Tourist Guide

Who is a tourist guide? A tourist guide is a person who travels with the tourists or joins them at the site and provides information about a specific place, monument, or natural phenomenon. The tourist guide usually gets a license from an authorized institute and has been trained and taught by authentic teachers of this field. The tour guide gives insight to the passengers about the importance of national or international heritage by explaining the history and the facts of that place. Tour guide in IranThere are different types of tourist guides and each individual might be trained in one or more fields. Some of these types are cultural tourist guides, eco-tourist guides. Among other types, we can name mountaineering tourist guides, bird watching tourist guides, geological tourist guides, Tour guides for kids, Cycling tour guides, and so on.

The role and task of a guide is to organize, inform, and entertain the passengers. Tourist guides are usually self-employed and freelance. The job is often seasonal and​ may involve working during unexpected hours. Work is often obtained through contact with tour operators or travel agencies and thus, guides must be knowledgeable and self-sufficient to be able to take the job.The way in which tourist guides interact with tourists is very important because it leaves a lasting impression about the country in the tourist’s mind. The ethics and code of conduct that the tourist guides sign informs the way in which qualified and registered tourist guides must behave during the whole trip. Legally registered tourist guides who do not abide by the code of conduct and ethics could receive formal disciplinary warnings and be expelled for the ​misconduct.
We provide skilled and professional tourist guides to guarantee your satisfaction. Our tourist guides will be with you during the whole trip. You can get local guides from our company in each city.  The driver guides are also available and can accompany you till the end of your journey. For more information please contact Hogo Travel. tour guide in Iran, tour guide. 

Transportation

Our company provides a wide variety of transportation services. You can choose the appropriate car between the existing vehicles. Transportation between different cities, airports, and every part of Iran is available through this operator. Transportation services in Iran Hogo Travel.If you like to have some adventure during your trip, a car rental in Iran might be a proper choice for you. You can experience the four seasons at the same time in different regions of Iran along with beautiful landscapes that you may lose parts of this adventure by air travel.Car rental agencies are available in most big cities where you can choose the desired vehicle from a rather short list of available cars. There is a range of cars available for rent; from an economy hatchback such as Peugeot 206 that costs about 30 Euros a day to a luxury SUV such as Toyota Land Cruiser that costs about 250 Euros. This part will help you find a proper rental agency to go on your adventurous journey.Depending on the number of individuals and your budget we can offer you different types of cars. We are aware that transportation is a very important part of the passenger’s experience. So we try to provide cars that can maximize your satisfaction.As your tour operator, we know scheduling must be exact. We try to act on time so you could enjoy your tour fully. We also are able to provide you a variety of automobiles for 1 day or the whole trip.Different types of vehicles available are Sedan, VIP Sedan, 7-Passenger Van, 14-Passenger Van, and 25-passenger VIP bus. Our buses have a big undercarriage space so you can bring your luggage with you.So we guarantee you that you shouldn’t be worried about transfer and transportation when you visit Iran. Transportation services in Iran

Flight

Buying flight tickets and confirming your flight booking is the first step of planning a trip. Now whether you are going to travel for business or leisure, you cannot make plan your trip until you have booked your flights first. Purchasing an air ticket is an obligatory first step once your itinerary is confirmed.It seems like half the work is finished the moment you get confirmed air ticket booking in your hand. The whole activity of searching for air connectivity between two cities, checking the flight schedule, and choosing the one that is most convenient to you can seem like a lot of work exceptionally if you are in a hurry to book a flight.A flight ticket is a document that is booked by an individual or a travel agency. Flights can be booked in two different ways; one is getting a paper ticket or what is called a voucher and the second is getting a flight ticket online. Transportation  Iran flight ticketsWhat is an e-ticket?People call it by different names like the Electronic ticket, Boarding Pass, or Boarding Card. It is not on paper but the registration has been made in an airline system. Then before getting on a flight, it should be printed on paper. We recommend you print your ticket in advance because the airport takes extra charges for issuing tickets. It should be noted that tickets could also be in black and white. Iran flight ticketsThe reservation of the tickets is made by an individual and should be registered in an airline system but we register the flight for you. There is no need to book a flight ticket yourself. Our company gets whatever type of flight ticket you want. We are able to make preparations based on the date you want to enter Iran and the date that you want to fly back to your country.After you make the reservation, the passenger cannot travel yet and it needs payment to the company they have called based on the agreed amount. Iran flight tickets

Persian Pottery and Ceramics

Persian Pottery and Ceramics

Pottery is one of the first and most important inventions of mankind. Through studying the potteries archaeologists elicit social and economic information about different historical periods. The potteries found in different countries provide us with comparative information about the lives, history, religions, social relations, and attitudes of people who have lived many centuries ago. Persian ceramics, Persian potteryThe history of Persian pottery goes back to 7,000 BC. Considering the special location of Iran which was the intersection of ancient civilizations and the passing way of important caravans, Persian potters have been responding to demands and changes brought by travelers, refining new forms, and blending them with their own culture. This innovative attitude has survived through time and influenced many other cultures around the world.Archeologists look for potteries all over this vast land but recent excavations show that there are four major pottery-producing zones in the plateau of Iran. The first one is Lorestan in the west of the Zagros Mountains. The second is the southern lands of the Caspian Sea which includes the Golestan and Mazandaran provinces. These two zones are the precursors of making pottery. The third is Azerbaijan which located in the northwest of Iran and the fourth is Sistan and Kerman region in the southwest of Iran. Desert areas where 8,000-year-old potteries have been discovered can also be added to these parts. Persian ceramics, Persian pottery

