Country guides Middle East
Brimming with over 5,000 years of history, Iran is a wonderful destination for culture seekers who enjoy getting off the beaten track. Formerly the heart of the Persian Empire, it was one of the first countries to be occupied by the early Islamic armies that emerged from Arabia in the seventh century and is, thus, also a centre for early Islamic culture and history. Today, Iran's history resides in old ruins, museums and magnificent mosques.
Some areas are considered unsafe for visitors, but tourism is on the rise in this culturally rich destination, where there is something for everyone by way of quality sightseeing, wonderful shopping, and exciting cuisine. For the more adventurous, Iran offers desert trekking, rock climbing, and a few ski resorts, all at affordable prices.
The mountains bordering the Caspian Sea are covered in deciduous forest, and the brown forest soils found along the coasts of the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf are used extensively for farming, making for a richly diverse landscape. In addition, business travel is increasingly common and the country is extremely rich in mineral resources, especially petroleum and natural gas.