Highlights of Iran

Two and half weeks in Iran resulted in 27 blog posts, which I admit is rather a lot to get through. So for those short on time or interest here are my highlights of this wonderful place. Kharanak isn’t somewhere many people will have heard of, but it is a quite astonishing and evocative abandoned…

Kashan

A stopover on the way from Esfahan back to Tehran, Kashan was one of the few places I didn’t particularly like in Iran. It felt like a far less welcoming (very conservative), dirtier and less interesting version of Yazd. There were a couple of nice sights though, in particular the stylish Khan-e Tabatabei. This was…

Esfahan at sunset and night

Esfahan was surprisingly the only place in Iran I saw a decent sunset, usually it just disappeared into a dusty, possibly pollution related, haze. By the Zayandeh River though I saw a couple of crackers, firstly by the Se-o-Se Pol Bridge. Secondly further down the river by the Khaju Bridge, including a kite with LEDs on…

Iman Square, Esfahan

The second largest square in the world (after Tiananmen Square), Esfahan’s Iman Square is a stunning civic space, lined with beautiful architecture and filled with history. The closest comparison for me is if Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar were co-located. It’s also one of the few places in Iran I found not…

Esfahan

Esfahan is often referred to as Iran’s gem, home to the most beautiful Islamic architecture in the world, and is the most popular tourist destination in the country. After a couple of days in Yazd though it was a shock to find myself in a massive, bustling, generally unattractive city. It did grow on me…

Meybod Pigeon Tower

One of the more unusual sights I saw in Iran was this pigeon tower, built hundreds of years ago but clearly more recently restored. It was a five star home for thousands of pigeons, useful for producing fertiliser, but more interesting now for the beautiful architecture.

Kharanak

About an hour from Yazd is the incredible Kharanak, remains of a mud brick village once home to about 2,000 people, abandoned 120 years ago due to plague. It’s a wonderful place to explore, and get lost in, an amazing 3D maze. You need to be careful though, there are plenty of holes around to…