveler’s trips. Every country offers its own cuisine which is normally influenced by many factors such as geographical location, climatic condition, and culture. Traveling to Iran, an ancient vast land with a diverse climate in every corner of the country, you will find various delicious foods, some may sound strange to you at first but they are totally worth trying. Stay with us here in this article to know some of the most unusual foods in Iran.

Kale Pache

Strolling in the streets of Iran early in the morning, you will see Iranians go to special restaurants for a special Persian breakfast. Kale pache is honestly considered among the most unusual Iranian foods, however, we recommend you not to miss at least trying a bit of this energetic Iranian breakfast!

Kale pache means the head and hooves of sheep (including the coveted eyes, tongue, and brain) served with sour lemon beside it.

Do not worry! The heads and hooves have been completely cleaned and are cooked with cinnamon and some herbal leaves for more flavor and a pleasant aroma. This thick soup is served mostly in restaurants since cooking it is a totally time-consuming process (it takes at least 8 hours to be prepared).

unusual foods in Iran

unusual foods in Iran: Kale pache

Haleem

Halim is Asian food, however, it is cooked differently in various parts of Asia. The Iranian version is prepared with Wheat and meat (either lamb or turkey). The highlight of Iranian Haleem is the long time it takes to be prepared to let the meat get as tender as possible, and let you make the most of it. Haleem is often served as breakfast in Iran, a nutritious breakfast keeping you full all day! And is usually served with some butter, cinnamon powder and sugar on it.

The long hours this food demands to be prepared, has caused it to be available more in restaurants than homes. However, there are Iranian ladies who cook this appetizing Iranian food at home.

unusual foods in Iran - Haleem

The Iranian version of Haleem, served as an energetic breakfast.

Ab Doogh Khiar

Persian cuisine is not only delicious but also therapeutic! Ab Doogh khiar is among the most unusual Iranian foods that help you survive in hot summer days! It used to be specially served in cities in the central part of Iran which are surrounded by deserts; however, it became popular all around the country later. Doogh is a kind of traditional Iranian drink made of sour yogurt, and khiar is actually cucumber, a mixture of these two with some dried mint, some walnuts and raisins make a simple yet tasty combination which is served by special kind of local bread.

If you have a call to travel to Iran during the summer, you should not be missing this amazing food at least once.

Traditional Iranian food: Ab Doogh khiar

Ab Doogh khiar is among the most unusual foods in Iran that help you survive in hot summer days

Dizi or Abgoosht

Dizi is an amazingly tasty traditional Persian food dating back to hundreds of years ago. Dizi is actually the name of a special little pot made of stone in which the food is cooked and served, the food is also called Abgoosht, meaning meat broth, by Iranians. You can still find this kind of container used to serve Abgoosht in traditional restaurants in Iran.

Abgoosht is a high-calorie food, made of lamb and chickpea; so, it is a good source of protein mostly preferred in winter. Although in various cities of Iran, the locals may also add other ingredients such as potato or tomato, the food is served and eaten the same way all over the country. The broth is consumed after adding small pieces of bread dipped into it and stirring, the remaining ingredients are mashed and consumed with traditional bread. Pickles, onion, fresh vegetables, and Doogh (as a drink) are usually served beside this traditional food.

Persian Food: Dizi

Dizi: An amazingly tasty traditional Persian food dating back to hundreds of years ago

Eshkene

Eshkene is actually a kind of classic onion soup in Iran. The food is prepared fast and is mostly served in winter among Iranian families. Frying chopped onions in oil and adding some dried mint and crushed walnuts, water will be poured on it. When the water is boiled and thicken enough, some eggs would be added.

Eshkene may not be among the most unusual foods in Iran, but the way it is served and consumed may seem somehow strange to people from other countries; much same way as Abgoosht, it is eaten with pieces of bread dipped into the soup and fresh vegetables beside it.

Unusual foods in Iran: Eshkene

Eshkene is actually a kind of classic onion soup in Iran.

Sirabi

Sirabi is a traditional Iranian food made of lamb’s tripe, chickpeas, onion, garlic, and saffron. Tripe is actually the stomach of a cow or sheep. This food is time-consuming to be prepared, it will take at least 12 hours for the tripe to become tender. It may not be originally from Iran since the food is served in some Eastern European countries, but the way it is cooked and the spices used, make it particularly Iranian and unique.

Iranian food: Sirabi

The most unusual foods in Iran: Sirabi

Iranian Macaroni

Macaroni is the Persian style spaghetti prepared in a different way from the Italian one. It may be interesting to know that Iranians treat pasta like rice, it means the pasta will be steamed for about an hour and then it is ready to be served. The sauce recipes is a mixture of a chopped onion being fried with grind meat and some spices, mushroom and tomato paste. The recipes are similar for all kinds of pasta cooked in Iran.

