Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The historical treasure of Siraf.

The historical Bandar- e Siraf (Bandar- e Taheri) has been one of the most historical seaports of the ancient world, located by the great Persian Gulf, in Bushehr province. The antiquity of Siraf goes back to Sassanid era and many people with different religious views, including Zoroastrians, Jewish people and Christians and also different nationalities like Chinese, Srilankan and Zanzibarian peacefully lived in this beautiful coastal city. The sailors and merchants of Siraf were busy trading with China, India and Africa. They used to export precious pearls, hand-made textiles and handicrafts and import high-quality wood for constructing stunning and multi-story houses ornamented with delicate stuccos.

The numerous hand dug holes on the foothills of the mountains on the north of Siraf are known to be reservoirs for keeping the rainwater and leading it to the underground reservoirs. Some other believe that these holes were used for burying the dead bodies.

The water reservoirs of Siraf.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Explore Iran on your bike!

Biking on the roads and passing through unknown cities and villages is one of the most adventurous activities you can do in a new destination. Iran is a good destination for a biking tour because of the safety provided for the tourists and the variety of biking routes.
You can choose your own kind of biking route in Iran:

Shahroud to Gorgan: Shahroud is located in Semnan province with an almost dry climate. This mountain biking trip starts from a gravel road in “Abr” village. The road goes on the heights and you will be led through a stunning forest named “Abr” (Clouds Forest). Then you will slope toward “Ali Abad” town and the route ends in Gorgan after 150 kilometers biking.

Astara to Gorgan: This long route starts in Astara, a coastal city in North West and gets continued on roads toward the North East. North of Iran is a beautiful area between the Caspian Sea and the Alborz mountain range, covered in forests. Biking in the north of Iran is all about passing through dense forests, biking on the Caspian Sea shores and staying in cozy rural homes. This way ends in Gorgan and it is about 750 kilometers but you can finish your biking tour anytime you liked.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Puppet and Toy Museum of Iran.

In the past, Iranian kids used to play with simple and handmade dolls and toys made of pieces of textiles, wood sticks or small stones found in the house. More advanced toys were made by the potters or carpenters. These simple toys, still found under piles of old clothes in the grandmothers’ closets, show a piece of the Iranian pop culture.
An old Iranian puppet.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The mystries behind Chak Chak inc Yazd.

Chak Chak, referring to the dripping sound of water, is the most sacred Zoroastrian temple with mythical backgrounds. Chak Chak is located near Ardekan town of Yazd province where is home to a big population of Iranian Zoroastrians.

During the Muslim conquest of Iran (started 633 AD), Khosro-Parviz (the Sassanid king) escaped her daughter Nik Banoo to Yazd to save her from the Arab warriors. Nik Banoo went to Yazd and hid in the heart of a mountain around the city until the day she passed away. There is a long-standing Plain tree (called Pir) near this mountain and according to the stories, this is the magical cane that Nik Banoo held during her journey to Yazd and tapped on a rock with, to create a gap so that she can hide in the heart of the mountain. It is also said that the water drops were led to an altar in this shrine for praising Anahita, the Persian goddess of water.

Chak Chak in Yazd.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

What transportation means to take to travel between Tehran and Shiraz?

In almost 90 percent of the Iran tour itineraries, the direct trip between Tehran and Shiraz is included. This route is like traveling back in time from Qajar and Pahlavi days to ancient Achaemenid era. As said in previous posts, Tehran is the city of Qajar and Pahlavi palaces, professional museums, contemporary art galleries, theatre and music festivals and modern restaurants. On the other hand, Shiraz with stunning monuments from Zandyieh, like mosques and historical houses with colorful windows and tile works and ancient remains like the glorious Persepolis and the mysterious Necropolis is a fabulous city to visit. Shiraz, stimulated to heaven by great Persian poets, is also known for its pleasant climate and hospitable local people. For commuting between these two touristic cities, you can choose your own kind of transportation from safe planes, to trains, comfortable buses and even sedan cars.

