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persian deserts iran desert persiadesert - Show Article - Travelig Around Iran
Travelig Around Iran

AIR: Iran has an excellent airline network. The only real problem is booking; many of the more popular routes such as Tehran-Mashhad, Tehran-Ahwaz, and Tehran-Esfahan or Tehran-Shiraz are full up weeks or even months ahead. So don't waste time on arrival: as soon as you know where you are going and how you want to get there, book. Schedules nearly always for a return journey the same day. Iran-Air, the state-owned domestic and international carrier, using its professional tour service ensures well-planned itineraries, with travel and luxury accommodation all arranged in advance. The company also provides all tourist visas, international and domestic flights, 5-star hotel accommodation, de luxe coaches and guided sightseeing in the large cities and the holy shrines of Iran. Iran Air Tour facilities are available for your groups as well as individual travellers. Just let them know your special interest and they will arrange affordably priced group and individual tours for you. For reservations and further information contact Iran Air Tours, 191 Motah-hari Ave, Dr Mofatteh Crossroads, Tehran 15879, tel 890298, 896062, 893444, fax 895884, telex 213956 IRAT IR, Sita Code THRJDIR/THRJCIR. Without plane services, it would often be impossible to find time during a holiday to visit remote areas like Khorasan (Mashhad) or Kerman and Shiraz. In any case, it is advisable to take at least one air trip, even a short one such as Tehran-Esfahan. Flying at medium altitude, you get an exceptionally attractive view of Iran's territory, you see the colors of the desert, the striking profile of mountain ranges, and can admire the tenacity of men and women living in the desert at the extremity of interminable "qanats". Asseman, Mahan, and Kish Air Companies have smaller carriers (85-and 44-seats) and make nearly 200 weekly scheduled flights to 21 airports. RAIL: Except for the 17 km line built in 1886 between Tehran and Ray, Iran's railway system is of relatively recent construction. The trans-Iranian railway started operation in 1938. The overall Iranian railways include 5,802 km of single-track lines. Iran is linked by rail to three countries: Turkey, Pakistan, and the Republic of Azarbaijan (former Soviet Union). The most active route at present is the one to the latter through Iranian Jolfa. Two hundred cargo rail cars a day shuttle into Iran through the border, and a passenger train runs between Tehran and Moscow. The two countries of Iran and Turmanestan have also been discussing construction of a railway line from the nearest border point in Turkmanestan to Sarakhs in north-east Iran. The line would then be linked to Mashhad, and is scheduled to be a part of the trans-Iranian railway line joining the north-east to the Persian Gulf through the Bafgh-Bandar-e Abbas line in the future. Several lateral railway lines connect the main line to remote provinces: Tehran-Tabriz-Jolfa, as well as connections with Turkish and European systems, with Qom-Esfahan and extension to Yazd, Bafgh (caol mines), Zarand (iron ore mine), and Kerman; Zahedan_Mirjabeh lines joines the Pakistan system. Work is currently under way on a Kerman-Zahedan line and another one from Kerman to Bandar-e Abbas. The Iranian railway system uses relatively new equiptment such as passenger carriages (3 classes), sleepers and restaurant-cars. Because of their comfort, security and speed, Iranian railways are an excellent means of discovering the country. Railway line often run some distance from the roads and go through undiscovered mountain and desert beauty spots. The trip from Tehran t Mashhad is highly recommendable in this respect. Its many tunnels, viaducts and tight curves enhance the attractiveness of landscapes and of picturesque life in the local stations of this remote province. Express trains cost more than regular service, and sleeping berths are extra. BUS: Large towns and cities have urban bus services - a particularly good way to get around and sightsee as you go. Generally, inter-city bus services are not comfortable (except Tehran) or in some cases fairly regular, despite their efficiency and inexpensiveness. Bus terminal are often situated close to the railway stations, where you will fond timetables and other information. Private vehicles are sometimes hindered by the scores of coaches on Iranian roads, but this in itself shows their possibility as a means of exploring the country. Services from one town to another are provided by comfortable, air-conditioned, fast pullman coaches. The journey form Tehran to Esfahan takes 8 hours, to Tabriz 12 hours, to Kerman 16 hours, etc. On secondary and local services, the coaches stop at every village and almost at every crossroads. They are less modern and have sometimes suffered form many years of exposure to track dust. The adventurous tourist will always find a coach - either in terminals or on roads - which will take him to the most remote oasis or reputedly inaccessible desert. He should not be too particular with regard to comfort and hygiene, nor be in a hurry, but his journey will be colorful and exciting as well as economical. Where there is no railway (e.g. southern and western provinces), you will find a road and on that road there will be dozens of inter-city buses. The fares, by Western standards are negligible, and in some cases, so is the comfort. Buses on important routes, like those to Esfahan, Shiraz, Tabriz, Kerman, and Mashhad, on the other hand, are plush and classy

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