Travel to Iran would probably be like none of your previous trips, it is certainly a unique destination you never expect. There are loads of unique experiences waiting for you here, including cultural attractions, natural beauty, warm-hearted hospitable people, and tasty local foods.
Well, the next issue might be your safety. While you are searching is it safe to travel to Iran, it is never easy to distinguish between propaganda and genuine information. The two risk assessment institutions “International SOS” and “Risk control” evaluate Iran’s risk to travelers to be comparable to that of most European countries’.
Iran Doostan Tours Co. is a reliable Iran travel agency for incoming tours to Iran. No difference whether you are aiming to travel to Iran from Canada or travel to Iran from India, or any other country, we are honored to offer high-quality services in terms of diverse package tours. As a tour operator and travel agency in Iran, we provide all travel services including itineraries, visa, tour guides, transportation, accommodation, and whatever our tourists may need while traveling to Iran. If you are looking for some self-drive tours like travel to Iran by car, we are also ready to provide you with all you may need.
It is good to know that the Iran visa process is quite fast and convenient and the tourists can also apply for a visa online. However, if you intend to travel to Iran from the UK or US, your visa may take a bit longer to be issued.
If you have a call for an independent traveling to Iran, we wholeheartedly respect your decision; then all you may need to have except an Iran travel guide book and a map would be reading some tips for traveling to Iran in our Iran travel blog. For any travel to Iran experience, you are recommended to visit our guest blog and also our trip advisor page, it may be helpful. You may also like to spare some time watching interesting Iran tourism videos to whet your appetite for traveling to Iran.
Our professional colleagues are ready to help you if you have planned to travel to our country. Contact us via info@idt.com. We will be back to you soon.

Posts

Ceramic objects

Visiting a traditional 300-year-old ceramic factory

Colorful ceramic objects are an inseparable element of Iranian art, a gorgeous decoration that has proved to surprise many visitors of Iran attractions and Persian handicrafts. The art of ceramic has been popular with Iranians for more than 6000 years and today we witness a modern version of ceramic art by young talented artists all around Iran.
Right in the heart of Iran deserts, there is a scenic small city called Natanz; walking in the beautiful streets of Natanz you will find a 300-year-old traditional ceramic factory with a pleasant atmosphere created by the lovely colorful ceramic objects around that amazes many visitors. This delightful place is a family business that has had a long journey to get here.
The ceramics are mainly made out of the material found in the region and they come in an impressively wide range of natural colors taken from nature around here; the interesting point is that all the wonderful designs are improvised and not pre-planned! You can see in the video how they are drawn and painted. Then they will be backed in the 300-year old furnaces!
Some time ago, Iran Doostan had a live tour of this lovely workshop and an interview with Mr. Ebadi who is the seventh generation owning this beautiful factory! He started the art of ceramic when he was 6 and now he is a real master of this art!

If you are interested in this mesmerizing place and curious to know how these gorgeous works of art are made, Enjoy watching this amazing video of ceramic art in Iran.

wetlands in Iran

Wetlands in Iran: A complete guide for bird watching and adventure

Have you ever been to a beautiful lake with wonderful landscapes where countless migratory birds surround you? It may seem like a dream at first sight, but this dream would come true when you visit wetlands in Iran. Iran Wetlands are uniquely rich ecosystems where tourists can experience an unforgettable visit. Stay with us to know more about the most outstanding wetlands in Iran.

MianKaleh wetland

MianKaleh is not simply a wetland in Iran, but it is also a wildlife sanctuary and an internationally important wetland in the north of Iran. It is the first internationally registered wetland in Iran, which is quite rich in terms of biological, historical, economic, educational, and recreational aspects. Some parts of this wetland have been entirely protected from urban development and human touch, so the ecosystem is considered an invaluable one that hosts rare Iran wildlife and botanical species. The region is particularly well-known as the best bird-watching spot in Iran. Except for spring and summer, when the number and diversity of the birds dwindle in the region, birds such as ducks, pelicans, flamingos, and many other species can be seen during other times of the year, especially in autumn, when migration reaches its peak.
The presence of the birds accompanies their main source of nutrition in the area, the aquatic creatures, especially fish which can be very attractive to those interested in fishing. Unique vegetation, meadows, and pomegranate gardens of the region are among the unique features that can be found only in this part of the world.

wetlands in Iran - Miankale

MianKaleh is not simply a wetland in Iran, but it is also a wildlife sanctuary.