Tehran-Shiraz flights:

Numerous flight services (about 12 to 15 flights) are operated between Mehr Abad Airport in Tehran and Dastgheib International Airport of Shiraz every day and night. These flight services are operated by good Iranian airlines, like Qeshm Air, Mahan Air and Aseman. This flight is about an hour and a half.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

How is the train trip between Tehran and Isfahan?

Tehran and Isfahan, both located in the central Iran, are known as important touristic cities of the country. Tehran, which has been the capital of Iran since Qajar dynasty, is visited by many tourists because of its fabulous Qajarid and Pahlavi monuments, like Golestan and Saad-Abad palace, Mashq Square, Iran National Museum or the contemporary city attractions like the Nature Bridge, art galleries and the modern cinematheques. On the other hand, Isfahan hosts thousands of travelers every year because of its Safavid masterpieces like Naqshe- e Jahan Square, which is inscribed by the UNESCO, the historical bridges over Zayandeh-Rud River and the stunning handicrafts produced in the traditional workshops.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ramsar, the heaven on the earth!

After passing through the amusing roads of northern Iran, when you enter the beautiful city of Ramsar in the west of Mazandaran province, you will face a welcome board which says: “Welcome to the heaven on the earth!”

Ramsar sits between the endless Caspian Sea and the high Alborz Mountains covered in dense and foggy forests. This city offers you possibly the most beautiful landscape with fresh rainy weather and a cool breeze passing over the Caspian Sea. It seems like this city is made for walking and a long avenue of palm trees which connects Ramsar’s Grand Hotel to a wild rocky beach is known as one of the most beautiful spots in Ramsar.

Monday, November 21, 2016

How is the lifestyle of the Bakhtiari nomads?

The big population of Bakhtiari nomads, considered as a precious cultural heritage in Iran, live in a vast area between the west and southwest of the country. It is said that the Bakhtiari nomads, who speak in Luri language, have lived in this area for 40,000 years and a lot of ancient metal objects and murals, related to the Paleolithic era, have been discovered in the caves.

Bakhtiari nomads live in hand-made black tents made of goat hair and twice a year they pack their utensil, carry their babies and ride their horses between the picturesque heights of Zagros with a cool climate and the warm plains in Khuzestan to find pastures for feeding and developing their herd. The immigration of the Bakhtiari nomads is a stunning cultural show.

A piece of hand-made Bakhtiari rug.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dashtestan, a good winter destination in Bushehr.

Located in Bushehr province in the south of Iran, with hot summers and mild and beautiful winters, Dashtestan remains unseen by many. Yet there are quietly spectacular things to see here. The remains of an ancient castle related to Cyrus and a city named Touz, dating back to Sassanid era and the long Dalaki River, passing through this area, indicate that Dashtestan has been a winter residence in ancient Iran. There are some other historical monuments remaining in this area, including:

 Goor Dokhtar (The girl’s tomb) which is similar to the Pasargad (Cyrus’s glorious tomb) and believed to be the tomb of Cyrus’s sister or daughter.
The achaemenid monument in Dashtestan, named Goor Dokhtar.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The red pomegranates of Arsanjan.

Fars province is in the southwest of Iran and it has a mild climate with a fabulous nature, including mountains, steppe forests and different wildlife refuges. Arsanjan is one of the cities of Fars province with a spectacular nature, surrounded by mountains with springs and different vegetation like baneh (wild pistachio), wild almond, oak and etc. The Green Pearl which is a tree grown on a piece of rock is a natural wonder around Arsanjan.

The Green Pearl in Arsanjan. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Taft, the city of gardens and ancient rituals.

The ancient city of Taft with numerous old adobe monuments, dense gardens with pomegranate, plum, peach and grape trees and pleasant climate is located at an altitude of 1560 meters, on the foothills of Shirkooh Mount, in the west of Yazd province. According to Mohammad Bastani- Parizi, an Iranian writer and historian, the word Taft attributes to the desert’s hot sunshine.

