Welcome to what could be the friendliest country on earth. Iran is the jewel in Islam’s crown, combining glorious architecture with a warm-hearted welcome. Iran’s greatest attraction could just be its people. The Iranians, a nation made up of numerous ethnic groups and influenced over thousands of years by Greek, Arab, Turkic and Mongol occupiers, are endlessly welcoming.

What’s not to love? The landscapes here are wonderful, from high mountains to deep deserts where the soulful presence of the Asiatic cheetah still roams. There’s the architecture and the magic of the bazaars. There’s the utterly civilised appeal of taking tea in a teahouse overlooking the river in Esfahan or with nomads out in the Zagros Mountains. Or wandering the mud-brick alleyways of Yazd then venturing to a Zoroastrian fire temple on the cusp of the desert.

Iran is a treasure house for some of the most beautiful architecture on the planet. Seemingly at every turn, Islam’s historical commitment to aesthetic beauty and exquisite architecture reigns supreme. The sublime, turquoise-tiled domes and minarets of Esfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Square gets so many appreciative gasps of wonder, and rightly so, but there are utterly magnificent rivals elsewhere, in Yazd and Shiraz among others.

Interesting facts about Iran:

  • Iran tried to get into the Guinness book of world records by making the worlds largest sandwich. But people started eating it before it could be officially measured so they failed.
  • 70% of Iran’s science and engineering students are not men, but women.
  • “Iran” means “Land of the Aryans”.