Published: 07 September 2016 by: Gemma Price
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Chehel Sotoun Palace in Isfahan, Iran

10. Iran

You might not realise it, but Iran is also in Asia. It's also set to be one of the must-go frontier destinations for 2016. Most of the country is now considered safe: Australia has an embassy in Tehran and after re-establishing its embassy there last summer, the UK launced non-stop flights from London July this year – Iranian officials are hoping to welcome 20 million annual tourists by 2025. But those going now will be among the first to experience the Islamic Republic’s diverse landscapes and cultural treasures.

You can hit the beach or go skiing (yes, you heard correctly). You can explore 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most of any Middle-Eastern country (Persian capital, Persepolis was founded by Darius The Great in 518BC), and wander ancient Islamic prayer halls illuminated by kaleidoscopic shafts of light lancing down from stained-glass windows. And after a day’s sightseeing, you can turn your attention to Iran’s fabulous cuisine to the sound of Persian pop or classical poetry – walnut pomegranate stew or hot and sour shrimp, anyone?

 

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