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 We will be at your service.



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

7 Best documentaries about Iran to watch before travelling

7 Best documentaries about Iran to watch before travelling

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 about Iran for those who are interested in the real Iranian lifestyle.

If you are planning to travel to Iran, here is the link to online Iran visa.

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 rug 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.

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


The most unusual foods in Iran you should not miss

Enjoying local food has always been the best part of any traveler’s trip. Every country offers its own cuisine which is normally influenced by many factors such as geographical location, climatic conditions, 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


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 Persian 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 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 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.

Are you a fan of Iranian food? Maybe the Iran food tour is suitable for you.

Hot Springs in Iran

where to find the best 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.

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.

hot springs in Iran

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

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.

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

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.


Iran lux souvenirs: Caviar, Saffron, turquoise + Photos

Traveling to Iran and not bringing back souvenirs with you, is like being in Santa’s house, but not taking your present. Each region in Iran has particular handicrafts and souvenirs, but some are among the most special ones. As they are almost expensive, there might be some fake simples in stores. Stick with us to know how to recognize the originals!


The Turquoise stone is extracted almost around the world, but the most famous turquoise-made jewelry belongs to the range by the quality: Iran, Tibet, and the USA. Iran has remained the most important source of turquoise for at least 2000 years. The finest turquoise in Iran extracts from Neyshabur mines. the original Neyshabur turquoise has some qualities which are not found in other types. Here are some points to differentiate valuable turquoise stone from the fake ones.  The turquoise is categorized in different groups based on its color, the veins and the mines it’s extracted from.

Iranian Turquoise

Iran lux souvenirs – the original Neyshabur turquoise has some qualities which are not found in other types

Types of turquoise

  • Based on color:
    Turquoise has a very wide color spectrum. From the pale to the greenish-blue.  The stronger the blue shade is, the more valuable that’ll be.
  • Based on the mine which is extracted from:
    Respectively the mines of Neyshabur, Damghan, and Kerman produce the finest turquoise in Iran. To make sure that the turquoise you’re buying is original ask for identifications or check precisely the veins and color.
  • Based on veins:
    Some turquoises have veins, while others are perfectly homochromatic and blue with no streaks or fractures on their surface. Although neither of the mentioned types has superiority over another in terms of stone quality, the golden veins turquoises also called spider turquoises are usually more popular.

How to make sure the turquoise is original?

To differentiate the original Iranian turquoise from the fakes is totally difficult even for professionals. But there are some easy tips for shoppers to identify the counterfeit stone.

  • Turquoise stone generally turns Blue, chrome or vanadium green or in the range of pale blue to greenish-blue as well as yellowish-green, because of the existence of copper and iron in its Chemical Formula.
  • The original turquoise color should somehow be opaque. The exaggerated glossy stone arouses suspicion.
  • The High-quality turquoise is almost blue sky. Even though the original turquoise of Neyshabur might have some black veins or spots on it.
  • You can heat a needle or key on the lighter and then put it on the stone. If it smells like resin or plastic and leaves a deep trace on the turquoise, it absolutely is fake.
  • Scrape slightly the surface of turquoise with a sharp needle-shaped object. The original turquoise doesn’t get scratched this way and it can also scratch the glace no matter what its shape is.

How to take care of turquoise jewelry?

Being scratched, exposure to hot water, chemicals, and household detergents are the main hazards for the fine turquoise. Follow the instructions to take good care of your turquoise:

  • The turquoise should not be in contact with lotions, body oils or perfumes. Otherwise, it changes color.
  • Remove the turquoise jewelry while washing your hands. Detergents and chlorine-containing water damages turquoise.
  • Avoid polishing or contacting turquoise stone with greasy substances.

The most reliable way to buy turquoise is to buy it from Mashhad (Reza Bazar) and Neyshabur.

