Cities & Towns & Places
Iran is a large country in the Middle East and West Asia, between the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea. It is bordered by Iraq to the west, Turkey, Azerbaijan's Naxcivan enclave, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to the northwest, Turkmenistan to the northeast, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the southeast.
Below is a list of just nine of the most notable cities of Iran:
- Tehran – the vibrant capital, a beautiful city that suffers horrendous traffic and air pollution
- Hamedan – one of the oldest cities in Iran and the world, it has some features remaining from the Medes
- Isfahan – former capital with stunning architecture, great bazaar, and tree-lined boulevards. Most popular tourist destination in the country. There's a Persian saying, "Isfahan is half the world"
- Kermanshah – one of the oldest cities in Iran with a great anthropological heritage in Taqe bostan and Bistoon; the centre of medical care in the west of Iran
- Mashad – greatest city of Eastern Iran with an important mosque, the shrine of the martyr Imam Reza
- Qom – one of the holiest cities in the Middle East, considered the Jewel of Iran
- Shiraz – a former Persian capital and home of such famous poets such as Hafiz and Sa'di; known for gardens, especially roses. Very close to the famous ruins of Persepolis.
- Tabriz – one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province with one of the oldest and largest covered bazaars in the world.
- Yazd – a remote desert city with wind-towers and where water streams run in underground rooms in houses and to keep them cool.
Among other popular and well known destinations of the country are:
Persepolis has the impressive ruins of a vast city-like complex built over 2,500 years ago, near Marvdasht town and the modern city of Shiraz. It was set on fire by Alexander of Macedon and further ruined by Arabs. Called TakhteJamshid in Persian, Persepolis is the symbol of Iranian nationality.
Kish Island, a free trade zone in the Persian Gulf, it is regarded as a consumer's 'paradise', with numerous malls, shopping centres, tourist attractions, and resort hotels. Kish is the home of Dariush Grand Hotel, a magnificent hotel in Iran and one of the top ten best hotels in the Middle East.
Qeshm Island, is Iran's largest and the Persian Gulf's largest island. Qeshm island is famous for its wide range of ecotourist attractions such as the Hara marine forests. According to environmentalists, about 1.5% of the world birds and 25% of Iran's native birds annually migrate to Hara forests which is the first national geo park.
Nain or Naein is a small and quiet town at the edge of desert which is famous for its carpet design and Qanats. A pattern of a desert town locates on the way from Esfahan to Yazd
Shush located 110km North of Ahvaz, was Iran's most ancient city. The Zigurat of Chughazanbil, Darius the Great's palace, the Jewish prophet Daniel's temple and Artaxerxer II 's palace are among the historical sites.
Dizin is one of the highest ski resorts in the world located just two hours north of Tehran. Great powder snow, cheap prices and few international visitors makes this is a great place for a ski holiday.
Varzaneh is undoubtedly the best desert town of Isfahan province. Having one of the most beautiful deserts of Iran, extremely quiet, and being close to salt lake and Gavkhooni wetland, makes Varzaneh a must-stop spot for travelers between Isfahan and Yazd. Salt lake, Gavkhooni wetland and 1000-yeaer-old Ghoortan citadel are also in Varzaneh district.
Pasargad, the first capital of the Achaemenid Empire, and home to the Tomb of Cyrus.