Little understood and seldom visited by Western tourists, Iran can seem opaque and enigmatic. Many preconceptions are based on its confusion with the Arab world, a fact lost on many in the West and a mistake many in Iran, with its over 2,500 years of Persian history, would probably take issue with. An essential stop on the Silk Road, the Persian Empire stretched from Greece to India and brought its famously tolerant culture – including early medicine – to a world mired in comparative medieval backwardness. Today's Iran is still a place of bustling bazaars, glorious architecture, and mountain villages with a young, friendly, and open population. As long as you're not too attached to that glass of wine (curiously, it was invented here), a visit will take you beyond the rhetoric into one of the world's truly great cultures.

Featured blog posts

Eating Your Way Through Iran

Aug. 5, 2013, 11:19 a.m.

Traditional Iranian – or Persian – cuisine combines savory dishes with sweet flavors like pomegranate, barberry and cinnamon. There is ample use of fresh herbs and subtle spices like saffron.

G-Rewind – March 15, 2012

March 15, 2012, 7:36 a.m.

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the G-Rewind. Each week we will take a look back at some of the more memorable items we saw while browsing the interwebs. From Twitter to Facebook to the blogosphere, we’ll pick our favourites and post them here.

Postcards from Iran: Top 10 Experiences

March 8, 2012, 4:57 p.m.

From the stone-carved grandeur of ancient Persia to the dizzying bits of tile work and mirrored glass that define Islamic architecture, Iran’s history is deep and visual. And if UNESCO World Heritage sites are your thing, Iran boasts over a dozen of them.

Iran Tours

Countries we visit in the Middle East