How to visit: A 13-day "Introducing Iran with David Blair" run by Telegraph Tours visits Isfahan, and stays at Abbasi Hotel. May 9 and September 5, from £3,150pp full-board excluding flights.
3. Get Dizi with it in Mashad
This rustic lamb, chickpea and potato stew is slow-cooked in a clay pot over a fire for several hours until the meat is so tender you can mash it into a paste with your fork. It is said to have originated in the city of Mashad, home to the shrine of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam and one of the holiest pilgrimage sites of Shia Islam. Small cafés and restaurants all over town cook dizi for lunch and dinner and serve it warm flatbreads that you shred into small pieces at the table and place in your clay pot to soak up the meaty broth.
How to visit: Persian Voyages is offering a 14-day "Omar Khayyam" tour which visits Mashad, Iran's holiest city. Departures between May and December, from £2,350pp including some meals but excluding flights..
4. Stop to smell the roses in Kashan
The rose is indigenous to Iran and the country was the first place in the world to distil its petals to make rose water over 2,500 years ago. Each spring, the town of Kashan has an annual rose festival where you can watch rosewater being made, from the harvesting of the flowers, to the steaming of the petals. During the festival the whole town erupts in a cacophony of colour and scent and there is nothing better than taking a moment to rest in shade of the afternoon sun with a bowl of faloodeh, a sweet and tangy sorbet made with rosewater, rice vermicelli and lime juice.
How to visit: Magic Carpet Travel is offering a 12-day "The Rose Harvest" itinerary which visits Iran in May and is organised around the harvest. From £2,495 b&b excluding flights.
5. Embrace the goodness of greens in Talesh
The lush green forests and rice paddies of Talesh, near the Caspian Sea are home to some of the most striking natural beauty in Iran and in spring and summer, Iranians flock here for hiking and camping holidays. The food of the region is as green as its landscapes, packed with herbs which adorn every meal. Torshe-Tareh is a signature dish, a tangy emerald green stew made with several kilos of spinach, dill, parsley, coriander and chives, sharpened with limes and served with poached eggs stirred through it.
How to visit: A 14-day "Iran: Walk through the Valleys of the Assassins" trip from Wild Frontiers visits Talesh. Departures between September 2016 and September 2017, from £2,595pp including most meals but excluding flights.
6. Indulge your sweet tooth in Yazd
The enchanting city of Yazd is a historic mudbrick town on a plateau between the country’s two largest deserts. It is famous for its badgirs (wind catchers), ancient Zoroastrian temples and glorious selection of bite-sized pastries known as Shirini Yazdi (Yazdi sweets). Patisseries throughout the city stock an assortment of these sugary treats, from almond baklavas, to cupcakes made cardamom and pistachios and ghotab, a local delicacy of deep fried doughnuts filled with ground almonds.
How to visit: Cox & Kings is offering an 11-day "Iran: Treasures of Persia" itinerary which stops at Yazd. Departures between April and September, from £1,995pp including flights and some meals.
7. Crack open a Tahchin rice cake in Shiraz
Tahdig, the crunchy, buttery rice crust that forms at the bottom of the pot that rice is cooked in is prized in Iran and tahchin is a dish that encapsulates everything that is great about it. Rice is first mixed with yoghurt, egg yolks and saffron and then layered with spiced chicken or lamb and baked until its forms a golden crust. The dish is then turned upside down and served like a cake, from which you cut yourself a very generous slice. Tahchin is found in restaurants throughout the city of Shiraz, where it considered something of a speciality.
How to visit: A new 16-day "Journey to Persia" tour run by Exodus spends time in Shiraz. Departures between April 2016 and October 2017, from £2,599pp b&b including flights.
8. Meatball madness in Tabriz
Iranians love a good meatball and the city of Tabriz in the north west of the country is the best place to sample them. Here you can find an array of lamb meatballs stuffed with prunes, sour cherries, walnuts, barberries, raisins or boiled eggs in various delicious combinations. The most famous meatball of them all, Kofte Tabrizi bears the namesake of the city and has some resemblance to a large scotch egg, albeit one in a saffron and tomato sauce.
How to visit: Travel the Unknown's "Troglodytes & Assassins" tour visits northwest Iran, including Tabriz. Departures between April 2016 and September 2017, from £2,395 including flights and some meals.
9. Sample some spicy seafood in Bandar Abbas
The food of southern Iran is hot and spicy, just like its climate and is influenced by the region’s position as one of the stopping points on the maritime spice trade route between India and Europe. The port town of Bandar Abbas is the best place to sample Ghalyieh Maygoo – a sharp and spicy stew made with generous handfuls of fresh coriander, tamarind, red chilli, garlic and prawns. Restaurants next to the central fish market are the best place to eat it as they serve fresh local catches of the day.
How to visit: Bird Finders runs a 15-day "Iran" tour which takes in Bandar Abbas and its coastal areas. This is a tour aimed at bird lovers rather than a general highlights trip. April 12, from £3,795pp full-board including flights.
10. Feast on Mirzeh Ghasemi in Masuleh
A visit to the thousand-year-old village of Masuleh, set in the foothills of Gilan, takes one back in time to the traditions of rural Iran and the simple agrarian life that used to dominate most of the country. It is also one of the best places to sample Iran’s vegetarian cuisine, most notably the dish mirzeh ghasemi, a regional speciality of smoky aubergines, burnt over hot coals and then gently fried with tender young garlic, plump tomatoes and plenty of local olive oil.