18 January 2020 - 10:00
Iran's hidden jewels

In any competition for the title of the world's friendliest people, Iranians would be definite finalists.

Iran (IMNA) - it’s the people that leave the most lasting impressions from any journey to Iran, their warmth and their hospitality, their willingness to set aside enmities between countries and welcome you with open arms and doors. Whoever you meet, you will regularly be asked what you think of Iran, told ‘You are our guest’ and brought tea and food. Meeting Iranians is, quite simply, the best experience in Iran.

Hiking in the Alamut Valley

The fabled Alamut Valley offers a tempting invitation to hike, explore and reflect among the fabled Castles of the Assassins. Nestled on widely spread rocky knolls and pinnacles lie the shattered remnants of more than 50 ruined fortresses that were once home to the medieval world’s most feared religious cult. Choose a day hike from Qazvin or more extensive wanderings from Gazor Khan – a full, mule-accompanied trans-Alborz crossing to the Caspian hinterland. Either way, this is some of the most rewarding hiking to be found anywhere in the Middle East.

Zoroastrian Fire Temples

Iran may be an Islamic Republic, but its Zoroastrian sites have an otherworldly charm. Chak chak, out in a deliciously remote location in the Yazd hinterland, has a superb fire temple with a stunning brass door, even more stunning views, and an air of ritual, ancient and deep. This was the Zoroastrian heartland and remains its most significant pilgrimage site. It's difficult to come here and not imagine yourself in the days before Islam arrived in Iran. There are other fire temples in Kerman and Yazd.

The Poets of Shiraz

Iranians like to say that even in the poorest home you’ll find two books: a Quran and the poetry of Hafez. It’s appropriate for a country whose most celebrated sons are poets, and where almost every person can quote their favourite millennium-old man of words. In Shiraz, the city of nightingales and gardens, the tombs of Hafez and Sa’di draw pilgrims from around the country. Join them as they linger over tea, reciting the works of their heroes.

News Code 406217


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