pic Capitals of the Persian Empire
trip length: 13 days
Tehran (2) Hamadan (1) Kermanshah (1) Ahvaz (2) Shiraz (2) Isfahan (3) Tehran (1)
pic Ancient and Islamic Iran
trip length: 11 days
Tehran (1) Shiraz (3) Yazd (2) Isfahan (3) Tehran (1)
pic Highlights of Ancient Iran
trip length: 10 days
Tehran (1) Ahvaz (2) Shiraz (2) Isfahan (3) Tehran (1)
pic World Heritage in Iran Tour
trip length: 18 days
Tehran (3) Zanjan (2) Sarein (1) Tabriz (1) Oroumieh (1) Kermanshah (2) Ahvaz (3) Shiraz (3) Isfahan (1)
pic Royal Persia Tour
trip length: 8 days
Tehran (1) Shiraz (2) Isfahan (3) Tehran (1)
pic Islamic Arts of Iran Tour
trip length: 10 days
Tehran (1) Mashhad (2) Yazd (2) Isfahan (3) Tehran (1)
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Where is Iran?

Iran is a deeply intriguing country, rich in cultural heritage and the legacy of ancient civilizations. This site aims to dispel some of the myths of this amazing country and present accurate information about Iran overall, its religious and historical monuments, natural attractions, and culture and art. It is hoped that this site proves valuable to those contemplating a trip to Iran, or who are simply interested in finding out more.

Iran is more than 1,600 000 km2. It has a varied climate and geography and is the sixteenth largest country in the world. Particular points of interest include the Alborz Mountains in the north, Zagros Mountains in the west, the Central Desert, the Caspian Sea (the largest enclosed body of water in the world) in the north, Damavand Mount (the largest full cone volcano) near Tehran, Ali-sadr and Perav water caves, marshes, forests and beautiful islands in the south. These are all rare natural features which can satisfy every taste. Geographical conditions as well as climate variations have created a wonderful wilderness and many tourist attractions. Different eras in Iran have brought diverse political changes. Numerous dynasties have ruled in Iran and it is astounding that all the historical events have become “Iranized” under the culture of the country. From the time of the first nomadic tribes till the kingdom dynasties before and after Islam, the country has been in a constant state of flux. In spite of all these events, the country has been able to accumulate a historical treasure which can be observed in its art and architecture. The cooperation of different ethnic groups with various forms of government (empires, kingdoms, caliphates, feudalists, khanates, the constitution and the republic) has created a complicated culture which is of interest to many foreign visitors. Cities like Tehran, Shush, Shiraz, Isfahan, Yazd and Kerman are culturally and historically prominent. Constructions like Chaghazanbil in Shush, Persepolis in Shiraz, Bistun in Kermanshah, Naghshe Jahan square in Isfahan, Soltania dome in Zanjan, and the old Islamic parliament building in Tehran are some examples of Iranian art and culture. The Iranian nation consists of different ethnic groups, all of which have lived peacefully with each other under all kinds of government. Religions practised in Iran include Islam, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Hinduism. The geographical conditions and specific climate of each region has affected the traits and spirit of the people who live there. One can encounter a flare for hospitality in the southerners, kindness and intimacy in the people who live near deserts and the hardworking nature and generosity in northerners and mountainside people.

Getting acquainted with Iran

Iran is an old country placed in the civilization district of the Land beyond the River and Mesopotamian, Iran Flat, and western part of Asia. Nowadays Iran is in a district called the Middle East. The relics and historical places in Iran are as old as four thousand years old. Although some historical evidences, observations, aural culture, archaeological and linguistic findings show that the country has been called by four names during the time, it was called Persia in International relations and connections until 1313 (1934). Iran has a History of ten thousand years and it is located in South-west of Asia in the Middle East. It is about one million six hundred forty eight thousand one hundred ninety five kilometers square. It is the sixteenth large country of the world. Iran’s neighbors are Armenia and Turkmenistan in the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east, Turkey and Iraq in the west. It is limited to Persian Gulf and Oman Sea in the south. The capital and biggest city of the country is Tehran. According to the last division, the country has thirty one provinces and two hundred sixty eight counties. Like any other country in the world, Iran has a standard language, an official religion, a flag, a calendar and specific money. The standard language is Farsi and the official religion is Islam. In Iran they drive on the right side of the road and the electricity voltage for house electrical sets is 220+. Iran’s telephone code is 0098 and its internet bandwidth is ir.  Iran has a unique climate. Sometimes the climate variation between the coldest and warmest day in winter is more than 50 C ̊. Generally, Iran is a dry or semi-dry country.