Persian Pottery Since 6000 BC

  • Artifacts found in "Dareh Ganj" and also in "Kamarband" and "Hutu" caves prove that the history of pottery in this country dates back to at least 6000 BC.
  • The manifestation of the furnace in 6000 BC shows a great change in pottery art.
  • The pottery industry seems to be formed approximately in 4700 BC.
  • The potter's wheel seems to increase the speed of pottery making and facilitate the process about 4000 BC.
  • About 3000 years ago simple pottery furnaces are found which has an entrance and an exit for the air. There were places made in order to put the earthware inside of them. A place that looked like a hole in the ground.
  • Among the characteristics, we can mention the distinctive designs about nature and pure imagination.
  • From the first years of 1500 BC due to the spread of metalwork, it became less popular.
  • But from the first years of 1000 BC, you can see the most amazing ceramics found in the city Susa. At this period you can also see the start of enameling on the pottery.

Themes in Persian Literature

History and Myths

Due to the religious background of the literature in pre-Islamic Iran and the intermingling of ancient Persian myths with Zoroastrianism and also its fusion with the religious Sassanid government history and myth writing has deep roots in Persian literature.In the New Persian language which separated from the Middle Persian after Islam writing literal history and myths have been done repeatedly.  The historical Prose and mythology texts which do not have literal aspects, the language used, and using literary arrays have put them in the category of literary works. We can refer to books such as Bal’ami History, Beyhaqi History, Tabarestan History, Tarikh al-Rosol val Moluk, Mojmal al-Tavarikh.Shahnameh of Ferdowsi is the most prominent work among the works of verse that had been composed as poems. This epic work contains the legends of Zoroastrian Iran and even the Pre-Zoroastrian period and in this work, Ferdowsi tried to save them from oblivion under the impact of religious beliefs. The contents reflected in Shahnameh are somehow different from the original version and Ferdowsi besides having the knowledge of the original story which existed in the verse books has changed them in a way that they do not fall under the category of forgotten works.The story of Keyumars which even in Islamic sources has been referred to as superhuman has changed to the first king and the story of Mashya and Mashyana and the dualism in Zoroastrian religion that wasn’t in accordance with the time of Ferdowsi had been removed from the work.Besides Ferdowsi, we can name some history and legend writing poets like Daqiqi, Asadi Tusi, Khwaju Kermani, and Zartosht Bahram-e Pazhdo.

Mysticism

Mysticism and mystical instructions have a special place in classic Persian literature. The history of the tendency to mysticism in Persian literature goes back to Mani and Manichaeist teachings. In the post-Islamic period, a lot of Iranian literati and poets also started to create literary works with mystical themes. Among them, we can refer to Abu Saeed Abul Khair as one of the pioneers. But the entering of mysticism into Persian literature officially goes back to the spiritual sonnets of Sanai. Later, after the progress of Iraqi style in poetry, it was intermingled with mysticism in a way that many mystical perceptions and terms entered the common poems of that era.One of the most important reasons for the tendency to mystical poetry is the literary taste of Sufis and the followers of Sufism. Many famous Sufis of Iran had Diwan and poetry books and were known as the prominent poets of their period. Hence, Sufi poetry, which is also one of the branches of Islamic mysticism found its way to the common literature of Iran, especially after the Mongol invasion.Among the most famous poets who wrote Sufi and spiritual poems, we can name Baba Tahir, Jami, Hatef Esfahani, Fakhr-al-Din Iraqi, Shah Nimatullah Wali, Rumi, Attar of Nishapur, Mahmoud Shabestari, and Fayz Kashani. Also, we can name some of the literary mystical prose writers like Ayn al-Quzat Hamadani, Khwaja Abdullah Ansari, Shams Tabrizi, Sheikh Ahmad Jami, Mohammad Ghazali, and Sad al-Din Nizari Quhistani.Among the important mystical works of Persian literature we can name Masnavi by Rumi, Diwan of Shams by Rumi, The Conference of the Birds by Attar, Monajat Nameh by Ansari, The Alchemy of Happiness by Ghazali, Kashf al-Mahjub by Hujwiri.

Romantic Subjects

The fondness of romantic subjects in Persian literature goes back to the early period of formation the of Persian literature. We can see a lot of romantic meanings in the works of earlier poets such as Kisai Marvazi, Rudaki, and Unsuri. In the same period inside the great and everlasting work of Ferdowsi which is Shahnameh romantic stories like Bijan and Manijeh, Khosrow and Shirin, and Zaal and Rudabeh all talk about the human aspect of love.In the following period in which poets like Nezami, Anwari, Khaqani, Fakhruddin As'ad Gurgani manifested writing romantic sonnets and writing fictional romantic poems increased. In the same period in addition to the entering of mystical contexts to the literature by Sanai Qaznavi, a sort of celestial love which is the love of God entered Persian poems. However, in the times in which Saadi and Hafez were the heads the concept of love came to a level between earthly and celestial love and it is important to say that Persian literature has many love stories.

