Iran holiday guide: from Tehran to Isfahan and beyond

With staggering architecture, exotic landscapes and rich culture, Iran offers endless adventure. Resident Haleh Anvari is our guide around Persepolis, Yazd, Kashan and more

My beloved British friends! It has been 25 years since I threw that goodbye party in Brixton, complete with saffron-laden rice dishes, to bid you farewell before I returned to Iran. You were the cast of my life from the day I arrived as a homesick 12-year-old. From schoolgirl, to undergraduate, to Londoner, you were at my side.

Yet, in a quarter-century, none of you has accepted my offer of coming to visit me here. The image of Iran is so calcified by its politics that not even one of your own could persuade you to come and explore for yourself. This is my last-ditch invitation: maybe you’ll get over that psychological hurdle and catch the six-hour flight to Tehran.

We’ll stop at Aghda, famous for its pomegranates, where the old town has been abandoned in favour of modern housing

Follow me to the Khalifa pastry shop and order its famed Yazdi delicacies of baghlava and sweetmeats to take back home

Our ancient history is often lost in the noise of contemporary politics but images from this era abound in daily life

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