We set foot in Iran whose im­age is long cal­ci­fied by its po­lit­i­cal regime, and soon dis­cover seven rea­sons why ev­ery­one needs to catch the next flight to the highly mis­un­der­stood na­tion

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The fal­lacy that Iran is a treach­er­ous na­tion to nav­i­gate holds no wa­ter as soon as you meet its peo­ple. Warm smiles, cu­ri­ous ques­tions, even the odd in­vites to homemade meals by some­one you have just stum­bled upon on the street are preva­lent when you’re a for­eign face. It is easy to un­der­stand this lav­ish hos­pi­tal­ity from the cul­tural stand­point – Ira­ni­ans be­lieve that guests are gifts from God and should be treated as such.


The na­tional pride among Ira­ni­ans is mainly founded in the coun­try’s historical le­gacy. Af­ter all, the land presently oc­cu­pied by the Is­lamic repub­lic was once home to one of the most il­lus­tri­ous civil­i­sa­tions. Much of the in­flu­ence of the Per­sian Em­pire and its other no­table suc­ces­sors re­mains alive to­day in the form of 21 (and count­ing) Unesco World Her­itage-listed sites. Whether roam­ing the im­pos­ing ru­ins of Perse­po­lis, Shush and Choqa Zan­bil or for­mer royal res­i­dences such as the Golestan Palace, re­trac­ing the foot­steps of some of the most distin­guished fig­ures in his­tory will fill you with awe and ad­mi­ra­tion.


As en­chant­ing as Iran’s many an­cient king­doms are, the ar­chi­tec­tural in­her­i­tanceance has en­riched the coun­try. These in­clude the crum­bling mud-brick houses of Abyaneh, the lofty wind tow­ers of Yazd and myr­i­ads of man­i­cured gar­dens thathat are the very pic­ture of par­adise on earth. But it is the city of Es­fa­han that hass truly ac­com­plished the tour de force. The for­mer cap­i­tal has long been dubbed ‘Hal­falf of the World,’ par­tially due to the mag­nif­i­cent bridges, mosques and palaces that form its crux. The Naqsh-e Ja­han Square is one of such won­ders to be­hold.

TAK­ING SHAPE With the at­trac­tive con­tours of both its cityscape and na­ture, Iran is re­peat­edly named as a go-to travel desti­na­tion

GREAT WON­DERS His­tory and cul­ture vul­tures alike will nd in­sight­ful glimpses into Iran’s fas­ci­nat­ing past, at the an­cient city of Perse­po­lis

Abya neh or the Red Villa ge is most fa med for its red mud-brick hou ses

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