The Islamic Republic of Iran
Middle East, bordering the Sea of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the
Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan
32 00 N, 53 00 E
GMT +3:30 September 22 to March 21
GMT +4:30 March 22 to
1.648 million sq km (slightly larger than Alaska)
Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper 432 km, Azerbaijan
Naxcivan exclave 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km,
Turkmenistan 992 km, total 5,440 km
2,440 km along the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf; Iran also borders
the Caspian Sea (740 km)
Mostly arid or semi-arid, subtropical along the Caspian Coast
Rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains;
small, discontinuous plains along both coasts
Caspian Sea -28 m, Mount Damavand 5,671 m
Petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead,
manganese, zinc, sulfur
Arable land 10%, permanent crops 1%, permanent pastures 27%, forests and
woodland 7%, other 55%
Tehran, Mashad, Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz
65,000,000 (July 1999 est.)
Persian 51%, Azerbaijani 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab
3%, Lur 2%, Baluch 2%, Turkic 1%, other 2%
Farsi or Persian
Muslim 99%; Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians 1%
A mixture of central planning, state ownership of oil and large
enterprises, village agriculture, and small-scale private trading and
Petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, construction materials, food
processing, metal fabricating, automobile manufactoring
Wheat, rice, sugar beets, fruits, pistachios, cotton, dairy products,
Petroleum, carpets, fruits, nuts, hides, steel
Approximately 8,500 Rials to one US Dollar
21 March - 20 March
- Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit
Iran is March-May or September-November. It mostly rains in the winter
months and can be very cold and snowy at times. Areas along the coasts
enjoy a mild climate.
international airport, is 10 km west of town. A large international
airport is being constructed south of Tehran. Iranians use the internal
airlines as their primary means of transportation, so flights are often
booked well in advance.
Taxis from the airport (and elsewhere) don't use meters, so be sure
to agree on the fare before getting in the cab. There is a reliable prepaid
taxi service outside the international arrivals hall. A journey across the
city should cost no more than $10 US.
There's rail service, both
within the country and to Europe and surrounding countries. There is
excellent bus service between Istanbul and Tehran. Land borders with Turkey,
Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan are open.
An escorted tour is
the best way for most first-time visitors to see the country. Hiring a car
and driver or taxis would be a second choice. Bus service is extremely
popular, and many buses run each day between all cities and towns in Iran.
Taxis are also available.
Dressing & Trip Notes:
Dress Code (Men and Women)
The Islamic dress
code for women might have, somewhat, relaxed, but is still the same as
before, i.e. women would need to wear a headscarf (of any colour or pattern)
and clothes that cover their body at all times outside hotel rooms. They can
wear the regular ‘Islamic manteau’, easily purchased here at the cost of
around $35-40, or long sleeved knee-length tunic/dress over long loose pants
Please note that women should wear headscarf as soon as
they leave aircraft on arrival.
Men can wear T-shirts/short sleeves,
but they should refrain from wearing shorts.
The currency in Iran is the Rial, and there are about 9,000 Rials to the
US Dollar. Most prices that you will see in shops and that shopkeepers will
discuss with you will be given in Tomas. One Toman equals 10 Rials.
Therefore, an item that cost 9,000 Tomans is actually 90,000 Rials, or about
You should change money at airport bank, or hotel bank,
to cover expenses not included in the tour cost and for personal expenses.
You can pay Dollars/Euros for any purchases of handicrafts, carpets, etc.
and for tipping drivers and guides. There are no preferences between Dollars
and Euros, and both are equally accepted.
You can bring cash US
Dollars/Euros and there is no restriction on the amount (although,
officially, it is $6000.00), and no problem in taking out what is left!
Please note that no credit cards
are accepted here for any purpose. Some of the more prestigious carpet shops
in Isfahan, with overseas accounts, might accept credit cards for
substantial purchases, but we cannot commit to this.
The voltage in hotels and everywhere in Iran is
220V, but it is best to have a universal adapter. European-style sockets and
plugs with two round pins are used in Iran.
People should refrain from photographing government
offices, airports, military depots, police stations and any place that is
‘deemed’ off limits! They shoud always check with their guide to make sure
of what is allowed and what is not or they would get themselves, our guides
and, eventually the company (Pasargad Tours) in trouble!
photographing people, especially women, it is customary to first ask for
their permission, but most Iranians are happy to have their picture taken.