Lake Urmia

Lake Urmia is the largest lake in Iran, located on the border between the provinces of West and East Azerbaijan and in northwestern Iran. This shallow and salty lake with its islands, satellite wetlands, and coastal salt marshes have formed a valuable ecosystem with natural and ecological features which is of great international importance.
There are about 56 small islands here receiving the largest breeding population of flamingos (over 20,000 pairs) and around 200 to 500 pairs of white pelicans. In addition, 11 species of waterfowl and two endangered species of mammals have been recorded in this area which has made it a hot spot for many adventurers, bird-watchers, and environmentalists around the world. You will need official permission from the environmental organization to visit the area, however, it would be a memorable trip for any nature and adventure lover to see the spectacular communities of waterfowl and migratory birds and experience the coastal Algae of Lake Urmia with its well-known healing features.
Lake Urmia offers beauty and charm in every season and you can decide on your own when to travel, but it would be useful to know that Urmia experiences its hottest time of the year during August and its coldest time between January 20 and February 20.

Urmia-Lake-Iran

Lake Urmia offers beauty and charm in every season.

Zrebar Lake

This wetland which is practically a great lake with freshwater shines like a diamond among the oak forests of Zagros in the west of Iran. It is surrounded by eye-catching natural landscapes such as mountains, and natural springs. Therefore, it is not surprising that the lake attracts a great number of tourists particularly mountain lovers and those who are into fishing. It is also considered an outstanding natural attraction in Kurdistan province since it is home to many rare species of Iran wildlife including fish, and mammals, The surface of the water will be covered with a special white Lily which is a wonderful botanical attraction of the area.
Zrebar Lake experiences extremely cold winters and the water surface freezes during this season; however, the region enjoys gorgeous sceneries during spring and summer.

Zrebar-lake-wetlands in Iran

Wetlands in Iran: Arebar Lake, Kurdistan

Hooralazim wetland

Located on the border of Iran and Iraq, the Hooralazim wetland is a vast wetland that is the habitat of many significant plants and animal species with Buffalo being the most outstanding one. But Buffalo is not the only species, mammals, fish, and migratory birds living in the area have created fascinating scenery for tourists and nature lovers. The best time to visit the Hooralazim wetland is fall and winter, during which migratory birds will arrive at the wetland and you can see loads of wildlife lovers, photographers, and bird watchers in the area.

Anzali Wetland

Anzali Wetland is considered a large source of fresh water surrounded by a number of local villages with a mild climate and annual precipitation of 2000 mm. This unique climatic condition has brought about unique biodiversity in the region. About 150 species of birds, 43 species of fish, dozens of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, and more than 100 species of herbaceous plants have been registered in the area.
The best time to visit this amazing wetland is during July, August, and September due to the ideal temperature of the weather and also water which makes this time perfect for the presence of rare native and migratory birds, both in the lagoon itself and in the surrounding villages.

Anzali-wetland

More than 100 species of herbaceous plants have been registered in Anzali wetlands.

Gomishan wetland

On the far northeast of Iran in Gorgan province, the Gomishan wetland is an important and valuable wildlife site for the protection of birds, aquatic species, and plants due to its rich diversity of aquatic living creatures.
Gomishan is one of the favorite wetlands for migratory birds rich in genetic resources. The unique ecosystem of Gomishan, including more than 20 species of fish and 100 species of birds, are among the attractions of this wetland. The wetland is also home to some of the rare animal species in the world during fall and winter.

National Tree Planting Day

National Tree Planting Day, Showing respect for nature in Iran

March 5th has been marked as a national tree planting day in Iran, it is 15 days before the beginning of Nowruz, Iranian New Year, and it is meant to respect the earth and welcoming the beginning of spring.
Iranians have always had a special interest in nature and this has made this day important among the people of our country. Planting trees has been considered a sacred ritual in ancient Iran and has always been appreciated by Iranians from a long time ago. Today, Iranians plant young seedlings, flowers, and grass in parks and other suitable areas of the city they live in. Some environmentalists take part in collecting waste from mountains or forests to show respect for nature on this day.
Iran Doostan means Iran lovers, and as the lovers of this ancient land, our team members participate in planting trees to play their role in protecting nature. We are also honored to be an Iranian tour operator caring about sustainable tourism, this video shows a group of eco-tourists in Iran who were engaged in planting seedlings on national tree planting day last year at Matin Abad desert eco-camp.

