Chahar Bagh School

The Chahar Bagh School is the last magnificent monument built in Safavid era (1704 to 1714) during the reign of King Sultan Hussein. The school was part of a huge complex including Caravanserai (Now it is Abbasi Hotel) and Bazaar (Now it is Bazaar-e Honar, one of the most important gold market in Isfahan).
The name of Chahar Bagh School is Due to its location in Chahar Bagh Street, however, other names such as Soltani School and Madar Shah (Shah’s Mother) School have also been mentioned.
The architecture is in accordance with the climate of Isfahan and is designed based on four seasons (four iwans); in warm seasons, the southern iwan and in the cold seasons the northern iwan were used.
The building of Chahar Bagh School has two floors; Religious courses were taught in first floor and mathematics, astronomy and medicine courses were taught in second floor.
The school includes a large central courtyard in the center and four small yards around the center. The central courtyard with a large pool in the center and lots of trees, makes the interior of the school stylish. The middle pond of the courtyard is supplied with Madi Farshadi (Farshadi Stream).
Visitors have the opportunity of visiting the most beautiful tile collections in Isfahan.
In addition, given the mandatory use of Chador for women while visiting the school, it is an opportunity for them to experience Chador as a kind of Hijab, and touch this Iranian religious culture.


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Opening Hours

Daily Hours: –


Chahar Bagh Theological School. Chahar Bagh e Abbasi St. Isfahan, Iran



– Rls

Chahar Bagh Abbasi Street

Sio-Se-Pol Bridge which is the longest historical bridge in Isfahan was built to connect the southern part of a street named Chahar Bagh to its eastern part.

Chahar Bagh Street is located on the south side of Sio-Se-Pol Bridge. It was once one of the most splendid streets in the world. It is 5km long and 47m wide.

Today, this street is a paved walking street with old leafy trees planted along the street which creates an extraordinary view.

Madar-i-Shah, a complex placed on this street, consisting of a Caravanserai, a Bazaar and a School. The Caravanserai and The Bazaar were dedicated to the school and school expenses were provided in this way. The school of Chahar Bagh was built in Iranian Islamic architecture, which was built under orders of Shah Sultan Hossein Safavi. It is a two-story school in a way that the lower chamber rooms were devoted to religion lessons and the upper ones for mathematics, medicine and astronomy lessons. Today, this school is in the hands of the Islamic seminary.

Next to Chahar Bagh Street is Shahid Rajaee Park; Seating in the middle of the park, is Hasht Behesht Palace which was built during Shah Suleiman Safavid time. The palace beautiful gilded mosaics and mirror works will catch any tourist’s eyes.


Isfahan Municipality

Isfahan, a self-sufficient metropolitan city in every field. An encyclopedia of Iranian and Islamic arts and architecture. A great collection of historic monuments.


Chehel Sotun Palace

Chehel Sotun is a pavilion in the middle of classic Persian garden. Built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions


Hasht Behesht Palace

The small Hasht Behesht Palace is the most luxuriously decorated palace in Isfahan.


Bazar-e Honar

One of the oldest bazaar in Isfahan with a dazzling array of exquisite jewellery. Closed to Abbasi Hotel and Chahar Bagh School.


Chahar Bagh School

A theological and clerical school to train those who were interested in such sciences with the collection of the most beautiful tiles in Isfahan.


Abbasi Hotel

The oldest hotel and an unrepeatable heritage in Isfahan architectural style.


Farshadi Stream

The oldest stream (Madi) in Isfahan.


Shahrzad Restaurent

One of the best traditional restaurant with traditional foods.


Madi Niasarm

The longest Madi (stream) in Isfahan.


Si-o-She Pol Bridge

The longest bridge on Zayandeh River with more than 400 years old.


