There's surely no nation in the world so misunderstood as Iran. This is a country that's supposed to be our great enemy, part of the Axis of Evil, a nuclear-obsessed superpower-in-waiting that wishes death upon the West. And yet to visit Iran as a tourist is to discover one of the warmest, friendliest and most genuinely welcoming nations on Earth, a country of wonderful people who put the lie to the well-known reputation.
There's so much to love about Iran. This is a country with a long history and a rich culture, with cities filled with stunning classical architecture, and landscapes that vary from barren deserts to snow-capped peaks. It's the home of Persepolis, the millennia-old capital of a forgotten empire. It's the place you'll find the blue-tiled domes of Esfahan, the multi-coloured windows of Shiraz, the mud-brick walls of Yazd. It's the home of a sophisticated culinary tradition; the place to buy that carpet you've always dreamed of.
And then there's the people: the kindest, most generous around.
On this episode of Flight of Fancy, the Traveller.com.au podcast, I'm joined by fellow explorers, travel writer Ute Junker and Intrepid's Tara Harrison, to talk about Iran: the country that will still get you blacklisted from visiting the US; the supposed sponsor of terror; the enemy. And yet a nation that is emerging as a travellers' favourite. We're going to talk about where to go in Iran and what to do. We'll tell you what to expect to find in this country, and why you need not worry about visiting this place at all.
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Flight of Fancy is hosted by Ben Groundwater and produced by Annie Dang. This episode was recorded by Shannon Browning and mixed by Lap Phan.