Click here to watch
https://youtu.be/MOn0e8vq03c

 

World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day: Forests and livelihoods as 2021 theme

World Wildlife Day is celebrated annually on March 3rd; the United Nation has announced “Forest and livelihoods: sustaining people and planet” as 2021 theme to celebrate the day by focusing on the livelihoods of the communities which are highly dependent on the forests and also the significance of these precious ecosystems for the endurance of animals and human beings on Earth.
Covering an area of one-third of the land surface on the Earth, forests play a remarkable role in human livelihoods and well-being. It has been proved that where there is forest, there is also a concentration of tribal people or rural population relying on these forests.
Besides that, it is not only local peoples’ livelihood that relies on forests, these rich ecosystems are home to a variety of flora and fauna species, they are considered a pre-requirement to the survival of biodiversity on the Earth.
As it appears, forests have been prone to many threats during past decades due to the drastic change of climatic conditions, global warming, bushfire as a result of the rise in the temperature, and changing rainfall patterns. Our planet Earth has also been suffered from deforestation accompanying economic development in many countries. Given that forests are vital to animals’ and humans’ life and well-being, particular attention should be paid to the preservation of these natural sources and the first step toward mitigating impacts on forests is turning to green growth strategies. As the 2021 theme suggests, making use of the local knowledge would be a possible remedy toward sustaining forests and saving all lives on the Planet.
We believe the travel and tourism industry could best contribute through developing sustainable tourism in the rural areas making use of the local communities, making tourists learn rural living standards, and apply them as far as possible.

And finally, on world wildlife day, we are honored to play our role as a pioneer in ecotourism and a practitioner of corporate social responsibility (CSR), in saving the endangered Caspian seal. Iran Doosan Tours has declared its supports and contributes to the endangered Caspian Seal project.
IDT hopes to continue its social responsibility efforts toward promoting responsible tourism and raising awareness of Iran’s wildlife.

vaccination against COVID-19

Iran started vaccination against COVID-19

We are happy to announce that, just like many other countries, Iran started vaccination against COVID-19 last week. Medical staffs are the first groups to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, and the vaccination process will continue for senior citizens over 65 and then vulnerable patients in the next stages.
According to the Iran Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the vaccination program would be executed in four stages to cover 70% of the target population.
We all hope the vaccination development would be the ultimate healing solution for the tourism industry and tourism companies around the world to witness the growth and flourishing once again.

You may now put Iran on your travel bucket list for 2021! If you have a call for traveling to Iran in 2021, get in touch with us through info@idt.com, we would be more than happy to help you.

travel to Iran as an American

Can I travel to Iran as an American?

“U.S. citizens visiting Iran have been kidnapped, arrested, and detained on spurious charges!” This is a so common statement you will face when you search “can U.S citizens travel to Iran”! And much to your surprise, the answer you get is so unfair! The only truth is that the U.S government does not have a diplomatic relation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, so it threatens the US citizens not to travel to Iran! The same is also true about Canadians and the British. As an Iranian tour operator with 30 years of experience operating incoming tours to Iran, we have had the honor of welcoming many Americans, Canadians, and British citizens to Iran in the past years and we would like to shed light on the issue in this article so that you can make your call to travel to Iran as an American fearlessly.

Iran visa for U.S., U.K., and Canadian Citizens

The Iran visa issuance procedure is quite fast and convenient: We are pleased to offer our services for obtaining a maximum 30 days Iran tourist visa which is extendable in Iran. Iran visa fee is different for each nationality as it will be cleared followingly.
Visa arrangement is normally done through Iran Doostan Tour Company and it usually takes a minimum of 14 working days in Iran for many applicants including Iran visa for tourists from all countries except Israel.
However, the Iran visa application process for US citizens and also the UK and Canadian passport holders will take a minimum of 60 working days, and Iran visas on arrival will not be issued for citizens of the United States, Great Britain, Canada; however, it should be noted that visa on arrival regulations do not only cover these nationalities, but also the citizens of Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Somalia.
Required documents for Iran visa application upon arrival include two-way tickets and the passport validity must be of a minimum of 6 months. The applicant is also required to render one photo together with the visa fee for each attendant, and to complete the related visa forms.
So please allow 60-90 days to obtain a visa before departure.
You will need to provide additional supporting documentation when applying for your visa.
For US, UK, or Canadian tourists, any time spent in Iran outside of the duration of the tour could be facilitated by the localhost (Iran Doostan tour operator) and our dear tourists must be accompanied by the tour guide assigned to the trip.
If you wish to spend additional days in Iran, please contact your booking agent for recommendations on extra accommodation requests.
If you have already decided to travel to Iran as an American, there is only one form to be filled out with your passport details.
If you are from other nationalities and you wonder whether you can travel to Iran from New Zealand or Australia, the best thing you can do when preparing for your trip to Iran is to gather information relevant to your nationality.
Click here to request Iran Visa online.

Is it safe to travel to Iran as an American?

