What is the best time to travel to Iran? This is a vast country, with an area of 1.648 million km². It has a varied topography with different climatic regions. For this reason, it would be of interest to know what the climate is like in each region before preparing your travel.
The climate of Iran
In order to decide on the best time to travel to Iran, you need to keep in mind that the country is divided into 4 climatic regions therefore, depending on the region you are travelling to, you will find different conditions.
The northern part of the country is the region closest to Caspian Sea. It tends to be the preferred holiday destination for Iranians. As the northern zone is in the mountains and close to the sea, during the summer when it is too hot in the rest of the country, you can enjoy milder temperatures there.
Dry and cold
Iran also has mountainous regions in the central part of the country. The towns in this region are in the foothills of the mountains. Cities like Urimie and Tabriz, in the north-west of the country have cold winters and very hot summers.
Arid and semi-arid
If you approach the south, the thermometer readings will begin to rise. In the desert regions, summers are very hot and winters are very cold, which you need to keep in mind if you visit cities such as Shiraz, Yazd or Isfahan. Tehran has a rather mild climate, both in summer and winter.
Hot and humid continent
Once you reach the south, the climate is very hot and humid in summer. Winters are pleasant, and this is the best time to visit the islands of Queshm and Kish.
When to travel to Iran
As you can see, the best time to travel to Iran may be at any time, although the decision will depend on the route you wish to take.
Winter (from November to February)
Winter can be very cold in some of the cities of Iran. Nonetheless, if you are one of those people who prefer to avoid the heat, this is truly the best season to travel. During these months, you will be able to contemplate the snow in Tehran and enjoy winter sports at ski stations such as the one at Dizin. The rest of the country is also cool in winter and has quite a lot of rain, and for this reason we recommend you take warm clothes and a raincoat. In December the Shab-e Chelleh festival takes place to celebrate the winter solstice. Families and friends gather together to eat nuts and recite poetry.
Spring (from March to May)
Spring is an excellent time to travel to Iran as, in general, the tourist destinations are quiet and hotel prices are lower. In addition, the average temperature is around 18ºC to 22ºC during the day, although the nights are cold.
Keep in mind that Nowruz, the Persian New Year is celebrated in March. This is one of the country’s most important festivals and is well worth enjoying. The down side is that, as it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a big tourist attraction. This means it is more difficult to find accommodation, and prices go through the roof. Spring is the perfect season to visit many of the gardens that exist in Iranian cities, such as those at Shiraz.
Summer (from June to September)
Towards the end of June, temperatures begin to rise considerably. In some regions of the country they can reach and surpass 45ºC. This can be very oppressive for Western tourists who are unaccustomed to such extreme heat. You should also keep in mind that women need to keep their heads covered and men should wear long trousers. For this reason, the prices in summer are more economical. Nonetheless, the temperature will be much more pleasant in the coastal region of the Caspian Sea.
Autumn (from September to October)
Autumn is a fantastic season to visit Iran. The temperature is beginning to come down and rainfall is infrequent. You can visit the different historical enclaves of the country without having to endure the very high summer temperatures. October has high temperatures (as does April). The gardens have a very special appearance during this time of year. Towards the end of September, Ashura, or the memory of Muharram, is celebrated. This is a very important religious festival which is celebrated by the Shiites to commemorate the death of Iman Husein.
When not to travel to Iran
Travelling to Iran during the time of Ramadan is not recommended. This is a full month of fasting so almost all the restaurants will close throughout the day. Some will open for a short time at sundown, but it could be complicated for visitors to find places to eat during their trips. The month of Ramadan is established according to the lunar calendar. This means that it does not have a fixed date in our calendar.