After boiling the pasta in water, it is rinsed and then steamed in a pot with this special sauce and also slices of potatoes at the bottom of the pot. Waiting for an hour or less, Iranian Macaroni is ready to be served with crispy potatoes.

Unusual Iranian foods: Macaroni

Macaroni is the Persian style spaghetti prepared in a different way from the Italian one.

Hot-Springs-in-Iran

Most relaxing mineral hot springs in Iran

Iran enjoys a diversity of hot springs scattered all around the country, each region offers its own features. Hot springs in Iran are quite attractive to tourists and they offer a variety of curative aspects. Soaking in hot springs in Iran is not only relaxing but also beneficial to one’s health. Local people have believed in the medical features of these waters for years and have treated many illnesses in these hot springs which are scientifically proved today and have brought about many people traveling for the health benefits of these springs.

hot springs in Iran

Most hot springs in Iran are attractive destinations for health tourism due to their healing features.

Sarein hot springs

52 kilometers from Ardabil, you will reach to Sarein where it is well-known for hot springs in Iran. The area attracts many tourists, especially during summer, to its thermal springs with curative features.

It is widely believed that the existence of the minerals in these waters with various temperatures coming from the volcanic Sabalan mountains, soothe joint pain and rheumatism and also is good for relieving nerve pains. The area also offers many volcanic swimming pools with massage therapists and the region is equipped with modern facilities including hotels.

Reine hot springs

Driving to the amazing Haraz road in Marazandaran, you will find Reine hot springs that are a fascinating place for having some fun among the dense forests of the north of Iran. There are both private and public baths available. If traveling in a group, you can conveniently rent a house and enjoy bathing in the thermal waters of Reine. The advantage of being close to Tehran, attracts many visitors to the area annually.

Shahr-e Kohne

There are abundant hot springs in Khorasan Razavi province, in the northeast of Iran; Shahr-e Kohne Hot Spring in Qouchan county is also famous for being close to ancient historical sites, dating back to 250 BC. These hot springs attract many tourists who appreciate soaking in warm waters every year to the region.

Kariz hot spring

Kariz is another hot spring located in Khorasan province near Kashmar which is of great medical value compared to other hot springs in Iran, according to what the experts believe. The most outstanding feature about Kariz spring is being rich in mineral and chemical elements which is healing for skin disease. It is interesting to know that due to being located 1400 meters above sea level, this village has a mountainous climate, with extremely cold winter and mild cool summer with a wild river roaming through. Kriz village is one of the most ancient villages of Kashmar city. “Shah Band”, one of the registered national monuments, located near the village well indicates the dating of Kariz village.

Ferdows hot spring

Located 20 km north of Ferdows city in Southern Khorasan province, there is a hot mineral spring dating back to 200 years ago. The mineral spring of Ferdows is located on the top of the mountain where the spa flows and there are traces of an ancient tower representing the historical age of the Ferdows mineral spa. It is interesting to know that after the Ferdows spa was cut off 47 years due to an earthquake happened and then it the flow again as an effect of the aftershocks that made local people happy, especially the inhabitants of Beroun and Mehran Koushak villages in the vicinity of Ferdows spa.

Falakdeh hot spring

Right in the middle of Do-Hezar forests in the north of Iran, somewhere off-the-beaten-path, there is an amazing hot spring that does not really attract a lot of people since it is not easy to access. So, this place is strongly recommended to adventurers looking for an unexplored place to relax in nature. Topographically, this hot spa has many low and high lands adding to its beauty and diversity. The most significant feature of this hot water is the absence of sulfur in it. The Falkade area has a cool and foothill climate which is very pleasant particularly during warm seasons.

Qale Kandy Hot Spring

On the road from Ardabil to Parsabad close to the eye-catching forests of Arasbaran and Aras river, you will arrive to a gorgeous touristic region with a famous hot spring, named “Qale Kandy” attracting many tourists. Qale Kandy hot spring is particularly healing in the treatment of Rheumatism. The water temperature of Qale Kandy spa in the main fountain reaches 75 to 80 degrees Centigrade and in the pools 65 to 70 degrees Centigrade; that is why most orthopedic specialists recommend this spa to their patients.

Chaldoran Hot Spring

There are 46 hot springs in West Azarbaijan province in the northwest of Iran, so, the province is a well-known destination for those looking for warm waters to relax or cure special diseases. Out of these 46 spas, some are in the vicinity of valuable monuments. Chaldoran hot spring is a natural attraction in the province that attracts many tourists. Ahmadabad is another hot spring locating near Takht Suleiman geo-tourism site in Takab.