Iran still manages to surprise us, this time with 4000-year-old petroglyphs near our home.
This website is about “authentic” travel in Iran because there’s so much more here than just the historical sites, as spectacular as they are.
Most tours to Iran are focused on history because the beaten path is convenient for both the visitor (minimal research) and the tour company (peddling the same product ad nauseam).
But you might overdose on history within the first few days of your Iran tour, the same way you can overdose on history when touring Europe.
“How many more museums do we need to see?” I ask my wife when I’ve seen enough of Hercules and Baby Jesus in Europe.
Likewise, many Iran visitors ask, “How many more mosques do we need to see?” after a few days of touring the usual destinations.
This is, of course, a structural issue of tourism. So much of tourism is about trekking to things and places others blustered about.
In the video above, the seemingly stupid but actually thought-provoking question about Mona Lisa is posed by Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) in the second episode of Cunk on Earth. Follow our YouTube channel here.
In the process, though, we might miss the simple things that might bring far more pleasure, like connecting to the local people or just a quiet walk in the desert.
Every one of our Iran road trips includes historical destinations. You can’t avoid history in Iran even if you tried.
But what we remember best and are most grateful for after each Iran tour are the transformative, authentic experiences we found off-the-beaten track.
We relish Iran’s spectacular nature filled with countless anomalies, the traditional accommodations in Iran’s villages, in meeting its local artisans, listening to riveting music made with ancient instruments, and feasting on local recipes of each region made with farm fresh foods.
But what’s most memorable on every single of our trips is being seduced by Persian hospitality of Iran’s bafflingly complex population of many cultures and languages. None are afraid to interact with the stranger. The stereotypes break quickly here.
Tourists come to Iran for the majestic minarets in all those dazzling HDR photos. But the people of Iran will be what you’ll remember.