Elegy and Panegyric

A big part of Persian literature consists of elegy and panegyric. Elegy is said to a poem that is written or recited for personal grief and panegyric is said to a poem that is wrote to praise or hail a specific person, be it alive or related to the past. The style in this type is usually Qasideh; however, you can see praise in other styles such as Masnavi and Sonnet (Ghazal).The subjects of the praise are usually the elders of religion, kings, and influential courtiers. The poets of the court lived especially in Samanid and Ghaznavid periods which among them we can name Unsuri, Asjadi, Farrukhi Sistani, Manuchehri, and Masud Sa'd Salman. Although other poets such as Rudaki have written praise poems before in the court of Samanids. But the difference between Rudaki and these poets is that in Rudaki poems, more than seeing praise, you can see stories and opinions and sometimes with respect to the king or an elder, their names in the last few verses of the poem.This sort of saying praise which later was known by the famous sonnet writers such as Hafez, Saif Farghani, and Khwaju Kermani more than being praise it was a poem which sometimes mentioned the name of the elders, although the context of the poem might not be related.In Masnavis in the poems of Ferdowsi, Nezami, and Fakhruddin As'ad Gurgani the collection of poems with verses praising one of the elders was written under his name and given to that person. Among the poets which were active in the field of panegyric literature, we can mention Anvari, Khaqani, Mu'izzi of Nishapur, and Kamal od-Din Esmail.After the establishments of the Safavid Empire in Iran, the interest in panegyric writing decreased and the panegyric poets mostly immigrated to India and the Ottoman territories. During this period religious praise became popular which Muhtasham Kashani is counted as one of the most important panegyric poem writers of this period.Kisai Marvazi is known as the first religious praise writer in the history of Persian literature. Baba Tahir, Khayyam, and Nasir Khusraw are poets which have never praised anyone.

Ethics and Wisdom

The subject of morality is one of the oldest themes in Persian literature. In many Pahlavi texts especially in Andarznameh which goes back to the latest periods of the Sassanid dynasty and is written under the impact of Avestan texts “ethics” are the main subject. Among these writings, we can name Menog-i Khrad and the religious book of Shayest ne Shayest.In Dari dialect of the Persian language moral issues are presented in the poems of many poets and a lot of prose texts have been written in this field. Among them, we can mention Nasirean Ethics, Gulistan of Sa'di, Qabus Nameh, Diwan of Parvin E'tesami.Biography, Comedy, and Memoir writings are some of the other themes in Persian literature.

Iran Visa for the US, Canada, and UK citizens

Iran Visa for the US, Canada, and UK citizens

The US, Canada, and UK passport holders are subject to some specific regulations when traveling to Iran. Through this article, Hogo Travel tries to give you some insight into the requirements of getting your Iranian visa.It is important to know that at present Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran does not permit US, Canada, and UK citizens to travel to Iran independently. The rules say that the visitors from the mentioned countries are required to travel on escorted tours; either as a part of a group or as an individual. So these visitors must apply in advance for a pre-arranged tour, get a tour guide or introduce a relative who can take responsibility.If you have decided to apply for your visa through an Iranian agency, first you need to send some documents to your selected agency. So the agency could apply for the visa on your behalf and acquire the required authorization code. Then, you should go to the embassy or consulate you have chosen with some further documents to collect your visa. Also, you should keep in mind that it usually takes 45 days to receive your authorization code. Then, it takes two more weeks to get your visa sticker from the embassy or consulate.The US, UK, and Canadian citizens are also required to submit a detailed resume and complete travel itinerary in advance.Due to these time-consuming requirements, it is better to make your arrangements at least 10 weeks before the travel date.It is important to note that passport or travel documents holders or those containing a visa/stamp from Israel up to 12 months prior to their application for traveling to Iran cannot get any form of Iranian visa.

Documents required:

  1. A digital image of the traveler’s passport. It must be:  Iran Visa for US Citizens

  • In color
  • In JPEG or JPG format
  • Less than 500 kilobytes and not less than 10 KB in kilobytes
  • Taken in a rectangular shape with a minimum width of 800 pixels and a minimum height of 600 pixels (the width must be greater than height)
  • In high quality
  • In an appropriate exposition; not too bright and not too dark
  • In an appropriate amount of clarity
  • In good alignment
  1. Digital personal photo. It should be:

  • In color
  • In JPG or JPEG file format
  • Less than 500 kilobytes and not less than 10 KB in kilobytes
  • In a rectangular shape with a minimum width of 400 pixels and a minimum height of 600 pixels (the height must be greater than width)
  • In a position in which the applicant’s face occupies 70-80% of the image
  • Taken within the last 6 months, in order to show the current state of the applicant’s appearance.
  • In plain white or off-white background
  • Facing the camera in a full-face view.
  • In a neutral facial expression with both eyes open
  • Taken in clothes in which the applicant normally wears
  • Taken not in uniforms, except religious uniforms worn on a daily basis
  • Without a head covering or headscarf which obscures the face and the hair unless it is worn every day for religious purposes
  • Without any shadow obscuring the face
  • Taken without wearing any electronic devices such as headphones, Ear Pods, speakers, and wireless hands-free devices
  • Taken showing the eyes of the applicant completely and without glasses unless it is prescribed by a doctor due to an illness surgery or protection. In this case, a written statement by a medical professional or a health practitioner is required.
Therefore in this image:  Iran Visa for US Citizens
  1. Frame must not obscure the view of the eyes
  2. There must be no glare on the glasses
  3. No shadows must be cast on the glasses and no reflections must be on the surface of the worn glasses
  • Taken solely for issuing an Iranian visa. Digital scanned images of official documents are not acceptable.
  • Accepted by the embassy or consulate of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Therefore, applicants must check the confirmation of the photos through their local embassies.
  • The same image and not change if the appearance of the applicant has gone through minor changes during the past six months (such as getting a new haircut, growing a beard or mustache, or changing the hair color). However, if the applicant has changed his appearance significantly, due to any of the following reasons, they must take a new photo, even if their current photo is not older than 6 months:
  1. Undergone a significant facial surgery or trauma
  2. Added or removed large facial tattoos
  3. Gained or lost a significant amount of weight
  4. Made a gender transition
  5. The age of the applicant being under the age of 16 and undergone facial changes because of the growing process,                              he or she will most probably not need a new photo.
  • For babies and toddlers, no other person should be in the image other than the child. The background of the image must also be in plain white and the child must be looking at the camera with eyes open.
  1. Passport (must be valid for 6 months after the departure date from Iran)

  2. Complete travel itinerary (if any)

  3. Detailed resume or CV (travelers might be required to submit or explain the information about their career, education, and so forth)

  4. The hotel or accommodation of your stay or information about your host in Iran

  5. Additional information. Depending on the type of visa, some applicants may be required to submit additional information after completing the online visa application

  6. The links and information about all your social media accounts

    Iran Visa for US Citizens

NOTE:

  • The process of receiving an Iran visa is different and it might take up to 2 months.
  • Citizens of these countries cannot get Visa on Arrival.
  • It is necessary to submit a complete travel itinerary in advance and you are required to get an approved tour guide to accompany you during the whole trip.
  • All tourists, except citizens of Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Colombia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Yemen, and Somalia can stay in Kish and Qeshm Islands for the period of 14 days or less without getting any visa.
  • US citizens can receive their Iran tourist visa stamped at the interest section of the Iran embassy in Washington DC.
  • In general, the issued Iran visa is valid for 3 months and you cannot extend your visa after these three months.

Travel insurance for Iran:

  1. As a principle, it is always good to have appropriate travel insurance when you want to travel to another country. Lately, this has become a mandatory requirement for all visitors, regardless of the destination, to have travel insurance when they want to travel to Iran.
  2. The issued insurance must state that it is valid for Iran. It is up to your insurance company in your country to do that for you or you can get insurance through IATI, A Spanish insurance company with a good background in issuing travel insurance to various destinations including Iran.
Hogo Travel is a licensed tour operator which provides services exclusively for the US, Canada, and UK citizens. Flight

Transportation in Iran

Transportation in Iran

If you are traveling to Iran alone without the help of a travel agency, you should know about the transportation network in Iran and how this system of works in the country. To reach Iran you can choose an air, bus, or railway system depending on the place of departure. Once you are inside Iran you and your companions can use public transportation in big cities such as Tehran at a low price for you. In this article, we try to explain different types of transportation in Iran, and also their advantages and disadvantages.

Transportation in Iran

Plane

There is a wide domestic flight network in Iran, available on a daily basis that you can use during your trip to Iran in order to go to your desired destination. There are also a variety of airlines from which you can choose depending on your budget. Some of these airlines are Iran Air, Iran Aseman, Mahan Air, Zagros, and so on. To book a flight on each of these airlines, and to know about the flight schedule, you can easily contact our travel experts and get some insight about them. You should just mention the place of departure and the destination so that we can book a domestic flight for you.Actually, there are two ways of booking a domestic flight in Iran, regular and charter. Regular tickets can be canceled and there is always the possibility of a refund. However, it is better to check the policy with your tour operator before booking. On the contrary, you cannot get a refund for charter tickets, whether it is a month or 24 hours before the flight schedule. When you book the flight, you have to pay the total cost of your ticket.Keep in mind that both regular and charter tickets can be bought for one single flight, for instance, a flight from Tehran to Isfahan by Mahan Air could be purchased as a regular or charter ticket. So, it is better to ask your travel agent about the terms of your domestic flight in Iran. We recommend going to the airport an hour before your flight schedule.