History of Iran

Iran is one of the oldest civilization focuses of the world. It is more than nine thousand years old and it is one of the oldest countries. The history of settlement in Iran Flat goes back to the New Stone Age. One of the oldest focuses where human being settled are near Zagros and Alborz mountains. The most important archaeological focuses in the country are: Silk Hill in Kashan, Hesar Hill in Damghan, Toorang Hill in Gorgan, Hasanloo Hill in Azerbaijan, Marlik Hill in Rudbar, and Shush in Khuzestan. Archaeological discoveries in these focuses show that some of them are as old as the fifth millennium BC. The Aryan tribes’ immigration into the Iran Flat began in the second millennium BC. Part Tribe settled in Khorasan, Maad Teibe in the west and Pars Tribe in the south of Iran. Maad Empire was organized in Hegmatana, today’s Hamedan. Defeating Maad Tribe and occupying their capital city, Achaemenians organized the first great empire in Iran. Their occupations in the time of Darius the first (522-485 BC) were from Sindh river’s plain in the east to Greece borders in the west. Persepolis and Pasargad constructions, two of the worthiest archaeological constructions of Iran, which are built in this era attract lots of tourists. The Achaemenians became overthrown and Persepolis was burned down by Alexander. Solukian dominated Iran for a short time. About 250 BC, Part tribe, one of the horse riding Aryan tribes, advanced from Khorasan to the west and south-west of the country and founded their empire in Tisfun. Their empire lasted till 224 AD. Sasanian organized a new empire. The last king of Part tribe was defeated in 225 AD and Sasanian tribe’s govened till the seventh century AD. So many historical constructions are left from ancient Iran. Besides Persepolis and Pasargad, Shush, Shushtar, Hamedan, Firuzabad, Naghshe Rostam, Taghe Bostan, Sarvestan and Neishabur can be mentioned. In the first half of the seventh century the Sasanian Empire collapsed and Islam advanced in Iran. The new era caused basic changes in social, political and religious condition as well as changes in people and government. After the domination of Omavi and Abbasid caliphs so many independent-seeking uprisings formed in Iran. Later these uprisings led to the domination of tribes from central Asia on the country. Tribes like Saljughi Turks, Mongols and Teimurian. The second great empire of Iran was formed by Safavian. They announced Shiism as the official religion. After the decline and fall of Safavian, Afsharian and Zandia reached the throne. Qajar government took the control of the country and let Russia and England have influence on Iran. In this era social movements like Tobacco movement, Constitution Revolution, Jungle Uprising, and Sheikh Mohammad Khiabani’s Uprising happened. The Qajar Tribe collapsed and Reza Khan Mirpanj was the initiator of Pahlavi dynasty. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi received the throne from his father. He was the last king of Iran and the coup that happened in Mordad 28, 1332 (August 9, 1953) stabilized his power. Finally the Islamic Revolution happened in Bahman 22, 1357 (February 11, 1979) by the Leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Ethnics and languages of Iran

According to the census in 1385 (2007), the population of the country was more than 70,472,000. More than half of the population is economically active and about %39.5 of them are less than 14 years old. Iranian population is one of the youngest in the world. Iran acts as a path to Central Asia, Turkey and Western countries. There are numerous ethnics which have equal rights and live freely in the country. The main ethnics are: Fars, Kurdish, lor, Baloch, Bakhtiari, Turk (speaking Azeri), Taleshi, Turkman, Ghashghai, and Arab. Considering the spreading and variety of the ethnics, some minor racial groups live in Iran too. According to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution, Farsi is the official language and Alphabet of the country. Because of the vastness of the country and the variety of ethnics there are more than 75 different languages and dialects. The most dominant dialects are: Farsi, Turkish, Kurdish, Turkmeni, Gilaki, Mazandarani, khalaji, Taleshi, Lori, Bakhtiari, Arabic, Balochi, Laki, Deilami, Taati, Armenian, Ashuri, Mandai, Gorji, Hebrew and Kaldani. According to the fifteenth principle of the Constitution, the school course books should be in Farsi. But using the local and ethnical dialects is free in the press and media as well as teaching their literature at school.