Isfahan Bazaar

Whether on a single day business trip or a 5-day holiday, the grand bazaar of Isfahan is a must for every visitor. You can go for a short walk in the main pathway of the bazaar and get a glimpse of the colours, scents, tastes, architecture and the people of the bazaar so you have a story to tell with a couple of selfies and probably some souvenirs. However, if you can afford, in terms of time, you can spend the better part of a day to stroll down every pathway of the maze of alleys, traveling back in time form late 17th century (Safavid era, when the new Meydan or Square was built) to late 11th century (Seljuk era, when the old Meydan or Meydan Kohneh was constructed). Only the people who work in the bazaar can find their way to their exact destination, so do not even try not to be lost. Indulge yourself in what the centuries-old bazaar has to offer. The lively atmosphere of the shops and shoppers, the gleaming handicrafts, the music of the hammers and copper plates mixed pleasantly with the strong hum of the crowd under the arched roofs. Heavenly light penetrates here and there from the centre of the arches giving the floating particles a magical slow-motion effect. Whether you are here for colours, for music, for history, for photography or just her for a new experience with new people and culture, this place is the right place. Perfect for humans-of-newyork style photography. A rainbow selection of spices for gastro lovers. A tour of the old bazaar of Isfahan is a complete package in itself. Given that it’s located adjacent to the Naghsh e Jahan Square with its significant historical monuments it gives you the false impression that the visit is doable in one day which might not be the best thing to do.


Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM



Jameh Mosque, Isfahan, Iran


Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. Isfahan, Iran

Naqsh-e Jahan Square

(Nᴂghsh-e Jᴂhãn; نقش جهان)

What happened that in 1598, Shah Abbas I decided to change the capital of the Persian Empire from Qazvin to the more central city Isfahan, is a long and interesting story in itself. But had it not been for this shift UNESCO would now have been one amazing item short of its world heritage sites (Read More…). In the making of the new city, Naghsh-e Jahan Square (meaning “Pattern of the world” had undoubtedly the most important role as it became the new religious, political and economic centre of not only the city of Isfahan, but the entire country.

The best artists and craftsmen of the country were invited to Isfahan and the project of the refurbishment of the city began. The royal palace of Ali Qapu, with its magnificent internal and external architecture provided a spectacular panoramic view of the square for the king, the royal family and their VIP guests. They could watch polo games and occasional celebrations from the balcony of the palace.

Moving clockwise form the palace, on the northern side of the square, is Qeysarieh portal which is the entrance to one of world’s biggest roofed markets. The bazaar of Isfahan is a wonderland of tastes and colours, a comprehensive living history of Persian architecture and a busy maze of pathways, shops, religious schools, restaurants, etc.

Next on the square, on the eastern side right across Ali Qapu, is Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, the private mosque used mainly by the royal family with the religious school underneath in the basement. With its unique dome, Sheikh Lotfollah is another masterpiece on the “pattern of the world”.

On the southern side of the square is the grand Jame Abbasi Mosque, known also as Shah Mosque or Imam Mosque. This was the main congregational mosque of the safavid Isfahan where all important religious gatherings were held including the Friday prayers.  Massive in size, intricate in decoration and unique in its plan, Jame Abbasi Mosque was another symbolic element representing one of the three pillars of the Safavid government: the religious, the administrative and the economic.

In short, Naghsh-e Jahan Square can be seen as the microcosm of the Safavid Persian Empire integrating business, religion and government in such a subtle and smooth manner that the interwoven network of connections between them never interfered with their functional independency.



Naghsh-e Jahan Sq., Isfahan, Iran




Si-o-Seh Pol Bridge

This is probably the most famous of Isfahan’s bridges. It is made up of a series of 33 arches and was commissioned in 1602 by Shah Abbas I from one of his Generals. The name – Si-o-Seh Pol is derived from the Farsi for 33 (Si-o-Seh). The bridge is built on a series of pontoons of great width.
The bridge was originally known as the Bridge of Allahverdi Khan who was the general responsible for its construction. The lower level of 33 arches is surmounted by a second layer, with one arch above each of the pontoons and two arches above the lower single arch, giving it its name and rhythmic appearance. The road along the top is sandwiched between high walls which give some shelter from the wind as well as protection for travelers who can walk along the footpaths on either side to avoid the crush of the traffic. Originally there were frescoes on the walls.
The bridge itself is 295m long and 13.75m wide. The thirty four piers on which it is constructed are 3.49m thick and the arches are 5.57m wide. The southern side of the bridge, where the waters of the Zayandeh run more swiftly has supplementary arches, and it is this that makes them suitable as a tea house. The bridge acted as a springboard for the development of the Khajou Bridge some 50 years later.