Transportation in Iran

Taxi

Taxis are regularly available throughout small and big cities. You can either take a private or shuttle taxi. Shuttle taxis travel between the main streets, boulevards, and squares of the city so you must know the name of the street and where you are going. In order to reach your destination, sometimes you might need to take more than one shuttle taxi otherwise you can take a private ride that is usually more expensive. To call for a private taxi you should say ‘Dar Bast’ to the cab driver and tell him where you want to go and he will take you to any location in the city. It is better to agree on a price before getting into the car.For a shared or a shuttle taxi, you can find the taxi stations on almost every square and almost all of the main streets of the city. There are a lot of yellow or green taxis waiting to be filled by passengers at their stations and to move toward their destination. Taxis usually wait in lines under a sign that shows the name of their destination. If you cannot see any taxi station stand on the side of the street and shout the name of your destination to the taxis going in your direction and a taxi will stop to pick you up.There are also telephone taxis or agency taxis that every hotel has and each household knows. So, you can ask someone to dial the number of local agency taxis and he or she will call and ask for a car to your destination. The agency taxi is usually more expensive than the shuttle taxi and it can wait while you do your work during the day or can be hired for your entire stay.Also, there are special taxis for women only, in the big cities. All the cab drivers are women and they will only accept female customers. You can reserve a taxi by dialing the 1814 number and they also have started their online services on their website, taxibanovan.com. 

Bus

There is bus transportation in every city, and in big cities such as Tehran, it is the best option to escape the traffic of downtown and other crowded city streets. Tehran has a BRT (bus rapid transit) system that runs 24/7 in ten different routes throughout the city. You can see the map on the internet. The fee for each trip is 10210 Rials for the bus with the e-ticket.If you are planning to use Tehran’s bus or subway services pretty often during your stay in Iran, buy an e-ticket from a bus or metro station since you can only use the electronic ticket if you want to go somewhere by the BRT system. Using the e-ticket for the subway will cost you less than buying a paper ticket for each trip. Using e-tickets is easy. You just have to charge it any amount you want and then do not need to stay in line to purchase another ticket for each trip.There are almost no minibusses in Tehran due to the improvement of the bus system in recent years, except in some less developed districts of the city.

Transportation in Iran

Subway

Tehran’s subway system has different lines running in different routes plus an extra line that goes to the city of Karaj. Through the subway you can quickly reach almost any location in Tehran, you just have to find out which line is the best for the location that you want to go to. If you need to switch the line you have to figure out which station you must go to, to get on the other train. In addition, the boards inside the trains, show the name of the stations in Farsi only but in the stations and on the map which you can see on the internet, the English names are available. Keep in mind that the subway trains during the rush hours 7-9 am and 4-7 pm are very crowded. The fee for a trip with the e-ticket is different due to the station to which you want to go to. If you do not want to use an e-ticket and want to buy a regular ticket, the one-way ticket is 15,000 Rials for Tehran, 1,7000 Rials for Tehran’s surroundings, 50,000 Rials for Hashtgerd, and 90,000 Rials for the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA). 

Intercity Transportation

It is best to travel between cities by train or bus. Both are very comfortable and have reasonable fees. There are VIP buses that are more comfortable than normal intercity buses suitable for longer trips with the service of a juice box and cookies. You can buy the bus tickets at the terminal or book them on relevant websites. But you must know that visa cards and master cards do not work in Iran because of the banking sanctions.For transportation between cities, you can also choose railway transportation. If you are traveling in a group you can buy the tickets for 4 to 6 seated wagons that the seats can turn into a bed for a comfortable night sleep. Some railway tracks, such as Tehran-Mashhad, have different qualities, from luxury to ordinary classifications. For the railways, you must buy the tickets at the terminal.You can also take private cars to transport you between the cities that will take four passengers to depart toward the destination and the fee could be at the same price as the bus but it might be less comfortable comparing to the bus or train specially for longer trips.

Transportation in Iran

Car Rental in Iran

If you like to have some adventure during your trip, a car rental in Iran might be a proper choice for you. You can experience the four seasons at the same time in different regions of Iran along with beautiful landscapes that you may lose parts of this adventure by air travel. Car rental agencies are available in most big cities where you can choose the desired vehicle from a rather short list of available cars. There is a range of cars available for rent; from an economy hatchback such as Peugeot 206 that costs about 30 Euros a day to a luxury SUV such as Toyota Land Cruiser that costs about 250 Euros. This part will help you find a proper rental agency to go on your adventurous journey. 

Is Driving Recommended in Iran?

At first glance, traffic in Iran is somehow similar to many other Asian countries.But it not completely the same; it seems that everyone is going their own way without taking anything else into account; however, traffic outside the big cities is quite light and easily drivable. While some crazy drivers might discourage you from renting a car, it also has its own advantages. Driving gives you freedom and comfort so you can explore different parts of this vast country. Note that navigation will not be a big problem; You can use the help of apps such as Google Maps, Waze, and also ask the locals to find your destinations.

Transportation in Iran

How to Rent A Car

There are many car rental agencies and companies in Iran in which you go through a process slightly different from the conventional process in Europe or the US. The well-known car rental agencies like Europcar and Takseir and travel agencies like Hogo Travel can provide a proper vehicle for you based on your budget. In general, the process is simple; you choose a vehicle, leave a guarantee for returning it, receive the keys, drive to your destinations, return the car, pay the rental price, and get the guarantee back. For instance, when you rent a car from Europcar in Shiraz, the return procedure at the Imam Khomeini international airport is similar to any other rental place worldwide. You drop the vehicle at the arrival level; a person will check the vehicle and off you go. 

