Thawing of relations with Iran has put the country back on the travel map.
The ruling regime is still deeply conservative, but the tour operators that have made tentative steps them are expanding their programmes.
Virtually no one comes back from Iran without remarking on the friendliness and hospitality of the Iranian people.
The country is also dotted with stellar cultural sites, including the archaeological ruins at Persepolis and Pasargadae.
This historic cities of Isfahan and Shiraz, meanwhile, show off present-day culture in ancient settings.