Great Iran Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?


Middle Eastern countries tend to get a lot of bad rep as tourist destinations, but there are more than enough reasons to visit countries like Iran at least once in your lifetime. Home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, Iran is an ethnically diverse country with lots of surprising attractions.

Whether you are looking forward to discovering the monumental Golestan Palace in Tehran, the Tower of Silence in Yazd, or the Imam Square in Isfahan, you are sure to marvel at the spectacular views of not only the attractions themselves but also the surrounding towns and villages. Are you excited to see what you can fill your Iran itinerary with? Scroll down for more ideas.

How much time should I spend in Iran?

The aerial view of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan
Feel the serenity of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan

Visiting this large, mountainous country can be a challenge of a lifetime. You are probably wondering how many days to spend in Iran to truly understand the country. In our experience, just a few days will not cut it. Most guided tours in Iran last at least one week, and the longest could take up to a whole month.

We recommend spending at least three weeks in Iran to appreciate both the nature and the historicity of this country. But we are going to show you just what you can accomplish if you stay for a shorter period.

Iran in 5 days

Azadi monument and its reflection on waterways
Visit different aesthetic monuments like the Azadi monument in Tehran

Spending five days or less in Iran as a tourist barely allows you to skim the surface of the country. For that reason, there are very few, if any, guided tours shorter than seven days. So, for a five-day Iran itinerary, we suggest sightseeing tours in Tehran to explore Golestan Palace, Saadabad Historical Complex, and the National Museum of Iran. You can then head south to Kashan and browse its famous Fin Garden or maybe even spend a few hours at a hammam (traditional bathhouse). Every town you visit in Iran will most definitely feature mosques and teahouses. The latter are great places to relax after a day of touring and shopping.

Most city tours would take you half a day and traveling to town after town can be quite time-consuming. With only five days available, we recommend not going too far from the capital unless you wish to take a flight back to Tehran in time for your flight home.

Iran in 7 days

The Pink mosque in the center of Shiraz
Visit the peaceful Nasir al-Mulk Mosque also known as the Pink Mosque in Shiraz

While your five-day Iran itinerary may only take you as far as Kashan, a seven-day itinerary can get you as far south as Shiraz. So not only can you now sightsee around Tehran and Kashan, but you can also visit the Pink Mosque, Karim Chan Citadel, Narenjestan Garden and browse through the displays of Vakil Bazaar on your last day. An hour away from Shiraz are the ruins of Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire with a history going back to the sixth century BC.

A word of caution. A seven-day Iran trip might make you feel rushed as it normally involves traveling to three destinations. This is one of the reasons why we recommend travelers opt for a three-week tour in order to fully appreciate the country and its people at a leisurely pace.

Iran in 10 days

The city of Yazd has ancient origins
The desert city of Yazd is both picturesque and mystifying

A ten-day Iran itinerary is much more preferable although far from ideal. With ten days at your disposal, you can spend at least two days in the cities you visit before heading for the next destination.

Add a trip to Yazd to the above week-long Iran itinerary to extend your stay by three days. Yazd is a city filled with wind towers and structures boasting a unique desert architectural style. You can spend at least two days in the city and visit places like the Fire Temple of Yazd, Aleksandra Prison, Yazd Water Museum, Amir Chakhmagh Ensemble, and the Dolat Abad Garden.

Yazd can be reasonably placed between Shiraz and Isfahan in your itinerary if you arrive in Iran through Shiraz International Airport and depart from Imam Khomeini International Airport.

Iran in 2 weeks

Iranian architecture has the most aesthetic designs
Iranian architecture is famous for its aesthetic designs and minute details

Two weeks is the ideal amount of time to spend in Iran as it provides you with options other than guided city tours. Having soaked up the attractions of its major cities, head for Dasht-e Kavir (or the Great Salt Desert) located in the middle of the Iranian Plateau. Unlike most of the deserts in the world, Dasht-e Kavir is dotted with villages that have their own unique cultures, customs, and attractions.

Spend at least two nights in the desert, exploring the arid landscape peppered with oases during the day and sleeping in camps at night. This area is popular among tourists who want to go on a desert safari or try their hand at desert skiing. Alternatively, you can also choose to travel from Yazd to Isfahan through the Varzaneh Desert.

For more information check out our guide on 2 weeks in Iran

Iran in 3 weeks

Persian architecture against the desert
Journey towards Dash-e Lut Desert and taste the adventure

Done with cities and deserts, you can head out into the mountains during your three weeks in Iran. To the southwestern part of the country, not far from Shiraz, are the Zagros Mountains, home to untouched natural scenery and one of the largest nomadic populations in the world. This is also where Iranian Kurdistan is located. The Urâmân Takht Valley, a highlight of the area, has houses built along the flanks of a mountain. To Iran’s north is the Alborz Mountain range, where one can choose from sixteen routes to reach the peak of Damavand, the highest point in the country.

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  • Mohammadreza Kolahian
    Mohammadreza Kolahian
    Travel Expert in Iran
  • Mana Howaizi
    Mana Howaizi
    Travel Expert in Iran
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Travel Expert in Iran
Mohammadreza Kolahian Travel Expert in Iran
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Mana Howaizi Travel Expert in Iran
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