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    Travel to Iran: all the places not to be missed

    Who I am
    Judit Llordés
    @juditllordés
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Un trip to Iran it actually means much more than seeing beautiful sights and glittering domed buildings. A trip to Iran is above all a human experience made of welcome, that of one of the most open and hospitable people you can ever meet. I don't want to repeat myself too much, but it is the Iranians who make this trip truly special. Having said that, now I can tell you about the places and cities that, in my opinion, must absolutely be included in the travel itinerary. Iran is a very large country  and it would really take many days; unfortunately I had just over a week available and I decided to focus on the cities, Teheran, Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd e Shiraz. I had to make a choice and I preferred to postpone to a second trip (which I hope to do soon) the visit of the whole area of ​​Iranian Kurdistan (to the north), Qazvin and the Valley of the Assassins, the deserts around Kerman (to south) and the islands of the Persian Gulf.



    I refer you to the article Organizing a trip to Iran: everything you need to know, to find out my detailed itinerary and all the practical information (how to get around, where to sleep, etc.) to organize a do-it-yourself trip.


    If, on the other hand, you want to rely on an agency, I recommend you take a tour of this Iranian portal, Persiaport, where you can find tours of all kinds and all prices, tourist guides, all types of hotels, as well as lots of practical information completely free. . This portal is really well done and, using the “Explore” function, you can find info on all the places in Iran and on all the activities that can be done accompanied by videos, 360 ° photos and virtual tours.

    Chehel Sotoun

    This palace is located behind Imam Square and is called Chehel Sotoun, which in Persian means "forty columns", because the columns that support it, reflecting in the pool in front, look like forty. Here the Shah Abbas II organized parties and welcomed foreign dignitaries and ambassadors. The frescoes that adorn the Great Hall (the Throne Room) are beautiful. The palace garden in 2011 was included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


    The bridges over the Zayandeh river and the Armenian quarter

    There are 11 bridges that allow you to cross the Zayandeh River and four of these were built in the Safavid era (XNUMXth century). The most beautiful are the Pol-eo Seh which performed the dual function of bridge and dam, and the Pol-e Khaju with two rows of arcaded terraces. The entire riverfront, on both banks, is covered with gardens and lawns where the inhabitants of Isfahan come to have their beloved picnics and to walk on holidays. This area comes alive at sunset when most of the bridges are illuminated. Cross the river from the Pol-eo Seh bridge and you will find yourself in Armenian quarter (called Jolfa), a picturesque and relaxed neighborhood full of excellent cafes, restaurants, bakeries and pastry shops, very nice and very popular especially during the weekend.


    Lower Hotel

    This luxury hotel is located just behind Imam Square and has been converted from an ancient caravanserai. Even if you are not staying here, it is still worth entering for a walk and have a coffee or a drink in the magnificent central garden, immersed in a fairytale atmosphere. For dinner then head to Sharzhad Restaurant, considered by many to be the best restaurant in Isfahan; you will have to queue up a bit but it runs out soon. The cost of the dinner is around 10-12 euros.


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