My Guide and Friend!!!
Travelling to and around Iran requires government recognised tourist agencies for invitations as well and for taking you around the country!!! So when we went for the Total Solar Eclipse Expedition in 1999 (which I arranged for a group of six of us from India) we booked over the net, a travel agency recommended by the Iranian Consulate in Mumbai called OTAD International Tourism & Travel Agency (Address: No. 18, Apartment No. 1, 37th Street, Asadabadi Avenue, Yousefabad, Tehran - 14346, IRAN.) based in Tehran and whose Managing Director Dr. Mohammad Owtad (Ph.D.) was kind enough to guide us all throughout our excellent trip all over Iran!!! He was a very jovial man in his seventies but his heart was maybe just seventeen!!! Very helpful right from the meeting inside the customs hall of the airport to taking us all over Iran for the splendid experience I will never forget in all my life, to our parting at the airport after our seven days trip in Iran!!! Very knowledgeable and witty with an anecdote a minute commentary all the time!!! He started as our good guide and left us as a good friend!!!! Highly recommended for any type of travel in and around Iran with the best possible options provided to suit all types of budgets. Would love to go all over Iran with him all over again!!! Well worth your money, enjoyable and pleasurable trips using comfortable airconditioned vans and internal flights too!!!Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Iran by Train
Unfortunately Railways are not so expanded in Iran, while traveling with train is frequently cheap and comfortable.
There are 2 internatiol train routes to Iran.
1) Istanbul-Tehran: Weekly
Departure from Istanbul: Wednesday
Departure from Tehran: Thursday
It takes about 72 hours (so long!)
Price: about $50 - one way
2) Damascus-Tehran: Weekly
Departure from Damascus: Monday
Departure from Tehran: Monday
It takes about 64 hours (so long again!)
Price: about $41 - one way
Both of services run by express sleeping-cars (each coupe for 4 person).
Most of train transport in Iran are run by Raja Trains Co.Related to:
- Budget Travel
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Over Iran by Pakistan Internation Airlines
In the beginning of our trip we were planning to come back to Moscow by Siberia Airlines (S7) - the same company which had brought us to Dubai from Moscow as I've already written in previous tip. But at the last moment our operator changed Airline Company and we had to use Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) instead of S7.
We were angry because the flight by PIA began earlier than the flight by S7 and we lost 3 hours in UAE which we were going to spend on the beach. But it was nothing to do and we flew to Moscow from Dubai at 12.40PM (instead of 15.30PM which was planned when we bought the tour).
But we didn't regret when we entered the airplane. It was almost empty. Only 50-60 passengers flew with us. So we went to the second salon which was empty and occupied empty seats for playing cards. The flight was very pleasant and 4,5 hours seemed to be not very long.
We flew over Iran during 1,5 hour and enjoyed wonderful views at Elburz and Damâvand Volcano.
You can watch my 2 min 10 sec HQ Video Flying over Iran from Dubai to Moscow out of my Youtube channel with Persian Music.
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Over Iran by Siberia Airlines
Our way from Moscow (Domodedovo Airport) to Dubai was laid over Iran. All the way has the length about 4200 km including 1300 km over Iran. It took us an hour and a half to cross the Iranian territory by Airbus 321 of the Russian Siberia Airlines (or S7 its another name).
I asked a seat at the window and didn’t regret about it. As soon as we crossed the Caspian Sea we saw the Iranian coast with the wonderful Elburz Mountains and the magnificent Damâvand volcano.
You can watch my 5 min 30 sec HQ Video Flying over Iran from Moscow to Dubai out of my Youtube channel with Persian Music, Moein - Molaghat.
Price of transport in Iran
100.000 Rials or 10.000 Tomans = 7 EUR = 10 USD
It's cheap. Gasoline price was 0,15 USD in April 2008.
For taxi ride 350 km you'll pay 35 USD !!! Garmeh to Yazd.
Always negotiate about taxi price.
Average internal airline ticket will cost from 35-40 USD and can be book few days in advance.
Bus is really cheap too. Tehran to Rasht was 50.000 Rials with Volvo bus(280 km). Esfahan to Khur is 25.000 Rials (300 km) with Mercedes bus.
Minibus from Masuleh to Fuman is 4.000 Rials.
Savari (shared taxi) from Fuman to Masuleh is 5.000 Rials.
Taxi from Rasht city centar to airport is 25.000 Rials.
Taxi from Esfahan airport to city center is 80.000 Rials.
Taxi from Khur to Garmeh is 30.000 Rials.
Bus ride in Shiraz is 2.000 Rials.
Taxi to IKA airport from Tehran is 150.000 Rials.
Metro ride in Tehran is 2.000 Rials.