Who Can Rent A Car?

Anyone who does not want to be accompanied by a driver can rent a car in Iran. Anyone with the age of 18 (21 for some companies) or more can rent a car. 

Is Renting A Car Without A Driver Possible?

Yes. Many car rental agencies have this option. But it sometimes limits the options for choosing the car model. For instance, some agencies will not give you luxury cars unless you are accompanied by a driver from the agency. There are also some agencies that do not let their customers take expensive car models outside the city.

Transportation in Iran

Popular Car Rental Locations in Iran

There are some famous rental agencies including Europcar, Takseir, Saadat Rent, Persiangasht, Aradseir, Parsianhamrah, and Hamirent. Usually, these agencies allow the customers to choose where to get the car; but some of them have limitations. Most agencies and companies have car delivery services in big cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Tabriz, Mashhad, Rasht, and Bandar Abbas. For example, there are offices for Europcar at IKIA and Mehr Abad airports in Tehran. It is better to ask if the agency charges you for delivering the car at the airport before returning the vehicle. 

Guarantee for Car Rentals in Iran

Depending on the company or agency, you will be asked for any of these documents as a guarantee: valid driving license, your visa, or passport. The agency may demand a deposit in cash; this deposit may range from 1,000 to 5,000 euros depending on the car type and the company. You will also be charged an added insurance fee. As you deliver the car, your deposit will be returned to you, but some agencies will keep a small amount of your deposit as a guarantee for the possible fines recorded by the police; this amount will be sent back to you after your return in about 75 days. 

Car Rental Prices

Car rental prices may differ depending on many factors such as car model, mileage, duration, and whether you are hiring a driver or not. As you might already know you can get better prices if you make longer reservations, usually longer than a week.Based on your budget, you might wonder how much it is to rent a car in Iran. Well, there are a variety of options. Usually, there is an economical option in the rental agencies; Iranian cars or older models of well-known companies are included in this group. For instance, an economy car like Peugeot 206, or Dena (an Iranian sedan) might cost about 30 Euros a day. More expensive cars such as Renault Logan/Symbol or Kia Cerato could be rented with 60 to 110 euros a day respectively. There are more cars at higher costs available for rent such as Toyota’s luxury SUV, Land Cruiser, which costs about 250 Euros per day. Because of the necessity of having insurance, some companies may ask for an extra amount. Prepare enough cash for renting a car since your credit cards will not work in Iran. 

Public Transportation or Car Rental?

So, renting a car is an exciting way through which you can start and stop the car whenever you like and enjoy the beautiful landscapes on the road. If this type fits your budget, then why not trying it. If you like other ways of transportation, you can use public transport that is cheaper and always available.You can also visit: Tehran AccommodationsShiraz Accommodations, Isfahan Accommodations

Maranjab Desert

Maranjab Desert

Where Is the Maranjab Desert?

Undoubtedly, by looking at the pictures of this beautiful desert, you would also be willing to visit Maranjab and its attractions. The Maranjab Desert is located north of Aran va Bidgol, in Kashan City, and Isfahan Province. Maranjab is the name of a caravanserai and also a qanat (ancient underground water system) belonging to the Safavid Period, later has been calling for the whole area around them. From the north there is Aran va Bidgol Salt Lake, from west Masileh Desert, Howz-e Soltan and Howz-e Mareh Lakes, from east Band-e Rig Desert and Khabr National Park, and from the south is the Aran va Bidgol City. There are different routes to reach the Maranjab Desert like the Khaled Abad Route inside Abu Zeid Abad District southeast of Kashan but the best and most commonly used route in order to reach this region is from Kashan City.

The Distance Between Aran va Bidgol and Kashan

The Distance Between Aran va Bidgol and Kashan is 13 kilometers. When you arrive at the dirt road between the two cities, you must drive about 20 minutes in order to travel the distance between Aran va Bidgol and Kashan. To go from Tehran to Kashan, first, you should enter Tehran-Qom Freeway and then drive through the Qom-Kashan Freeway. After driving 230 kilometers you will arrive at the Qaem welfare service complex that you can recognize by its gas station. Enter the complex area, drive through the underpass after it, and then go left. Now you are on the old road or Jadeh Qadim of Kashan. On this road turn right at the first crossroad and drive on the Qotb Ravandi Boulevard till you reach Montazeri Square. From the Square, enter Kargar street and drive till you reach Azadegan Square, and then enter Ayatollah Ameli Boulevard. After moving past the military (on the right) and karkhaneh Foolad Road, you reach the end of the main road. After the Helal bin Ali Mosque, you should enter a narrow path toward the Maranjab Dirt Road. There are a signboard and a booth at the entrance of this dirt road that show the path. From this spot, you just need to drive the distance between Aran va Bidgol and Kashan to reach the Maranjab Desert. The distance is approximately 13 kilometers and could be driven in about 20 minutes.

