Sunday, October 23, 2016

KLM flights to Iran are going to be resumed.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is about to resume the flight services to Tehran, the capital of Iran from October 30, 2016. KLM operated services to Tehran since July 1991 until the route was suspended in 2013.  Four weekly flights are going to be operated between the Schiphol Airport of Amsterdam and Imam Khomeini Airport of Tehran.

The flight KL0433 will depart from Amsterdam at 17:40 every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday and it will land in Tehran at 1:20 (local time). The return flight KL0434 will depart from Tehran at 3:20 and arrive in Amsterdam at 6:45.

The flight service will be operated by a Boeing 777-200 with 34 business, 40 economy business and 242 economy seats.

More international airlines are going to resume flight services in next months and Uppersia travel is available for rendering the services of flight booking. 

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ice-climbing in Iran.

Ice-climbing is a very exciting activity similar to rock-climbing, added with ice and cold. Ice-climbing is the activity of climbing different ice formations with technical tools. The climbing route can be a frozen waterfall, a rock slab covered with refrozen flowing water or an inclined glacier. Due to lots of mountains in the north and North West of Iran and the cold weather in these areas, there are many places available for ice-climbing. Some of them will be mentioned in the following:

Souleh glacier: This is the longest glacier in Iran and it is a really tough ice-climbing route on the northern face of Damavand Mount. Damavand is the highest peak in Iran and it is located between Tehran and Mazandaran province. The best time for ice-climbing on this glacier is during spring and autumn and it takes about three days to climb Damavand Mount and Soule glacier before reaching the peak.

Sabalan glaciers: Sabalan is one of the highest peaks in North West of Iran (Ardebil province) and it is about 4811 meters high. There are some glaciers on different points of Sabalan Mount and the hugest one, which is on its northern face, is noticeable from Meshgin Shahr town. This wide glacier goes to the mountain's peak through an inclined valley and rockfalls may happen while climbing. The best months for ascending this route are April and October, while the ice is thick and strong.

Abnik Waterfall: Abnik is a village in the north of Iran with a stunning nature and nice weather. By walking about three hours you will reach the Waterfall at the end of the valley. This waterfall is frozen most of the times but winter is the best time for ice-climbing on it because the ice is thick and strong.

Khour Waterfall: This waterfall is located near Chalous Road in Khour village and it is about 50 meters high. This waterfall is frozen during winter and it is a good place for having an easy ice-climbing, compared with other ice-climbing routes in Iran.

Uppersia suggests you the North and North West of Iran as a new destination for winter sports because Iran has milder weather during winter and you can also get familiar with the Persian culture. 

Ice-climbing in Iran. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The beauties of Nayband.

 Nayband is located on the Persian Gulf’s coast in Bushehr province, in the south of Iran. South of Iran is a fantastic destination for winter and Nayband National Park and its historical village is one of the most beautiful coastal areas along the beaches of the Persian Gulf. The historical evidences indicate that Nayband has been a scouting spot during Sassanid Empire (founded 224) and it has been an important bay for pearling and trading the pearls during the Buyid dynasty (founded 934).

Nayband region is located between the southern mountains of Zagros range, the turquoise blue Persian Gulf and the shiny sand of its shores. This area has a wonderful flora, including mangrove forest, seaweed and holy fig trees. Mangrove trees which grow in salty water of the sea can only live in temperature over 5°C. The water in Mangrove forest tides twice a day and it is the habitat of different birds, like flamingos, pelicans and migrating birds during winter. Nayband has also different types of fauna like wild ewes, rams and big green turtles. In the high seas, whales and dolphins are available. The coral reefs are another unique attraction of Nayband.

Invite yourself to the mild weather and the fabulous nature of Nayband during winter, meet the hospitable locals, get acquainted with their unique culture and enjoy the chilly and delicious seafood of Nayband. You can put Nayband on your list of the attractions you would like to visit during your winter tour to Iran and ask Uppersia to include it in your itinerary.
The Mangrove forest of Nayband. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The stunning Carpets of Qahqai Nomads.