Religions in Iran

The official religion of Iran is Islam and Shiism. The thirteenth principle of the Constitution has accepted Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrian as minor religions that their followers can perform their rituals in the framework of the law.

Flag of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran’s flag consists of three colors: green, white and red, respectively. There is a sign of Allah which is the symbol of Islamic Republic of Iran.

Irainan Calendar

The calendar used in Iran is called Jalali calendar and it is one of the first and most exact calendars in the world. In Iran the first day of Farvardin (March 20) which is also the first day of spring is the New Year. Iranian people call it Nowrouz and celebrate it. Nowrouz Celebration is accepted as a world heritage by the United Nations. The Nowrouz Feast longs thirteen days and the thirteenth day is the Nature Day or Sizdah be dar. There are 12 months, 4 seasons and 365 days in Iran. The first six months of the year have 31 days, the next five months have 30 days and the last month has 29 days. It enhances to 30 days in the leap years. In the calendar there are holidays like religious feasts, national occasions and some mourning occasions. The holidays are shown by the color red in the calendar. The origin of the official date is Solar Hegira. It is the day Prophet Mohammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina. Therefore the official calendar is based on Solar year and Iranian months.

Currency and Money in Iran

The official unit for money is Rial and all the trades are done according to this unit. On the other hand, lots of daily trades are done based on Tooman and it is right to say that Tooman is more popular among Iranians. One Tooman equals ten Rials. The popular unit to measure weight is Kilogram. One thousand kilograms equals a Ton. The units for length are Centimeter, Meter or Kilometer and the units used to measure liquids are Liter or Square Meter. One hundred centimeters equal one meter. The unit used for area is Square Meter or Hectare which is mostly used to measure farms, apartments and houses.

Economy of the Iran

Gross National Product in 2007 was 852.6 billion dollars that shows %4.3 of rise. The number of the economically active people is 28 million 700 thousand. %25 of them works in agriculture, %31 in industry, and %45 in services. The inflation rate is %17. Iran produces 4.15 million oil barrels (2006 statistics) and consumes 1.63 million a day. Oil export was 2.25 million barrels a day in 2006. The export products consist of: oil, chemicals, fruit, nuts, and carpet. These products are exported to counties like: Japan (%14), China (%12.5), Turkey (% 7.2), Italy (%6.3), South Korea (%6) and Holland (%4.6). The products imported to Iran are: the factories’ raw materials, basic goods, food and other consuming materials and technology. They are generally imported from Germany (%12), China (%10.5), UAE (%9.4), France (%5.6), Italy (%5.4), South Korea (%5.4) and Russia (%4.5).

Iranian people

According to the census in 2007 the population of Iran is 70 million 472 thousand. Till 1316 (1937) Iran was divided to ten provinces. In 1385 (2005), Iran was divided to 30 provinces, 362 counties, 918 districts, 2430 villages. Generally there are 1060 counties and the capital of the country is Tehran. The number of cities in 1375 (1997) was 614 and it increased to 1115 in 1385 (2007). %51 of the people are Fars, %24 Azeri, %8 Gilani and Mazandarani, %7 Kurdish, %3 Arab, %2 Lor, %2 Baloch, %2 Turkman, and %1 are from the other ethnics. %98 of the population believes in Islam and %2 of it believes in minor religions like Zoroastrian, Christianity and Judaism. The official language of the country is Farsi and %77 of the population older than 15 years old can read and write in Farsi.

Communication in Iran

There are 21 million 981 thousand landlines and 13 million 659 thousand mobile lines in Iran. The government controls Radio and Television but there are private newspapers and broadcasting companies. There are 6 thousand 111 internet hosts and 18 million users.

Persian Gulf

Iran-Map Iran Map

Koorush-Palace-Historical-Places-Edifices-Fars-In-Iran Persepolis and Pasargadae

Alisadr Cave


Ganj Nameh-Inscription-Hamadan-History-of-Iran
History of Iran At Glance

History of Iran Timeline

Population and Ethnic Groups In Iran

Religion and Culture In Iran