We visited Teh'ran, Kashan, Esfahan, Yazd, Abyaneh, Shiraz, Rasht, Massouleh - and travelled overall 1600 miles by car, with a total of 80 miles walked in 14 days. We also travelled by plane from Shiraz to Rasht and we found that was very well organised felt very secure throughout the flight. Our guide was a superb driver and quite knowledgeable, he was very organised and prepared a basket of fruits and food we shared during longer drives between the main cities. He was very attentive so we do not miss anything, and provided us regularly with water and we all had a great time and became good friends. We wanted to see a couple of different sites that were not on the schedule - overall the agency/guide may be tempted to fit in the itinerary mostly museums and mosques, but we were interested to also see some smaller sites, like unusual pigeon towers in Esfahan and the fantastic view from the Fire Temple on the outskirts of the town. We were very happy to be allowed this flexibility - the drivers can find any such site using Google-maps and it was a doddle to get there. We ate really good food in some restaurants that we could not have found without local knowledge and overall we were very happy with the food. We also picked food up from small villages and tried the basil seed juice that is sold on the street and enjoyed it - fresh cakes and bread were amazing. For a vegetarian there would be rice and salads to eat, as the menus are mostly meat - even the stews are cooked with some meat - however, this is a small price to pay to see this amazing country. Accommodation was adequate, western standard, whilst public toilets may have a French style squatting loo, we had no problem with that. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and felt welcomed and secure throughout. The agency we used, and in particular Fatemeh, Hesam and Mehdi, are in our hearts forever for providing us such a great holiday in Iran. We recommend this trip to anyone interested in this part of the world.
People were friendly and we felt at home and happy throughout our stay. In particular, the conversations we had were on a range of subjects, and we enjoyed seeing such interest in us and our background. We showed equal interest throughout the trip, but the lovely lady that took a picture with me and then embraced me like a long lost daughter was the highlight of my trip. In this case no English word was spoken, but the eyes did the work... human spirit is the same everywhere.
I think a good idea would have been to be given a short historical preview of Iran throughout the ages (main dynasties) and how this will link to our itinerary (site or city visited) - this could be printed, so we could reflect upon it and get a better understanding of the overall importance in historical context.