Now that you have understood US citizens are allowed to travel to Iran and, safety issues might be your next concern. It is no secret that Iran and the United States have been through many political issues in the past decades, however, this fact has not deterred enthusiastic tourists travel to Iran. Despite the dark side of the diplomatic relationship between the US and Iran
If you are looking for the truth, do not go for it through the mass media, instead, search for tourists’ experience in Iran which gives you a clear and true image of this lovely country. Fortunately, our guest blog has provided many useful experiences by our dear guests in Iran, and you are so recommended to read and get insight. Click here to read one of the most interesting stories and also travel tips relevant to the safety issues of traveling to Iran.

An amazing experience awaits you here!

Fortunately, we, have a lot to talk about on this topic! Added to the rich culture and fascinating natural landscapes, Iranians are so warm-hearted and friendly that would make you experience a positive culture shock as an American! They would welcome every opportunity to chat with you in bazaars, tourist attractions, and while you are enjoying your trip in this country. You should not be surprised to be invited to locals’ houses for lunch and dinner as many tourists in Iran have been! and there are loads of other intricate details that make Iranian culture unique.
If you still have got questions on whether the US, UK, and Canadians can travel to Iran or you have got queries on an Iran visa, or even how much does it cost to travel to Iran, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be back to you soon!

Isfahan - Iran

Isfahan among the 52 popular travel spots in 2021 for the second year in a row

New York Times has recently published a post on 52 popular spots chosen by people in 2020. Since 2020 was a dark year for many people around the world, NYTimes has surveyed which destinations were most delightful, comforting, and inspiring most to travelers and honorably Isfahan is among the 52 suggestions out of 2000 choices to remind us that Iran is a worthy destination to visit. This is the second year in a row that the city has been selected as a popular travel spot by travelers.
Neeknaz Abari, who is raised in Washington explains her vivid memories of visiting Iran:

… the smiling, chattering taxi drivers with their endless questions about America and their playful jabs at my accent; the winding alleyways that reveal hidden nooks and crannies in the Grand Bazaar. “

She tries to give us a true image of a destination that is constantly attacked by the mass media as a dark one! However, many travelers who have visited this country believe that Iran is a safe country for travelers, Iranians are known for their warm-heartedness and hospitality that is why guests often enjoy their trip and as many would say, they will pay a second visit if they get the chance.
The lovely city of Isfahan which is also known as the Turquoise Jewel of Iran, due to the nice blue tile works applied in its historical attractions, has once been the capital of Iran in history; today, it is home to numerous architectural wonders including the UNESCO-listed Naqsh-e Jahan Square where tourists take the time to stroll around, chatting the local people and enjoying the atmosphere.
However, this is not all about Isfahan! There is a lot you would not want to miss, this gorgeous city awaits you in 2021.

Enjoy watching a short video of Isfahan, Iran.

Coronavirus in Iran

Coronavirus in Iran: How kids are dealing with the situation?

Coronavirus in Iran has drastically changed our lifestyle for the past year just like many people around the world, we have experienced less hanging around, less traveling and adventure, and fewer fun times. And we should not ignore the fact that all these, have been much more boring for kids rather than the adults. We may think they rarely grasp the circumstance, however, UNICEF has recently published some interesting photos taken by Erfan Kouchari, a young Iranian photographer, representing how Iranian kids are spending their “Stay at Home” time these days!
Surprisingly, Iranian kids have escaped onto the rooftops of their houses providing themselves a piece of freedom to play, plant gardens, fly kites, do gymnastics, and even set up a tent to enjoy fake camping with their siblings!
Coronavirus in Iran has caused the death of 50,000 Iranians so far, but these amazing photos give us sparks of hope on how children understand the tough situation and contribute to the social isolation rules. They also show a real image of Iran, where the media constantly try to spread panic about and convince people with negative impressions.
We are proud to have these educated children to enlighten the future of our country.
Enjoy seeing these amazing photos by Erfan Kouchari!

saffron harvesting

Saffron harvest season in Iran

By early November, many farmworkers including women and men are getting involved in the intricate process of saffron harvest, a product also known as the “Red Gold”. Planting this purple flower and harvesting its precious product has a long history in Iran and the country is considered the first producer of saffron with 350 tones a year.

saffron harvest

Planting this purple flower and harvesting its precious product has a long history in Iran.

There are loads of tips and tricks in cultivating saffron from selecting the crocus for cultivation, proper soil, water, and weather to picking the lovely flowers and drying the stigmas to keep the high quality.

