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

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.

live tours - Iran Doostan

Iran Doostan turns to live tours during the COVID-19 pandemic

2020 has been a completely different year so far, we have had experienced a tough time of isolation and staying at home, travelers and adventurers had rarely been able to travel and many tour operators have faced a recession.
As a pioneer tour operator that has been involved in incoming tours to Iran and providing the tourists with amazing memorable experiences, Iran Doostan started to address the issue through having brainstorming sessions, market research, and email marketing to exchange ideas with the partners making them aware of what we are doing. These newsletters were mainly focused on successful benchmarks during a similar crisis before and also the role of technology.

Our managers at Iran Doostan strongly believe that the tourism industry is experiencing a turning point, it is not simply a matter of the lockdown situation; there will be major changes to the travel industry after the pandemic as well. So, the industry is in need of creative solutions, and that was how our idea of “live tours” was born. However, we know that real travel experiences cannot be replaced by live ones, that is why we have thought of special live tours that may never happen even in your real traveling to Iran!
In November 2020, Iran Doostan launched its first live tour, it was a culinary tour with an experienced tour guide sharing some Persian classic recipes. Many enthusiastic visitors joined us and loved the tour, they can talk to the tour guide, ask a question, tell their ideas, we even welcome their ideas for future tours!

The second live tour was to present a private ceramic museum which is quite unknown to the visitors in Iran and even the Iranians! A lovely and cozy place run by an artist couple that truly came to amaze the visitors.
You can watch the ceramic museum tour online here.

The next live tour in Iran took place in a traditional ceramic factory, which was a 700-year-old business family with a positive atmosphere created by the lovely colorful ceramic objects around. This tour was also loved by many visitors.

You can join us to watch some moments of virtual tours held by Iran Doostan.

Considering the successful experiences of our live tours taking place in special places such as a traditional factory or a private museum that is more like a gorgeous garden, Iran Doostan now believes that experiencing such tours in a country with uncountable tourism attractions would not be easily possible in real tours and we have decided to expand this market for the enthusiastic visitors.

solo-female-travel-Iran

Solo female travel in Iran: Tips & Guides

Solo female travel in Iran is a great experience, but it requires some preparation before it starts. Getting familiar with other women’s lifestyles, cultures, and beliefs is such an exciting experience. In Iran, you get to know more about Iranian women and the way they live their lives. Either way, life in the city or a little village surrounded by herds and flocks. You can be sure that you will be safe during your trip through Iran. As a woman, you have the right to travel on your own and have the most fun out of it. So if you’re deciding to travel to Iran, here is some information prepared for you to keep in mind before your journey begins.

Female dress code in Iran

One of the most important things to be aware of as a woman who wants to travel alone to Iran is the dress code. Wearing a hijab or headscarf is necessary whenever you’re in public, but there is nothing for you to worry about too much. You can wear the shawl loosely without taking them off completely. You can wear colorful dresses as well it doesn’t have to be only black or dark colors! Wearing colorful costumes also brings your photos to life. For your outfit, it’s better to choose loose clothing that covers your backside and hides all your curves. Keep in mind that your sleeves must reach past your elbows. Skinny jeans or tight leggings are allowed, as long as you wear something over them that covers your body to your mid-thighs. Pay attention to the climate whenever you are traveling in Iran. If you’re visiting during the hot summer, choose airy fabrics like linen and cotton, preferably with bright colors, and during cold and breezy seasons, wear your warm clothes. You can also wear as much makeup as you want. Also, there is no need for you to wear a chador, which is a full-body length black fabric tossed over the women’s head that only leaves the face open. You will only be required to wear a chador while visiting some mosques and shrines in Iran (of any color you wish!).

dress codes in Iran

You can wear colorful dresses as well it doesn’t have to be only black or dark colors!

Transportation

It is recommended to travel around Iran by bus. They are comfortable and decent. You can bring snacks with yourself but, some snacks are served to you on the bus, and other passengers might offer you their snacks too so, you most likely wouldn’t get hungry. If you are more into luxurious transportation, try the VIPs buses instead of the standard ones. Taking the bus in Iran is a fun experience and a great way to socialize with locals and make new friends! In big cities like the capital, Tehran, you can use the metro or the BRT systems to reach your destination. Just keep in mind that in city buses, the back wagon is for women, and in long-distance buses, men and women that are unrelated to each other cannot sit next to each other. Another way for your transportation is to drive on your own. If you have an international driving license, you can rent a car for yourself and drive almost everywhere you desire. Cabs are another option for your transportation as well; make sure you take the official cabs and not the random private cabs on the street just for your own safety. You may also want to try Snap or Tap30, a kind of Iranian Uber, for a very fair price.