Enghelab Sq. Chahar Bagh e Abbasi St. Isfahan, Iran




Khajou Bridge

(Pol-e Khãjou, پل خواجو)

Arguably the finest of Esfahan’s bridges, with traces of the original paintings and tiles that decorated its double arcade still visible, Pol-e Khaju was built by Shah Abbas II in about 1650, but a bridge is believed to have crossed the waters here since the time of Tamerlane. The bridge is as much a meeting place as a bearer of traffic and at nighttime Esfahanis gather under the arches to sing: those with the most convincing voices (or indeed songs) attract sizeable crowds.
The bridge also doubles as a dam with locks in the lower terraced arcade regulating water flow. When the river is full, the sunset from the middle of the bridge is a fine sight – so good, in fact, that a pavilion was built here exclusively for the pleasure of Shah Abbas II. The remains of stone seats built for him to admire the view can still be seen. Legend has it that the eyes of the marble lions guarding either end of the bridge glow in the dark.




Kamal Smaeel St. Khajou Sq., Isfahan, Iran




Imam Mosque (Jame Abbasi Mosque)

( Masjed-e Jãme Æbbãsi مسجد جامع عباسی)

Originally named Jame Abbasi, the elegant mosque, with its iconic blue-tiled mosaics and its perfect proportions, forms a visually stunning monument at the head of Esfahan’s main square. Unblemished since its construction 400 years ago, it stands as a monument to the vision of Shah Abbas I and the accomplishments of the Safavid dynasty. The mosque’s crowning dome was completed in 1629, the last year of the reign of Shah Abbas.
Although each of the mosque’s parts is a masterpiece, it is the unity of the overall design that leaves a lasting impression, and the positioning of the much-photographed entrance portal is a case in point as it has more to do with its location on the square than with the mosque’s spiritual aims. The portal’s function was primarily ornamental, providing a counterpoint to the Qeysarieh Portal at the entrance to the Bazar-e Bozorg. The foundation stones are white marble from Ardestan and the portal itself, some 30m tall, is decorated with magnificent moarraq kashi (mosaics featuring geometric designs, floral motifs and calligraphy) by the most skilled artists of the age. The splendid niches contain complex stalactite mouldings in a honeycomb pattern; each panel has its own intricate design. Work began on this magnificent monument in 1611 and took four years to complete; deliberate mismatches in its apparent symmetry reflect the artist’s humility in the face of Allah.
Although the portal was built to face the square, the mosque is oriented towards Mecca, so a short, angled corridor was constructed to connect the square and the inner courtyard, thereby negating any aesthetic qualms about this misalignment. Inside the courtyard, there is a pool for ritual ablutions and four imposing iwans. The walls of the courtyard contain the most exquisite sunken porches, framed by haft rangi (painted tiles) of deep blue and yellow. Each iwan leads into a vaulted sanctuary. The east and west sanctuaries are covered with particularly fine floral motifs on a blue background.
The main sanctuary is entered via the south iwan. It is worth finding a quiet corner here to sit and contemplate the richness of the domed ceiling, with its golden rose pattern (the flower basket) surrounded by concentric circles of busy mosaics on a deep blue background. The interior ceiling is 36.3m high, but the exterior reaches up to 51m due to the double layering used in construction. The hollow space in between is responsible for the loud echoes heard when you stamp your foot on the black paving stones under the centre of the dome. Although scientists have measured up to 49 echoes, only about 12 are audible to the human ear – more than enough for a speaker to be heard throughout the mosque. The marble mihrab and minbar (pulpit of a mosque) are also beautifully crafted.
The main sanctuary provides wonderful views of the two turquoise minarets above the entrance portal. Each is encircled by projecting balconies and white geometric calligraphy in which the names of Mohammed and Ali are repeated almost ad infinitum. To the east and west of the main sanctuary are the courtyards of two madrasehs. Both provide good views of the main dome with its glorious profusion of turquoise-shaded tiles.



Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 9 AM – 12:30 AM, 2 PM – 6 PM


Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. Sepah St. Imam Hossein Sq. Isfahan, Iran


(+98) 3132222174


200,000 Rls


Jameh Mosque

(Mᴂsjed-e Jãme, مسجد جامع)

The Jameh complex is a veritable museum of Islamic architecture while still functioning as a busy place of worship. Showcasing the best that nine centuries of artistic and religious endeavour has achieved, from the geometric elegance of the Seljuks to the more florid refinements of the Safavid era, a visit repays time spent examining the details – a finely carved column, delicate mosaics, and perfect brickwork. Covering more than 20,000 sq metres, this is the biggest mosque in Iran. This mosque was added to UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2012 (Read More…).

Religious activity on this site is believed to date back to the Sassanid Zoroastrians, with the first sizeable mosque being built over temple foundations by the Seljuks in the 11th century. The two large domes (north and south) have survived intact from this era but the rest of the mosque was destroyed by fire in the 12th century and rebuilt in 1121. Embellishments were added throughout the centuries.

In the centre of the main courtyard, which is surrounded by four contrasting iwans (a rectangular space, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open), is an ablutions fountain designed to imitate the Kaaba at Mecca. Would-be pilgrims once used the fountain to practise the appropriate rituals prior to undertaking the hajj. The two-storey porches around the courtyard’s perimeter were constructed in the late 15th century.
The south iwan is highly elaborate, with Mongol-era stalactite mouldings, some splendid 15th-century mosaics on the side walls and two minarets. Behind it is the grand Nezam al-Molk Dome, which is flanked by Seljuk-era prayer halls.

The north iwan is noteworthy for its monumental porch with the Seljuks’ customary Kufic inscriptions and austere brick pillars in the sanctuary. Behind it (entered through a door next to the iwan) is a prayer hall featuring a forest of pillars. The bricks of each of these pillars is decorated with the craftsman’s signature trademark. At the rear of the north iwan is the exquisite Taj al-Molk Dome, widely considered to be the finest brick dome in Persia. While relatively small, it is said to be mathematically perfect, and has survived dozens of earthquakes without a blemish for more than 900 years.

The west iwan was originally built by the Seljuks but later decorated by the Safavids. The mosaics are more geometric in style here than those of the southern hall. The courtyard is topped by a maazeneh, a small raised platform with a conical roof from where the faithful used to be called to prayer.

The Room of Sultan Uljeitu (a 14th-century Shiite convert) next to the west iwan is home to one of the mosque’s greatest treasures – an exquisite stucco mihrab with dense Quranic inscriptions and floral designs. Next to this is the Timurid-era Winter Hall (Beit al-Shata), built in 1448 and lit by alabaster skylights.


Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 9 AM – 12:30 AM, 2 PM – 6 PM


Majlesi St. Isfahan, Iran


(+98) 3134456400


200,000 Rls


Mobile Carriers

Main operators who provide telecommunication service in Iran

Hamrah Aval (IR MCI)

Hamrah Aval Logo


Irancell Logo


RighTel Logo

Mobile coverage

There is not a significant difference between their Mobile coverage in urban areas. But if you want to go to the suburb, Irancell and Hamrah aval have a better signal than the other.

Mobile Data

This sim cards provide unlimited Internet package which you can enjoy its high speed Internet during travel in Iran. In the sections of mobile data you can active Internet.

How to recharge your SIM card?

Both prepaid and postpaid phone plans are available in Iran. Do not worry about prepaid sim cads top up. Your Iran sim card can be top up by using Iranian debit cards or buy top up prepaid cards from any supermarket, grocery store or news stand at any time in any place. Incoming calls from other countries are FREE OF CHARGE and you don not need to recharge Your SIM card; if it is your last days of trip and you except incoming calls from Iran or abroad.

Hamrah Aval Recharge Card

Card Charge hamrahe avval

Irancell Recharge Card

Card Charge irancell

RighTel Recharge Card

Card Charge rightel

What type of SIM card do you need for your phone?

There are currently three size of SIM cards available in Iran included standard SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM. Iran SIM card companies made it easy for you by giving you all three in one SIM card.

Hamrah Aval SIM card

Hamrah Aval SIM size

Irancell SIM card

Irancell Sim Size

RighTel SIM card

Rightel Sim Size

How to buy SIM card in Iran?

Visitor SIM cards (Iran SIM card) are available at any arrival gate especially International Airports in the stands which sell SIM cards. All of you need to pick up one is your passport. Iran SIM card is registered by passport ID number.

