Tourism in Iran has a very long history. All the historic documents related to the ancient times and before the Islamic conquer, indicate the expansion of cities, roads and residences all over the vast land of Persia. The written documents show that the Greece and the Romans had also traveled to Iran; however, there is scarce information about the exact names of the travelers who visited Iran before the Islamic conquer.
During the first centuries after Islam, having forsaken a period of crisis, Iran started a new literary, cultural and scientific approach, which led to a great flourishment. Many poets and writers traveled to Iran and produced some valuable travel books, through which one could get to know the geography, culture and civilization of Iran in those days. One of the most famous travelers during this period was Nasir Khusraw (1003-1077), the poet, philosopher and travelbook writer living in 11th century. On the other hand, gradually – especially after the 13th century – western travelers also traveled to the East and Iran. It was during this period that some residences were established in Iran, most of which are still standing. Iran in Safavid dynasty, especially during the rule of Shah Abas the Great, attracted many European tourists as an attractive country. This is why one can consider the period from the rule of Shah Abas the Great to the end of Safavid dynasty as the most important period of tourism development in Iran.
After Safavid period, as a result of unrests and instabilities, Iran was hurt by continuous chaos, but since the Qajar dynasty and after an gradual stability settled in Iran and the phenomenon of colonization developed, travel to Iran revealed many secrets regarding its archeology and history.
Now Iran is a touristic country with numerous monuments, sites, artifacts, and natural attractions, which annually attracts about 5 million tourists from around the world. This four season country, with hospitable people, jaw-dropping nature and amazing history, provides the tourists a safe, unforgettable, exiting, yet cheap travel experience.