Iran: Nice Environments for Slow Traveler - Which Guide Book ?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Aug 17, 2012 9:35 AM Last Post By: mahan
Jul 27, 2012 3:21 PM
Iran: Nice Environments for Slow Traveler - Which Guide Book ?Hello. I might be in Iran for most of September 2012. I wanted to ask you for suggestions for places to visit for the contemplative traveler. I like to be in an interesting environment for at least 3 days, better 4 or more (I hope to never take a hotel for less than three nights). It could be villages, a nature area or a bigger town if it's nice to wander or bicycle around. Atmospheric parks, restaurants and tea houses are most welcome, as are other places with good people watching (say a waterfall serving as picnic destination). So far I am only quite sure to look around Tehran and Isfahan, while Shiraz with Persepolis or places further south don't appeal so much. My travel style is rather mid-range, but I am happy to pay more to avoid rough accomodation or transport; domestic flights are welcome, I might prefer taxis over busses even on some long stretches to shorten travel times and have more time to sample an area. I am ready to hire a guide, also with car, for a memorable experience.
Things I don't need/like:
- a fixed day-to-day schedule
- visit all major tourist sites; not important at all
- collect all must-sees
- visit remote, isolated attractions like a crumbled ancient city in the middle of nowhere
- places given over to (international) tourists
So which Iran guide book do you recommend? I have the very new LP 6th edition as PDF (officially of August 2012); the print edition is pre-ordered and hopefully arrives soon. The PDF is not easily readable or searchable on a laptop or desktop monitor, as it is split in about 8 files and set in portrait orientation (I don't have a tablet). On the other hand there's also the Bradt Guide - should I look at that one too? I will also bring a phrase book, it might be the LP phrase book.
Thanks for your suggestions!
Jul 27, 2012 11:07 PM
in my opinion
Masouleh, a small village in North of Iran,
these places are worthable to visit.
these places have historical places and also have a good nature.
you can also choose traditional and boutique hotel. in Shiraz Niayesh Boutique hotel and in Yazd many traditional hotels you can find and also i know a guide in Yazd if you want you can call him, he is very helpfull. his phone number is 09133533343.
about the beautiful nature that i mentioned above i can say some examples:
Margoon waterfall which is near Shiraz, between Shiraz and Yasuj.
and also i forget to tell you about Ahvaz and Shushtar these cities are in the north west of Iran.
if you need any other help, just let me know.
Jul 27, 2012 11:18 PM
Jul 28, 2012 1:17 AM
3Don't discount Shiraz - it had a lot of gardens and parks which are nice places for relaxing and people watching.
You could stay a few days in the desert like in Garmeh - there are some nice landscapes to visit around there and its a relaxing place to stay for a few days or more.
Allocate plenty of time for Esfahan - it meets most of your requirements.
Kashan, Yazd and Kerman are also worth a look. Somewhere like Qom or Mashad could also be interesting for people watching. Traditional gardens such as Fin gardens outside Kashan and the gardens near Mahan outside Kerman are good places for people watching.
Jul 28, 2012 1:21 AM
Jul 30, 2012 1:10 AM
Jul 30, 2012 9:51 AM
6garmeh - stay in an oasis in the middle of the desert - it's beautiful, and there's a salt flat nearby. very suitable for contemplating whatever you need to. the silence is incredible and the pomegranates are out of the world. http://www.ateshooni.com
they close during summer though, so ring them beforehand.
i found mashad highly interesting and the busy pilgrim trade a funny contrast to the spirituality of the city.
there are tours you can take which bring you to the nomadic tribes - those would be worth doing in summer.
Jul 30, 2012 2:27 PM
Jul 31, 2012 12:56 PM
8The area around the Caspian Sea and NW Iran are also worth some time - lovely terrain and an incredible mix of cultures, as you would expect in border areas and historic frontiers. Unique thatched houses, Gilani cuisine and kiwifruit, fig and rice cultivation around Lisar and Ardabil. Armenian churches near Jolfa (and beautiful countryside).
Before you go to Iran, you should learn a bit about Zoroastianism and Mithraism - this will go a long way in helping to 'read' the imagery in both Islamic and Christian art.
Enjoy your slow travels!
Aug 1, 2012 4:42 AM
Aug 7, 2012 10:20 AM
10We found that taking both the LP and the Bradt guides to Iran was 'worth the weight.'
"In search of Zarathustra: the first prophet and the ideas that changed the world" by Paul Kriwaczek (Knopf, 2003) is a fascinating book that shows how aspects of Zoroastrianism ended up in some very unexpected places.
Aug 17, 2012 9:35 AM