What is the price of Iran SIM card?

You can obtain reasonable price of Iran SIM card in companies site.

Iran numbers

International Access Code00
Country Code+98

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EmergenciesEmergency numbers
Local Directory118

Isfahan Sister Cities

The concept of Sister Cities or Twin Towns can be traced back to the post World War period in Europe when countries and nations ravaged by war sought peace and mutual understanding between cultures, ideas and nationalities. The first known sister cities in the world are Paderborn, Germany, and Le Mans, France.

Sister Cities are a cultural and business bond between two cities, states or even countries for mutual benefits. Isfahan as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and Iran’s cultural hub signed her first sister city agreement on May 7, 1989 with the city of Xi’an in china. Since then the city of Isfahan has signed more than 15 sister city relationship agreements with countries from around the world.

Here is a list of Isfahan’s sister cities:

CityCountryDate of agreementFlag
Xi’anChinaMay 7, 1989China Flag
Kuala lumpurMalaysiaJun 23, 1997
Freiburg GermanyOctober 27, 2000
Florence ItalySeptember 18, 1998
IașiRomaniaMay 10, 1999
BarcelonaSpainJan 14, 2000
YerevanArmeniaApril 27, 2000
KuwaitKuwaitJun 19, 2000
HavanaCubaMarch 8, 2001
LahorePakistanJuly 22, 2004
St. PetersburgRussiaNovember 10, 2004
DakarSenegalNovember 25, 2009
BaalbekLebanon October 5, 2010

Earth Day and Tourism

Earth Day (April 22nd) and Tourism

In the words of environmental activist and actor Leonardo Dicaprio, “Climate change is real. It is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

The environment is a top global priority that can be supported through ethical tourism. Travellers without a home base may not have the option to make common green consumer purchasing decisions such as using LED light bulbs, driving hybrid cars or using solar powered energy systems in their homes. Yet, there are numerous small changes that travellers may make to shift the way they travel that will, in turn, minimise their carbon footprints while making a long-lasting positive impact on the earth.

This Earth Day, April 22nd, challenge yourself to make these adjustments to your travel routine that will enrich your experiences, support a socially conscious lifestyle and benefit Mother Nature.

9 Ways Travelers Can Help the Earth Right Now

1. Plastic is one of the biggest demons preventing us from protecting our planet.

Earth simply cannot digest plastic. If you haven’t already switched from purchasing plastic water bottles daily to using a reusable water bottle (preferably glass) then now is the time to finally quit plastic for good. If you’re nervous about the quality and cleanliness of the available filtered water or tap water in the destinations you visit then you may want to invest in the innovative Lifestraw, which transforms contaminated water into potable water. Other ways to reduce your plastic consumption is to opt for reusable utensils and straws to carry with you. Make sure to specify that you do not need your meal to include plastic cutlery when you order takeaway meals. Bring a reusable cloth bag to use whenever you go shopping and visit countries such as France, Italy, Morocco and India who are among countries at the forefront of banning the use of plastic bags, plates and/or cutlery. Not convinced yet? Here is a shocking fact, for every living creature in the ocean, there is six pieces of plastic also in the sea.

2. Eco-friendly accommodation options are becoming mainstream and are widely available across all budgets.

Look for lodges, hotels, guesthouses and hostels that explain what makes their property green and feel free to vet the authenticity before booking by emailing over questions. Any truly ethical property will be happy to confirm their eco-commitments. Ask about what programs they have in place to be more energy efficient. This may be through LED lighting or solar powered energy. Do they conserve water and have the option to switch on and off hot water? Do they use low-flow toilets? Inquire about their recycling policies and if there is the option to reuse towels and bedding rather than have fresh linens provided daily.

3. Be mindful whenever booking and taking transportation.

You likely are already aware that buses and trains make less of a negative impact on the environment than airplanes or cars. However, flying is often the only option for transcontinental travel. Most airlines will offer users the chance to offset carbon emissions from air travel through a minimal extra fee. When you arrive on location at your destination and have the choice between taking public transportation or a private taxi, choose the greener option whenever possible. When visiting developing countries you may even have the chance to take bicycle rickshaws which are the most eco-friendly option or rent a bicycle to explore your surroundings yourself. In countries like India opt for ride share apps like Ola or Uber over auto rickshaws as they have stronger regulations for their damaging emissions.

