Flights from Zanjan

A hidden city, Zanjan is one of the places to visit in north-western Iran. Its narrow alleys shelter some attractive mosques, a bazaar, and some teahouse restaurants. The city also serves as a transit point to the splendid Soltaniyeh mausoleum and the Takht-e Soleiman, making Zanjan a pleasant city to add to the itinerary. Those thinking to go here might consider going through Zanjan Airport, but it is not currently operating flights. The nearest port of entry here at over a hundred kilometres or so is Rasht Airport.

Where to go

Esfahan, the leading tourist destination in Iran, is popular for its Persian buildings and significant Islamic buildings. Strolling around different parts of the city such as the historic bazaar, the finely-wrought bridges and a UNESCO-listed central square can make up some of the highlights of the trip. The heavy traffic and the presence of heavy industrial companies may be found here, but various landmarks make breathtaking sights to enjoy. One is the Masjed-e Shah with its blue-tiled mosaic designs and well-proportioned Safavid-era architecture. Oriented towards Mecca, a short angled corridor neatly connects the square and the inner courtyard with a pool for ritual ablutions and four imposing iwans. From here, one can visit the Kakh-e Chehel Sotun, the lone palace on the royal complex, which was built as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall in the Achaemenid-inspired talar style. The Great Hall is an impressive room, with its rich array of frescoes, miniatures, and ceramics,

Shiraz, the heart of Persian culture, is one of the areas not to miss in Iran. It was one of the most important cities in the country, where various fine landmarks such as the Aramgah-e Hafez can be found. A tomb of Hafez the poet and folk hero, this landmark is set in a beautiful garden with two pools with a marble tombstone engraved with a long verse from the poet. The Bazar-e Vakil can also be seen here, an ancient trading district composed of several bazaars dating from different periods.

Oman, a Muslim country with a low-key atmosphere, is one of the countries to add to a short-haul travel list. One of its provinces, Musandam, is a great place to be. It lies between the east coast of the UAE and the southern side of the strategically important Strait of Hormuz. Those going here will find beautiful khors or rocky inlets with small villages and mountain-side roads. There is also the Khasab Fort to check out, an old structure with four stone turrets and a fine set of crenulations. In here is an ethnographic museum, where one can check out various displays. After going around the museum, one can look at the bait al qufl, which are houses built with a floor well below ground level.

Malaysia, a land of contrasts, makes a charming place to visit. Its mainland is filled to bursting with Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences while the island of Borneo hosts wild jungles, a rich wildlife, and remote tribes. Those who want to visit the countryside can turn to Penang, where one will find a quintessential Malay village with ornate temples and mosques holding court with Chinese shophouses and stalls selling gold-embroidered saris. Those who want to further escape into the tranquillity can move to Teluk Bahang, a quiet beach a few kilometres away from the Batu Ferringhi, a popular beach.

From here, one can visit the Penang National Park with its interesting and challenging trails through the jungle. There is also the Teluk Bahang Forest Reserve, an 873-hectare reserve containing a number of Penang's virgin rainforests. Other sights to find here include landmarks for the arts, including the Penang Cultural Centre, where one can view local handicraft exhibits and cultural shows.

How to get out

Tourists out to explore other parts of the world can check out of Zanjan via Rasht Airport. Airlines serving here include Iran Air, Iran Airtour, Iran Aseman Airlines, Iranian Naft Airlines, Kish Air, Qeshm Airlines, Sepahan Airlines, and Taban Air. From here, tourists can ride a plane connecting to Tehran-Mehrabad International Airport, the primary port of entry in the country.

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