Maranjab Desert

Why Is It Called “Maranjab”?

“Maranjab” like many other places and structures belonging to the Safavid Period has an interesting name. Shah Abas of the Safavid Dynasty named this desert “Maranjab” or “Mard-Ranj-Ab” meaning “Man-Pain-Water” because digging wells and qanats was so difficult and people needed to go through pain and labor in order to reach freshwater. As time passed, “Mard-Ranj-Ab” turned into “Maranjab” which is the name called by people today.

Why Should We Visit the Maranjab Desert?

Maranjab is located on the ancient Silk Road and its caravanserai used to be the connecting point of Isfahan and Khorasan provinces. This desert is among the few deserts that have various animal species and different plants because the climate provides enough food and water for the flora and fauna. Animals like Rüppell's fox, sand cat, monitor lizard, chameleon, see-see partridge, eagle, and hawk and plants such as tamarisk, haloxylon, arteh, calligonum comosum, and smirnovia iranica trees and bushes like zygophyllum eurypterum are some of the flora and fauna of this region.  The pictures of the Maranjab Desert with its tall sand dunes and small tamarisk and haloxylon trees catch every traveler’s attention. The Salt Lake and starry night sky also complete the beauty of Maranjab. Visiting Maranjab will become a unique experience that you don’t want to miss.

The Attractions of the Maranjab Desert

As you enter the dirt road toward Maranjab until you arrive at the caravanserai, you need to drive about 40 kilometers. On the way, you will encounter small tamarisk and haloxylon trees with spaghetti-like leaves that on the inside they are full of water. The camels of the region use them to quench their thirst. Because of coolness, the monitor lizards live under the trees and feed on their roots. In the middle of the route, you will encounter a steep slope called “Khatb Shekan”. After Khatb Shekan you reach a salt marsh called “Chah Kanjeh”. Then you arrive at the Salt Lake Fork. One of these paths is dedicated to the unrefined salt trucks. The lake is full of salt. After each rain and water evaporation, the salt crystals form beautiful hexagonal shapes. They are among the most amazing attractions of the Maranjab Desert. After visiting the lake, you will see “Jazireh Sargardan”. Then you will reach Shah Abbasi Caravanserai. 4 kilometers away from the caravanserai, there is “Chah-e Dastkan” or “handmaid well” that is another attraction of the area. Because of the sand filters, salty groundwater gets purified in the well and provides freshwater.

Maranjab Desert

Recreational Activities in the Maranjab Desert

Recreational activities in the Maranjab Desert due to its high number of attractions are diverse and numerous. You can also visit this desert and see its beauty and wonders. Visiting various flora and fauna, the starry night sky, Salt Lake, Dastkan Well, and Jazireh Sargardan are some of the activities that nature lovers can experience. Camel, ATV, and off-road riding are other entertainments for those who want to pump some adrenaline!

Jazireh Sargardan

Jazireh Sargardan (meaning wandering island) is an amazing part of the Maranjab Desert, inside Salt Lake. A layer of white salt has covered the circumference of this low-height hill. This island is formed of spongy volcanic stones and has no vegetation. There is always dense mist on the hillside that causes an optical illusion and the hill seems like a wandering ship on the sea. That is why it is called Jazireh Sargardan or wandering island. The ground around the island is marshy so you should be careful when you approach the island.Accommodations in the Maranjab Desert If you are one of those guys that always look for a hotel to stay in, you should change your habits! You cannot stay at a hotel in the Maranjab Desert. But after visiting the natural attractions of the desert, you can go to the Maranjab Caravanserai and have some rest. Abbasi Caravanserai of Maranjab is a caravanserai that has remained from the Safavid Era in the middle of the desert. This caravanserai used to be a place of rest for the caravans and it is now the best place to stay in the Maranjab Desert.

When Should We Go to the Maranjab Desert?

Traveling to the desert is exciting in each season. But after the weather cools down the number of travelers increases. The best season for traveling to the desert is the autumn and the second half of November because the route is dry and the weather is pleasant. So, from the first days of autumn until the first days of spring is an appropriate time to travel to the Maranjab Desert because the weather is cooler and more pleasant in comparison to the other months.

Maranjab Desert

What Should We Bring to the Desert?

Before we begin our travel to the desert areas, we must have the necessary information and travel consciously. If you want to travel to the Maranjab Desert it is better to bring a local tour guide with you and we recommend you not to travel alone. On your trip to Maranjab, make sure that you are wearing proper hiking shoes or hiking sandals. In addition to food and drinking water, it is better to bring light nutrients such as almonds. If you are traveling to Maranjab in a cold season, make sure to bring warm and proper clothes with you. Furthermore, don’t forget to bring sunglasses and a cap. And of course, don’t forget your camera; to capture photos of your wonderful journey.

