Money & ATM cards
Iran is very much a cash economy. This means travellers can very rarely use debit or credit cards while in Iran
although it is wise to bring them with you. There are virtually no opportunities to withdraw cash in Iran as
ATM’s are non-existent. Credit cards are only accepted sporadically; there may be rare occasions in tourist-orientated shops that credit cards are accepted, otherwise cash is the main method of trade in Iran.
Please bring USD or EUROS (10s, 20s and 50s) and make sure the notes are issued after 2006 and are in pristine
condition and are not faded with no blemishes, folds or other imperfections. We recommend you bring at least
500 USD or 500 EUROS (50 USD/EUROS per day) in cash with you to Iran for your tour.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips as we check your policy documents at the welcome meeting in
Tehran. We require that, at a minimum, you be covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation.
We strongly recommend that the policy also cover personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Iran is a traditional Islamic nation and a strict dress code exists throughout the country.
Men must wear long trousers at all times and generally keep themselves neat and tidy. Loose fitting cotton
pants are preferable for the Iranian heat. Short sleeve shirts that cover your shoulders and open toed sandals
are now acceptable for men. Men must be wearing long trousers upon arrival and shirts that cover their
shoulder, or they will be refused entry. We recommend men wear long pants and shoes (not open-toed sandals) at all times in Iran.
Women must wear the hijab at all times, apart from in their hotel bedrooms of course. A hijab consists of the
manteau, a loose-fitting trench coat that comes down to just above your knees, plus a headscarf. It is not
necessary for foreigners to wear a manteau. A headscarf can be of any colour. It is now perfectly acceptable
for women to wear a headscarf that shows some of their fringe, you will see many women doing so, and
it is acceptable for women to wear loose long linen or cotton shirts, or even long light cardigans. These need
to be long enough to cover your bottom. Your group leader will advise you of what attire is appropriate
during the welcome meeting.
Upon arrival in Iran, women not wearing a headscarf, long sleeves, closed shoes and a loose fitting skirt or
pants will be refused entry into the country (to avoid this problem bring a thin full-length raincoat, long
sleeved shirt or tunic from home).
Iranian New Year (Nowruc)
The Persian New Year is called Nowruz (literally ‘new day’) and celebrates renewal and rebirth, symbolized
by the coming of spring. Iranians consider Nowruz as their biggest celebration of the year; they start cleaning
their houses, buy new clothes and enjoy family time with their loved ones. The entire country shuts down during this time and many people leave Tehran to return to their families in the smaller towns and cities. It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Western Asia.
Safety in Iran
Iran you say, is it safe? In a word, yes. This question will be asked of you many times before you arrive in Iran and long after you return. One of the biggest misconceptions is that Iran is an unfriendly country – this could not be further from the truth. You are likely to be greeted with salaams (hello) by the many friendly faces that you will see during your time here. The Iranian people are famous for their warm hospitality and welcoming nature so don’t be surprised if locals invite you into their homes where you’ll suddenly find yourself reclining on a Persian carpet with your smiling hosts, drinking tea and sharing food and plenty of laughs. Tourism is in its infancy in Iran and you will find that the local people will show a genuine interest towards you and want to try out their English on you. Of course, petty crime does exist but probably the only danger you will face while here is the country’s chaotic traffic, especially when crossing the road or even while walking on the footpath.
Alcohol & Drugs
Alcohol is forbidden in Iran and severe penalties will be incurred by anyone attempting to bring it into the
country. Drug laws are also extremely strict and travellers face lengthy jail terms if caught. If found, pork products, obscene material (even glossy magazines showing people in immodest poses), and controversial literature will all be confiscated by custom officials. Upon arrival, random bag checks do commonly occur.
Weather in Iran in March
Mid to late March is a pleasant time to travel in Iran with clear skies and little pollution in the big cities.
Days are mild with a low chance of rain and temperatures averaging between 5-8c at night and 15-18c degrees during the day in the north and 7-10c and 19- 22c in the centre and south. A warm jacket and pants is required for this tour.