Known as the jewel of Central Asia, Iran's cities are packed with gilded mosques and blue-mosaic shrines built in honour of the country's greatest leaders. Its people are generous and its terrain ranges from the sands of the Persian Gulf to the Alburz Mountains in the north. The expert authors give first-hand descriptions of attractions ranging from the exquisite mosques of Isfahan and the museums and palaces of Tehran to remote, spectacular mountain hikes. New maps and up-to-date information on all the basics - hotels, restaurants, businesses and shops - help you to uncover the mysteries of ancient Persepolis, to enjoy a soak and scrub in a local hamam, or to pick up a pair of giveh slippers or a Persian rug in Kirman's bazaar.
Patricia Baker was an independent lecturer and researcher specializing in Islamic art. She first visited Iran in 1971 and subsequently went back numerous times. Hilary Smith is an independent lecturer focusing particularly on the cultural history of central Asia.