We didn't use train, but it's quite cheap too, not so many lines though.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
London Heathrow to Tehran Imam Khomeini
I flew with IranAir. My flight was booked through Persian Voyages as part of my package. I had to pay for the flight separately (£420 return), which was deducted from the total cost of my trip. An e- ticket was issued a week prior to my departure.
I'm pretty certain that I was the only English female travelling on this flight - but the stewardesses spoke English, and announcements were made in Farsi and English.
Departure time 17.15, expected to arrive at 02.15, but were delayed by 40 minutes. The 6 hours passed by with a couple of meals. There was a film - free headphones were issued, but it was in Farsi, I think there were subtitles, but the screen was too far away - so I listened to the music channels instead - traditional Iranian music.
On my return flight, I watched the film - a bit of a Kramer V Kramer stoy. Mother leaves Husband and (cute) boy, Husband struggles, but soon gets a grip of caring for the boy. Boy wants parents to get back together, husband meets new woman, due to marry - boy tries to prevent it, Mother reappears, new woman disappears And they all live happily ever after!
I was a bit lost without a magazine to read. I'd been warned not to take magazines with pictures of female skin and hair showing! Looking at the vast array in WHS - it was nearly impossible to find a magazine - even the DIY and Gardening ones had 'unsuitable females' on their covers. I gave up!
There was plenty of time for 'people watching' (and being watched - Something that I got used to during my trip)- I spent quite a lot of time studying my fellow females scarves - colours, patterns, and working out the various ways of wearing the attire.
I had been surprised to find that everyone had worn their scarves to enter the plane in the UK. I'd thought it only was necessary on arrival in Iran.
I'd earlier purchased a black cotton scarf to wear for my visa shot - Quite a performance, as I was terrified that a lock of hair would escape, and I'd be refused my Visa!!!
It makes me laugh now, thinking of the grips, and hair bands that I'd shopped for, in order to keep my hair hidden under my scarf. They were never used!
On arrival at Tehran, I headed to the 'foreigners' queues to go through security - the only female in my queue.
My visa and passport were glanced at by the official, and I was off to collect my luggage, and meet my guide.Related to:
- Women's Travel
- Budget Travel
What to do if overnight bus arrives at 4am?
To save time, I took 3 overnight journeys in my 2 week trip to Iran: overnight bus from Kerman to Shiraz, from Shiraz to Yazd, and overnight train from Esfahan to Tehren.
For these journey, I usually arrived at 4am or 5am. It was too early to go anywhere as you need to wake the hotel people up and the worst part, the hotel you hunted for was FULL!
I found one good strategy is to sleep in bus terminal for 1-2 hours or so to wait for dawn. Just sleep till 6:30am /7am before you move to hunt for hotel. What I did in Shiraz, Yard bus terminal and Tehren train station was that I slept on the bench inside the terminal, which was completely safe as there were others doing the same. It was safe as long as you keep the valuable under your head or hold them tight whiles asleep!
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This is a Soviet built T-72 tank. It has main cannon which uses 125mm shells – either armour piercing or general explosive for use against soft targets. It is also capable of mounting a 12.7mm anti-aircraft gun. It has a crew of 3, an 840 horse power engine and armour plating as thick as 520mm in some places. It is all-terrain and can crush any reasonable sized car or motorcycle without any damage to its wheels and tracks.
You may need this much protection if you are thinking about driving yourself – especially in Tehran. Why they paint lines on the roads or have traffic light/signs is beyond me. This is about the only vehicle many drivers would respect. Road safety? No need to worry, there isn’t any.
If the seat belts work in the car you ride in – use it.
I must first bring to your...
I must first bring to your attention that routes in and out of Iran can and do change so it is advised that you seek as many opinions as possible from airlines and travel agencies before you finalize your plans.
>You can enter Iran by air, road or sea although the using sea routes across the Persian Gulf is rarely used.
>In addition to Iran Air which offers service to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, a number of major European airlines offer direct flights to Tehran from most western European cities. It is also not difficult for Canadian and American travelers to get flights from a number of major cities via Europe or the Middle East .
>Traveling by land can be made at a number of border crossings. Traveling overland from Pakistan and Turkey is the most popular.
>Many travelers visit Iran through an organized tour. This should be considered as an alternative as traveling independently has some problems that you will not encounter with a tour. Public transportation in Iran is very reliable, frequent and inexpensive. Regardless of your mode of travel, try to book your tickets as early as possible
>AIR Domestic air fares are quite cheap. You can fly across the country for around $20USD. Flights are reliable and safe.
>TRAIN Tehran is the center for all train travel. If you are traveling across Iran , the train will undoubtably pass through Tehran.
>BUSES AND TAXIS There are many competitive bus companies in Iran. Service is cheap and generally reliable. Between the large cities you can be assured that buses from one company or another will leave about every half hour or so.
>AUTOMOBILES Driving a vehicle gives one the flexibility that other forms of transportation may not have. The roads are generally well paved and virtually all the road signs are also in English.
