Workaway at a Wine Hostel, Georgia

A week spent in the stunning wine region of Kakheti, helping out at a wine hostel was just fantastic. We had missed the wine harvest by a few weeks so there weren’t any wine-related things to do (aside from drinking the wine) but we kept busy with various other tasks. Ucha was our host, a young Georgian guy with fantastic English and a relaxed and friendly personality. He opened up his home (which he shared with his father) to many travellers throughout the year […]

Tabriz & Kandovan

Kandovan, Iran

Tabriz is rated pretty highly as a place to visit but to be honest I’m not sure what is so appealing about this city, when compared to other cities in Iran. The bar had of course been set so high after almost two months in the country, visiting cities like Esfahan, Shiraz, Yazd and Dezful which were all so fabulously interesting.  Perhaps the cold weather and grey skies didn’t help either – there was a very dramatic drop in temperature for us, even snow […]

Couchsurfing in an Iranian Village

Biking in the village

Aside from our first 2 weeks on Qeshm island, the following 6 weeks in Iran were almost exclusively spent staying in cities. There was one night in the desert and one other exception- when we couchsurfed in the village Nasrola Mahaleh, (near Fouman) in Gilan Province, with our host Hamed and his parents. This was quite a different experience and just wonderful. The village was in a green rural valley in the north of Iran. Cows and other animals wandered freely along the roads. […]

18 Tips for Couchsurfing in Iran

Visiting an Aunty and Uncle.

For the first-time couchsurfer Iran will provide a wonderful introduction to couchsurfing – but quite possibly spoil you if you want to couchsurf elsewhere! For the seasoned couchsurfer Iran is a dream come true with many incredibly hospitable and interesting people wanting to host. If you have never couchsurfed before I would recommend at least a few nights doing this if you come to Iran. It is an amazing way to get to know Iranian people and something of their family life, their food, […]

Hitch-hiking in Iran

With the guy who picked us up when hitchhiking and insisted we meet his relatives, Kerman.

The public transport system in Iran is awesome. Good roads, fantastic buses and trains for dirt cheap prices. More on getting around Iran & Iranian driving in another post (stay tuned). We heard great hitch-hiking stories from other travellers but because it was so convenient to take the bus we didn’t need to hitch-hike here. Well only once. In Rafsanjan we just missed the bus to Kerman so decided to hitch-hike with the help of our Rafsanjan hosts. They spoke to the first driver who stopped and […]

Fabulous Female CS hosts in Iran

Simin & Roha

We stayed with just two female Couchsurf hosts in Iran. Both were married, well educated, spoke excellent English and had one child each. Their husbands knew very little English but were both the loveliest people. We stayed just one night in Shahrebabak with Somaye, an industrial engineer. This was an exception to our usual 2 night minimum policy. Somaye was recommended to us by a couchsurfer from Bandar Abbas – one we didn’t stay with but who provided us with lots of helpful information. […]

‘Dangerous’ Iran

One of the many friendly Iranians we met. This camel farmer stopped on the beach in Qeshm to talk with us for quite a while. He even recited poetry... about love and longing.

The first major stop in our year long adventures was Iran, which has been the country of my dreams for about 15 years. I don’t know why exactly I have wanted so much to visit this country and learn its language, but the fact was I did. I guess meeting wonderful Iranians living in Denmark back in 2001 was what started the interest. Studying ‘Politics of the Middle East’ and ‘Islam, Politics and the challenge of terrorism’ courses at Otago University fuelled the fire, […]

First Iranian Couchsurfing Experience

Dinner with CS hosts in Bandar Abbas

Keen to meet local Iranians and get their thoughts on life here, we were pleased to hear couchsurfing was popular. Like many things in Iran it is according to some apparently illegal, but like the other illegal things (Facebook, alcohol, satellite TV, playing cards, VPNs etc.) people do them anyway!  We created a public trip and received many invites to stay with people around the country. Of course we also wrote to people in the cities we were going to, asking to stay. Our […]