Iran weather, climate and geography
Weather & climate
The size of Iran means that can temperatures can vary hugely, depending on which corner of the country you find yourself in. Days can be incredibly hot between May and October, particularly in the desert regions and along the Gulf Coast, while the mountain ranges of the north become freezing over winter.
Nights can be especially cold. In general terms, major cities like Tehran, Esfahan and Tabriz have seasons broadly equivalent to those in Mediterranean Europe. Iran has a relatively low rainfall, but is prone to earthquakes. Those travellers hoping to ski will find most action between November and March, while it’s advisable for all visitors to look into timings of festivals like Ramadan before booking a trip.
In Tehran, lightweight clothing is worn from April to October while mediumweights are advised from November to March. Be reminded, however, that dress should always err on the side of conservatism, particularly for women – the wearing of headscarves is obligatory in public.
Tropical attire is worn from April to October. Mediumweights are advised from November to March.
Iran is located in the Middle East, bordered to the north by Turkmenistan and the Caspian Sea, the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and the west by Iraq and Turkey. The centre and east of the country are largely barren undulating desert, punctured by qanats (irrigation canals) and green oases, but there are mountainous regions in the west along the Turkish and Iraqi borders and in the north where the Elburz Mountains rise steeply from a fertile belt around the Caspian Sea.
Although little visited by westerners, Iran is a treasure trove of historical and architectural wonders just waiting to be explored. With a vastly varied geography that includes snowy mountain peaks and miles of coastline, the country offers an exciting range of possibilities when it comes to sports, activities and sightseeing. However, perhaps the most appealing thing about Iran is its deeply ingrained Persian heritage and the hospitality of its people.
For many, the cultural insights on a trip to Iran are thrilling. The strict Islamic republic can be a cultural shock to many, but this is soon eased by the friendliness and generosity shown by Iranians. Travelling around the country is easily achieved, with an excellent transport infrastructure of buses, inexpensive domestic flights and some limited train routes.
While temperatures can reach a scorching 40°C plus, there are parts of the country that experience much less daunting mercury readings, with plenty of high altitude retreats and top-notch ski resorts. And if the heat of the chaotic bazaars gets too much, head for one of the country’s modern, air conditioned malls, where western-style clothing and goods are readily available.
The entertainment scene from a non-Muslim’s perspective may be marred by the fact that alcohol is prohibited in Iran, but you will soon find yourself enjoying the Iranian cuisine in the abundant quaint restaurants without giving it a thought as you sip on a delicious yoghurt shake. As a country of early risers, you can take advantage of the low temperatures in the morning, the perfect time to go sightseeing.
Accommodation in Iran is varied, ranging from the sophisticated Tehran Hilton in the capital to home stays in rural villages. The pleasing thing about accommodation in most of Iran’s urban centres is the availability of lodgings in all price ranges. Many people prefer to travel on a group tour if it is there first time to Iran, with excellent discounts available for entry into museums and historical sites if you are travelling with an Iranian travel agency.
Regardless of how you travel, people will be ready to assist you wherever you go, and you will find a high standard of English spoken in most of the urban centres. Visitors should exercise some caution with regards to the threat of terrorist attacks in Iran, with certain organisations continuing to threaten western interests in the Middle East.
It is important to plan your itinerary before you leave home when you plan a trip to Iran; the main reason being that the country varies dramatically in its topography and altitude, making a pre-departure climate check the only way to ensure that you will pack the most suitable clothes for your vacation.
Throughout most of Iran, the weather is very comfortable in spring and autumn, with the exception of southern Iran and the regions near the Gulf which can experience rain showers. The winter months are also pleasantly warm, making this the ideal season to visit.
In the summer, lightweight clothing is recommended, along with hats and sunglasses to protect you from the sun’s rays. It can reach temperatures as high as 45°C combined with 80 per cent humidity.
It is not acceptable for either men or women to wear shorts throughout the seasons. Depending where you visit in the winter, temperatures can drop dramatically, making it necessary to pack some warm clothing.
The best time to visit Iran :
Iran lies in a continental climate with great diversities, being a vast country, Iran has regions with different temperatures even at a specific period of time.
Being situated inside a dry belt of the globe and because of the check imposed by the Alborz and Zagros ranges the plateau has a dry desert peculiarity. Winter temperatures often fall below freezing specially in the mountains, while summers are usually hot. In the northern coastal areas of the Caspian Sea climate is mild and humid. The southern parts and the Persian Gulf region have rather a hot and humid weather with pleasant winters. Therefore, because of these climatic diversities one can enjoy from winter sports while at the same time within a few hours of travel it is possible to swim in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf.