Corinthian Travel expects return of Iran Tourism by 2014

After 34 years the west may be on the cusp of a new and historic era in its relationship with Iran; both sides appear to be eager to broker a deal that addresses the vexed nuclear issue ‘within months’.

Relief from Persepolis, Iran
Relief from Persepolis, Iran

Provided that the talks succeed, and a resumption of normalised diplomatic and trade relations follows, it is possible that we may see tourism returning to Iran as early as the autumn of next year.

Western Tourism to Iran came virtually to an end in 1979 with the onset of the Islamic Revolution and, over the past thirty four years, only a trickle of western visitors have seen Iran’s stunning cultural treasures (and even this trickle dwindled to almost zero in the last two years as a result of sanctions, and government travel advisories).

Iran’s stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites and cultural treasures now lie almost completely free from visitors, yet until the fall of the Shah in 1979, the country was a major destination on the map of the western traveller.

The prospect of discovering the great ruins of ancient Persia (including the magnificent palace of Persepolis), gazing on the exquisitely tiled mosques and monuments of the Safavids in Isfahan (considered to be amongst the finest in the Islamic world), discovering the ‘paradise’ of Shiraz and Kashan’s Persian gardens; and journeying through the landscape that so inspired the great poets Hafez, Saadi and Rumi – once made the lure of Iran almost irresistible to the cultural traveller.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Isfahan
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Isfahan in Iran

Assuming that all goes well, these stunning sights will once again be fully accessible to the western traveller. Corinthian Travel specialises in holidays to Iran and the Middle East and has extensive contacts on the ground in Iran. We can customise any itinerary to meet your needs and interests and have created three sample itineraries to whet your appetites.

Sojourn in Persia: 9 Days | 8 Nights

Sojourn in Persia is a private tour that showcases the stunning highlights of Iran. The tour starts in the Iranian capital Tehran, and then visits Shiraz, a city that has oft been sung of as the abode of nightingales and roses. Next, explore the magnificent ancient sites of Persepolis, Naghsh-e-Rostam, and Pasargadae before continuing to Isfahan where two full days have been dedicated to exploring the monument that are considered by many to be amongst the finest in the Islamic world.

Classic Iran: 12 Days | 11 Nights

A classic itinerary combining Iran’s great highlights with some lesser known gems. Accompanied by your own private English speaking expert guide the Classic Iran tour visits the sites covered by Sojourn in Persia, but has more time to enjoy Persepolis and Shiraz. Also included on the tour are two nights in the stunning desert city of Yazd with its wonderful architecture and Zoroastrian fire temples and towers of silence.

In Search of Ancient Persia: 15 Days | 14 Nights

Persian Tiles, Shiraz, Iran
Persian Tiles, Shiraz, Iran

This private tour that has been designed with the enthusiast of ancient Persian history in mind. The tour reveals the glorious architectural achievements of the Achaemenian empire (550 to 330 B.C) through visits to the monuments that are the legacy of Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes. The great ziggurat at Chogha Zanbil from the earlier Elamite period is also visited, as is the striking legacy of Iran’s Sassanian’s kings (224 to 651 A.D). Interwoven between these ancient splendours are the marvels of Iran’s Islamic period. A full day is devoted to explore Shiraz, and two days are spent in Isfahan. Also visited are the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Solantieh, and the former Safavid capital of Qazvin.

While Iran remains off sale until sanctions are lifted, diplomatic relations are restored and the Foreign and Commonwealth travel advice ceases to advise against all ‘non-essential travel’; we sense that change is in the air, and would be happy to start discussing any Iran holiday plans for the autumn of 2014 on a provisional basis.  Click here to contact Corinthian Travel.

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