Qashqai carpet (one of the most fantastic types of Persian carpets), is as colorful and cheery as the culture and the customs of the Qashqai nomads. Qashqais, who are a big nomadic population in Iran, live on the wealds of Fars province and their music and carpets are inspired by the wildlife around. The weavers simply imitate the flowers and the wild or tamed animals, on the carpet and express their feelings with the colors they choose. What is more artistic than performing the pure feelings, fears and wishes in form of motifs? Some other Qashqai rugs show noble motifs of Iran, like “Lachak o Toranj”, “Maahi dar ham”, “Chelipa” (cross), peacock, lion and cypress tree, which are all legendary motifs of ancient Persian carpets. These hand-made masterpieces are registered by the UNESCO as a cultural heritage.
A Qashqai woman spinning the wool for weaving a carpet.
Qashqai carpets are also fabulous in quality and techniques of weaving. The soft wool is from their healthy sheep and it is magically dyed into bright colors with dye plants, found in the environment.

A piece of Qashqai rug might feel like a new born baby to the weaver, who is usually a woman or a young girl. She feels so connected to the carpet and its motifs which she spent months on weaving and she might keep the carpet forever!

Meet Qashqai nomads of Fars province in Uppersia nomad tours, touch their admirable carpets and feel excited by the shiny colors and the harmonic motifs!
A piece of Qashqai carpet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The tower of silence.

Yazd has been the main city where the Zoroastrians lived after Islam conquered Iran. Zoroastrians believed in the sacredness of fire, water, wind and soil and they kept their environment so clean to avoid the impurity of the natural elements. Therefore they kept the dead bodies, which were considered impure, away from the soil. They constructed a round walled area covered with rocks on the top of a conical hill out of the city and measured the wind direction to prevent any impurity to the city and the soil. This area was divided into three parts for men, women and children.

Top of the Tower of Silence.
The dead bodies were placed on the top of this tower, exposed to the sunlight and the vulture birds. The attendants of the Silence Tower were named “Salar”. The Salar’s duty was to collect the remaining bones and to throw them into a hollow in the middle of the area, named “Estodan”, which means a place for the bones. There are two adobe mansions near the silent tower which are the leftover of the buildings, where the Salars used to live. Some of these buildings were used as a temporary house for the families of the dead people.

This strange construction is located 15 kilometers from the city of Yazd and the surreal atmosphere invites the visitors to silence for a while!

The Tower of Silence.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shushtar’s Historical Hydraulic System.

Shushtar is an old city in Khuzestan province, the land of ancient civilizations like Elimate, Achaemenid and Sassanid. Many magnificent monuments like, Choqazanbil ziggurat and the tomb of Daniel the prophet are located in Khuzestan and Shushtar’s Historical Hydraulic System, which is one of the most important historical monuments of Khuzestan, dates back to the kingdom of Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C.

This hydraulic system includes water canals originating from Karun and Gargar River, providing water to Shushtar through water tunnels, since Achaemenid and Sassanid era, until today! The water is led to the city through tunnels and after spinning the water mills, it flows into a downstream basin in form of waterfalls. The waterfalls flow over the cliffs and create a spectacular landscape. The energy generated by the water mills was used for grinding the wheat and the water was used for agriculture.

Considering the antiquity of Shushtar’s Historical Hydraulic System, this treasury is known as a masterpiece of industry and engineering in the whole world and it has been inscribed as a world heritage site by the UNESCO.

Khuzestan is a great destination during winter, because of its mild weather. Join Uppersia’s tours this winter and enjoy Khuzestan’s nice weather and the magnificent tokens of ancient civilizations.

Shushtar watermills. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Nomads of colors.

Qashqais are Turk nomads, living in Fars province of Iran especially in Firuzabad. Animal husbandry is the main job of Qashqai nomads and they migrate between summer quarters (yeylaq) and winter quarters (qishlaq) to find better pastures for their herd, every year as the seasons change. During the cold season, they set up their tents in southern areas of Fars, like Jahrom, Lar and Firuzabad, while in summer they travel to northern cities of Fars, like Abadeh, Sepidan and Zagros Mountains.

The black handmade tents of Qashqai nomads are made of goat hair and they are propped with timbers and woolen strings. These tents are embellished with stunning pieces of carpets like colorful kilims, small pieces of rugs and Gabbeh. The eye-catching margins and the fine wool, dyed with herbs, like madder and mignonette are the reasons that these stunning and high-quality carpets are inscribed as an intangible world heritage by the UNESCO.

A Qahqai tent on the pasture.
In a Qashqai clan, house chores are done by women. They bake the bread, purvey the dairy and weave the carpets. These women wear beautiful dresses in vivid colors like red and yellow, but the older women choose darker colors. The Qashqai nomads are so family oriented and they take their wedding ceremonies so seriously. The wedding ceremonies may sometimes take long 3 - 4 days!