Iranian Caviar

The southern coast of the Caspian Sea, part of Iran, is a natural habitat for sturgeon species that has provided clean water, abundant nutrition, and an ideal environment for the growth of these species. About 90% of the natural caviar marketed in the world comes from the Caspian Sea. These fish, having a cartilaginous structure from prehistoric times, have remained the same, as many biologists call this fish a living fossil. There are 27 species of “sturgeon” in the world, 5 of them are found in the Caspian Sea :

  • The Beluga sturgeon
  • The Starry sturgeon
  • The  Russian sturgeon
  • The Persian sturgeon
  • The golden sturgeon
Iranian Caviar

Iran lux souvenirs – the Caspian Sea, part of Iran, is a natural habitat for sturgeon species

As we all know the Sturgeons are endangered and rare and it takes that Sturgeons a long time to develop roe. That’s why caviar has always been rare and expensive.  Despite being expensive, the Caviar has always been demanded because of its numerous properties. This makes the fraudsters think of producing artificial caviar. Read the following tips and be precise while buying this Iran souvenir:

  • The fake caviar beads are black and exaggerated translucent, while the real caviar beads are somehow grayish and opaque.
  • The real caviar beads are not perfectly round and have no adhesion, actually, they are more oval-shaped. But the fake caviar has a smooth, round and sticky surface. The raw material of such a product is paraffin which is not nutritionally valuable and is even detrimental to health. The paraffin made beads melt and stick together in case of being kept in a warmer place.
  • Counterfeit black caviar is usually dyed artificially and repels if left for a while.
  • Lower prices and large volumes of packages and amateur colorful package designs are the most obvious signs of a fake product.
  • The color of caviar is mostly in black, gray, white and gold, in Iran.
  • Note that if you buy a product in Iran and the package has Russian or Turkish notes on it, it is likely to be fake.

The most reliable Caviar brands in Iran are Raibod caviar, Talesh caviar, Mira’s caviar, and culture group. All mentioned companies have the possibility of online shopping.


Almost 90 percent of the world’s saffron is produced in Iran, for 3000 years. This magic spice, with the enchanting odor, is called  “the red gold” in Iran. The best quality of the spice of joy grows in the northeast of Iran, Khorasan province. It is not so easy to differentiate the real and fake saffron, but keeping the followings in mind can give you a clue :

Iranian saffron

Iran lux souvenirs – The best quality of the spice of joy grows in the northeast of Iran, Khorasan province

  • Slide a small amount of the saffron, in a paper, if the oil is extracted from the saffron it’s fake, but being powdered with no trace of oil indicates the pureness of saffron.
  • Original saffron has a lower coloring speed than counterfeit saffron. Put some saffron in boiling water, and wait for 5 minutes if the color of the silks didn’t turn white, it’s original. If the silks turn white within 5 minutes, it absolutely is fake.
  • The normal silk of saffron shouldn’t be too glossy, being too glossy means it’s not pure.
  • The taste and odor of saffron is a sort of constant indicator itself. The taste of the original saffron is a bit bitter but it has a pleasant aroma.

The most reliable and famous saffron in Iran belongs to these companies: Keshmoon group, Bahraman Saffron and Saharkhiz.

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

15 Dos and Don'ts for tourists in Iran: Iran Local Laws

15 Dos and Don’ts for tourists in Iran: Iran Local Laws

If your travel plans hold Iran on the horizon, planning and making reservations aside, getting informed about special rules comes first! Respecting these rules requires modesty of course, but as they are derived from Iran’s cultural norms, it means a lot to your host society. Here are the laws all tourists in Iran are supposed to follow.

If you plan to travel to Iran, here is the link to Iran online visa form.

Iran Dress codes

Your concern as a tourist, about Islamic clothing, is understandable. You might have pictured women in Iran in black Chadors, and men in white Dishdasha, but the reality is totally different:

For men

Although there is no strict law about men’s clothing, wearing shorts and sleeveless vests would be somehow improper in Iran. Do you want my opinion? Pants and T-shirts would be the best choice!

For women

There is no confusing rule about women’s clothing. Women are supposed to hide body shapes and hair, that’s all! The way Iranian women dress can give you a clue. Of course, manteaux and jeans are the most popular style in Iran. Manteau is a long-sleeved blouse that covers the bottom and pants or skirts must cover the legs up to the ankle. By the way, don’t forget to pick a scarf while packing, it’s necessary to put it on in public. In brief, it doesn’t really matter what you wear as long as your clothes are not too short or too tight!

Iran dress code

There is no strict rule about Hijab in Iran, that will be okay as long as your dress is not too short or too tight.

Click for more information about Iran dress code.

The ban on alcoholic drinks

According to the Islamic rules, drinking or even carrying alcoholic drinks is illegal all over the country, which means there is no nightclub or bar in Iran.

