MY HUSBAND AND I ARE INTERESTED IN TAKING A HOLIDAY IN IRAN. GIVEN THE REGIONAL SENSITIVITIES WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE, HOW TO GET AROUND, ACCOMMODATION AND BEST TIME OF YEAR.
M. BARRY, MAWSON
Both Emirates and Etihad offer one-stop flights between Australia and Tehran via their respective hubs in the UAE. According to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Canberra (iranembassy.org.au), Australian passport holders can travel to Iran and obtain a 15 day visa at the airport. However, you'd be much safer getting your visa before arrival.
While Australian passport holders may travel independently in Iran it's not a practical choice. There are several Australia-based tour operators to choose from, including Peregrine Adventures, (peregrineadventures.com) Intrepid Travel (intrepidtravel.com) and World Expeditions (worldexpeditions.com). A number of Iranian-based travel agencies also offer tours.
A colleague recently returned from a 14-day trip through Iran with Uppersia (uppersia.com), and speaks highly of the experience. Uppersia's customised tours can be for just two, with a driver and an English-speaking guide. Tours are available in three levels priced according to the style of accommodation selected. Uppersia's reviews on Tripadvisor are good to excellent, but some report that email communication can be tricky. If you choose to travel with them you might request one of their female English-speaking guides.
Avoid the extreme heat of summer, between mid May and the end of September. Prime time is mid-March to mid-May and October to the end of November.