Saffron harvest is the most difficult and at the same time the most sensitive stage of saffron cultivation. The harvesting stage includes picking flowers and separating the stigma from the flower. The life of the flowers is usually between 3 to 4 days and if they are not picked in time, they will be rotted.
Saffron grows in arid and subtropical regions. However, it grows better in areas with moderate climates, dry summers, and mild winters. If the flowers are exposed to hot weather, wind, and sunlight for a long time, the color quality and aroma will be reduced, the time of harvesting and drying condition will also strongly affect the quality of saffron, the flowered are usually picked early in the morning when flowers are still buds or semi-opened so that the stigmas are less damaged. Today, saffron is among the most luxurious souvenirs of Iran.

Enjoy watching this amazing video of harvesting and drying saffron in Iran.

 

Persian-Recipes - Iran Doostan

Classic Persian Recipes

It took Persian cuisine more than 3000 years to become what it is today. The long history, ancient culture, and diverse climatic conditions coming from the vastness of the country have all influenced Persian Cuisine.  If you are a foodie, we recommend you put Iran on your bucket list, there are thousands of Persian recipes to try in every corner of the country. Each province and city has a lot to offer in terms of food and drink regarding its geographical location and climate. Here are come classic Persian recipes cooked mainly in the south of the country, try a complete meal, and tell us how did you like it!

Appetite or “Naz Khatoon” pickle

Ingredients
4 medium eggplants
A whole plant of garlic
Chopped and fresh fragrant herbs
Basil and coriander 1 cup
Chopped red chili 1/2 cup
Enough salt and pepper
Ground angelica 1 tablespoon
Black seed 2 tablespoons
Abghore (verjuice) 1/2 glass

How to prepare

Grill the eggplants with the skin and cut them a few times with a knife so the inside of them will be grilled great.
Turn the eggplants over several times so that all eggplants are grilled.
Finally, after a few minutes, remove the eggplants from the fire and mince them.
Add ground angelica, turmeric, black seed, garlic, pepper, salt, chopped greens, and Abghore.
If you want, you can add a little pomegranate paste to make it more delicious.
The appetite is ready, enjoy!

Nazkhatoon - Persian recipes

Naz Khatoon: A kind of Persian appetite

Koofte Anari (Pomegranate Meatball)

Ingredients for 2 persons
Mince Meat (Mixture of mutton and beef) 200 gr
Chopped and roasted walnuts 100 gr
Chickpea flour Two tablespoons (spoonful)
Black pepper ½ teaspoon
Salt ½ teaspoon
Cinnamon powder ½ teaspoon
Persian spice or curry powder ½ teaspoon
Turmeric ½ teaspoon
Pomegranate paste 1 or 2 tablespoon
Grated onion (Take its water) 1 medium onion
Dried coriander powder 1 tablespoon
Tarragon or Mint powder 1 tablespoon
Ingredients for the sauce
Turmeric ½ Dessertspoon
Cube chopped onion 1 medium onion
Pomegranate paste 6 tablespoons
Water 2 glasses

How to prepare

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead them well, then wet your palms and take some of the mixed ingredients and make meatballs, you need to roll them so that they had no cracks. Fry the meatballs in a large pan with two tablespoons of liquid oil until all parts are just golden. Remove the meatballs from the pan and fry the chopped onion in the same oil for one minute, then add 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, and after a few seconds add 5 to 6 tablespoons of pomegranate paste. Return the meatballs to the pan. Then add two glasses of water. Put the lid on the pan and let the meatballs cook on a low flame for 30 minutes. Enjoy your meal!

Koofte

Pomegranate Meatball; A Persian dish

Ranginak

Ingredients for 6 persons:
2 glasses Sifted flour
100g Butter
½ cup Liquid oil
½ teaspoon Cinnamon powder
½ teaspoon Ginger powder
½ teaspoon Cardamom powder
Walnuts and Dates – to taste depending on the size
Pistachio powder or Powdered sugar to garnish

How to prepare

Take out the dates’ core and put a piece of walnut or almond kernel.
Roast the flour in an oil-free pan over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir it frequently to change the color (golden).
Add the butter and liquid oil to the flour. Stir again until it smooths.
Add cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon, stir and cook for 2 minutes.
Spread the mixture of flour and butter over the dates until the surface of the dates is completely covered.
Then put Ranginak in the refrigerator for 2 hours to cut it easily.
Finally, take it out of the refrigerator and garnish it with powdered sugar or pistachio powder. Now, it is ready to serve.

ranginak - Persian dessert

Ranginak: A popular Persian dessert in the south of Iran

We can keep Ranginak in a closed container in the refrigerator for one month.

Hope you try and enjoy these Persian recipes.