The music that Qashqai nomads play is fabulous. It doesn’t follow any special rule and it comes from the player’s soul and the nature around. This music, which is played with two instruments similar to trumpet and drum (Saz o Naqare), is sometimes so happy and energetic and sometimes calm and deep. The Turkish lullaby that a Qashqai woman sings to her baby is a fantastic piece of folklore music, too.

Qashqais are so generous and hospitable and you can stay with them for a while and experience their interesting lifestyle. Uppersia travel operates nomad tours and you can join them anytime you liked.

A Qashqai woman, baking bread.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

5 reasons to visit Iran in 2017.

1. Iran is home to folks and ancient civilizations.

Old civilizations and empires like Elamite (3000 BC), Achaemenid (550 B.C) and Sassanid (224 A.E) were in Iran and inherited their glorious monuments and precious utensils for history lovers and tourists who like to travel to thousands of years ago! Different Iranian folks and nomads with a unique culture and interesting traditions live in Iran. You will meet Turks, Kurds and Lurs in west, Baluchs and Turkmans in east and north-east of Iran and acquaint with lifestyle and beliefs of Iranian nomads.

2. Iran is the land of fabulous architecture and stunning handicrafts.

In every city, you will explore architecture masterpieces, including mosques, caravanserais and historical houses with dazzling ornaments, dating back to Islamic dynasties like Safavid and Qajar or even pre-Islam Empires like Achaemenid and Sassanid. Each city of Iran has its own beautiful handicraft. World known Persian carpets, hand weaved textiles of Yazd, earthen dishes of Hamedan, different kinds of wood crafts and copper dishes of Kerman and Isfahan are some fantastic handicrafts of Iran.

3. Iran has great traditional cuisines.

Iranians love cooking and eating! In each city and region, the local people cook traditional cuisines, which are in harmony with the area they live in. Visit different cities of Iran and enjoy the Iranian kebab, spicy seafood of southern cities and tasty sweets of Yazd in the east of Iran.

4. Iran has incredible natural landscapes.

Due to the unique geometrical properties of Iran plateau, you will see dazzling natural attractions and landscapes in this country. The dense forests of the north, warm and stunning beaches of the south, the wonderful Lut desert and wild mountains of Zagros range, covered in ice, are some of the natural attractions of Iran.

5. Iran is safe and the people are hospitable.

Some tourist who haven’t visited Iran might have been warned that Iran is an unsafe country, but according to what the tourists who have visited Iran say, no matter where you are from you will be safe in Iran and the police will support you, responsively. Iranians are known as very hospitable and generous people and you will feel good, spending time with them during your tour to Iran.

You can choose one of the tours of Uppersia and reserve that for 2017. This would be a pleasure for us to show you around!
A tourist in Persepolis. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The city of soil and sunshine.

Yazd is known as the city of bikes, sweets, qanats, fire and sunshine! Yazd is the oldest adobe city and the second historical city of the world after Venice. The antiquity of 5000 years is claimed for Yazd and this city has been known as a safe place on the Silk Road.

This city has fabulous attractions, like Amir Chakhmaq square which is a world heritage site, registered by UNESCO and Jaame mosque, a masterpiece of Persian architecture with dazzling tile works. The Zoroastrian fire temple (Atash Bahram), with a fire burning for 1500 years, is another unique attraction of Yazd.

Tourists exploring Yazd.
Yazd has the widest historical urban texture in cities of Iran and the area is about 800 meters. In Yazd’s old district, all the walls and buildings are made of mud and straw and it shows the use of local constructional materials according to the desert climate of this city. On the roof of the houses, there are small domes and amazing wind catchers (Baadgir) for cooling the house during hot summer days. Pointed arches are built over the maze of alleys. The walls are built tall and the alleys are narrow for having a shadow. The whole historical urban texture of Yazd follows a nice visual rhythm of curved domes and arches beside the horizontal wind catchers and the high-rise walls, all in harmonic colors like cream, khaki and ochre.

Nothing like walking through these calm and peaceful alleys and meeting the warm-hearted people, living in these unique buildings, will show you the old face of a desert city in Iran.

Yazd's view from above. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Myths of Takht- e Suleiman!

