Iran is a classic case of books and covers.

It’s hard to reconcile the country you’ve heard about on the news with a place where iPhone-toting locals carve up the Alborz piste, old women invite you in for a hot Chelow kebab and Tinder dominates the dating scene. Conservative and unconventional, deeply religious and deeply surprising, Iran tours don’t fit into any easy pigeonhole. Which is kind of why we love them. Our local guides will show you all the highlights – the Golestan Palace, the Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Esfahan’s bustling bazaars – but they’ll also show you what it means to be a modern-day Iranian. And that’s one thing you won’t get from your average news bulletin.

Our Iran trips

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Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Iran tour reviews

Articles on Iran

Iran travel highlights

Transport in Iran

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are lots more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Iran, you may find yourself traveling by:

Caravanserai is Esfahan on a sunny day in Iran


Step into the exotic shoes of a Silk Road merchant while staying in a caravanserai in the desert. Over the centuries, little has changed about this experience.

A woman walking in stairs of Metro subway Iran,Tehran


Carrying more than a million passengers a day, the trains of Tehran are fast, efficient and affordable. Have fun getting around the city like a local.

Accommodation in Iran

Traveling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When traveling with us in Iran you may find yourself staying in a:

Woman stands out the front of Nomad tent camp in Iran

Nomad Tent

Spend an unforgettable night sleeping in a communal tent, just as local nomads have done for centuries.

Iran in-depth: Unexpected tales from the


Iranian sheep farmer

Along with synagogues, laughter workshops and Hooters restaurants, Tinder was the last thing Taz Liffman expected to find in one of the world’s staunchest Islamic republics.

Read more >

Iran holiday information

At a glance
Best time to visit Iran
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
History and government
Beautiful Buildings of Iran
Festivals and Events in Iran
Health and Safety
Further reading

Iran travel FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy

Most foreign visitors require a visa to enter Iran. Please be aware that this can be a frustrating and stressful process, and can take from 6-8 weeks. You will need to allow sufficient time for this and plan any other travel around your Iran trip accordingly. The cost of a visa also varies dependent on your nationality, and also changes regularly, making it hard for us to advise of the actual cost. But you should plan for it to cost somewhere around 100-180EUR depending if you get a visa before departure or on arrival.

Iranian visas are issued in a two-step process and this will differ according to your nationality.

  1. An authorization code for your visa must be issued by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  2. A visa for your passport must then be obtained at an Iranian Embassy once the authorization code has been issued, or on arrival (depending on your nationality).

If you are traveling on UK, USA or CANADIAN passport please be aware that your visa process can take longer due to government regulations. Please check that you will have sufficient time to obtain a visa before departure.

We recommend you familiarize yourself with the full process before booking. The following link provides details on what to expect throughout this process as well as detailed step-by-step instructions on how to apply for your authorization code and visa. Simply select your nationality from the drop down list and follow the instructions relevant to the passport you wish to enter Iran on.

Iran Visa Authorization Code Application


It's customary to tip service workers in Iran, so set aside small amounts for porters, local guides, waiters, drivers and cleaners.

You'll be able to access the internet in Iran's cities, with many major hotels and cafes having internet access. Expect little to no access in rural and remote areas.

Mobile phones from other parts of the world may not work in Iran, although it's possible to buy a low-cost prepaid SIM card in most of Iran's large cities.

Squat toilets are the most common variety in Iran, although flushable western-style toilets can be found in some tourist areas and hotels. Carry your own supply of toilet paper and soap, as these aren't always provided.

Iran is a relatively cheap place to visit when you eat, shop, and travel like a local. Here's what you can roughly expect to pay for a: 

Basic Lunch = 6USD
Cup of coffee = 1USD to 4USD
Short taxi ride = 5USD

Tap water is considered safe to drink but due to the high mineral content, visitors should avoid drinking tap water which can cause stomach upsets. For environmental reasons, try to avoid drinking bottled water - ask your leader or hotel where access to filtered water can be found.

Iran is very much a cash economy. This means travelers can't use debit or credit cards, or travelers checks while in Iran. A handful of tourist-orientated shops accept credit cards; otherwise, cash is the main method of trade in Iran. US dollars, Euros, Australian Dollars, and British Pound are accepted at Iranian banks and money-changers. Having those notes changed into Iranian rials is a fairly simple exercise.

As with the question above, ATMs in Iran rarely accept foreign cards, so cash is the main form of currency. Most foreign currencies can be exchanged into local currency on-ground. This included US dollars, British Pounds, Euros or Australian Dollars. Don't forget to exchange whatever you don't use back to your home currency before departing Iran.

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 10 Feb Anniversary of the Islamic Revolution
  • 2 Mar Martyrdom of Hazrat Fatemah
  • 19 Mar Oil Nationalisation Day
  • 21 Mar Noruz (Iranian New Year)
  • 22 Mar Noruz
  • 23 Mar Noruz
  • 24 Mar Noruz
  • 1 Apr Islamic Republic Day
  • 2 Apr Sizdehbedar (Nature Day)
  • 11 Apr Imam Ali's Birthday
  • 25 Apr The Prophet's Acension
  • 12 May Imam Mahdi's Birthday
  • 4 Jun Demise of Imam Khomeini
  • 5 Jun Khordad National Uprising (1963)
  • 16 Jun Martyrdom of Imam Ali
  • 26 Jun Eid Al-Fitr
  • 27 Jun Eid Al-Fitr
  • 20 Jul Martyrdom of Imam Sadeq
  • 1 Sep Eid Al-Adha
  • 9 Sep Eid Al-Ghadir
  • 30 Sep Tassoua
  • 1 Oct Ashura
  • 10 Nov Arbaeen
  • 19 Nov Martyrdom of Imam Reza
  • 6 Dec Birthday of Muhammad

 For a current list of public holidays in Iran go to:

If you are traveling on a UK, USA or CANADIAN passport there are a few things to be aware of:

1. You are not eligible for a visa on arrival. Therefore you must obtain your visa before departure.

2. Your visa process will take longer due to government regulations but it certainly shouldn't deter you from travel. Please allow 60-90 days to obtain a visa before departure.

3. You will need to provide additional supporting documentation when applying for your visa. Please see our visa information for more details.

Follow the link below and select your nationality in the drop down list to access detailed visa information relevant to you:

4. For US, UK or Canadian travelers any time spent in Iran outside of the duration of the tour must be facilitated by the local host (Intrepid's local Operator) and travelers must be accompanied by the Leader assigned to your trip. If you would like to spend some additional days in Iran, please contact your booking agent for availability, recommendations on extra activities, and extra accommodation requests.

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to traveling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while traveling.

Traveller with their local leader in Shiraz

How we're giving back

In Iran, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travelers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.