I have the feeling that travel to Iran and Iraq will become this generation’s version of travel to Vietnam.
For travelers from most Western countries, other than the US, you can quite easily travel independently around Iran now. Getting a visa is more complicated and restricted for Americans than it is for most other travelers.
Top 5 Most Interesting Resources I Found for Planning Independent Travel to Iran (in no particular order)
1. Justine Shapiro moves to Iran for the summer?!
If you’re a travel nerd and a similar age to me you probably grew up watching the Globe Trekker travel documentaries hosted by Ian Wright, Justine Shapiro, and Megan McCormick (aka as Pilot Guides and Lonely Planet videos at various points).
Well… Justine went to live in Tehran for a summer with her 6 year old child and spent time with 3 Iranian families. And she made a documentary about it.
You can watch 10 minutes of excerpts from it on youtube
If pictures say 1000 words then video says 10000.
Justine also guested on Rick Steves’ podcast to talk about it (free).
Its the episode called End of the Orient Express (there were two guests and the title relates to the other guest).
2. Travelpod Blog written by “Jim and Sim” (I think Sim is short for Simone)
Jim and Sim travel to Iran and meet up with some friends – one of whom works for the New Zealand embassy in Tehran.
This picture of Sim shopping at a Tehran Bazaar will give you a really good idea of what’s acceptable dress within the clothing restrictions.
One of their blog entries about Tehran – http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/jimsim/1/1248693989/tpod.html
3. Iran by Bicycle! Amateur Traveler Podcast Episode About a Couple Who Cycled Around Iran
Now that’s cool.
Available here from the Amateur Traveler website – Iran by Bike Episode.
The couple also have their own website.
4. More Video, More Rick Steves
Rick Steves spent a couple of weeks making a documentary in Iran and you can watch it free on itunes.
The video files are quite big so they’re a bit of a pain to download.
Gives a good idea of what to expect.
5. Lonely Planet Thorntree Middle East Forum
Select “Show only Iran” if you just want posts about Iran.
Use the Advanced Search function to find info already covered, and you can also ask your own questions.