>ORGANIZED TRIPS As stated above, there are travel agencies that can arrange a tour, tailor made to fulfill your specific interests.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
In Australia: There are no direct flights between Iran and Australia the best thing is
to fly Malaysia airlines to Kuala Lumpur and iran air to tehran.similar options would be
Gulf air and emirates.
in Europe: Iran air and several major european carriers fly directly between western european
cities and Tehran. cheaper tickets are often offers by following european airlines:
Lufthansa-Air france-aeroflot-alitalia-KLM and swiss.
Iran air flies between Tehran and mumbai in india weekly,
iran air flies between Tehran and tokyo via bijing or koullampor,
mahan air flies to bangkok , manila ,delhi
in The USA and Canada:
There are no direct fly between North America and iran but there are loads of indirect
options and the whole process is pretty simple
Ali Taheri (tour guide inside Iran)
Flying is a convenient way to cover the distance in Iran and it's cheap too. We flied Shiraz - Tehran for about $30 on Iran Air. It's a good idea to book the tickets in advance. I was trying to find one to Kish Islands but the flights were full for the next couple of days. Some people told me the trick is to go to the airport and buy one there as people tend to cancel their tickets the last minute. Judging from the flight I took from Shiraz to Tehran, I personally wouldn't take that chance as it was completely full.
Check out the following websites to see their schedules and routes
- Historical Travel
Understanding Iranian Buses
There are three different types of buses in Iran with are cheap and comfortable. The Mercedes aka the super is in Western Iran. These old looking Mercedes buses are dirt cheap and often have no air con. They are slow but are very cheap. The Super Luxe aka Lux, super lux cost about half the price of the Mercedes. They are usually at least 10 years old and the air con rarely works. Volvo aka deluxe, super deluxe cost about twice the amount of the Mercedes and they are new coaches similar to the coaches in Europe. The air con will work and you will probably end up getting a snack and sweet drink ;) Enjoy the ride :)Related to:
- Budget Travel
Getting around by bus
Iran is well connected by bus and most people prefer this option because it is cheaper and more reliable. Fares are dirt cheap and the buses are very comfortable. The best companies with the most extensive networks are Iran Peyma, Hamsafar and Seiro Safar which has air con Volvos. You dont need to book ahead unless there is a religious festival going on in Mashhad etc. Buses from the major centers leave almost every hour if not every two or three hours. You wont be cruising past 65 to 75km an hour because most buses have to stop from time to time to show police their trip log. Buses are a great way to meet the locals and chances are you will end up at a dinner with the people sitting around you. I found the buses comfortable, delightful and great fun :)Related to:
- Budget Travel
Getting to Iran by Air
Irans major international airport is in the western supurbs of Tehran and it is called the Imam Khomeini International airport. It is about 30 + km outside the city and cost around 80,000 IR or $9 US for the taxi into the city. The national carrier is Iran Air (www.iranair.com) but smaller airlines included Iran Aseman (www.iaa.ir) and Mahan Air (www.mahanairlines.com. European airlines that go to Iran are Air France, British Airways, KLM, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, Emirates and Kuwait Airways. One of the best and cheapest ways to get to Iran is to make your way to a city in the Air Arabia network (www.airarabia.com) and fly from there ie Damascus or Istanbul etc. They are dirty cheap and the flight is not that long. A return flight from Dubai should cost about $250 US return tax included. A great bargain.Related to:
- Budget Travel
To Tabriz from Yerevan (Armenia), part II
... At 20.30 we arrived to the border, where it took two hours on the Armenian side. I was the last one to be ready as the Russian controller took long time to check my passport. Not until everyone was seated in the bus and we crossed a bridge all women took their scarves on. As we arrived on the Iranian side all our passports were collected and we waited. While I waited I changed money at an exchange office and bought some crisps at a shop. Everyone changed the time on their watches back 1,5 hours. At the Iranian side of the border it took 1,5 hours before we were finished and could continue.
Before arriving in Tabriz we stopped for another food break. Back in the bus I wished I was going to Tehran because I wanted to sleep, but suddenly we where in Tabriz and there only I and another passenger left the bus. The driver of the bus asked the other passenger to take me to my hotel in the same taxi as he was taking (even if I don’t speak Farsi and they didn’t speak English) and I was glad for not being left alone in the outskirts of Tabriz in the middle of the night, even if there were other taxis around.
I had been told the bus ride between Yerevan and Tabriz should take 14 hours but it took more than 18 hours. It didn’t feel so long, but it was inconvenient to arrive in the middle of the night.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Enghelab Ave., Mousavi, Tehran, Iran
Good for: Families
We stayed 4 nights in a spacious 1 bedroom apartment in this conveniently located Hotel. The evening...more
The Homa is designated a 5 star hotel, and it does have the facilities of a top hotel - but they...more
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