Backpacking in Iran

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Iran has proven to be one of the best countries to visit. Not so bad for backpacking in Iran

backpacking in Iran
Being silent at the Silent Temple in Yazd

Here, we are surprised in a positive way every day. We arrived to stay for two weeks but already on the first days we realised Iran deserved more and we extended our visa for a month.

backpacking in Iran
Having fun with our dear friend Arash in Abadan

Let’s start with the basics. The best from here? The people. In all of our trips, we have never met such friendly people. We were often stopped on the streets by people who wanted to know more about us, our culture and our history. Also, we were invited to their homes and were part of family celebrations and dinners. All of that without expecting anything in return. The money for the Persians seems to have a less important meaning than for other cultures and this makes the whole experience even more exhilarating. Here, people pay for your bus, your taxi, your food, your ride … And it has always came accompanied by the lovely greeting: “Welcome to Iran!

backpacking in Iran
Having a picnic with a family in Yazd

The explanation for such hospitality may be in its strategic geographical position between Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Iran has always been the waypoint and was part of important trade routes. So, it seems that the population got used to always host people.

backpacking in Iran
Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Tourism and transport

Due to the occidental propaganda, there are not many tourists around here. Therefore, the few travellers who outdoes the prejudice’s barrier and lands over here, are welcomed with enormous kindness – and amazement as well. The domestic tourism, in the other hand, is extremely developed (probably due to the level of difficult to travel abroad with Iranian passport). Every city offers great infrastructure for travellers: relatively clean and free toilets (a part from the ones in the motorway, which are sometimes paid for – PS: toilets are old style squatting way though), drinkable water everywhere, hotels, tourist information, etc…

The motorways are of great quality, let alone the very comfortable VIP buses which take you from north to south of the country at very affordable prices. For those fond of heights, there is an airport in every main city.

backpacking in Iran
The Silent Temple em Yazd

Accommodation, food and transport are also affordable. Hotel rooms are for about $20 and dorms for $10. A good meal will cost you from $3 (kebab!) to $10. And going around, both by taxis, buses or tube, are also cheap – whenever is not free, as the ticket officer lets you go or another passenger pays for you. Furthermore, as there aren’t many international tourists adventuring around here, the entrance for many touristic points is very cheap (about $1,50 to $5).

backpacking in Iran
Ali-Sadr, the biggest water cave in the world – Hamedan
Former Persian Empire capitals

Iran has so many places to see that it is hard to prioritise some of them. Many people focus on the historical circuit of Esfahan, Yazd and Shiraz, old capitals from the Persian Empire and cradle of millenary war stories, conquests and beautifulness. Although, the surroundings of this area also offer traditions, culture and a lot of breath-taking landscape.

backpacking in Iran
Free camping – Hamedan

Another fact which impressed us was the security, easily compared to European countries. Thus, take your time to enjoy Iran at night. Families, couples, children and elders wander in the streets up to 1am. They meet in parks or in family’s houses to dine and enjoy the company of one another. Iranians seem to also appreciate nature and it is common to see families camping at parks, beaches, natural reserves and so on. It looks like all they need is a mat, tea and the company of family and friends. You will find many free camping sites throughout the country.

There is no way to describe how much Iran surprised and still surprising us. Surely, it is a place we will come back whenever we can. Here, you do not make friends, your gain families.

backpacking in Iran
Tabriz family and tourists – Tabriz

The tourism in Iran tends to grow more. We do not know if this receptivity will prevail when international tourists will not be hundreds but thousands. Just in case, if a tip is worth giving, rush there as soon as possible to ensure you will live this authentic experience!