The historical town of Taft and the flourishing villages around are home to a major Zoroastrian community with an amusing cultural and historical background. The Zoroastrians of Taft hold different symbolic ceremonies and one of them is called “Sadeh”, which is the ritual of respecting the fire in the middle of winter.

Another symbolic ritual of Taft is Nakhl-Gardani, held by the Muslims of this town. Nakhl-Gardani is a religious ritual in memory of Imam Hussein, held on Ashura day. The local men carry a giant and heavy wooden object named Nakhl and move it all around the city. The Nakhl-Gardani ritual is so stirring in Taft and the Nakhl of this city, which has been used for 600 years on Ashura mourning days, is the biggest one in Iran.

The people of Taft carrying the giant Nakhl on Ashura day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Garmeh village, in the heart of Iran.

Garmeh is a stunning desert village with dry and warm climate at the center of Iran, in Khur o Biabanak town of Isfahan province. This historical village has been on the route of the ancient Silk Road and the old narrow alleys and the houses and mosques with nice adobe arches and domes have got a lot of stories to tell. One of the oldest monuments of Garmeh is a 4 story citadel dating back to Sassanid era.

Garmeh village.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Along the Silk Road in Iran.

The Silk Road or the Silk Route was an ancient network of roads for trading and cultural interactions between east and west, stretching from China, India, Persia and Arabia through the Mediterranean Sea and even Africa. The Silk Road was the road of peace and interaction and it caused the development of financial, political and cultural relations for 1700 years.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

How much currency can you take to Iran?

According to the recent decision of the Central Cank of Iran, the allowed currency in cash that each traveler can take to Iran is ten thousand US Dollars (or the same amount in other currencies). Before this, each traveler was allowed to take 5000 US Dollars to Iran.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

How is the train service in Iran?

Train is a good choice for traveling in Iran for many reasons:

Traveling by train is more pocket-friendly than traveling by plane, so you can save more money while you travel in Iran. For example, the Tehran-Shiraz train ticket is more than 50% cheaper than the plane ticket for the same route.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

What to eat in south of Iran?

The cuisines of southern cities of Iran, like Bushehr and Bandar Abbas with warm climates are known as the most delicious and popular Iranian cuisines. The local people are known to be so hospitable, generous and alive. The cuisines of southern cities of Iran are similar to Indian and Arabian dishes because of being cooked with lots of spice, curries and different kinds of peppers. Don’t worry! They are not that spicy to cause you run all around the city!

Bushehr and Bandar Abbas are located by the Persian Gulf, fishing has been a thriving job for the southern people and accordingly seafood is so popular in these cities. It is said that at noon the appetizing smell of spicy seafood is spread all over the houses!

Ghalieh Mahi:
Ghalieh (fish stew) is at the top of southern cuisines! There might be different recipes for cooking Ghalieh Mahi but the main ingredients are fresh chopped vegetables, including cilantro, fenugreek and lots of onion, garlic and spice. The key ingredient that makes the Ghalieh Mahi tasty and sour is the tamarind sauce. The fish used in Ghalieh Mahi should be firm with no tiny bones. Ghalieh is sometimes cooked with prawns and it is called Ghalieh Meygoo. This tasty cuisine is usually served with steamed Persian rice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Golestan National Park in Iran.

Golestan National Park is a vast and unique wildlife refuge between Golestan province and Khorasan in the northeast of Iran. This national park is more than 91,000 hectares in area with 1350 flora and 302 fauna species and it has been registered as a rich biosphere by the UNESCO.

Golestan National Park in Iran.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Roads of Iran.

Hitting the roads is the favorite kind of transportation for many of us due to the pleasure of listening to our favorite music, and enjoying the landscapes of the roads. We can also take our time and stop at any lounge we like.

Road trip with private cars is a common kind of traveling in Iran as well. Many standard roads (more than 200,000 kilometers), including highways and freeways, have been constructed to connect different touristic cities of Iran, like Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz in the center, Yazd and Kerman in the east, Bandar Abbas and Ahvaz in the south and Tabriz, Kermanshah and Rasht and in the west and north of Iran.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Uppersia tour offers for Christmas 2017.