Takht- e Suleiman, which was once known as “Shiz”, is a historical square, in North West of Iran, near Takab town of Azerbaijan province. This ancient area which is registered by UNESCO is a mysterious and weird land and many legendary and imaginary stories are told about this place. Takht- e Suleiman includes remains of monuments related to Sassanid and Ilkhanate dynasty but this area has also been a center for religion and culture during Achaemenid and Parthian era and its antiquity dates back to 3000 years ago. It is said that Takht- e Suleiman has been the birthplace of the Zoroaster!

The remains of a Sassanid palace and a fire temple named “Azargoshnasb” are most important monuments remaining in Takht- e Suleiman and the arches which are the symbols of Sassanid style in architecture are recognizable. “Azargoshnasb” fire temple has been so valuable to Sassanid kings that they used to walk to this place from Ctesiphon (the capital of Iran during Sassanid era) after their coronation ceremony, to show gratitude.

There is a conical hill near Takht- e Suleiman, with a huge hole about 100 meters deep on top, known as Solomon's prison. Local people believe that Solomon (Suleiman) imprisoned the devil in this bottomless hole!

“Belquis” Mount is also located around this area and fortifications related to Sassanid era are available on the top.

The most wonderful attraction in Takht- e Suleiman is a vast water spring that the Persian kings, like the great Cyrus, dropped precious objects into that as a present for Anahita, the goddess of water. They sometimes dropped their treasurable objects into this deep water to hide them from the enemies. There is a myth about Salomon the prophet creating this spring with his cane, but this water spring is originally a crater and the water contains a high percent of salt and sediment, so it cannot be used for drinking and agriculture. The weird thing about this spring is that it swallows everything and no one could ever swim in this water! 

.Takht- e Suleiman and Belquis mount in winter

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ali Sadr cave, the biggest water cave in the world!

Ali Sadr is the biggest water cave of the world, created during Jurassic era, about 190 million years ago! This cave is located in Hamedan province in west of Iran and it is about 2100 meters high above the sea level.

Ali Sadr cave includes rambling corridors and a vast lake and going through the cave and exploring it is only possible by riding the boats, available there. The water in the lake of Ali Sadr cave is tasteless, odorless and colorless and no animal life has been recognized in this water. This water, which is about 14 meters deep at its deepest spot, has a stable temperature about 12°C, during four season of the year and it is so clear and bright. The thousands of stalactites and stalagmites in Ali Sadr cave are in different colors and very beautiful shapes. 11 kilometers of this cave have been mapped so far but the rest is is still undiscovered and 3 kilometers of it is safe for the visitors.

Ali Sadr Cave.
Riding in a boat, moving through this vast lake and exploring the deepest parts of this stunning natural wonder is going to be a nice experience which is not available everywhere.

.Tourists in Ali Sadr Cave

Thursday, October 6, 2016

"Masuleh village"

Masuleh is one of the most beautiful villages in the north of Iran. It is located on the heights, covered in dense forests with oak and alder trees. This village is about 800 years old and the weather is usually cool, rainy and fresh even in summer days. Heavy rain, snowfalls and the cold weather starts in November and continues until the first days of March in Masuleh, but autumn days of Masuleh pass with milder weather and lighter rain, while the forest is colored in different tones of yellow and orange.

The unique architecture of Masuleh (interconnected houses), is due to being located into a steep mountain. The pathway of one house is the roof of the house below and no car is allowed to move through these narrow alleys. The old and traditional bazaar of Masuleh is one of the most interesting spots of this village. This four-story bazaar with small stores is usually crowded with locals. In this bazaar, you can find nice handicrafts like wickers, wood crafts and handmade metal objects. Then you can seat in a cozy tea bar, where the hospitable old men and old women of Masuleh gather. Enjoy the stunning  landscape of foggy forests, while sipping your well-brewed tea.

The traditional bazaar of Masuleh village.
In Masuleh you can stay in a hotel or you can rent a room in a rural house and get more acquainted with the lifestyle of the beautiful Masuleh village.

you can join "Iran North by Northwest" tour of Uppersia travel and visit fabulous nature and cities of northern Iran, including Masuleh and Rudkhan castle.

The unique architecture of Masuleh.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Jolfa district of Isfahan.

 Shah Abbas I, the Safavid king since 1587 B.C, displaced the Armenians, who lived in Jolfa city of Azerbaijan region (northwest of Iran) to Isfahan and paid a lot of attention to them. Gradually, other Armenians of Iran migrated to Isfahan and many Armenians were gathered in Isfahan. Shah Abbas built them big houses and Cathedrals and they named their district "Jolfa".

