Iran is everything we’ve been taught the Middle East is not. Hostile? Far from it. In fact you can probably keep count of all the times you’re invited into a stranger’s house for a hot Chelow kabab. Dangerous? Not by Middle East standards, not if you avoid the borders and stick to the main cities (or go with an expert local guide). Blistering hot? Not on the Alborz ski fields where hijab-wearing locals carve up the off-piste powder. In fact no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to fit Iran into any neat travel category. It’s a country all of its own. And people are starting to take note. Visitor numbers are up, and travellers are finding more and more than Iran isn’t the Middle East we’ve been sold all these years. In fact it’s kind of the opposite.
Need photographic evidence? Check out these local Iranian photographers on Instagram.
Want to see Iran for yourself? It’s easier on a guided group tour. Check out our Iran trips for more info.
Feature image c/o Christiaan Triebert, Flickr