Do you like to spend your Christmas 2017 in a new country where you haven't visited before? You may have probably heard about Iran as a good destination with many historical heritages, but Uppersia offers you a lot more besides exploring historical monuments and museums during your Christmas 2017 tour in Iran:

Skiing in Iran: There are many standard ski resorts in mountainous areas of Iran especially in the north and northwest, like Shemshak, Darbandsar, Alvares and Dizin. Young Iranian skiers and snowboarders gather in these resorts on the weekends and holidays. You can join Iran skiing tours , enjoy skiing in a new country and make Iranian skiing friends! Dizin is the most popular ski resort in Iran which is located in the north of Tehran and it is known as the best ski resort in the Middle East. The altitude of this resort is 2500 to 3700 meters and its skiing path is about 6 kilometers long. Pooladkaf is also a good ski resort in the Northwest of Fars province with three skiing paths. There are warm and cozy hotels in the ski resorts of Iran for resting and night gatherings.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The magical route to the Naz Island.

Qeshm, which is the biggest island in the Persian Gulf in the south of Iran, is a fabulous destination during autumn and winter. The weather is mild and pleasant and the natural attractions, like mangrove forest, the Salt cave and the stars valley are fabulous. Qeshm Island is also habitat for many animals like the giant turtles, different types of birds and marine creatures, like jellyfish and coral reef.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Iranian cypresses.

Cypress is a beautiful and evergreen tree which is grown widely in Iran and it is known as the symbol of strength and freedom in Iranian myths and literature. Cypress trees are seen among the reliefs of the Apadana palace of Persepolis, showing the beliefs and customs of the ancient Iranians. The Persian painters have painted cypress trees in their miniatures and the carpet weavers have weaved this historical motif on their carpets. It is said that the famous Iranian motif “Boteh jeghe” (paisley), which is seen on the Termeh and Pateh textiles, is the changed form of Iranian cypress.

                 Cypress trees on a Persian rug.                         The cypress tree in Persepolis.
Most of the great Persian poets like Hafiz, Molana and Khayam have wisely used the word cypress as a metaphor in their verses to describe the beauty of their beloved. In the Persian gardens, cypress trees have been planted around the gardens for specifying the area of the garden. The cypress trees in Shiraz, known as the city of historical gardens, are so famous because of being soaring and lofty and they are called Sarv- e Naz (the charming cypress).

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Flight services between Iran and Ausrtalia.

Iran and Australia have signed a bilateral Air transport agreement for starting and developing flight services between the two countries. According to this agreement, both countries are going to take the necessary actions for providing bilateral flight services and according to the granted aviation rights each country can land in the airports and fly over the sky of the other party.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The scenic village of Palangan.

Palangan is a historical village, hiding in a valley of western heights of Iran, between Kermanshah and Kurdistan province. Palangan is very cold in winter with lots of rain and snow but the weather is so cool and fresh during spring and summer and the mountainous nature is just stunning.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The story of the first flight over Iran.

10 years after the invention of airplane by Wright brothers, on the 4th of January 1914 (during Qajar dynasty) the first airplane flew over Iran. Mr. Kuzminski, who was a Polish pilot assembled the separated parts of an airplane in Russia and transferred it to Iran through the Caspian Sea. This airplane was ready for a demonstration flight in Tehran and on the due day many of the people of Tehran bought expensive tickets to watch the first airplane flying over their city. Ahmad Shah, the Qajar king and the courtiers were also invited to this show. The airplane had a short flight and the people were amazed but this wasn’t without a trouble. The pilot couldn’t find a suitable area for landing so he landed in the middle of the Mashq Square perforce! Mashq Square was a vast area for military maneuvers and training of the army during Qajar dynasty. It is said that the airplane had a crash with a giant cannon in the middle of the Mashq square but the pilot wasn't injured. The airplane remained in the Mashq square for weeks and the king and his deputies took a photograph with that. The people also came to see the metal bird closely.