Relationships & hanging out with people

You might have already heard about Iranians’ hospitality. They are probably the friendliest hosts that you ever meet during all your trips. Everywhere you go, you will be welcomed by Iranians. This kindness is something you might have never experienced ever before. The Iranian people like the fact that a foreign tourist lady is traveling through their country. They want you to enjoy your trip and fill you with joy at every opportunity. Unknown people will start talking to you and welcome you to their country. More interesting facts, you might get invited to their home for dinner or lunch and, sometimes even they let you stay over their house for the night. They do all of these favors without wanting to receive anything back in return, like money or buying stuff. The list of humanity and friendliness here is endless and sure will leave you a beautiful memory of Iran.

Unexpected Situations

Inevitably, there will be places that will make us feel uncomfortable. It happens not only in Iran, even in Europe and all over the world. Unfortunately, solo female travel may accompany confronting creepy men, something that happens regardless of where you are traveling. It is advised to try not to be alone during your trip. Group up with other travelers you meet in your hotel, or even better, find a local friend that you can trust. You can easily make a lot of friends in Iran. In addition, to prevent any troubles, try not to walk alone at night. Don’t accept invitations of single men or do not go with a man alone to isolated areas. Only stay friends with them and keep a distance in your interaction with men. If you need help with something, preferably ask from other women. They won’t let you down with their kindness.

kerman attracions

Kerman attractions: at a glance

In one of the hottest provinces of Iran, such beauty and splendor waiting to be seen that might be getting acquainted with it will take you to Kerman in the middle of summer. If we say that near the hottest spot on Earth with an average temperature of 70 degrees Celsius in the middle of the central desert of Iran, is located one of the most magnificent Persian gardens, with green trees and flowing rivers, dating back to more than a hundred years ago, do you think we are talking about the land of wonders? Then you’d better travel to Kerman and see it yourself. Where The Citadel of Bam or the largest brick citadel in the world exists. Although it was severely damaged in the 2003 earthquake, it is still one of the most unique desert castles in the world. The only case to be regretted after traveling to Kerman would be a left or broke camera!

kerman attractions

To see and download the high-quality infographic, click here: Kerman attractions

Tehran

Tehran attractions: at a glance – Districts 1 – 3

As a metropolitan which has been the capital of Iran for over 200 years, Tehran offers loads of tourist attractions in every corner of the city. Stay with us here to know more about Tehran attractions located in districts one, two, and three.

From the past to the present, the district one of Tehran also called Shemiran, has been well-known for its pleasant climate and a great deal of natural beauty. The area is located between the Alborz mountain range is Lavasat and Darkeh river. Due to its good climate and location in the highlands and rural context, the roads leading to the mountains (Darcheh Darcheh Tochal) are considered to be the heart of tourist attractions in Tehran. Major tourist attractions in this region include Niavaran cultural center, Sa’ad Abad Complex, Niavaral Palace, Darband, Darake, Tochal, Jamshidie Park, Melat Palace, and many other natural and cultural attractions that worth a visit.

Tehran’s second district is located in the northern and central parts of Tehran, on the fringe of Alborz to Azadi Square. Just like district One, district two has a high potential for living, amenities, and luxury houses. The area is mainly residential and offers green areas as well. Milad Tower, Tehran Jurassic Park, Pardisan, Nahjol-Balaghe, and Parvaz Parks and also many beautiful gardens are some of the main tourist attractions of Tehran in district two.

Turning to Tehran’s third district is located in the northeastern part of Tehran and is one of the largest urban areas in Tehran. One of the most important attractions in the area is Mellat Park. Its cultural areas include Arasbaran Cultural Center, Allameh Amini Library, Ustad Shahriyar Library, and Water Museum Garden located on Yakhchal Street.

Tehran

To see and download the high-quality infographic, click here: Tehran 1-3 attractions