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    10 ideas for adventurous holidays in Iran - theguardian

    Iran - 10 ideas for adventurous holidays in Iran - theguardian

    Overview:

    10 ideas for adventurous holidays in Iran
    By Zehrah Hasan
    Publish Date: Monday 31 August 2015

    With the reciprocal reopenings of the Iranian Embassy in London and the British embassy in Tehran, and the Foreign Office no longer advising against travel, adventurous travellers may decide now’s the time to see the country. 

    Architecture and culture

     

    Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz

     Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz. Photograph: Getty Images

    The sacred shrines in the holy city of Qom, ancient monuments at Persepolis and Isfahan, the gardens of Kashan, poets’ tombs in Shiraz, and the tiled Nasir al-Mulk mosque, considered the pinnacle of Iranian-Islamic art, are among the cultural highlights .

     

    Trek the Lut desert

     

    The Dasht-e Lut desert.

     The Dasht-e-Lut desert. Photograph: Bigstock Images

    The Dasht-e Lut desert, one of the Earth’s hottest and driest places, is a (hardy) trekker’s dream, with incredible rock formations, sand dunes, salt plains and the Valley of Meteorites – imposing landscapes that enchanted Marco Polo and, 700 years later, Wilfred Thesiger. 

     

    Valley of the Assassins

     

    The Alborz mountains.

     The Alborz mountains. Photograph: Michal Knitl/Alamy

    A walking tour based around the eponymous 1934 travelogue by the explorer Freya Stark, showcasing the greener side of Iran, traditional villages, the castles of the “assassins” and Alborz mountain hikes. The trip includes a stay with the Shahsevan nomadic tribe, a visit to Tabriz’s blue mosque and Unesco world heritage bazaar.
     

    Backpacking

     

    The Jame-e Abbasi mosque in Naqsh-e Jahan square, Esfahan.

     The Jame-e Abbasi mosque in Naqhsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan. Photograph: Soheil Riahi/Alamy

    Independent travel isn’t allowed in Iran, Brits must book a group trip, but you can tailor-make one with a minimum of two people with some operators, and on a budget. The guide must accompany travel across country but you can roam freely in each location. 

     

    Iran by train, from Turkey

     

    Amir Chakhmaq mosque in Yazd.

     Amir Chakhmaq mosque in Yazd. Photograph: Paule Seux/Hemis/Corbis

    After boarding the train in Ankara, passengers travel to Tehran to explore the archeological sites, before taking a sleeper to Isfahan for its iconic covered bridges and huge Naqhsh-e Jahan Square. The unique desert architecture of Yazd is a short train ride away; the final train trip is to Shiraz, the city of flowers and poetry.
     

    Iraq with Iran

     

    Persepolis, Iran

     Persepolis. Photograph: Kelly Cheng Travel Photography/Getty Images/Flickr RF

    A 16-day group trip explores the connected Persian and Iraqi cultures. Beginning in Baghdad, it visits Babylon, Kufa and Uruk (ancient Gilgamesh), includes canoeing along the Tigris then tours western Iran, spectacular Persepolis, Shiraz, Isfahan and Tehran. 

     

    Climb Mount Damavand

     

    Mount Damavand.

     Photograph: Henry Wismayer/Alamy

    It takes four days to reach the summit of the country’s highest mountain, a 5,671-metre volcano. Base camp is two hours from Tehran, making Damavand one of the most accessible 5,000-metre-plus mountains in the world. If all goes to plan, this seven-day trip includes two days’ recovery in Larijan’s thermal spring and Tehran. 


     

    Horseriding 

     

    Horseriding with Nomads in Iran

    A 10-day riding adventure through the central nomadic lands on dareshoriPersian horses takes in mountains and lush forests and paddy fields. Camping is in flat arable grasslands. 
     

    Skiing in Iran 

     

    Skiiing in the Alborz mountains.

     Skiiing in Dizin. Photograph: Henry E Iddon/Alamy

    Dizin, with lifts to 3,600 metres and Shemshak, at 3,050 metres, are Iran’s most famous resorts, with chalets, hotels and equipment hire. They are both near Tehran and access is straightforward. Another of the larger resorts is Pooladkaf, 85km from Shiraz in the south, peaking at 3,400 metres and enjoying strong sunshine despite high snow totals.


     

    Festivals 

     

    The festival of Gol-o-Golab (Rose and Rosewater), in Kashan, Iran.

     The flowers are picked for the festival of Gol-o-Golab (Rose and Rosewater), in Kashan. Photograph: Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

    Religious and cultural events abound in Iran, reflecting the country’s diverse peoples and historical influences. They range from the Gol-o-Golab (Rose and Rosewater) festival in Kashan in May, to the Chak Chak fire temple festival near Yazd in June, which celebrates the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. Thetis Travel can organise tailormade tours combined with sightseeing and trips to meet nomadic groups.
     

    Adventure and activity trips

    Adventure Iran has a range of activity trips, such as eight days’ biking from Alamut through mountains to the Caspian, or a 4WD off-road tour of the Dasht-e Kavir and Lut deserts. Ten days’ biking the Central Desert and Yazd includes a Silk Route desert stretch of 240km. 
     

    Source: The Guardian

      https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2015/aug/31/10-ideas-for-adventurous-holidays-in-iran

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    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.

    Patrimonito

    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.