Iran at a Glance
Wide as it is spread over the land and deep as the roots of the country reach in history, there is a lot to see and learn about Iran. Here is a stretch of land full of natural and man-made wonders that attract many travelers every year. It is hard to maintain the magnitude of this country, but here we present an overall glance of a country that’s become the charming gemstone, curiosity evoking and mesmerizing destination of an increasing number of tourists in the Middle East.
Spanning over an area of 1,648,195 square kilometers, Iran boasts of having an impressive geographical variety. High mountain ranges start in the North and North-West of the country and stretching over the western and northern sides reach all the way to nearly the central and southern parts of Iran. In contrast to the western mountains, the eastern mountains are less condensed in one area and are characterized with a relatively drier climate. In a close proximity of these highlands are the deserts in the eastern and central parts of Iran, which score some of the highest land surface temperatures in the world.
Meanwhile, the northern edge of the country is blessed with an abundance of jungles grown as a result of the humidity rising from the Caspian Sea. The southern coastline of Iran, near the Persian Gulf and the Oman Sea, poses a sharp contrast to the northern one as the area is relatively hot and humid. In addition to the main land, Iran also has several islands in the Persian Gulf.
Season and Climate
Iran is blessed with the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter year-round. However, it is important to note that the geographical diversity of the country has also won it a climatic diversity. The most extreme instance is that some may choose to go skiing on the northern and western mountains of Iran while some others may go swimming in the Persian Gulf in the South, at the same time in winter.
As the cradle of some of the greatest civilizations in the world, Iran comes a long way down the pages of history. The human settlements were established in various parts of Iran over 10,000 years ago, but the country’s history begins with the invention of writing, first used in Ilamite and Achaemenid times. Great as it occasionally was, this history is not marked with all highs; in fact, Iran has been subject to attacks by different nations and drawn to the edge of utter devastation at times. The marks and traces of these ups and downs are still visible through the incredible historical landmarks across the country. Persepolis and Pasargadae in Fars Province, Tchogha Zanbil and the Hydraulic System of Susa in Khuzestan Province, Imam Square in Isfahan and Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Azerbaijan Province are only a few of the many awe-inspiring historical landmarks of Iran.
A number of 81.16 million people live in Iran today, with Persian as the official language, and Shia Islam as the state religion. The majority of the people are Persians but there are also communities of Kurd, Turk, Lur, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Tat, Talysh, Baloch, Turkman and Arab ethnicities. In addition to this, Armenian, Georgian, Assyrian and Jewish religious and ethnic minorities live in Iran. All these communities reside next to each other as one, in peace and harmony. Each of them has contributed their cultural hue to the pallet of Iranian culture, through their lifestyle, architecture, handicrafts, music, languages, literature and food.
The various kinds of Iranian art are famous in the world for their exquisite patterns, mesmerizing colors, unique styles, and uncompromising delicacy. Calligraphy, miniature, painting, architecture, carpets, woodworking, metalworking, and stonemasonry are some of the best types of Iranian art.
Last but not least, Iranian cuisine has won the heart of many with its rich flavors, various techniques, and expressive colorful food. One of the most popular dishes for lunch and dinner is rice, either cooked with different ingredients such as meat and vegetables and served alone, or cooked with the addition of no other ingredients and served with a dish of stew or kebab. This cuisine also has a lot to offer to those with a sweet tooth.