Traveling by a Rental or Your Own Vehicle

It is better to read these tips if you are one of those travelers who want to travel by private vehicle:
  • In order to reach the desert, it is better to use the route of Aran va Bidgol City.
  • It is possible to go to the Maranjab Desert by private vehicle, but if you don’t have an SUV make sure to travel with two cars so that you can tow the vehicle.
  • If you don’t have a local guide, stick to the main routes.
  • Bring a few days more share of drinking water and at least one day more share of food.
  • Your cellphones will only have a signal within the 30 kilometers reach from the caravanserai, so if you are in trouble use other ways such as burning a tire to inform others.
  • And last but not least, make sure that you don’t leave any trash behind so that we could maintain and protect the unique environment of the Maranjab Desert.

Siberian White Crane ( Grus leucogeranus )

It is one of the most important birds of Iran who is at serious risk and critically endangered. The Siberian White Crane is a bird of the Gruidae family of cranes. The Siberian Cranes are divided into three eastern, western, and central populations which the central population is extinct. The eastern population migrates to China during winter while the western population migrates to the north of Iran in the winter. Only one Siberian White Crane remains in the world.The only survivor of the western population of Siberian Crane, after  97 days of wintering in Fereydoon Kenar Dam, left Iran for spring habitat in Siberia on February 26, 2019.This Crane has been called “Hope”, after the death of his mate in the winter of 2009. It‘s 11 consecutive years that he comes alone to the Fereydoon Kenar Pond in Iran for winter. He flies this long way without his friends and family; from Siberia to Iran. For this reason, Iranian birders and birdwatchers called him, Hope. We strongly wish to see this symbol of loyalty again next winter. MacQueen's Bustard

The Most Interesting Bird Species in Iran

Based on the latest listings Iran possesses 550 bird species; 70 percent of them are migrating, or they come to Iran in the winter, or they come in the summer for breeding.

  The following list is a list of bird species in Iran that are the most interesting for watching; Macqueen’s Bustard, Iranian Ground Jay,  Caspian Tit, Black-headed Penduline Tit, Sind Woodpecker, Caspian Snowcock, See-see Partridge,  Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Grey Hypocolius, Crab-plover, Sooty Gull and Pallas’s Gull, White-throated Robin Afghan & Iraq Babbler, Pallid Scops Owl,   Dead Sea Sparrow,  Red-tailed (Persian) Wheatear, Variable Wheatears,  Basra Reed Warbler, Sykes’s and Asian Desert Warbler, Mountain Chiffchaff,  Asian Crimson-winged Finch, Graceful Prinia, Radde’s Accentor, Mesopotamian Crow, Grey-necked and Red-headed Bunting, Menetries’s Warbler and Red-Tailed Shrike and …

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Ghormeh Sabzi

Ghormeh sabzi is considered to be the symbol of Persian cuisine. This Persian herb stew consists of lamb, red beans, and different herbs that is a very popular dish among Iranians. It could be known as one of the most prominent dishes in Iranian culinary heritage. An ancient recipe that has been passed down from parents to children and generation to generation.For those who have tasted it, Ghormeh sabzi is hard to forget. At first, its unique aroma amazes you, and then it is time to taste the rich dark green herby gravy that is pungently sour with a bit of bitterness. It all comes together with slow-cooked lamb that will melt in the mouth and fork-tender.Stews are a big part of Persian cuisine. Ghormeh Sabzi along with other stews such as  Fesenjan and Gheimeh are an important part of Persian culinary tradition and also the most commonly cooked stews by all Iranians.This dish is cooked with a few variations in different parts of Iran. Some people cook it by adding a little bit of tomato paste or chopped tomatoes. Another variation could be the type of beans. Ghormeh Sabzi is often cooked with red kidney beans, but could also be cooked with pinto beans or even black-eyed peas. Some families might also add dill and spinach to the stew.

INGREDIENTS

  • 700 grams Lamb with bone or 500 grams boneless lamb (cut it in two-inch pieces)
  • 1 can Red kidney beans
  • 1 Large yellow onion Finely chopped
  • 2 bunches Parsley
  • 2 bunches Chives
  • 1 bunch Coriander
  • 1 small bunch of fresh fenugreek or 2 tbsp of dried fenugreek (too much of it will make the stew bitter)
  • 3 Dried lime or squeeze a fresh lime inside the stew
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tbsp dried tomato powder or 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste 
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
 See also: Meygou Polo tarragon

Abgoosht

Abgoosht

Also called Dizzy is known for its special customs and different steps in its preparation. It is one of the favorite dishes among Iranians and also Tourists.When it comes to cooking Abgoosht you cannot haste and you have to be patient because it takes more than two hours to be prepared and Persian people usually cook it longer than 2 hours.This dish is made of lamb, chickpea, white beans, dried lemons, onion, potato, tomato paste, lemon juice, turmeric, water and a bit of seasoning.When it is ready you eat two different foods, so it is a double pleasure. Once you pour bread pieces inside the soup and eat for the first time and second you mash other ingredients with a masher (gooshtkub) and eat for the second time!Make sure to try Abgoosht when you visit Iran it is highly recommended.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lamb shanks
  • 1 cup white beans, soaked over night
  • 1 cup chickpeas, soaked over night
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground dried lime or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoons pepper
  • 1 large potato, peeled
  • ½ tablespoons turmeric
  • water
Therefore, Meygou Polo parsley