Jolfa is a very beautiful district and its architecture shows an interesting contrast in the heart of Isfahan.  The cobblestone alleys lighted by old poles, the nice houses with brick walls and the pleasant and peaceful silence, make the whole district a nostalgic and lovely area, where you like to stroll in, for hours.

The vank cathedral in Jolfa district of Isfahan.
Vank cathedral (holy savior cathedral) was built in Jolfa during the monarchy of Shah Abbas II. A three story bell tower with a big clock about 300 kilograms is located on the entrance door. Armenian cathedrals are usually constructed with stones and the domes are conical, but the walls of Vank cathedral is brick made and the domes are constructed like the ones of Persian mosques. That is why this monument shows the combination of western and Persian architecture. There are stunning mural paintings on the walls and vaults of Vank cathedral painted by Armenian artists and they show contents of the holy Bible like the ascension of Jesus, heaven and hell and the last judgment.

Don’t forget to offer yourself a good Armenian coffee, Persian juice and snacks, served in the inviting and cozy caf├ęs around Jolfa district.

The great murals of Vank cathedral in Isfahan.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The wonderful Treasury of National Jewels.

The Treasury of National Jewels of Iran, also known as the National Jewels Museum, is an incomparable collection of precious and stunning jewels collected over centuries. This museum, which is one of the most important attractions of Iran, is located on Ferdowsi Street in Tehran and it is owned by Central Bank of Iran. These fantastic jewels are a part of Iran’s culture and history and they have survived wars and robberies.

The kings of Safavid dynasty started to collect the precious jewels in Iran and bought new jewels from India, Ottoman and Europe to decorate their capital, Isfahan. When Mahmoud Afghan occupied Iran during Afsharid dynasty, he plundered the treasury and sent it to India. Nader Shah, King of Afshari dynasty, campaigned to India and took back the collection, but many of the jewels were lost on the way back. After Nader shah was murdered in 1747 B.C, the treasure was plundered once again and the legendary Kuh- e Nur, which is one of the world’s biggest pieces of diamond, got locked in Tower of London. Today this collection, which was promoted by Qajar and Pahlavi rulers, is kept in the Central bank of Iran and the shiny Kuh-e Nur is back home!

The Kuh- e Nur diamond.
Farah Pahlavi’s crown is about 1.5 kilograms and it is ornamented with diamond, ruby and pearl.

Farah Pahlavi's stunning crown.
Mina jar, made during the 18th century, is coated with enamel and delicate margins of flowers and portraits of women.

The beautiful jar coated with enamel.
Takht-e Tavoos is the throne of Fath Ali Shah (the Qajar king) and it was made of gold and thousands of gemstones. This throne was named Tavoos in honor of the king’s wife with the same name.

Takht- e Tavoos (Tavoos throne).
Nader’s paisley is about 133 grams and in is covered with pieces of shiny diamonds and emeralds.

Nader's paisley ant its stunning emeralds.
Reza shah’s cape is made of handmade silk textile with paisley margins and big pearls. Reza shah and his son, both wore this cape for their coronation ceremony.

The silk cape of Reza Shah.
The jewel globe is about 37 kilograms and it is covered with 51366 pieces of gemstones, including diamond, ruby and garnet.

The jewel globe.

Monday, October 3, 2016

1000 stairs to Rudkhan castle.

  Rudkhan castle is a brick and stone made building, located on the heights of Fuman city in Gilan province. This historical castle with an area of 2.6 hectares, is in the northern forests of Iran and a river flows near it. This monument has been constructed during Sasanid Empire and it was rebuilt during Seljuq dynasty (founded 10th century) and used as a military base.

  Rudkhan castle has two main parts, including a citadel on the west of the complex, where the governors and their families lived and an arsenal on the east, for military activities and residence of the soldiers. 40 towers, covered with domes, have surrounded the castle and it is said that no enemy could ever breakthrough this castle and it has never been conquered.

  Architectural ornaments like the pointed arcs and beautiful brickworks make this Persian architecture masterpiece much more attractive and many tourists visit this old monument every day especially during spring and autumn when the weather is mild and the nature around is fantastic. Passing the route to Rudkhan castle is an adventure itself. You have to pass a stair path with about 1000 stairs for reaching there. Don’t worry, the route goes through a beautiful forest and the weather is so nice that you won’t feel tired on the way up to Rudkhan castle!

Rudkhan castle in winter.