Tricky Visa Process

Receiving an Iran visa is not that complex for citizens of many countries. Most tourists can receive an Iran visa on arrival with ease. All 10 nationalities are the exceptions and require it in advance including Colombia, Somali, England, Canada, USA, Bangladesh, Jordon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
Canada, England and USA citizens do not have the possibility of receiving a visa in person and must apply through valid travel agencies.
Keep in mind that a visa on arrival is only available at the airports for tourists in Iran.

Iran Visa

Receiving an Iran visa is not that complex for citizens of many countries.

Israel issue

Unfortunately, Citizens of Israel are totally barred from entry to Iran but if 365 days have left from your last travel to Israel you can get an Iran visa.

Import and export rules

As all the luggage will be checked with X-ray, you should be careful about carrying the following objects:
– Alcoholic Drinks, Weapons, and drugs are illegal to both import and export
– there are no limits for entering currency into the country, up to 10000 dollars.
– Animals and pets are isolated on arrival.
– only personal health care medicine is allowed, with the prescription which determines the dose.

Export limitations

– Pistachio and other nuts: up to 10 kg
– Saffron up to 100g
– Carpets: up to 20 meters per person.
– The ancient and valued object is counted as cultural heritage.

Hotel rules for tourists in Iran

– Sharing a hotel room for unmarried Non-Muslims couples will be Ok. the marriage certificate would be required for Muslim couples.
– Hotels are usually keeping your passport until you check out.

Traveling to Iran during Ramadan

30 days in a year Muslims do fast, which includes abstaining from eating and drinking from dawn to sunset. And then they break the fast with a particular evening meal, named “Iftar“. During these 30 days, even non-Muslims prevent eating and drinking or even smoking in public before sunset. As a sign of respect, most restaurants are closed during Ramadan but buying food and eating in privacy is totally ok.

Tourists in Iran can eat and drink in privacy during Ramadan.

The authorization code

The law enforcement force of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the organization that is in charge of protecting tourists in Iran. In order to this protection, this organization gives out a personal serial number to every single person entering the country. The tourists should have their travel itinerary at the entrance to receive that serial number and maintain it until departure.

Gender segregation

Pay attention to where and beside whom you sit in Iran! There is a sex-separation in some entertainment centers such as swimming pools and seashores, mosques and religious sites, and public transportation. Look for “men only” and “women only” signs which determine specific sections in the mentioned places. It is ok for women to enter men’s sections sometimes but seems too weird if a man enters the women’s section.

Social media limitation

During your stay in Iran, you might need to use VPNs to access Facebook, Couchsurfing, YouTube, and maybe a few other applications. In order to have faster and easier access to social media, choose applications with no bans on instead; like Instagram, WhatsApp, and Skype.

Credit and debit cards

Unfortunately, there is no network in Iran for using international cards, but there is a new travel card name “Mah Card”. You can instantly fund your card in any preferred currency and that will be converted to Iranian Rials.

It-Not legally forced, but would be wise to follow

Rules are over, but bearing in mind some tiny tips, shows your cultural respect, and will stop you from getting into trouble.

Social Taboos

– Showing Displays of affection to the public: Kissing and hugging people of the opposite sex is not accepted in Iran, especially for unmarried couples.
– Blowing nose in public: you can do that in WC if necessary, but not in front of people!
– Wearing shoes indoors: No need to ask! You should take off your shoes in almost every house in Iran!
– Taking photos of people without their permission.
– Handshaking with people of the opposite sex in public.

Visiting religious sites

– Women should be wearing their Islamic hijab (wearing a Chador is obligatory in mosques) and men with shorts are not allowed to enter religious places (Iran religious tour)
– Dancing, singing, shouting, and similar behaviors are consumed as disrespect.

Talking politic

You might be curious about different things taking place in Iran and how people feel about it. Even if you start to talk about political issues people are not going to stop you or they might start the conversation themselves, but keep in mind that any kind of criticism can easily offend their strong nationalism inside! I recommend keeping the trip cool and avoiding talking politics.

Do not trust crosswalks and traffic lights!

Not as a proud, but Iranian drivers are not really into following international traffic regulations. The crosswalk here is not really your safe zone as a pedestrian. And sometimes the red light is not able to stop hasty drivers. The only way to rescue from crossing the street is to watch carefully the cars and guess the speed.

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