4. Book immersive and impactful travel experiences

that support local communities that are committed to helping the planet, fighting climate change and other environmental allows users to travel the globe by cause and has a map of hundreds of experiences that benefit the environment. Travelers can learn about bio-farming in Georgia, partake in eco-friendly cacao harvesting in Thailand, stay in an eco-cottage and discover local sanitation projects in India, plant trees in South Africa, go on an urban bike tour in Colombia or a nature trek in the Greek Islands. These are just some of the available experiences for travelers who are eager to advocate and fund mindful initiatives around the world through educational travel activities.

5. Swap out your chargers for a renewable source such as the WakaWaka solar lamp and charger.

These are perfect for travelers who are visiting destinations off the beaten path that may not have consistent electricity. An added bonus is that for every WakaWaka sold a solar light is donated to a family that does not have reliable access to light or electricity.

6. Be mindful of your water consumption and take shorter showers.

Not only is this routine better for your skin, as long showers are ultra drying, but you’ll also be using less precious water. To be extra sustainable with your bathroom habits turn off the water flow while you soap up your hair, body and brush your teeth then only turn it back on when you are ready to rinse off.

7. Switch Off lights and unplug devices

This tip should be a mindless habit by now but make sure to always unplug devices and switch off the lights when you are leaving a room. If there is a hot water switch for the shower, make sure to turn it off whenever you are not bathing.

8. Carry over your recycling practice that you routinely follow at home to your travels.

Separate your plastics, paper, glass and metals. Inquire about where you can start a small compost pile for your natural waste. If your accommodation doesn’t offer the option to recycle try to find out where the local facilities are or give your sorted trash directly to collectors that you may see gathering the materials from the street.

9. Rather than purchasing 100 ml carry-on sized liquids you can opt to use reusable bottles and refill with your favourite products from home.

Better yet choose products that avoid plastic altogether such as Lush shampoo bars. One bar can last up to 80 washes, making it more eco-friendly and more friendly on your luggage allowance too!

By: Lola Mendez

Lola Méndez is a full-time traveler sharing her adventures on Miss Filatelista as she adds to her collection of passport stamps. She travels to develop her own worldview and has explored 46 countries (up to written this post). Passionate about sustainable travel she seeks out ethical experiences that benefit local communities. You can follow her on and

Chaharshanbeh Souri

Chaharshanbeh Souri, Festival of Fire and Fire Jumping Festival are a few of the names used to refer to one of world’s ancient religious and cultural events.  Iranians, Azerbaijanis, Afghans, Tajiks and Turks (Azeris living in Turkey) celebrate this day by lighting fires and jumping over them while chanting special phrases.

This occasion is celebrated every year on the last Wednesday of the year to mark the end of the year and hope for a bright new year. Wednesday in Farsi/Persian is “Chaharshanbeh”and that is why this day is called Chaharshanbeh Souri.

A lot has been said and written as to the roots and significance of Chaharshanbeh Souri. Some say the fire is symbolically meant to burn the evil and bring about good for the New Year. Religiously speaking, ancient Iranians were followers of Zoroaster. In Zoroastrianism, fire is one of the four sacred elements of nature. It is also the most purifying as it never gets polluted.


Traditionally Chaharshanbeh Souri also included another activity called “Ghashogh Zani” translated as spoon banging where people would go door to door in disguise and bang spoons on plates to ask for treats which is the eastern equivalent of Trick or Treat. This tradition of course if almost forgotten and not practiced in the modern Iran.


Nowadays, Chaharshanbeh Souri has become more of a fireworks and fire crackers festivals lightening the streets and squares of Iran with crowd of people singing and dancing until late at the night before the last Wednesday of the year.

Since this occasion falls on the last Wednesday of the year it is one of the closest occasions to the most important and popular event in the Iranian calendar that is Nowrouz. Therefore people usually tend to have more free time as many schools and offices are closed. They are also excited and happy about the New Year and would like to enjoy the heavenly spring weather especially in the central and southern states of Iran. These, all together, make Chaharshanbeh Souri one of the best occasions to visit the country before people get too busy with their new year’s preparation and family visits.