Author(s): Hilary Smith (University of Sheffield)
Now into its fifth edition, Bradt's Iran continues to provide the most detailed background, history and cultural information available when visiting this 'Jewel of Central Asia'. This new edition has been thoroughly reviewed to provide all the latest information, from updated history and cultural developments to security, language and hotel prices. Food and arts, rugs and handicrafts are all covered, plus new details of skiing in Iran and recommended Iranian movies. For outdoor enthusiasts, swimming and desert and eco-tours are also included. With new direct flights to Iran now available from Europe, and a warm-hearted and welcoming people eager to meet tourists, visiting this intriguing country has never been easier. Iran's cities are packed with gilded mosques and blue-mosaic shrines built in honour of the country's greatest leaders. Its people are generous and its terrain ranges from the sands of the Persian Gulf to the Alburz Mountains in the north. The expert authors give first-hand descriptions of attractions ranging from the exquisite mosques of Esfahan and the museums and palaces of Tehran to remote, spectacular mountain hikes. New maps and up-to-date information on all the basics - hotels, restaurants, businesses and shops - help you to uncover the mysteries of ancient Persepolis, to enjoy a soak and scrub in a local hamam, or to pick up a pair of giveh slippers or a Persian rug in Kirman's bazaar. Thoroughly updated, this new edition also includes new details of 'Around Tehran', caravanserai, Nishapur, Qaleh Rudkhan and Kurdish villages on the Silk Road Trail. It has been updated by Middle East expert Maria Oleynik, who is fluent in ten languages, including Persian, Arabic and Hebrew.
Hilary Smith MPhil, who took over the update of the third edition, is an independent lecturer and guide with wide-ranging interests focusing particularly on the cultural history of central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. She first visited Iran in 1976 and has been returning regularly ever since. Having studied Persian in Esfahan, Maria Oleynik updated the 4th edition of the Bradt guide to Iran and has returned to work on the 5th edition. Iranologist at heart, since her first trip to Iran she has become deeply consumed by everything Iran-related and returns to the 'empire of her heart' at least once a year on research trips and holidays. Maria has numerous professional connections and friends in Iran as well as among the Iranian community abroad. While living in Denmark she has been an active - and the only non-Iranian - member of the Danish-Iranian Literature Group.
Introduction PART ONE GENERAL INFORMATION Chapter 1 Background Information Geography and climate, Natural history and conservation, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture Chapter 2 Practical Information When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tourist information, Tour operators, Time difference, Red tape, Embassies, consulates, missions, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, What to take, Export and import restrictions, Money, Budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays, Shopping, Culture and entertainment, Media and communications, Business, Opening times, Cultural etiquette, Travelling positively PART TWO THE GUIDE Chapter 3 Tehran and the Road South Tehran, Around Tehran, South of Tehran Chapter 4 West of Tehran: Qazvin and Hamadan Qazvin, Hamadan, Around Hamadan, West of Hamadan to Kermanshah Province and Kurdistan Chapter 5 From Kashan to Esfahan Kashan, On the road, Along the Kashan-Yazd road, Na'in, Around Na'in, Esfahan Chapter 6 The Caspian Region Getting there, Towards Gilan, West and southwest of Bandar-e Anzali, East of Bandar-e Anzali, Amol and around, Sari, Gonbad-e Qabus, Bastam and around, Damghan, Semnan, Semnan to Tehran Chapter 7 Iranian Azerbaijan Getting there, Ardabil, Tabriz, South and southeast of Tabriz, North of Tabriz, Orumiyeh and beyond (to the south and southeast), Zanjan Chapter 8 Shiraz and Around Shiraz, Around Shiraz Chapter 9 Persepolis and the Surrounding Area Persepolis, Naqsh-e Rostam, Istakhr, Pasargadae Chapter 10 The South Coast Ahvaz, Shushtar, Shush, Northwest of Shush/Susa, Southeast of Shush/Susa, East of Shush/Susa, South of Ahvaz, Eastwards along the coast, Further along the coast road Chapter 11 En Route to Yazd and Kerman Coming to Yazd from the southwest, Yazd, Kerman, Mahan, Bam, Zahedan, Chabahar and beyond Chapter 12 To Mashhad and Beyond Mashhad, Around Mashhad, South of Mashhad, To Kashmar, Nishapur and around Appendix 1 Language Appendix 2 Glossary Appendix 3 Further Information Index